Current Affairs search results for tag: national
By admin: Jan. 19, 2022

1. No Foreign Chief Guest at the Republic day 2022

Tags: National News

There will be no foreign chief guest on Republic Day this year due to the coronavirus crisis and the Omicron threat. Earlier, the government of India had sent invitations to the Head of the Government of the five Central Asian Republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to be the Chief Guest at the Republic day parade in 2022. .

Last year's invited Chief Guest, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to cancel his visit due to coronavirus.

The Government of India has decided that this year on, Republic Day celebrations will begin from January 23, in order to include Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary. 

The first foreign Guest at Republic Day was Indonesia President Sukarno in 1950.

There were no foreign chief guests in the years 1952, 1953, 1966, 2021, 2022.

By admin: Jan. 18, 2022

2. Oxfam Report on Poverty in India

Tags: National News

The non-profit group Oxfam International published its latest report titled “Inequality Kills” on January 17th, 2022 ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos agenda.

  • Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. 
  • It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. 
  • Gabriela Butcher is the present director of Oxfam.
  • Oxfam describes itself as a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice.

Highlights from the latest report-

  • The income of 84 percent of households in the country declined in 2021, but at the same time, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142.
  • Oxfam’s analysis during the coronavirus pandemic (March 2020 to November 2021) showed that the wealth of Indian billionaires rose from Rs 23.14 lakh crore to Rs 53.16 lakh crore. In contrast, more than 4.6 crore Indians were estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 alone, which was nearly half of the global new poor according to the United Nations
  • Oxfam says that a 1% Wealth Tax on India’s Super Rich families could fund its entire vaccination program cost of Rs 50,000 crore, and a 4% wealth tax on just the 98 richest families of India could account for the Union health ministry’s budget for two years and the mid-day meal program for 17 years.
  • The budgetary allocation for social security schemes declined from 1.5% of the total Union budget to 0.6%. There was a 6% cut in allocation for education and in the health sector, even though covid continued to ravage India, the country's healthcare budget saw a 10% decline from RE (revised estimates) of 2020-21.
  • Lowering corporate taxes from 30 percent to 22 percent to attract investment last year resulted in a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, which contributed to the increase in India’s fiscal deficit.
  • As a remedy to the growing wealth inequality in India, Oxfam suggested imposing a wealth tax on the super-rich population of India.

By admin: Jan. 18, 2022

3. CSIR’s UV-C Disinfection Technology to combat the pandemic

Tags: National News

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh trolled out CSIR's newly developed Disinfection technology for use by the common masses.

  • The UV-C technology is developed by the Ministry of Science & Technology through CSIR-CSIO (Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research - Central Scientific Instruments Organisation) and is totally effective for mitigation of airborne transmission of SARS-COV-2 and will also remain relevant in the post-COVID era. 
  • The technology has been successfully tried in Railways, AC Buses, and even the Parliament House
  • UV-C deactivates viruses, bacteria, fungus, and other bioaerosols, etc. with appropriate dosages using 254nm UV light.
  • UV-C air duct disinfection system can be used in auditoriums, large conference rooms, classrooms, malls, etc. which provides a relatively safer environment for indoor activities in the current pandemic.

By admin: Jan. 18, 2022

4. PM address the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Davos Agenda

Tags: National News

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi delivered ‘State of the World’ special address at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda on 17 January 2022, via video conferencing.The WEF's annual meeting, which has been taking place in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos for 50 years now, could not take place in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and has been deferred till early summer this year.

Highlight of his speech 

  • Referring to the Mission LIFE, that he gave at the CoP26 conference held at Glasgow , the Prime Minister said that making LIFE into a mass movement can be a strong foundation for P-3 i.e ‘Pro Planet People’. LIFE i.e. ‘Lifestyle for Environment’, is a vision of a resilient and sustainable lifestyle that will come handy in dealing with the climate crisis and other unpredictable challenges of the future.
  •   He said that "We contribute 5 percent of global carbon usage but our commitment to phasing out non-renewable energy is 100 percent,". India has set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2070.
  • He said that India has given the entire world a "bouquet of hope". "The bouquet contains - trust towards democracy, technology to empower 21st century and talent & temperament of us Indians,". 
  • In the times of Covid, we saw India's vision of one Earth, One Health which helped save millions of lives by sending medicines to countries. India is today the pharmacy of the world. 

