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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Daily Current Affairs, 11th January 2022



1)  National Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2022: 11th January

•This year National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed on January 11, 2022, which is on Tuesday. The day aims at raising awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promoting and protecting their rights. Though the entire month of January has already been recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, this day is specifically dedicated to awareness and prevention of illegal practice.

2)  Bhupender Yadav chaired 19th Meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority

•The 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was held under the chairmanship of the union minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav. Currently, there are 51 Tiger Reserves in India and more than 35 rivers originate from those areas which are crucial for water security.

3)  Finance Ministry: Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs 1.5 lakh crore

•According to the finance ministry, the deposits in bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) scheme have crossed Rs 1.5 lakh crore mark. The total balance in accounts under the Jan Dhan scheme was recorded at Rs 1,50,939.36 crore as of December-end 2021. The data revealed that over 44.23 crore accounts have been opened under the scheme.

•Of this, 34.9 crore accounts were opened with the public sector banks, 8.05 crore with regional rural banks, and the remaining 1.28 crore with private sector banks. RuPay Debit Cards were issued to 31.28 crores PMJDY beneficiaries under this scheme.

4)  Kevadia railway station renamed as Ekta Nagar railway station

•The Ministry of Railways has approved the renaming of the Kevadiya railway station in the Narmada district of Gujarat, as Ekta Nagar railway station. The Statue of Unity’s Kevadiya railway station falls under the Vadodara division. The station code of Ekta Nagar railway station will be EKNR. The numerical code of the station will be 08224620.

•Last year, the Ministry of Railways had said tourists visiting the world’s tallest statue in Gujarat “Statue of Unity” will be able to experience the rich cultural history of the state at the Kevadiya railway station itself. Under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative, the Vadodara Division of Western Railways had awarded first of its kind contract in the Indian Railways network for the development of an Art Gallery with a Souvenir shop at Gujarat’s Kevadiya Railway station.

5)  Ratan Tata’s biography ‘Ratan N. Tata: The Authorized Biography’ to be out in Nov 2022

•Tata Sons emeritus Chairman, veteran industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Tata’s authorized biography titled ‘Ratan N. Tata: The Authorized Biography’ is set to hit the stands in November 2022. The biography is penned by a former senior bureaucrat and retired IAS officer Dr Thomas Matthew. It will be published by HarperCollins. The book chronicles around the 84-year-old Ratan Tata’s childhood, college years, and early influences, among other things.

6)  Former RBI Governor Urjit Patel Appointed as Vice President of AIIB

•Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Urjit Patel has been appointed as Vice President of the multilateral funding institution Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for a period of three years. He will be one of the five Vice Presidents of the AIIB. He is expected to take charge from February 2022. He will succeed outgoing Vice President D J Pandian, who is in charge of sovereign and non-sovereign lending of the AIIB in South Asia, the Pacific Islands and South-East Asia.

7)  Rafael Nadal wins 2022 Melbourne Summer Set tennis tournament

•World number six Rafael Nadal won the men’s singles tennis title at 2022 Melbourne Summer Set 1. Nadal beat American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6(6), 6-3 to earn his 89th career ATP title. In the women’s singles, Simona Halep beat Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 6–2, 6–3 to win her 23rd career WTA title. Meanwhile in the Melbourne Summer Set 2 tennis tournament, American player Amanda Anisimova won the women’s singles tennis title, to earn her second career WTA title. American duo Bernarda Pera and Kateřina Siniaková won the women’s doubles tennis title.

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The HINDU Notes – 11th January 2022



📰 No ‘third party’ should interfere in China’s Sri Lanka ties: Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister proposes a forum for Indian Ocean island nations ‘to promote common development’

•No “third party” should interfere in China-Sri Lanka ties, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said, during his recent 24-hour visit to Colombo, while also proposing a forum for Indian Ocean island nations.

•Mr. Wang, who met the Sri Lankan leadership, spoke of the “friendly relationship” that “benefits the development of both countries and serves the fundamental interest” of both peoples, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday. “It does not target any third party and should not be interfered with by any third party. The all-round cooperation and strategic mutual trust between the two countries have injected positive energy into regional peace and stability,” according to the readout from Beijing.

