Current Affairs - 9th December 2022

1 ) International Lusophone Festival Held in Goa; Organised by MEA in partnership with ICCR & Goa Govt

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Goa government organised the International Lusophone Festival in Goa from 3rd December to 6th December 2022 to further improve India’s connection with the Lusophone world. The International Lusophone Festival was inaugurated by Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister (CM) of Goa at the Durbar Hall in Raj Bhavan. Attendees – Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs was the Guest of Honour.

Key points:

• The festival includes performances by cultural troupes with around 70 artists from the CPLP countries at several venues in Goa including ESG complex, Azad Maidan, Sanskruti bhavan and Institute Menezes Braganza.
• As part of the festival, workshops on Lusophone music for artists and volunteers, various workshops cum exhibition of photocopies of historical records, unique Goan architecture, Goan handicrafts and Goan furniture were organised.
• In addition, the Lusophone Food and Spirits Festival, showcasing the culinary links between India and the Lusophone world were also organised.

2 )MNRE extends Rooftop Solar Scheme till March 2026

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) hasextended the ‘Rooftop Solar Programme’ till March 2026. This means, the consumers do not have to pay any additional charge for solar installations, and the subsidy under the programme will be available until the target under the program is achieved. MNRE also advised residential consumers not to pay any additionalcharges to any vendor on account of fee for application on the National Portal.

Key points:

• MNRE is implementing the Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by 2022 (now extended to 2026). Under, the Ministry is providing a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW (Kilo Watt) and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and upto 10 kW of solar panel capacity.
• The subsidy under National Portal has been fixed at Rs. 14,588/- per kW (for capacity upto 3 kW).
• It is being implemented in the state by distribution companies (DISCOMs).

3 ) Indian & US Navies Conduct Special Forces Exercise “Sangam” In Goa

7th edition of Exercise “Sangam,“ a joint Naval Special Forces exercise involving Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOs) and United States (US) Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams, has commenced in Goa on December 01, 2022 and is scheduled to last three weeks.

Key points:

• Indian Navy MARCOs from Indian Naval Ship (INS) Abhimanyu and members of SEAL Team Five, based in San Diego, US, will collaborate during the 7th edition of Exercise “Sangam.”
• It aims to facilitate ideas and knowledge sharing on many facets of Maritime Special Operations.
• Personnel will practice and improve their abilities in special heliborne operations, combat free fall jumps, direct action missions, and maritime interdiction operations, during the exercise.

4 ) DoPPW launches Nation-wide Campaign for Promotion of Digital Life Certificate

Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (MoPP&P), Government of India (GoI), has launched a Nation-wide Campaign for Promotion of Digital Life Certificate for Central Government pensioners.

Key points:

• Nation-wide Campaign was launched to promote the Life certificate through Digital mode and popularizes the Face Authentication technique.
• All registered Pensioners schemes and centres have been directed to promote the Digital Life Certificate and Face Authentication Technique for submitting Life Certificate by organising special camps for ‘Ease of Living’ of pensioners.

5 ) INS Kochi, INS Kavaratti & INS Sumedha Participates in BN IFR-22

Indian Navy ships (INS) Kochi, INS Kavaratti and INS Sumedha participated in BN IFR-22, the maiden International Fleet Review (IFR) conducted by the Bangladesh Navy (BN) between 6th and 9th December 2022 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh was the chief guest for BN IFR – 22.

Key points:

• IFR – 22 was conducted by BN to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman, the country’s father of the nation(Bangladesh) and also to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.
• All three ships including INS Kochi, a guided missile stealth destroyer; INS Kavaratti, an anti submarine corvette and INS Sumedha, an offshore patrol vessel were designed and developed indigenously.
• INS Kochi is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai, INS Kavaratti and INS Sumedha form part of the Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam.
• All three ships are equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors, which carry multi role helicopters and symbolise India’s warship building capabilities.

6 ) Japan To Jointly Develop ‘Next-Generation’ Fighter Jet With UK, Italy

Japan has signed a deal with the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft together by 2035. This enables Japan to work with countries other than the United States (US) for the first time to meet a major defence requirement.