The World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda Virtual Summit will host world leaders and heads of important institutions and organisations around the world who will discuss areas of concern and present their ideas on how to address them.

The three main areas of concern at the summit are Climate Action, Pandemic Recovery, and Economic and Social Resilience.

See 21 December 2021 post on WEF 

By admin: Jan. 18, 2022

5. Election Commission defers Punjab Assembly polls

Tags: National News

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on 17 January 2022 postponed polling for the Punjab Assembly election from February 14 to 20 after the State government and political parties raised concern that many devotees would be in Varanasi to celebrate Guru Ravidas’s birth anniversary on February 16 and miss out on voting.

  • Punjab has a substantial population of followers of Guru Ravidas, including the Scheduled Caste community, which is around 32 per cent of the state’s population.
  • Counting would, however, take place on March 10, as in the schedule announced on January 8 2022.

Guru Ravidas 

Ravidas is a 15th-century poet, saint and philosopher, who founded the Ravidassia religion. It has a  large following among dalits in Punjab who consider Sant Ravidas as their Guru and some of his sayings has been included in the  Sikh holy book “ Guru Granth Sahib”.

  • The birthday of Ravidasji  is on 16 February 2022 and lakhs of devotees are expected to visit his birthplace Varanasi . Many of them take a special train organised by the Dera Sachkhand Ballan in Jalandhar.
  • The Dera Sachkhand Ballan is the Ravidassias' largest dera with around 20 lakh followers worldwide. Of these, around 15 lakh live in Punjab in the Doaba region. The region has 23 out of the total 117 Assembly seats in the state.

By admin: Jan. 18, 2022

6. SC upholds the Winding up of Devas Multimedia

Tags: National News

The Supreme Court on 17 January 2022 upheld the National Company Law Tribunal’s May 2011  order to wind up Bengaluru-based Devas Multimedia, saying “it is a case of fraud of a huge magnitude which cannot be brushed under the carpet".

  •  It upheld the decision of the Bengaluru bench of the  National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) which had in  May 2021 ordered the winding up of Devas and had also appointed a provisional liquidator, saying the firm was incorporated with a fraudulent motive to collude and connive with the then officials of Antrix to get bandwidth from it.
  • The NCLT’s order was also upheld by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal in September 2021.

What is the Devas MultiMedia case 

 In 2005 Devas MultiMedia  company signed an agreement with Antrix corporation of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under which , ISRO was to  lease two S-Band satellite spectrum  for 12 years at Rs 167 crore to Devas Multimedia.

  •  The start-up was to provide multimedia services to mobile platforms in India using the space band or S-band transponders on ISRO satellites.
  • In 2011 the UPA government cancelled this deal as the S- Band spectrum was needed for national security and for other social needs 
  • After the cancellation of the deal, the foreign investors in Devas, including Deutsche Telekom, the three Mauritius-based investors, and Devas itself, had approached international tribunals seeking compensation.
  • Deutsche Telekom was awarded $101 million compensation by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Geneva; the Mauritius investors were awarded $111 million by the International Trade Law tribunal; and Devas awarded $1.2 billion by an International Chamber of Commerce.
  • Since then Devas multimedia and other shareholders have filed cases in US and Canada to seize  identified Government of India properties  to recover the dues.

Devas MultiMedia 

  • It is a Bangalore-based start-up, founded in 2004, is headed by Dr. M.G. Chandrasekhar, former Scientific Secretary at ISRO.
  • In 2008, Deutsche Telekom picked up a 17 per cent stake in Devas for about $75 million. 
  • It wanted  to offer satellite broadband services across India on various platforms, including mobile.  

