Daily Current Affairs 24 March 2022 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt sets a target of creating 220 new airports by 2025
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that the Government has set a target of building 220 new airports by 2025, citing the Civil Aviation industry as a critical component of India’s economy. In response to the Civil Aviation Ministry’s requests for grants for 2022-23, Scindia stated that India has made progress in both domestic and foreign travel during the COVID-19 period.
- “Cargo flights for perishable food items will be boosted by 30% in the next few years, with 133 new flights,” he stated.
- Scindia stated that the pilot licence will be simplified in the coming days using cutting-edge technologies. The government intends to build 33 new domestic freight ports, 15 new pilot training schools, more jobs, and a stronger focus on the drone industry.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh announces launch of “Dare to Erade TB” program for WGS TB surveillance
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh while addressing the event, announced the launch of “Dare to Erade TB” program which will be based on Indian data, and formation of a Genome Sequencing Consortium for Whole Genome Sequencing, (WSG) TB surveillance.
- Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, said, government has scaled up capacities for early identification and timely treatment of TB cases.
- She said, these capacities have been further strengthened through surveillance and contact tracing, and digital technology will guide the health workers effectively.
Defence Ministry approves military acquisitions worth Rs 8,357 crore
The Defence Ministry approved the procurement of Rs 8,357 crore worth of military platforms and hardware, including air defence fire control radar and GSAT-7B satellite.
- The approved proposals included “procurement of night sight (image intensifier), light vehicles GS 4X4, air defence fire control radar (light) and GSAT-7B satellite.
- Acquisition of these equipment and systems will enhance operational preparedness of armed forces by providing better visibility, enhanced mobility, improved communication and increased capability of detecting enemy aircraft.
Suraksha Kavach-2 Joint Security Exercise by Indian Army and Maharashtra Police
Suraksha Kavach 2, a Joint Security Exercise was organised between Indian Army and Maharashtra Police at Lullanagar, Pune.
- The aim of the exercise was to harmonize the procedures undertaken by Army and Police to counter any likely terrorist actions in Pune.
- It is participated by Counter Terrorism Task Force (CTTF) of Indian Army, Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra Police, Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs), Dog Squads and Bomb Disposal Teams of both agencies.
478 Khelo India centres approved in 375 districts of 29 states & UTs: Govt
The Government said that 478 Khelo India centres have been approved in 375 districts of 29 states and union territories.
- In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur said that selection of talent pools as well as hiring of coaches and procurement of sports equipment at the Khelo India Centres is done by the respective State Governments and Union Territory.
World Air Quality Report 2021: Delhi continues to be most polluted capital city for fourth year
Delhi was found to be the most polluted capital in the world for the fourth consecutive year in 2021 and 35 of the 50 cities with the worst air quality were in India, according to a new report.
- In 2021, none of the cities in India met the prescribed World Health Organization air quality standards of 5 micrograms per cubic meter, stated the World Air Quality Report 2021, prepared by Swiss organization IQAir and released globally.
- On the list of capital cities, Dhaka followed Delhi in terms of the annual average PM2.5 concentration, while N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, was third on the list.
- The report said: “India was home to 11 of the 15 most polluted cities in Central and South Asia in 2021. Delhi saw a 14.6% increase in PM2.5 concentrations in 2021 with levels rising to 96.4 µg/m3 from 84 µg/m3 in 2020.
- In the Central and South Asia region — including India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Tajikistan — Bhiwadi, in Alwar district, Rajasthan, was the most polluted regional city, with an average PM2.5 concentration of 106.2 50 µg/m3. This was followed by Ghaziabad with 102 µg/m3, and then Delhi with 96.4 µg/m3.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI Card inks partnership with Nature’s Basket to launch India’s leading International Gourmet Card
SBI Card, India’s largest pure-play credit card issuer, has inked partnership with Nature’s Basket, India’s leading premium grocery store brand, to launch ‘Nature’s Basket SBI Card’.
- Thoughtfully crafted to cater to the fast-evolving gourmet taste of premium consumers, the first-of-its-kind ‘Nature’s Basket SBI Card’ will address their unique lifestyle related spend needs, including grocery and gourmet.
- The card will be introduced in two variants – ‘Nature’s Basket SBI Card’ and ‘Nature’s Basket SBI Card Elite’ to enable cardholders to derive maximum value from their spends at Nature’s Basket stores along with other key spend categories such as international travel, dining, and entertainment.
RBI lifts curbs on HDFC Bank, allows its digital launch
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted the restrictions that were placed on the fresh digital launches of HDFC Bank,under the Bank’s Digital 2.0 programme, vide its letter dated March 11, 2022.
- The RBI had also asked the bank to fix accountability in the matter pertaining to the data centre outages, and examine reasons behind the lapses.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
OECD retains India’s FY24 GDP growth at 5.5%
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) retained the outlook for India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at 5.5% in FY24, lower than 8.1% in 2022-23.
- In its Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India, the agency said that China’s economy is seen growing 5.1% in both 2022 and 2023.
- Driven by infrastructure spending and border reopenings, the GDP of emerging Asia – China, India and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)- is projected to grow 5.8% this year, following a 7.4% expansion in 2021 and a 0.8% contraction in 2020, it said, adding that the Ukraine war adds to inflation and supply chain risks facing an emerging Asia attempting to break out of the Covid-19 slump.
