Current Affairs - 13th & 14th December 2022

1 ) AIIA inks agreements with International Institutions for the Promotion of Ayurveda

All India Institute of Ayurveda(AIIA) has signed a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Medical Sciences, Cuba and extended agreement with Rosenberg European Academy of Ayurveda (REAA), Germany, for 5 more years, to promote Ayurveda across continents. The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the 9th World Ayurveda Congress and the Ar ogya Expo in Panjim, Goa.

Key points:

• The MoU with the Havana-based University of Medical Sciences was signed between Alejandro Simancas Marin, Cuban Ambassador to India and Dr Tanuja M Nesari, the director of AIIA.
• AIIA, a Delhi-based autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), has 15 international partners and 35 national partners as part of its collaborative operations.
• The AIIA and REAA signed an MoU in September 2017 with a 5-year term that has been extended to 2027.

2 ) Kerala CM declares Seed Farm in Aluva as India’s 1st Carbon Neutral Farm

Chief Minister (CM) of Kerala, declared Kerala Seed Farm in Aluva, Ernakulam district, Kerala, as the 1st Carbon Neutral Farm in India.

Key points:

•The farm, located near Thuruthu, Aluva, produced 43 tonnes of carbon in 2021, although its total procurement was 213 tonnes.
•Kerala Government aims to achieve 40% of its energy need from renewable energy sources by 2025.
•Carbon-neutral farms will be established in all 140 Assembly constituencies. Efforts have already begun to make 13 Kerala farms carbon-neutral.
•Compared to the emission rate, the farm obtained up to 170 tonnes more carbon, allowing it to be designated as India’s 1st carbon-neutral seed farm.

3 ) G7 Nations Establish an International Climate Club to Fight Global Warming

Group of Seven (G7) major economies have established an open, international ‘Climate Club’ for countries that want to work together to combat global warming. Germany has held the G-7 presidency since January 1, 2022, when it took over from the United Kingdom (UK), and it will be passed  on to Japan in 2023 

Key points:

• The G7 consists of Germany, France, the United Kingdom (UK), Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States (US).
• The European Union (EU) is also represented at all G7 meetings.
• In June 2022, Germany hosted the “G7 Summit 2022,” the
annual summit of the G7 heads of state and government, at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps.
• It was also Germany’s seventh G7 Summit; the first time the G7
heads of state and government gathered under a German Presidency was in Bonn (Germany) in 1978.
• The Presidency is rotated between members on an annual basis.
• The new International Climate Club will be a global endeavour
rather than a G-7 initiative.
• The Paris Agreement (2015), which aims to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), will be swiftly and intensely implemented with assistance from the climate club.
• December 12, 2022, marked the 7th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
• The club will aim to expedite the industrial shift to cleaner energy sources and to create more emissionreduction initiatives.
• The club will provide assistance to committed developing and emerging countries so they may move forward with the transformation of their industries.
• The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will construct a “climate change secretariat” in Berlin  (Germany) now that the forum has been established.

4 ) Indian Embassy in Nepal & Govt. of Nepal sign MoUs for development projects in Nepal

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration of
the Government of Nepal and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu (Nepal) have signed 3 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for the implementation of three High- Impact Development Projects (HICDPs).

Key points:

•India and Nepal share extensive and multi-sectoral cooperation.
•Since 2003, India has undertaken 532 High-Impact
Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal, of which 476 have been completed.
• The projects that have been finished at the grassroots in all seven provinces of Nepal cover the areas of health, education, drinking water, connectivity, sanitation, and the development of other public utilities.

5 ) RVNL forms JV with Kyrgyzindustry to develop Rail Infrastructure in Kyrgyz Republic

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) of India has established a joint venture (JV) company, Kyrgyzindustry- RVNL, with Kyrgyzindustry – Open Joint Stock Company (OJSC) to construct a railroad and other infrastructure projects in the Kyrgyz Republic

Key points:

• RVNL would own 50% of the share and the remaining 50% would be held by Kyrgyzindustry OJSC.
• RVNL’s mandate includes the mobilisation of extra-budgetary
resources from banks, financial institutions, multilateral agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, and bilateral agencies through the development of project-specific Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for Port and Hinterland connectivity.
• RVNL may enter into and conduct business connected to developing and expanding rail infrastructure capacity on the fast track.

6 ) Shaji K V Assumes Charge as Chairman of NABARD

Shaji K V has taken the charge as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
(NABARD) with effect from 7th December 2022.