Antrix Corporation

  • It was set up in 1992 under the companies act 1956 and its headquarters is at Bengaluru.
  • It is a wholly owned Government of India company under the administrative control of the Department of Space . 
  • Its main function is to promote and  commercially market the products and technology developed by ISRO.
  • It is a Miniratna category 1, Central Public Sector Enterprises.

By admin: Jan. 17, 2022

7. Migrants from Honduras stopped at Guatemala

Tags: International News

Several hundred migrants who had departed from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula in hopes of reaching the United States entered Guatemalan territory where they were intercepted by the authorities who asked them to return to their homeland.


  • Some 300 migrants, mainly Hondurans and Nicaraguans, arrived in Corinto, Honduras on 15th January 2022 and crossed into the Guatemalan border province of Izabal, where they were met by hundreds of anti-riot agents from the national police and army.
  • According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, discussions on returning the migrants to their home countries have begun. "People are being returned, everything in order, humanely," the institute's general director Carlos Emilio Morales said.
  • According to a Nicaraguan man, people were migrating in search of a better life for their families. Many had been the victims of natural disasters like floods and drought.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is considering a seven billion dollars aid package for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, to create homegrown jobs.

By admin: Jan. 17, 2022

8. Birju Maharaj, the legendary Kathak dancer, dies at 83

Tags: National News

Pandit Birju Maharaj, the torchbearer of Lucknow's Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Kathak, passed away at the age of 83.

  • He was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj, who served as court dancer in Raigarh princely state. 
  • He also practiced Hindustani classical music and was a vocalist
  • In 1964, he received the honorary Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and in 1986 he received Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honor.
  • He has choreographed for several films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi by Satyajit Ray till Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Devdas, Bajirao Mastani, and many others.

Classical Dance form of India 

According to the government of India there are Eight classical dance form in India 

Dance  Origin /State 

Bharatnatyam:  Tamil Nadu 

Manipuri Dance : Manipur 

Kathak: North India, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan Delhi, Madhya Pradesh.

Odissi : Odisha 

Kathakali : Kerala 

Mohiniattam : Kerala 

Kuchipudi: Mainly Andhra Pradesh 

Sattriya : Assam 

By admin: Jan. 17, 2022

9. First coal-to-methanol plant starts commercial production

Tags: National News

India’s first indigenously developed Coal to Methanol (CTM) Plant through gasification route has started functioning with more than 99 % of purity opening a new avenue to convert high ash coals to methanol.

  • Union Minister for Heavy Industries Mahendra Nath Pandey dedicated the plant to the nation, as part of the ongoing 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations.
  • The 0.25 TPD (Tons per Day) capacity CTM pilot plant was designed, developed, and installed by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL)
  • The project was supported by the Department of Science and Technology under the Clean Energy Research Initiative.
  • It is installed at BHEL’s in-house plant located in Hyderabad.
  • This technology will help the country move towards the adoption of clean technology and promote the use of methanol as a transportation fuel (blending with petrol), thus reducing crude oil imports.
  • The broad process of converting coal into methanol consists of the conversion of coal to synthesis (syngas) gas, syngas cleaning and conditioning, syngas to methanol conversion, and methanol purification. 
  • Coal to methanol plants in most countries are operated with low ash coals. So, it was a challenge for India because of its high ash content.

By admin: Jan. 17, 2022

10. Saanya Bhandari Jain is the brand ambassador of the ‘2041 Climate Force’ expedition

Tags: National News

A 22-year-old Delhi girl and travel blogger, Saanya Bhandari Jain is one of the youngest women who would represent India on a global platform as she has been chosen for the ‘2041 ClimateForce’ expedition to Antarctica as a global ambassador.

  • 80 people from every continent will participate in this expedition with the common mission to benefit our home planet.
  • The expedition will be led by polar explorer and sustainability champion Robert Swan, the first person to trek to both of Earth’s poles.
  • The ‘carbon-negative’ expedition aims to inspire, develop, and train the next generation of leaders to promote a more sustainable future and spread awareness on climate change.

Point to Note-

  • Larsen B is an ice shelf in Antarctica that has collapsed due to climate change.