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Current Affairs - 19th December 2022

1 ) India Launches ‘Group of Friends’ to Promote Accountability for Crimes against Peacekeepers

India, the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), has launched a ‘Group of Friends’ to promote accountability for crimes against peacekeepers. While addressing the launch event, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Union Minister of External Affairs announced that New Delhi will have a database that will record all crimes against the UN Peacekeepers (Blue Helmets). The co-chairs of the ‘Group of Friends’ are India, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Morocco and Nepal.

Key points:

• Peacekeeping is one of the key tools that is available with the UNSC to maintain international peace and security.
• The Group of Friends will seek to facilitate the promotion of accountability for all acts of violence against UN
peacekeepers and also supports capacity building along with technical assistance.
• The Group of Friends will convene two meetings per year. They are organised by the representatives of the Permanent Missions of the co-chairs along with all interested Member States and other UN partners.

2 ) PM lays foundation stone, inaugurates and dedicates to the nation multiple projects worth over Rs. 2450 crores in Shillong, Meghalaya

• The Prime Minister (PM), Narendra Modi, laid the foundation for a number of projects totaling more than Rs. 2450 crore and officially launched them in Shillong, Meghalaya.
• The inauguration of 320 finished and 890 under construction 4G mobile towers
• The new IIM Shillong campus was inaugurated in Umsawli, Shillong.
• The inauguration of the Shillong-Diengpasoh Road, which would improve access to the new Shillong satellite township.
• PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for several significant initiatives totaling more than Rs. 4350 crores and formally launched them in Agartala, Tripura.
• Launch of the “Grih Pravesh“ programme for beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Urban) and PMAY -Rural.

3 ) IDFC First Bank Introduces Zero-fee Banking on savings accounts

On the occasion of its foundation day, IDFC First Bank has introduced zero-fee banking for savings accounts, as it waives off charges for a range of 25 frequently used customer-focused banking services that are connected to savings accounts.

Key points:

• This service is provided to customers, who maintain Average Monthly Balance (AMB) between 10,000 and 25,000 in their savings accounts.
• The customers with basic financial literacy will benefit from the zero-fee banking.

4 ) Google partners DigiLocker to bring On-Device Storing of Government IDs

Google for India 2022 (8th edition) conference, Google announced a partnership with DigiLocker, a government-authorised identification storage system, to bring local storage of government-issued IDs on Android devices.

Key points:

• Over 137 million people are registered users of DigiLocker. More than 2,300 issuers have produced more than 5.6 billion documents using the programme to date.
• In March 2022, DigiLocker’s user base topped 100 million. To retrieve, digitize, and store government-issued papers, it makes use of an Application Programming Interface (API).
• The application was developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity).
• DigiLocker will soon be pre-installed on Android devices and is authorised to function as the equivalent of an official document
• The AI system would be able to locally recognise documents provided by the government, such as Aadhaar and PAN.

5 ) India’s Sargam Koushal crowned as Mrs World 2022

India’s Sargam Koushal was crowned Mrs World 2022 held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Nevada, United States of America(USA). She brought the crown back to India, 21 years after Aditi Govitrikar (Mrs World 2001).

Key points:

• Sargam Koushal, 32, is an Indian teacher and model based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was born on 17th September 1990 in Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
• Apart from being a model, she is a painter and content writer.
• She got married to an Indian Navy Officer in 2018.
• She was crowned Mrs India World 2022 on 15th June 2022, by Navdeep Kaur, the National Costume Winner in Mrs India World 2021 and Mrs World 2022.

6 ) NMDC wins IEI Industry Excellence Award 2022

NMDC Limited (formerly known as National Mineral Development Corporation), under the Ministry of Steel, won the coveted Institution of Engineers, India (IEI) Industry Excellence Award 2022 at the 37th Indian Engineering Congress for its outstanding performance and high level of business excellence in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Key points:

• N R K Prasad, Chief General Manager (CGM) of Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences (IE & MS), accepted the honour on behalf of NMDC from Dr K Ponmudy,  Minister of Higher Education for the Tamil Nadu government.
• The award was given after reviewing the business operations, financial performance, environmental performance, research and development, Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate governance policies of a company.

7 ) India-Nepal joint Training Exercise Suya Kiran XVI begins at Saljhandi, Nepal

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mormugao (D67), the second of four “Visakhapatnam”-class destroyers, also known as the “Project 15B” class of stealth guidedmissile
destroyers, was commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It underwent sea trials on December 19, 2021, when Goa commemorated 60 years of independence from Portuguese rule.

Key points:

• The INS Mormugao is named after Mormugao, historic port city in Goa on the west coast.
• It was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), a Mumbai-based company, and was indigenously designed by the Warship Design Bureau, an in-house organisation of the Indian Navy.
• It is an embodiment of India’s growing indigenous defence production capabilities, with over 75% indigenous components.

8 ) 22nd FIFA Men’s World Cup 2022

• The 22nd FIFA Men’s World Cup 2022 was held from November 20, 2022 – December 18, 2022 in Qatar.
• It was the first World Cup held in the Middle Eastern country and the second held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan. This was also the first World Cup in the northern hemisphere that was not held during summer.
• Argentina grabbed the top spot. It was its 3rd title.
• The runner up was France while the 3rd and 4th place was secured by Croatia, and Morocco respectively.
• Argentina’s Captain, and Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was named as tournament’s best player, winning the Golden Ball.
• Morocco became the first African country to reach the World Cup semifinals by beating Portugal 1-0.

9 ) International Migrants Day 2022 -December 1

United Nations(UN)’s International Migrants Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th December to create awareness about the important contribution of migrants while highlighting the challenges they face.

Key points:

• On the occasion of International Migrants Day, The UN Migration agency – International Organization for Migration(IOM) reaffirms its commitment to promoting a humane and orderly management of migration for the benefit of all, including the communities of origin, transit, and destination.
• The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/55/93 on 4th December 2000 and proclaimed the 18th December of every year as International Migrants Day.
• The day(18th December) marks the day on which the
UNGA adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in 1990.

10 ) Minority Rights Day 2022 – 18th December

Minority Rights Day, also known as Minorities Day, is annually observed across India on 18th December to create awareness about the Constitutionally-assured rights of religious minorities The observance of the day aims to uphold the right to freedom and equal opportunities for the minorities in India and creates awareness about their rights.

Key points:

• The day marks the day on which the United Nations (UN) adopted and broadcast the Statement on the individual’s Rights belonging to Religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities in 1992.
• The celebration of the Minority Rights Day or Minorities Day 2022 was held on 16th December 2022 at National Commission for Minorities.

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