Current Affairs -26th December 2022

1 ) MoD gives nod to procure Pralay Ballistic Missiles for Armed Forces

Ministry of Defence (MoD), during a high-level meeting, has given its nod for the procurement of 120 Pralay ballistic missiles for the armed forces. These are indigenously developed new generation quasiballistic surface-to-surface missiles. They are likely to be deployed along India’s border areas along Pakistan and China. The missile would be provided to the Air Force and the Navy.

Key points:

• Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), it’s system is road mobile.
• It can hit targets in the range of 150-500 km and the missile has an accuracy of 10 metres(capable of hitting within 10 metres of the target).
• It can carry 350-700 kg high grade explosive, Penetration-Cum- Blast explosive, and Runway Denial Penetration Submunition.
• The missile has a speed of around 2,000 km per hour, and is equipped with an infrared or thermal scanner. It can be used in the night to attack enemy’s targets.
• Pralay is powered with solid propellant rocket motor, missile guidance system including state-of-the-art navigation system, and integrated avionics.
• It has a capacity to tackle interceptor missiles as well.
• It is also capable of changing its route after travelling a certain distance in the air.

2 ) Garuda Aerospace becomes 1st Drone Company to get DGCA’s double certification for ‘Kisan Drones’

Garuda Aerospace, a Chennai (Tamil Nadu)-based drone manufacturer, has become India’s 1st drone startup to receive both Type Certification and Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) approvals by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for their indigenously designed ‘Kisan Drones’.

Key points:

• The approvals will now lead to the creation of job opportunities for youth soon, and a goal of training 1 lakh drone pilots in the next 2 years.
• Garuda Aerospace is powered and blessed with strong demands of manufacturing 5000 drones in the next 5 months catering to many opportunities.
• It recently began its USD 30 million Series A round at a USD 250 million valuation.
• It operates 400 drones and employs over 500 pilots spread across 26 cities.
• Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the company’s Brand Ambassador, has invested in Garuda Aerospace’s drone. He has recently launched a drone named Droni.

3 ) Ladakh Celebrates Losar Festival to Mark Ladakhi New Year

Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) celebrated the Losar Festival to mark the Ladakhi New Year, a major socio-religious festival of Ladakh celebrated in winter. Losar festival is a 15-day long festival that falls during the winter solstice, any time between 8th and 30th December. The term ‘Losar’ means New year in the Tibetan language. ‘Lo’ means year and ‘Sar’ means new.

Key points:

• The Losar festival 2022 will continue for 9 more days from the new year with the offering of prayers in the name of God and Goddess along with dances and songs in honour of Ibex and the pilgrimage of Mount Kailash.
• As a part of Losar festival, Ladakh will be lit in lights by the lighting of prayer lamps, illumination of buildings, houses, religious places like monasteries, stupas, and other business establishments.

4 ) J&K Organises ‘Nowshera Folk Festival’ to Boost Tourism

Directorate of Tourism Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in collaboration with the District Administration Rajouri organised the ‘Nowshera Folk Festival’ at Nowshera to promote tourism.

• The event was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Vikas Kundal and DDC Chairman Naseem Liaquat Choudhury.
• Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) members from Nowshera, Seri, Lamberi, Qila Darhal and adjoining areas also attended the event.

Key points:

• The festival started with a Dogri dance followed by a Gojri and Pahari dance by prominent artists. The star performances in the show included brilliant singing performances by Shoaib Kandoo, Shivam Shiva and Sandeep Brar.
• About 2500 people participated in the event and there were also displays of local art, handloom, and handicraft products along with a display of mannequins in Pahari and Gojri attire.

5 ) Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Launches ‘Respect Senior Care Rider’ for Senior Citizens

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Limited launched the ‘Respect Senior Care Rider’, a unique and first-of-its-kind health insurance riders, which will offer 360-degree assistance for senior citizens. The company has tied up with a wide network of service providers to assist the insured. The company collaborates with Strategic Partners to provide seamless services experience for customers by providing them a 24×7 direct connection in under 30 seconds with the medical support and emergency platform which activates rapid response within 10 minutes.

Key points:

• The main aim of the rider product is to minimise the worries of senior citizens and of their family members who are living in different cities. The Respect Senior Care Rider is available in 3 plans:
• Plan 1 provides planned and emergency road ambulance service, home assistance/daily care, cyber and travel legal assistance.
• Plan 2 offers home care services including physiotherapy & nursing care, concierge services, psychological assistance and medical tele-consultation services.
• Plan 3 provides smart watches with fall detection technology, which tracks and records Oxygen Saturation (SP02), Body Temperature, Medicine Reminder, Heart Rate and SOS.
• The product cost starts from INR 700 and ranges up to INR 7,500 excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST).
• Any individual who is insured with Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance (base policy) can add this rider for themselves or their family members with 50 years of age or above.

6 ) Cricket Australia Renames Test Player of the Year Award in Honour of Shane Warne

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley and Australian Cricketers’ Association Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Todd Greenber renamed the Australia’s men’s Test Player of the Year award to honour the legendary spinner ‘Shane Warne’ during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa. The Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year award will be presented annually at the Australian Cricket Awards. Shane Warne won Australia’s men’s Test player of the Year Award in 2006, when he recorded 40 wickets in the famous 2005 Ashes series in England.

