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Current Affairs - 23RD December 2022

1 ) UP’s Sania Mirza is about to become India’s 1st Muslim Woman Fighter Pilot

Sania Mirza from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, who cleared the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam and secured 149th rank, is set to become India’s 1st Muslim female fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and UP’s 1st IAF pilot. On 27th December 2022, she will join NDA Khadakwasla in Pune, Maharashtra.

Key points:

• In 2016, the IAF commissioned 3 women as fighter pilots. Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, and Mohana Singh created history by becoming the 1st female combat pilots in the IAF.
• The 1st female Rafale fighter pilot is Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh, who was commissioned in 2017.
• Captain Abhilasha Barak is the 1st woman Combat Aviator in the Indian Army.

2 ) Bharti Airtel, Apollo Hospitals conduct India’s first 5G-driven colonoscopy

• Bharti Airtel and Apollo Hospitals collaborated with technology companies HealthNet Global, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Avesha to perform India’s first
5G-driven, artificial intelligence (AI)-guided colonoscopy trials.
• The trial was carried out with AI on Airtel’s 5G technology, which has ultra-low latency and high processing capabilities, resulting in the detection of colon cancer much faster and with greater accuracy.
• Colon cancer is currently detected through a colonoscopy procedure that is manual, requiring close attention for precision, and is time-consuming.
• Avesha edge inferencing applications on AWS platforms processed the data in real-time, ensuring analysis closer to the endpoints.
• The AI-Assisted Colonoscopy Polyp Detection trial will support doctors in improving patient care and detection rates by correctly recording data and eliminating errors.

3 ) WRI & GEF to form Secretariat for preservation of 30% land, ocean by 2030

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People has announced the establishment of a new permanent secretariat, which will be co-hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). HAC will lead a historic endeavour to protect and conserve at least 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030 (“30×30”) under the new Secretariat. Currently, about 17% of all land and a little over 8% of the ocean are covered by protected areas and Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs).

Key points:

• At the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a formal agreement was reached to protect and conserve 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030.
• To accomplish this, the world must now double its land protections and more than quadruple existing ocean protections by the end of 2030.
• The Secretariat will maintain political engagement and commitment to the 30×30 target as the coalition gears up to enter its second phase (HAC 2.0).
• By mapping, matching, and mobilising financial resources and technical assistance to support country implementation initiatives, it will further enhance capacity building and knowledge sharing for national implementation.
• The HAC members have agreed to work together to develop an operational instrument that will aid in achieving the “30×30” targetof  the Global Biodiversity Framework.

4 ) Tata Power Receives Rs. 450 Crore Credit Facility from Japan’s MUFG Bank

Tata Power Company Limited (Tata Power) has acquired a Rs. 450 crore “sustainable trade finance facility” from MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) Bank of Japan to fund two solar projects under TP Kirnali Limited (TPKL). The two solar power projects are: A 100 MW (megawatt) renewable energy project in Parthur,
Maharashtra A 120 MW green energy project in Mesanka, Gujarat

Key points:

• It is MUFG’s first sustainable trade finance facility in India, and TPKL will use the funds to create renewable energy capacity.
• As Tata Power expands its clean energy portfolio and contributes to India’s net-zero targets, the collaboration will open up potential avenues for green financing.
• The credit facility will assist Tata Power in attaining net-zero emissions by 2045.
• This agreement further establishes MUFG as a prominent ESG (environmental, social, and governance) financier in the Asia-Pacific region.
• With this agreement, MUFG and Tata Power are able to support their shared commitment to renewable energy and give India a sustainable source of green energy.
• MUFG has committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its finance portfolio by 2050 and in its own operations by the end 2030.
• MUFG extended a USD 163 million syndicated finance credit for Azure Power’s 300 MW solar project in Rajasthan.
• Previously, MUFG and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation acted as major lenders for an almost USD 205.31 million project loan facility for Adani Green Energy’s subsidiary to help refinance its debt.

5 ) NTPC Ltd & GE Power Sign MoU to Reduce Carbon Intensity from Coal-Based Power Plants

NTPC Ltd. (formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited), India’s largest power generating utility, and GE Power India Limited (GE Power), a listed entity of GE Steam Power in India, inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the feasibility of reducing the carbon footprint of NTPC’s existing coal-fired power plants.