Key points:

•He succeeded Suchindra Misra, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance (MoF), who was holding additional charge.
•Prior to this, Shaji K V has been serving as the Deputy Managing Director of NABARD since 21st May 2020

7 ) Godi India Begins Production of India’s 1st 5.2 Ah 21700 Cylindrical Lithium-ion Cells

Godi India Private Limited (Godi India) has begun the production of India’s first-ever 5.2 amp-hour (Ah) 21700 cylindrical lithium-ion cells with an energy density of 275 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), based on silicon anode technology, in its Hyderabad facility, Telangana. Godi India is the first Indian Company to get Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification to sell homegrown lithium-ion cells.

Key points:

• Godi India has delivered 5.0Ah cells to the top 6 Original Equipment Manufacturers  (OEMs) in India and it is planning to deliver 5.2Ah cells to them in future.
• The company also plans to establish a 100 MWh pilot production facility for 5.0-5.2Ah cells followed by a GWh plant to provide the requirements of the demanding electric 2-wheeler needs.
• The demand for the electric 2 wheeler battery segment is set to reach 50MWh by 2030.
• Godi India will also export its lithium-ion cells made using its technology to major international markets like Norway, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom(UK), and the United States of America(USA).

8 ) Airbnb Signs MoU with DoT, Government of Goa to Promote Inclusive Tourism

Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Tourism (DoT), Government of Goa, to jointly promote Goa as one of the high potential tourism destinations in India and around the world.

Key points:

•This partnership aims at encouraging travel to unique and lesser known destinations and enabling economically regenerative community-led tourism.
• This also scales up homestay capacity across Goa, enables capacity building of hospitality entrepreneurs and promotes the local homestay ecosystem through targeted domestic and international destination promotion campaigns.
• The partnership will enhance the potential of tourism by hosting knowledge sharing and training workshops for homestay hosts to create jobs and sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local communities.

9 ) Dept. Of Space & Agriculture Department Sign MoU to Develop Krishi-DSS

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), and the Department of Space (DOS) to develop the Krishi-Decision Support System (Krishi-DSS). The MoU was signed at the official release of the data products and services of the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT)-1A satellite for the user community in New Delhi, Delhi.It was jointly released by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, MoA&FW, and Union Minister of State (MoS), Dr. Jitendra Singh, DOS.

Key points:

• The MoA&FW is developing Krishi-DSS, a decision support system modelled after Gati Shakti, using RISAT-1A and the Visualization of Earth Observation Data and Archival  System (VEDAS) of DOS.
• RISAT-1A, India’s first radar imaging satellite, was launched on February 14, 2022.
• It is an all-weather satellite that can take high-resolution geospatial images regardless of lighting conditions and can penetrate deeper into vegetation.

10 ) Assamese Gamocha Finally Gets a Geographical Indication Tag

‘Gamocha’, a symbol of Assamese culture and identity, has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Central Government, 5 years after the initial application in 2017. A GI is primarily a product that originates in a certain geographical location, whether it is a manufacturedproduct (handicrafts a nd industrial goods), a natural product, or an agricultural product

Key points:

•According to the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, the GI tag has been registered in favour of the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Government of Assam.
•The certificate for “Gamocha” has been granted as of October 16, 2017 in accordance with the application by the directorate.
•The procedure began in 2017 when the Institute of Handicraft Development of the Golaghat district of Assam submitted an application for a GI tag.

11 ) India & Finland Sign Joint Declaration of Intent On Migration and Mobility

India and Finland have signed a joint declaration of Intent On Migration and Mobility in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on migration and mobility. The Joint Declaration was signed by Union Minister of State (MoS) V. Muraleedharan, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India (GoI), and Tuula Haatainen, Finland’s Minister of Employment.

Key points:

• India and Finland have warm and friendly relations based on common values such as democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.
• The declaration emphasizes the determination of both countries to collaborate in building a common framework
of arrangements and cooperation.
• This will promote the mobility of students, academics, researchers, business people, and professionals while also assisting in the fight against irregular migration.
• On May 4, 2022, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi met
Finland PM Sanna Marin on the margins of the 2nd India-Nordic Summit in Copenhagen (Denmark).

12 ) Maruti Suzuki showcased Wagon R, India’s First Mass Segment Flex Fuel Prototype Car

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (Maruti Suzuki) showcased the Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype model, India’s first mass segment Flex Fuel prototype car in the presence of Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.

Key points:

•The Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype is aligned with the Government of India (GoI)’s clean and green initiatives and has been designed to run on any ethanol-petrol blend between 20 percent (E20) and 85 percent (E85) fuel.
•The car is designed and developed locally by engineers of Maruti Suzuki, with necessary support from Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan.
•It comprises a specifically upgraded engine designed to use higher ethanol-blended petrol to make the engine compatible with higher ethanol blends (E20-E85).
• It also contains new fuel system technologies like heated fuel rail for cold start assist and ethanol sensor for ethanol percentage detection have been built.
• Other components like engine management system, upgraded fuel pump and fuel injector, have been developed along with other upgraded mechanical components to ensure engine and vehicle durability

13 ) Singapore & New York Becomes ‘Most Expensive City in the World’

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index, Singapore and New York(United States of America) has been declared as joint most expensive cities in the world to live in.