•In December 2021, the Colombo-based Chinese Embassy tweeted about a Chinese company shifting its solar energy project from northern Sri Lanka to the Maldives, in the wake of “security concerns from a third party”. While the Embassy did not name the party, it was clearly alluding to India that objected to the Chinese project in three islands off Jaffna peninsula.

•Mr. Wang was on a brief official visit as part of a five-nation tour in the New Year to launch celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the historic Rubber-Rice Pact and the 65th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. His visit came at a time when Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis of a persisting dollar crunch, soaring living costs and a shortage of essentials in the import-reliant island nation. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged China to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt and help the country cope with the economic strain.

•According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mr. Wang said the two sides should make good use of “the two engines”, referring to the $1.4-billion China-backed Colombo Port City in Colombo and the Hambantota Port in the island’s Southern Province. He urged Sri Lanka to “tap the opportunities” of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and China’s “vast market” and restart talks on a free-trade agreement “to send more positive signals to the world and contribute to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and development”, the Ministry’s statement on his meeting with Mr. Gotabaya said.

•The resident Chinese envoy also conveyed the same to a select group of Sri Lankan journalists following the visit, though official statements from the Sri Lankan side made no mention of either “third party” interference or resuming FTA talks. During Mr. Wang’s visit, China had agreed to extend yuan 800 million for partnerships in the health sector and technical cooperation besides supporting construction of low-cost housing in Colombo.

•Another aspect of Mr. Wang’s bilateral discussions, not captured in local statements or media, was his proposal for a “forum on the development of Indian Ocean island countries” to build consensus and synergy and promote common development.

•Mr. Wang, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told the Sri Lankan leadership: “During my visit to several Indian Ocean island countries this time, I feel that all island countries share similar experiences and common needs, with similar natural endowment and development goals, and have favourable conditions and full potential for strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation,” while proposing the forum that sounded similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) initiative.

📰 The sail that Indian diplomacy, statecraft need

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Monday, January 10, 2022

Daily Current Affairs, 10th January 2022



1)  World Hindi Day: 10 January

•World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 since 2006 to promote the language at the global stage. The day marks the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference which was inaugurated on January 10, 1975, by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. However, the celebration of first World Hindi Day was commenced on 10 January 2006 by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

2)  PM declares December 26 to be observed as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ annually

•Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has declared that starting from the year 2022, December 26 will be observed as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ every year. The day will be commemorated as a tribute to the courage of the 4 Sahibzades (the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji), who attained martyrdom in the 17th century. The announcement was made by PM Modi on January 09, 2022, on the occasion of the Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, or the birth anniversary of the 10th guru of Sikhs and the founder of the Khalsa community.

3)  Sikkim celebrated Losoong (Namsoong) Festival

•Losoong (Namsoong) is annually celebrated across the Indian State of Sikkim on the 18th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar, which also marks the beginning of the harvest season. The Namsoong festival begins on the 1st day of the new moon phase Kurneet Lovo, as per the Lepcha lunisolar Calendar known as Dungkit Karchu. The losoong festival is celebrated as Sonam Losoong, by the Sikkimese Bhutia and as Namsoong by the Lepchas. The festival is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan.

4)  Sudhir Kumar Saxena committee constituted to enquire security lapses during PM Punjab visit

•Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a committee to enquire into the serious lapses in the security arrangements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab. It is a three-member committee and will be headed by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat. It also comprises Balbir Singh, Joint Director, IB and Suresh, IG, SPG.

•The committee has been asked to inquire about the alleged lapses in the security arrangements of PM Modi “which led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave risk” and submit the report at the earliest. The move comes just ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on the PM’s security breach. It was the government’s own former ASG, Maninder Singh, who moved SC seeking an independent probe into the PM’s security breach. The court is slated to hear the matter on January 7.

5)  Australia & Japan signed defence agreement to counter China

•The leaders of Japan and Australia signed a “landmark” defence agreement that allows closer cooperation between their militaries and stands as a rebuke to China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met in a virtual summit to sign the Reciprocal Access Agreement, the first such defence pact signed by Japan with any country other than the United States.

6)  GoI extends Navrang Saini’s term as interim chief of IBBI

•The Government of India has extended the tenure of Navrang Saini as interim Chairperson of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for three more months till March 05, 2022. Mr. Saini, who is a Whole Time Member of IBBI, was assigned additional charge of Chairperson in addition to his existing duties in October 2021 for three months till January 13, 2022. The post of full-time Chairperson has been lying vacant after M.S. Sahoo retired upon completing a five-year tenure on September 30, 2021.

