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Important Current Affairs 29th January 2022

                                                                  NATIONAL         

Kerala Gets India's 1st Graphene Innovation Centre

  • India’s first innovation centre for graphene will be set up in Kerala by the Digital University Kerala (DUK), along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) in Thrissur, for Rs 86.41 crore. This will be the first graphene Research and Development (R&D) incubation centre in the country. Tata Steel Limited is set to be the industrial partner of the centre.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has given approval for the project. The project, which will be implemented with the support of the Kerala government, is expected to accelerate the state’s growth in the knowledge industry sector.

Parliament launches Digital Sansad App to make live proceedings accessible to citizens

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has launched the official mobile application of the Parliament named ‘Digital Sansad App’ on January 27, 2022, to allow citizens to access live proceedings of the House, including the Union Budget 2022 live. The app will make the Parliament and Parliamentary proceedings accessible not only to the members but also to the public of the country.
  • Through the Digital Sansad App, citizens can check what their members of Parliament are doing, what debates they are participating in and what they are saying. Using the app, parliamentarians can also digitally log their attendance.
  • The app contains information on budget speeches since 1947 as well as House discussions from the 12th Lok Sabha to 17th Lok Sabha. It will also contain a live telecast of Sansad proceedings. 2022 Budget session can also be watched live on this App.

APPOINTMEN & RESIGNATION

V Anantha Nageswaran named new chief economic advisor

  • The Government of India has appointed Dr V Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Adviser. The announcement came days ahead of the presentation of the 2022 Union Budget on February 1 and the tabling of the 2021-22 Economic Survey on January 31. This post was lying vacant since December 17, 2021, when KV Subramanian left the office. He is a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC).
  • Dr Nageswaran, who is a noted writer, author, teacher, and economic consultant, has taught at several business schools and institutes of management across India and abroad. Before his appointment as the Chief Economic Adviser, he was the Dean of the IFMR Graduate School of Business and a visiting professor of Economics at the Krea University in Andhra Pradesh.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Google to invest $1 bn in Bharti Airtel, to buy 1.28% stake for $700 mn

  • Bharti Airtel and Google have announced a long-term partnership agreement, to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. Under the deal, Google will invest USD 1 billion in Airtel. From the total investment, Google will invest USD 700 million to acquire a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. The remaining USD 300 million will go toward multi-year commercial agreements with Airtel, including devices built together by the two tech giants.
  • The USD 1 billion funding is part of Google’s USD 10 billion ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’, launched in 2020. This is Google second investment in an Indian telecom service provider (after Reliance Jio). Discussion between the two companies had been going on since the first half of 2021 and culminated in an announcement.

OBITURY

Renowned Marathi writer, social activist Dr Anil Awachat passes away at 78

  • Renowned Marathi author and social activist Anil Awachat has passed away. Awachat was the founder of a de-addiction center called Muktangan Rehabilitation Center in Pune in 1986. He was known for his several Marathi books like “Manasa”, Swatahavishayi, “Gard”, “Karyarat”, “Karyamagna” and “Kutuhalapoti”.
  • In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal called Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985) on Dalit atrocities and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in TN wins TX2 Award for doubling tiger population

  • Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Erode district, Tamil Nadu) has been given the prestigious TX2 award after its tiger numbers doubled to 80 since 2010. Apart from the STR, the Bardia National Park in Nepal has won this year’s TX2 award for doubling the population of wild tigers. Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 2013 and the reserve that spread across 1,411.60 sq km is an important link between the Nilgiris and Eastern Ghats landscape. The Nilgiri biosphere landscape that this reserve is part of is currently the home to the largest tiger population in the world. It is connected to other well-established tiger habitats like Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and BR Hills Tiger Reserve.
  • The award acknowledges the efforts by the State governments and the local communities which have played one of the most important roles to turn a relatively new tiger reserve into one of the source populations of tigers in India. The awards are presented by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Global Tiger Forum (GTF), IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP), Panthera, UNDP, The Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF.

Kashmir police bags lion's share of gallantry medals this Republic Day

  • Jammu and Kashmir Police has bagged 115 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG), out of a total of 189 awarded this year. They more than doubled their last year’s tally of 52 PMGs. J&K Police won awards for conducting several counter-insurgency operations in 2019-20. Police personnel from Jammu and Kashmir have been awarded 115 Police Medals for Gallantry, the highest number from any police force this year, followed by CRPF with 30, Chhattisgarh Police with 10, Odisha Police with nine, and Maharashtra Police with seven.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “The $10 Trillion Dream” authored by Subhash Garg

  • The former finance secretary of India, Subhash Chandra Garg has announced his debut book named “The $10 Trillion Dream”. The book is scheduled to hit stands towards the end of February 2022. The new book explores the critical policy issues that India faces today and suggests reforms for it to become a USD 10 trillion economy by the mid-2030s. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
  • Garg, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for over 36 years, has served in various key positions for both the Union government and the government of Rajasthan. He was designated finance secretary in March 2019.

Book ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’ launched by Meenakashi Lekhi 

  • Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakashi Lekhi has released a pictorial comic book titled ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’, as a tribute to the forgotten women freedom fighters of the country. The book has been prepared by the Ministry of Culture in partnership with Amar Chitra Katha, an Indian publisher of Indian comics and graphic novels. India will be celebrating 75 years of independence this August 15. And so, the book celebrates the lives of 75 unsung women freedom fighters of India, including Chakali Ilamma, Padmaja Naidu, Durgabhai Deshmukh, among others.
  • The book is a fitting tribute to the forgotten heroes of our freedom struggle as it celebrates the lives of women who led the charge and lit the flame of rebellion throughout the country. It contains stories of queens who battled imperialism and dedicated their lives for Maa Bharati.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Pencilton launches debit card with NCMC for teens in partnership with Transcorp

  • A teen-focused Fintech startup based in India, Pencilton has recently launched PencilCard, a debit card that is compliant with National Common Mobility Card standards. It has been launched in partnership with Transcorp. The National Common Mobility Card was developed by India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in early 2019. It allows the user to pay for travel, toll duties, retail shopping and withdraw money.
  • PencilCard works for both online and offline payments in addition to its utility as a metro and bus card. It can currently be used for travel on the airport line in Delhi and a KTC bus card in Pune. It will soon be accepted for metro travel in Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai. Also in the works is utilization on BEST buses in Mumbai.