Key points:

• Shane Warne made his international debut representing Australia against India in 1991 in Sydney.
• After his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2013, he took up cricket commentary and coaching roles.
• He has won 145 Test matches and 194 One Day International (ODI)’s, and was the Player of the Match in the semi-final and the final of Australia’s victorious 1999 World Cup campaign.
• He has picked up 708 wickets in Test matches which is the second-highest after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan and 293 in ODIs to take 1001 international wickets.

7 ) IIT Madras’ BS In Data Science & NPTEL Win Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Awards 2022

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), Chennai, Tamil Nadu has won key recognition in Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Awards 2022, referred to as ‘the Oscars of Education’
during the event held at the Wharton Campus, Philadelphia, United
States of America (USA).

Key points:

• IIT Madras’ BS (Bachelor’s Degree) in Data Science and Applications won Silver in the ‘Best Online Program’ category.
• NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning), a joint initiative of IITs and IISc, won the Gold in the ‘Lifelong Learning category’.
• Educational Initiatives’ Mindspark: Leveraging AI to Enhance Learning Outcomes won Silver in the ‘AI in Education Award’ category.
• The award categories are designed to reflect the diversity and breadth of the education sector. An expert panel chooses the winners.

8 ) Tata Steel has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for 2023

Tata Steel India Limited has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ by the Great Place to Work Institute for 2023. It has been certified for the 6th consecutive year.

Key points:

• The Company has received recognition for its efforts towards building an inclusive and sustainable organisation.
• Tata Steel has introduced several policies and practices for employee welfare and well-being since its inception.
• According to the Great Place to Work assessment, Tata Steel excelled in all 5 dimensions of a High-Trust, High-Performance Culture: Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie.

9 ) ISRO’s Long Duration CE-20 Engine Hot Test successful Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully operated CE-

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully operated CE-20, a cryogenic rocket engine with a thrust level of 22t for a long duration of 650 seconds. The activity was carried out at the Cryogenic Main Engine & Stage Test Facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu (TN). The CE20 engine is designed and developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala, Kerala. 

Key points:

• The engine was operated with a 20.2t thrust level for the first 40 s, followed by an operation at 20t off-nominal zones) before operating it at 22.2 t for a duration of 435 s, by moving the thrust control valve.
• The engine used for this hot test had undergone 11 hot tests with a cumulative duration of 2720 s earlier. Thus, It has undergone 3370 s cumulative burn duration at different thrust & mixture ratio levels.
• During the test, the engine and the facility performed normally and the required engine performance parameters were achieved.

10 ) C Rangarajan authored a book titled “Forks in the Road”

C Rangarajan authored a book titled “Forks in the Road: My Days at RBI and Beyond”. It was published by the Penguin Business (Penguin Group).

Key points:

• The book is the memoir of Dr C. Rangarajan, an Indian  economist, a former Member of Parliament, and the 19th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
• It discusses India’s transition from its post-independence planning era to the present times.
• The book is divided into 3 parts. Part 1- ‘RBI and Planning Commission’, Part 2- ‘Governor of RBI’ and Part 3- ‘Beyond RBI’

11 ) National Good Governance Day 2022 – December 25

• Good Governance Day, also known as Sushasan Diwas in Hindi, is annually observed across India on 25th December to mark the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister (PM) Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 25th December 2022 marks the 98th birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
• This day also ensures that residents are treated fairly by the government and they receive advantages of various government services.
• In 2014, The Government of India declared the 25th December of every year, the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as Good Governance Day.
• To mark this occasion, Minister of State (MoS) for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh launched the revamped Probity Portal, e-HRMS (Human Resource Management System) 2.0 Portal, Mobile Application of iGoTKarmayogi Portal by Karmayogi Bharat, and e-Books on major initiatives and achievements of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Key points:

• Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports and senior officials of MoYAS and Sports Authority of India (SAI) were also present at the occasion.
• The unique platform also includes a database of Khelo India Centres (KICs), Khelo India Academies, SAI Training Centres, and National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs).
• It will assist athletes in locating the nearest facility where sports training in various disciplines is available.

12 ) Veer Bal Diwas 2022 – December 26

Veer Bal Diwas is observed across India on December 26 to mark the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas- Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s 4 sons of the 10th Sikh guru- Guru Gobind Singh Ji in the 17th century. 26th December 2022 marks the 1st observance of Veer Bal Diwas. On 9th January 2022, on the occasion of the Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, PM Narendra Modi announced ‘Veer Bal Diwas’.

Key points:

• On 26th December 2022, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi attended the ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ programme held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi,
Delhi, as a tribute to the martyrdom.
• The PM attended a ‘Shabad Kirtan’ performed by about 300 Baal Kirtanis.
• India’s 1st, Resolution of ‘Rastra Pratham’, was the unshakable resolve of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. PM
backed up his point by recounting his family’s immense personal sacrifice.

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