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Important Current Affairs 26th January 2022

NATIONAL

26th January 2022: India’s 73rd Republic Day

  • India is celebrating the 73rd Republic Day on 26 January 2022. The celebrations this year are special as India is in the 75th year of Independence – being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Republic Day marks the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950. It replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
  • According to the Ministry of Defence, for the first time, an Indian Air Force (IAF) will show grand flypast by 75 aircraft or helicopters. A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping will be shown for the first time. In another first, 480 dancers will perform during the cultural programme at the parade have been selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition.

Himachal Pradesh and Haryana govts sign MoU for construction of Adi Badri Dam

  • Governments of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have signed an MoU at Panchkula, for the construction of Adi Badri Dam that would come upon 77 acres in Himachal Pradesh near the Adi Badri area of Yamuna Nagar district of Haryana. The proposed dam aims for the rejuvenation of the Saraswati river with an estimated cost of Rs 215.35 crore.
  • The Dam would get 224-hectare metre water from Himachal Pradesh’s Somb River that falls in the Yamuna near Adi Badri in Yamuna Nagar district. The executing agency for the construction of Adi Badri Dam would be Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. Adi Badri, also Sri Sarasvati Udgam Tirath, is located in the foothills of the Sivalik Hills in the Bhabar area. It is situated in the northern part of Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

Suriya’s Jai Bhim, Mohanlal’s Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham shortlisted for the 94th Academy Awards

  • Indian Movie’s  Jai Bhim and Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham have been officially shortlisted for the Oscars 2022.  Jai Bhim is the fourth Indian film to get nominated for Oscars after Mother India, Salaam Bombay, and Lagaan. Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham has been also nominated for the Global Community Oscar Awards 2021. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has released the list of 276 films eligible for the awards this year.
  • Not just Jai Bhim and Marakkar, directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Writing with Fire, a film about a newspaper run by Dalit women, has been shortlisted in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Oscars 2022. The voting for the nominations will begin on January 27 and conclude on February 1. The nominations will be announced on February 8. The 94th Academy Awards will be held on March 27.

SPORTS

Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra gets Param Vishisht Seva Medal

  • Olympian Neeraj Chopra will be honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal on the eve of Republic Day by President Ram Nath Kovind. He is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics. Neeraj is a Subedar in the Indian Army. He had enrolled in 4 Rajputana Rifles as a direct entry to Naib Subedar in 2016. He was chosen for training at the Mission Olympics Wing and Army Sports Institute in Pune.
  • Chopra was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in 2020 for his excellence in sports.
  • The Haryana state will also showcase the life-size replica of Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra in the form of a tableau during the 2022 Republic Day parade.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Omicron Testing Kit, 'Om', by CDRI To Be Launched in February

  • CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit, ‘Om’, for the testing of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. It is the first kit made by any government institution, and the third to be made indigenously, for specific testing of Omicron. Currently, two more such kits developed by private players are available in the market. The kit will give test results in around two hours.
  • Om enables quick and cost-effective detection of omicron variants over genome sequencing for a large population. It was made within two months and will cost around Rs 150.
  • Further, it will give the test results in around two hours. According to the scientists, it can also be aligned for the detection of other emerging variants of Covid infection and other respiratory infections.
  • Once the kit gets approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it will be launched by mid-February. The kit has been referred to the ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) and is yet to be validated.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Padma Awards 2022 announced

  • The Union ministry of home affairs announced the Padma awards on the eve of the country’s 73rd Republic Day. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
  • These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President has approved conferment of 128 Padma Awards including 2 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 Posthumous awardees. In Duo case, the Award is counted as one.

India's Koozhangal wins best film award at 20th Dhaka International Film Festival

  • P S Vinothraj directed film Koozhangal from India won the best film award in the Asian Film Competition section at the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival. Information and Broadcasting Minister of Bangladesh Hasan Mahmud gave away the awards as Chief Guest during the concluding session organised at the National Museum auditorium in Dhaka.
  • The best actor award was given to Jayasurya for Ranjith Sankar-directed film Sunny.
  • The Best Script Writer Award went to Indranil Roychowdhury and Sugata Sinha for Indranil Roychowdhury-directed India-Bangladesh film Mayar Jonjal.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

AIIB Invests in Data Center Development to Serve Emerging Asia

  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank has committed USD 150 million to invest in the development of data centres that mostly serve emerging Asia. This project is being AIIB’s 1st data centre project. India is a key founding member of AIIB. AIIB’s investment of USD 100 million through a parallel fund structure and USD 50 million through co-investments mark the final close of KDCF II, a development fund making strategic investments in the fast-growing data center sector with a focus on the Asia Pacific.
  • The project is aligned with AIIB’s thematic priorities of Connectivity and Regional Cooperation, Green Infrastructure and Private Capital Mobilization. It will also support Alpha in developing climate finance monitoring indicators, incorporating the joint MDB methodology for tracking climate finance and an Environmental and Social Management System at the Fund level. This partnership benefits AIIB’s geographical diversification given the diverse pipeline covering Southeast Asia and East Asia, among other regions across Asia Pacific.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches Platina fixed deposit

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) has launched ‘Platina Fixed Deposit’, offering interest of 15 basis points (bps) higher than the regular term deposit rates provided by Ujjivan SFB. The Platina FD is a non-callable deposit, where partial & premature withdrawal is not applicable. While the interest amount can be received on monthly, quarterly or at the end of the maturity period.
  • The general FD for 990 days tenure gives 6.75% interest for general citizens and 7.50% for senior citizens, while Platina FD offers 6.90% & 7.65% interest rates
  • FD limit: the minimum amount is Rs 20 lakh and the maximum amount is Rs 2 crores, with tenure ranging from 1 year to 5 years.

Paytm and Fullerton India partnering to expand digital lending to MSMEs

  • Fullerton India and One97 Communications Limited, which owns the brand Paytm, have announced a partnership to provide lending products to merchant partners and consumers. With the partnership, the two established institutions will leverage data-driven insights and wide reach to bring credit to new-to-credit users. They aim to co-create innovative merchant loan products using customer payment behaviour and Fullerton’s years of experience of understanding of this segment.
  • The program will offer Paytm Postpaid (buy-now-pay-later) to millions of consumers on the Paytm platform while utilizing Fullerton’s deep risk assessment capabilities and scale.
  • Fullerton India and Paytm will further expand their product offerings to include instant personal loans, which are end-to-end digitally originated and disbursed using Paytm’s technology and Fullerton’s pan India presence.
  • The two institutions would establish a wide network, specifically catering to MSMEs across small cities and towns and help them grow their business.