Key points:

• The move entails integrating Japan’s F-X and Britain’s Tempest, a successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon, into the next-generation combat aircraft, which will be deployed in 2035.
• The outdated F-2 fighter jets that Japan had co-developed
with the US will be replaced by the Mitsubishi F-X.
• The agreement will enable the UK to have a stronger presence in the Indo-Pacific area and provide Japan with more assistance in defending against China’s growing aggression.
• Japan has been enlarging its defence alliances with nations in the Indo-Pacific, including Australia, Southeast Asian nations, and Europe, to offset the rising threats from China and North Korea.

7 ) IDF Named Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina as 1st Global Ambassador for Diabetes

Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister (PM) of Bangladesh, has been named the “Global Ambassador for
Diabetes” by the International Diabetic Federation (IDF) at the
opening ceremony of the World Diabetes Congress 2022 held in
Lisbon, Portugal.
PM Sheikh Hasina is the 1st Global Ambassador for Diabetes.

Key points:

• On 5th December 2022, the title was received by the Bangladesh Ambassador to Portugal Tarik Ahsan on behalf of PM Sheikh Hasina from IDF president-elect Prof. Akhtar Hussain.
• The title was conferred in recognition of her contribution to
improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
• For the next 2 years, the global diabetes ambassador will be the voice of people living with diabetes all over the world.

8 ) New York Fed appoints Sushmita Shukla as First Vice President & COO

Sushmita Shukla, an Indian-origin veteran of the insurance industry, has been appointed as 1st Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ((New York Fed), with effect from March 2023. The appointment was approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Key points:

• Sushmita Shukla will be the New York Fed’s 2nd-ranking officer as First Vice President.
• She will establish, communicate, and execute the organization’s strategic direction in collaboration with the Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
• She will also serve on the Federal Open Market Committee as  an alternate voting member.

9 )SpaceX Launches 40 OneWeb Satellites into Polar Orbit

SpaceX successfully launched 40 OneWeb broadband relay satellites onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, to support London-based OneWeb (legally Network Access Associates Ltd) to expand its fleet in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Falcon 9
rocket was launched from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, United States of America(USA).

Key points:

• This marks SpaceX’s 55th launch of 2022, its 188th Falcon 9 flight overall, and its 154th successful booster recovery. This is OneWeb’s 15th launch till date.
• These 40 satellites, released into an initial 373- mile-high orbit tilted 87 degrees to the equator will use onboard xenon ion thrusters to reach their operational altitude of about 745 miles.
• This was the first of three planned missions and the next two dedicated launches with SpaceX are planned for 2023, in addition to another launch with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

10 ) Retired Air Marshal P.V. Iyer launched book ‘Fit At Any Age’

Retired Air Marshal P V Iyer, a 92-year-old, who runs 8 kilometres (km) a day, has authored and launched a book “Fit at Any Age: A Practitioner’s Guide“, in which he tells how people can make fitness part of their everyday activities at any age, leaving sufficient time for leisure.

Key points:

• His book “Fit at Any Age” combines personal anecdotes, science-based logic, and simple tips to tell an inspirational story about how anything is possible at any age.
• Air Marshal P V Iyer began a fitness journey that allowed him to run over 1,20,000 km.

11 ) Indian Navy’s 55th Submarine Day – 8th December 2022

Indian Navy annually Observes Submarine Day on 8th December to commemorate the induction of the first submarine, the erstwhile INS Kalvari, into the Indian Navy on 8th December 1967.

Key points:

• 8th December 2022 marks the observance of the 55th Submarine Day.
• The submarine arm of the Indian Navy was born on 8th December 1967 with the induction of INS Kalvari, the first Scorpene class submarine in India, at Riga in Latvia, the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
• To mark this occasion 8th December is observed as the Indian Navy’s Submarine Day.

12 ) International Anti-Corruption Day 2022 – December 9

• United Nations(UN)’s International Anti-Corruption Day(IACD) is annually observed across the globe on 9th December to create awareness about the negative impacts of corruption and the role of the UN Convention on combating and preventing corruption.
• The day highlights the role of everyone including, Individuals, nongovernmental organisations, law enforcement, and media persons in tackling the issues of corruption.
• The theme of IACD 2022 is “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption”.

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