Current Affairs - 22ND December 2022

1 ) TiDEX signs its 150th Innovation Contract with Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), an initiative of Department of Defence Production (DDP), signed an innovation contract with Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd, Pune (Maharashtra). This was the 150th contract of iDEX.

Key points:

• Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd, Pune is a winner of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 7) SPRINT edition on the theme ‘Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Training Target (EMATT) capable of simulating the sound and movement of a submarine’.
• The challenge envisaged development of a training target capable of being deployed from P8I aircraft, MH60R helicopters, ships doing speed up to 10 knots and other Remotely Piloted Aircraft without undertaking any modification on the platform from which the EMATT is required to be launched.

2 ) GIXI: IGX launches India’s First Gas Price Index

Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) launched GIXI, the first ever, nationwide price index to reflect benchmark natural gas prices for India. This launch is on the lines with international benchmarks such as JKM (Japan Korea Marker), HH (Henry Hub), WIM (West India Marker), TTF (Dutch). It was launched by Tarun Kapoor, former petroleum secretary and advisor to Prime Minister of India during an event in New Delhi, Delhi.
It will reflect the volume weighted average price for all gas traded and also represent the gas prices at the Western andSouthern hubs.

Key points:

• IGX Price Index is calculated for various hubs and delivery points with IGX prices being discovered based on actual deliveries making it reflective of the true market situation.
• The domestic natural gas market is growing at a fast pace, in line with the Central Government’s vision of achieving 15% share of natural gas in India’s energy mix.
• At IGX, over 447 lakh MMBtus (1.1 Billion Cubic Meters) of gas has been traded since inception.
• IGX currently offers delivery-based trade in six different contracts such as day-ahead, daily, weekday, weekly, fortnightly and monthly, under which the trade can be executed for six consecutive months.

3 ) ndia’s First SCO-IBC Meeting Held with Focus On Climate Finance, Sdgs, Creation of Data Bank

The 19th meeting of the Experts and Coordinators of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Interbank Consortium (SCO-IBC), the first to be held under India’s presidency, came to an end in New Delhi, Delhi. The SCO IBC will be led by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) from October 26 to October 25, 2023.
The SCO-IBC is presided over by Pawan Kumar, Deputy Managing Director of IIFCL.

Key points:

• During the summit, it was determined to establish a data bank, work toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and undertake climate financing initiatives.
• The meeting was attended by delegates from the member banks of 8 member countries.
• The discussion mainly focused on the SCO IBC member banks’ personnel training, the creation of a database for the consortium’s 20th aniversary, and other areas of cooperation between member banks to improve their partnership.
• The next meeting will be on capacity building on February 8, 2023, followed by a meeting of the heads of the council of the SCO member banks in April 2023.

4 ) IRDAI to Introduce ‘Bima Vahaks‘ to Expand Insurance Force

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will soon introduce “Bima Vahaks“ in each Gram Panchayat in order to strengthen the insurance force in India. Rakesh Joshi, an IRDAI member, made the announcement during the Business Standard BFSI Insight Summit 2022 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Key points:

• A “Bima Vahak” will be assigned to each Gram Panchayat, to sell and service the ‘Bima Vistar’ line of basic parametric bundled insurance policies, which provide protection against health, property, life, and personal accident.
• This bundled product could be purchased in units of the sum insured, and app-based infrastructure will be made to ensure a seamless policyholder experience.
• Insurance companies are working with state governments to create state-level insurance policies that would boost penetration in areas that do not receive much attention from the major players.
• This measure will address the vast protection gap, in which 50% of vehicles are uninsured, property insurance coverage is miniscule, and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are uninsured.
• Additionally, it includes the “missing middle,” or the 30% of the eligible population that lacks access to health insurance.

5 ) HDFC signs MoU with Kerala Startup Mission to provide Financial Services to Startups

HDFC Bank Limited signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to assist startups with financial and banking services. The period for MoU is 1 year. The bank will utilize its banking solution ‘SmartUp‘ to aid startups. This MoU is a part of the bank’s ongoing effort to support startup culture in Kerala.

Key points:

• Under this MoU, KSUM will refer startups to SmartUp which will provide smart financial tools, advisory services and technology to aid in achieving their goals.
• Bank will provide opportunities for startups to pitch their offerings to capital firms, and also extend its support incubation and acceleration of all startups enrolled in the SmartUp programme.

6 ) Tata Projects Signs MoU with CSIR-IIP for Clean Energy Solutions

Tata Projects Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIRIIP), Dehradun, Uttarakhand, to jointly work towards clean energy solutions. This MoU is in line with the CSIR-IIP’s mandate to reduce India’s energy imports and enhance national self-reliance by repurposing waste and under-utilised local renewable carbon resources.