Key points:

• New York has topped the rankings for the first time along with Singapore which has topped the list 8 times in 10 years.
• Tel Aviv of Israel which topped the list in 2021 has secured the 3rd rank in the 2022 index.
• The top 10 cities on the index include Zurich(Switzerland) on the 6th, Geneva (Switzerland) on the 7th, San Francisco (USA) on the 8th, Paris (France) on the 9th, and Copenhagen (Denmark) and Sydney (Australia) on the 10th.
• Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru are among the Bottom 10 positions of the index, ranked 165th, 164th and 161st respectively.

14 ) WHO-GCTM in Jamnagar, Gujarat to emerge as a Centre of Global Wellness

World Health Organization Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO-GCTM) in Jamnagar, Gujarat will be the 1st and only global outpost centre for traditional medicine worldwide as it will emerge as an international hub of global wellness. This was announced by Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ayush in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Key points:

•WHO-GCTM is an outpost centre of WHO-HQ (Geneva) funded by the Government of India. It will help establish strong linkages among the Member States of WHO.
• It would emerge as a global wellness centre that would promote the development of Traditional Medicine medications and research, and increase evidence-based research, training, and awareness about Traditional Medicines.

15 ) European Union agrees to grant Bosnia & Herzegovina Membership Candidate Status

European Union’s (EU) general affairs ministers from the 27 EU nations agreed to give Bosnia and Herzegovina “candidate status” to join the union during the meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The decision to grant candidate status is to be formalised on 15th December 2022 when EU leaders descend on Brussels for a meeting.

Key points:

• The negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina began in September 2005.
• On 16th June 2008, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the EU signed the SAA in Luxembourg.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed its desire to join the EU for the 1st time in 2003.
• The Country applied for membership in 2016, but its application has been delayed due to enlargement fatigue, which has stalled EU aspirations across the Western Balkans.
• However, Russia’s war in Ukraine has refreshed the EU’s desire to expand into the area, with capitals eager to prevent losing the countries to Moscow’s power.
• In 2019, the European Commission (EC) adopted its Opinion on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16 )India to Be the First Country to Auction Satellite Spectrum

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), announced at the “India SatCom 2022”, the 8th international summit of the Broadband India Forum (BIF), that India will be the first country in the world to auction satellite communications (SatCom) spectrum. It will be aimed at attracting investments in the SatCom sector.

Key points:

•To improve the ease of doing business in the sector, the TRAI will shortly offer suggestions to streamline the approvals needed for satellite communication from several ministries/departments.
•It includes the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Department of Space (DOS), and Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications.
•The DoT has referred TRAI to the spectrum that must be auctioned and related aspects of satellite-based communication.
• TRAI will develop a model for the auction of space spectrum and is yet to issue a consultation paper on the spectrum auction as part of the standard SatCom process.

17 ) SpiceJet awarded ‘Safety Performer of the Year’ award during GMR Delhi Airport Awards 2022

GMR Delhi Airport Awards 2022 awarded SpiceJet with the ‘Safety Performer of the Year’. This award acknowledged its top performance among the selfhandling airlines and its efforts to reduce ground safety violations significantly

Key points:

• Recently, the airline was audited by theInternational Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and its operations, safety processes, and systems were found to be strong and at par with the global best practices and safety standards.
• GMR-Delhi Airport Awards are an annual ceremony since 2012 which is organized by the Delhi International Airport Ltd, in collaboration with KPMG.

18 ) IUCN: Andaman Smoothhound, Himalayan Fritillary among 29 new threatened species in India

International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, unveiled during the COP15 biodiversity conference here in Canada, includes 29 new species assessed as threatened in India, including the White-cheeked Dancing Frog (Micrixalus candidus), Andaman Smoothhound shark (Mustelus andamanensis), and Yellow Himalayan Fritillary (Fritillaria cirrhosa).

Key points:

•The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health state of the world’s biodiversity.
• Over 15,000 scientists and experts across the globe have found that 1,355 of over 9,472 species of plants, animals, and fungi across India’s land, freshwater, and seas assessed for the Red List are considered to be under threat.
• They are classed as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction.

19 ) National Energy Conservation Day 2022 – December 14

• National Energy Conservation Day is annually celebrated across India on December 14 to raise awareness on limiting energy loss and showcase the achievements of India in energy efficiency and conservation.
• The day is organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) which operates under the Ministry of Power (MoP). It has been organising National Energy Conservation Day since 1991.
• The 1st National Energy Conservation Day was observed on 14th December 1991.
• Note: The BEE executed the Energy Conservation Act in India in 2001.

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