Unemployment rate at 9.8% in July-September 2021
As the curbs imposed during the Covid-19 wave were eased and economic activity gathered momentum, the unemployment rate in urban areas in the 15 years and above age group declined to 9.8% in the July- September quarter of 2021 from 12.6 per cent the previous quarter.
- While the urban unemployment rate dropped considerably in the third quarter of 2021, it remained well above the pre-pandemic levels. Worryingly, the large fall in unemployment was accompanied by only a nominal increase in the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), which edged up to 46.9 per cent from 46.8 per cent the previous quarter.
- The female unemployment rate was lower after the second wave than immediately before it, standing at 11.6 per cent in July-September 2021 as against 11.8 per cent in January-March 2021. However, the LFPR for females was 130 basis points lower in the later period.
Fazza International Para Athletics Championships: Indian para-athlete Dharambir sets new Asian record, wins silver medal in Dubai
Indian para-athlete Dharambir has set a new Asian record in the men’s club throw F32/51 event, winning a silver in the ongoing 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
- Overall, India took three medals on an opening day with Devendra Singh also clinching silver in the F44 men’s discus throw event, while Jyoti Behera claimed bronze in 400 m women’s final T37/38/47 final.
- The championships kicked off the World Para Athletics Grand Prix season with around 500 para-athletes from 43 nations in action in Dubai.
ISSF World Cup Shotgun: India finish on ninth spot
The trio of Prithviraj Tondaiman, Zoravar Singh Sandhu and Vivaan Kapoor lost 2-6 to Kuwait in the men’s trap final to clinch a silver as India finished a disappointing ninth in the the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup for Shotgun in Nicosia, Cyprus.
- India was represented by an 11-member shotgun contingent in the event, according to a release issued by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
- In the 12-team qualification round, the Indian team shot admirably well for a score of 214 out of 225, enabling a second-place finish to Kuwait, who topped with 217.
- Close to 350 athletes from around 50 countries participated in the Shotgun World Cup in Nicosia, where 14 nations won medals.Italy finished at the top of the standings with three of the 10 gold medals on offer, while Turkey came second and Slovakia third.
Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time top scorer in professional football
Cristiano Ronaldo etched his name as the highest goal scorer in the game of football after he scored a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur.
- Ronaldo’s goals have been scored for Sporting, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
- The all-time top goalscorer title in football is much contested and FIFA does not keep an official record, but the world governing body estimates that Austro-Czech Josef Bican netted 805 goals during a career that lasted from 1931 to ’55.
Australia’s Ash Barty retires from tennis at 25
Ashleigh Barty, the Women’s Tennis Association’s top-ranked player and the winner of this year’s Australian Open, announced that she is retiring at the age of just 25.
- Barty has won 15 titles, including Wimbledon, played on grass, and the French Open, played on clay.
- She returned in 2016 and rose rapidly through the rankings, earning global acclaim for her brilliant tennis and winning the affection of fans for her unfailing sportsmanship.
Abel prize for 2022 won by American mathematician Dennis P. Sullivan
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel prize for the year 2022 to American Mathematician Dennis Parnell Sullivan, who is with the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
- The citation mentions that the award has been given, “For his groundbreaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense, and in particular its algebraic, geometric and dynamical aspects.”
- Topology is a field of mathematics which was born in the nineteenth century and has to do with properties of surfaces that do not change when they are deformed.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India successfully test-fires surface to surface BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in Andaman and Nicobar
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired surface to surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos in Andaman and Nicobar.
- The extended range missile hit its target with pinpoint accuracy. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari congratulated on the successful test-firing of BrahMos missile.
- The BrahMos missile was recently in the spotlight after one of them misfired due to a technical malfunction from an Indian Air Force unit during a Command Air Staff Inspection (CASI) there.
OneWeb partners with SpaceX to resume its LEO satellite launches
Bharti Enterprises-led OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, which will enable it to resume satellite launches.
- The first launch with SpaceX is anticipated in 2022 and will add to OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation that is currently at 428 satellites, or 66 per cent of the fleet.
Kuwaiti becomes hottest place on earth, temperature reaches 53.2 degrees Celsius
It was so hot in Kuwait last summer that birds dropped dead from the sky. Sea horses boiled to death in the bay. Dead clams coated the rocks, their shells popped open like they’d been steamed.
- Kuwait reached a scorching temperature of 53.2 degrees Celsius (127.7 degrees Fahrenheit), making it among the hottest places on earth.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Unfilled Barrels: India’s oil story” book by Richa Mishra
A book titled “Unfilled Barrels: India’s oil story” authored by Richa Mishra will be released soon. Richa Mishra is a journalist with The Hindu BusinessLine.
- The book highlights the key role played by Keshav Dev Malaviya, who was the petroleum minister in the 1970s with a degree in oil technology, and the emergence of other stakeholders from public sector enterprises, including ONGC, to the fiercely competitive private players like Cairn Energy, and Mukesh Ambani’s RIL.
Amit Shah Unveils Book Chronicling Journey of SII’s Covishield from Lab to People
A book titled “The Shield: Covishield” encapsulating the journey of Serum Institute of India in producing Covid vaccine ‘Covishield’, which has become a mainstay of the Union government’s inoculation effort to wipe out the contagion, was unveiled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
- The coffee table book, penned by Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute, was launched in the presence of Adar C Poonawalla, the CEO of SII — the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
- The aim is to introduce the readers to the chronological journey of the Covishield vaccine from lab to people.