Key points:

• The MoU will help in reducing India’s energy imports and also enhance India’s self-reliance by repurposing waste and under-utilised local renewable carbon resources.
• The Tata Project will use clean energy solutions such as room temperature biodiesel produced from CSIR-IIP for some of its ongoing sites.
• The Partnership will further allows to actively explore the utilisation of by-product green diesel from the existing Drop-In Liquid Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Automotive fuel (DILSAAF) pilot plant at CSIRIIP’s campus in Dehradun and the proposed commercial scale demonstration unit in Tata Projects’ fleet.

7 ) GAIL Signs Charter with Japan’s Mitsui OSK for LNG Carrier

State-owned Gail (India) Limited and Japanese transport firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), signed a time charter contract through its wholly owned subsidiary, for a new-build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier, and also for joint ownership of an existing LNG carrier. The vessel will be built by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering with a charter period from 2023.

Key points:

• This is the 2nd agreement for a LNG carrier signed between MOL and GAIL.
• The 1st carrier, under the agreement signed in 2019, ships LNG from the United States of America Gulf  Coast to India.

8 ) NASA retires Mars InSight Lander After 4 year Mission

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) formally retired its Mars InSight lander after more than 4 years of collecting unique science on Mars. The last time InSight communicated with Earth was on 15th December 2022.

Key points:

• InSight was the first robotic probe that was specially designed to study the interior of Mars, the red planet. NASA declared the mission over when InSight missed 2 consecutive communication sessions with the spacecraft orbiting Mars.
• InSight was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 5th May 2018 and landed on Mars on 26th November 2018.

9 ) National Mathematics Day 2022 – December 22

National Mathematics Day is annually celebrated across India on December 22 to mark the birth anniversary of renowned Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was born on 22nd December 1887 in Erode, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India).

Key points:

• The day is marked to recognise and celebrate the works of Srinivasa Ramanujan and highlight the importance of Mathematics.
• 22nd December 2022 marks the 135th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
• On 26th February 2012, during the ceremony in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, then Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh declared
December 22 as the National Mathematics Day to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary Indian
• Mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, to honour his life and achievements.
• He also declared the year 2012 as the National Mathematics Year.

10 ) Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Now Includes Vadnagar Town, Modhera Sun Temple & Unakoti Sculptures

Chief Minister (CM) of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, launched the 24-Hour Drink from Tap project in 19 cities and towns of Odisha, which would benefit over 5.5 lakh people. The project was officially launched in Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sundargarh, Biramitrapur, Rajgangpur, Keonjhar, Bhubaneswar, Nimapada, Joda, Badbil, Champua, Anandpur, Baripada, Rairangpur, Udala, Karanjia, and Vyasanagar. It was launched virtually under the 5T initiative (Teamwork, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit).

Key points:

• In 2021, Odisha’s Puri was the 1st city in the state to have a drink-from-tap facility. Gopalpur is the 2nd city in Odisha to facilitate the project.
• Drinking water will be supplied around through taps installed in households under the project.
• According to CM Naveen Patnaik, the initiative would help at least 5.55 lakh people in 19 cities and towns.

11 ) Assam CM inaugurates Partial Commissioning of JICA-assisted Guwahati Water Supply project

Chief Minister (CM) of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated the partial commissioning of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Assisted Guwahati Water Supply Project at an event held on the premises of its water treatment plant at Kharghuli, Guwahati, Assam. The project which was launched in 2009 is scheduled to be ready for full commissioning by March 2024.

Key points:

• The ‘Guwahati Water Supply Project’ aims to provide clean potable water to the residents of Guwahati, Assam.
• The project has the capacity to provide 1.25 lakh families in parts of Guwahati with a 24-hours water supply.
• Currently, the partial commissioning will allow Guwahati Jal Board to supply water to about 13,000 households in Guwahati’s multiple localities

12 ) Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Now Includes Vadnagar Town, Modhera Sun Temple & Unakoti Sculptures

M.B. Rajesh, Minister for Local Self-Government, inaugurated Kerala’s 1st smart mobile composting unit, which was jointly launched by Suchitwa Mission and the Kerala Mission in Pallithottam, Kerala.
• The innovative idea of smart mobile composting that scientifically treats waste from auditoriums and large catering centres and turns it into manure.
• Up to 500 kilogrammes (Kg) of garbage can be processed and turned into manure each hour using the device.

fill the form to get the free monthly current affairs magazine