Key points:

• With the help of this agreement, NTPC will gradually replace the coal that is fired at its units with co-firing of carboneous
and non-carboneous fuels while also reducing the amount of coal fired at units.
• Carboneous elements include methanol, carbon-neutral fuel, agri-waste, and biomass, whereas non-carboneous elements include ammonia.
• The primary objective of this collaboration is to enable and support NTPC in co-firing methanol and biomass pellets at levels greater than 20% and up to 100%.
• Additionally, it will explore the possibility of adding ammonia as a co-firing fuel and develop, test, and demonstrate technology that enables complete co-firing with lower carbon fuels in coal-fired power plants.
• Furthermore, since coal is India’s only baseload alternative, it will help lower carbon footprint from a consistent source of power for decades to come.
• NTPC plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its 57 GW (gigawatts) of coal-fired units.
• It aspires to reduce its carbon footprint from coal-fired power plants by co-firing alternative fuels such as
carbon-neutral fuel, green methanol, and green ammonia.
• This is a part of ‘The Brighter Plan 2032’ of NTPC, which intends to set new standards for sustainability across India’s entire energy value chain.

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

• Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, JioBusiness, has won the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) order for providing an SDWAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) solution that will power IOCL’s retail automation and critical business processes. Reliance Jio will be deploying and managing SD-WAN for IOCL across its 7,200 retail outlets for a period of 5 years.
• The retail outlets are payment processing, daily price updates, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) software and network monitoring with enterprise-grade connectivity, Quality of Service (QOS) and 24×7 support across 28 states and 8 Union Territories (UT).

7) Winners of Sahitya Akademi Awards 2022; Anuradha Roy; M. Rajendran; Badri Narayan among winnerS

Sahitya Akademi announced the winners of Sahitya Akademi Awards 2022, the annual awards that recognises the literature works in 24 Indian languages(including English).

Key points:

• Novelist Anuradha Roy, Tamil author M. Rajendran, Telugu writer Madhuranthakam Narendra and Sanskrit Poet Janardan
Prasad Pandey ‘Mani’ were among 23 litterateurs awarded the Sahitya Akademi Awards for 2022.
• The executive board of the Sahitya Akademi under the Chairmanship of Dr Chandrashekhar has also approved the winners of
1. Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation 2022,
2. Sahitya Akademi Bhasha Samman 2022
3. Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2022
4. Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2022

8 ) UIDAI HQ Building wins top Green Building Award Declared winner of the GRIHA Exemplary Performance Award 2022

• The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Headquarter in New Delhi (Delhi) has won the prestigiousGRIHA Exemplary Performance Award 2022, a top national level Green Building Award.
• GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is a national rating system for green buildings in India.
• The assessment was based upon 100 point rating system was considered across 34 criteria.
• The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) satellite centre at Sangrur, Punjab has also beendeclared winner in the GRIHA Exemplary Performance competition in the category of energy management.

9 ) India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu wins Silver at 2022 IWF World Championships

Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won the Silver medal, under 49 kg Women category, at the 2022 IWF World Championships held in Bogota, Colombia from 5th to 16th December 2022.

Key points:

• Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on 8th August 1994 at Nongpok Kakching, Imphal, Manipur.
• She was the 1st Indian Weightlifter to win a Silver at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 and the 2nd Indian Weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal.
• She won the Gold at the World Weightlifting
Championships held in Anaheim, the United States (US) in 2017 and secured multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games.
• She won India’s 1st gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, breaking the event’s weightlifting records in the process.
• In April 2021, she has set a new world record for clean & jerk by lifting 119kg at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

10 ) Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day 2022 – December 23

Kisan Diwas, also known as National Farmers Day, is annually observed across India on December 23 to recognise and honour the major role of farmers in the growth and development of India. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a farmers’ leader who became India’s 5th Prime Minister (PM) (1979-1980).

Key points:

• National Farmers Day 2022 marks the 120th birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh.
• In 2001, the Government of India (GoI) declared December 23 as Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day to honour Chaudhary Charan Singh’s contribution towards the development of the agriculture sector.
• The 1st Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day was observed on December 2001.

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