7)  Reliance acquires controlling stake of 73.37% in New York’s Mandarin Oriental hotel

•Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has announced the acquisition of a controlling stake of 73.37% in Mandarin Oriental New York, a premium luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan. RIL through its wholly-owned arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited has acquired the entire share capital of Cayman Islands-based Columbus Centre Corporation (Cayman), for an equity value of approximately $98.15 million (Rs 735 crore).

•Cayman is the parent company of Mandarin Oriental hotel. It had indirect ownership of a 73.37 per cent stake in the hotel. Reliance will also take over the hotel’s debt in excess of $115 million to take the entire deal value to around $270. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of March 2022.

8)  SBI Ecowrap: India’s Real GDP projected to grow at around 9.5% in FY22

•The economic research team of the State Bank of India (SBI) released its Ecowrap report. In the report, SBI researchers have revised upwards the real GDP of India to around 9.5 per cent in 2021-22 (FY22) on a year-on-year (YoY). The report believes that though rising Covid infections could impact mobility, yet economic activity is not expected to get much affected.

9)  RBI data: Forex reserves decline by USD 1.466 bn to USD 633.614 bn

•As per the latest Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, the foreign currency reserves of India declined by $1.466 billion to $633.614 billion, in the last week of 2021, which ended December 31, 2021. Gold reserves rose by USD 14 million to USD 39.405 billion. India’s forex touched a lifetime high of USD 642.453 billion in the week ended September 03, 2021. Forex reserves include foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold reserves, SDRs and the country’s reserve position with the IMF.

10)  NSO projects Indian economy to grow 9.2% in FY22

•National Statistical Office (NSO) has estimated India’s GDP to grow at 9.2 per cent in the current fiscal, 2021-22. NSO released its first advance estimates of economic output on January 07, 2022. The GDP estimate for the 2020-21 fiscal was projected at a contraction of 7.3 per cent by NSO.

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The HINDU Notes – 10th January 2022



📰 Unchanged: On EWS quota income norm

After much loss of time, SC allows EWS quota income norm to stay for this year

•It is a matter of considerable relief that the Supreme Court has allowed the commencement of counselling for post-graduate medical admissions under the all-India quota at a time when the long delay has caused a shortage of junior residents in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis. The Court’s decision to uphold the 27% quota for OBCs, with reasons to be adduced later, has also helped the cause of giving a push to the admission process, which was put on hold months ago. It is somewhat disappointing that despite several hearings and the deployment of an expert committee, the controversial criteria for the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) remain unchanged for admission for 2021-22. As early as October 25, the Union government offered to put on hold the admission process during the pendency of the challenge to the introduction of the OBC and EWS quotas by a July 29, 2021 notification. A month later, it informed the Court that it wanted to revisit the criteria for EWS. It was in response to the Court’s questions about the rationale of keeping the annual income criterion for the EWS quota at ₹8 lakh, the same income ceiling for those belonging to the OBC category to be eligible for reservation benefits. The time taken by the committee to reconsider the criteria and submit a report seems to have been in vain, as it has returned a recommendation that the existing norms be retained for the current year’s admissions.

•The Bench, taking into account the fact that the admission process cannot be further delayed, has chosen to allow the admission to proceed based on the norms spelt out in the July notification. However, the validity of the expert panel’s recommendations will be decided when the Court takes up the matter in March. It makes one wonder why the Government postponed the counselling and took more than a month to get a panel to revisit the criteria, if it was ultimately going to press for the current year’s admission to be allowed without any change. The Court, on its part, felt compelled to defer to the Government on this point, considering the urgency of the situation, as the alternative was staying the EWS quota for this year’s admission. Its original point — that there cannot be a common income limit for those coming from a background of social and educational backwardness and those who are members of privileged classes, but with inadequate economic means — still stands. The outcome is that this year’s batch may suffer from ‘over-inclusion’ if the norms are revised downwards from next year onwards. While the norms for EWS quota may get tweaked over time, the question whether there ought to be any reservation for the advanced classes solely on the ground that they have insufficient means is still before the Constitution Bench. An early decision will be most welcome.

📰 Control rather than privacy

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Yojana Magazines January 2022 in Hindi PDF


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