Current Affairs

4 January, 2022


Shanghai Opened 2 Driverless Metro Lines; Becomes Longest Metro Line in the World

Shanghai, the biggest city in China, has opened 2 new driverless metro lines (Line 14 and Phase One of Line 18) and retained its titles as the World’s longest Metro line. With the inclusion of the 2 new driverless lines, the total length of Shanghai’s metro network is extended to 831 km.

Shanghai Metro Network:
i.The 2 new fully driverless metro lines take the total number of automatic lines in Shanghai to 5.
At present Shanghai operates 167 km of fully automated metro lines, which makes the city the first in the World.
ii.Line 14 of the Shanghai metro network which operates for 38 km, is the first fully automatic metro line for 8-car trains in the city.
iii.With the inclusion of the 2 new metro lines, Shanghai now has 20 metro lines with 508 stations.
Additional info:
i.Shanghai has also developed a 122.99 km long expressway of which around an 18 km section goes through the hinterland of the Tengger Desert.
ii.This is the first desert expressway built in Ningxia, an autonomous region located in north-central China.


PGCIL Celebrates First anniversary of One Nation-One Grid-One Frequency

State-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) celebrated the first anniversary of ‘One Nation-One Grid-One Frequency’ on 31st December, 2021. On behalf of the occasion, 70 Sub-stations across India along with Regional Headquarters have been lit up in tricolour to mark this momentous achievement.

i.At the beginning of Grid management in India, state grids were interconnected to form a regional grid and India was demarcated into 5 regions namely Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Southern regions.
ii.The state-run Power System Operation Corp Ltd (POSOCO) oversees India’s critical electricity load management functions through the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) and a set of regional load dispatch centres (RLDCs) and state load dispatch centres (SLDCs). India has 33 SLDCs, 5 RLDCs for the five regional grids that form the national grid and 1 NLDC.

‘One Nation-One Grid-One Frequency’ was achieved when the Southern Region was connected to the Central Grid with the commissioning of 765 kV Raichur-Solapur Transmission Line. The measures have been taken to ensure that the grid frequency always remains within the 49.90-50.05 Hz (hertz) band.

Note – India’s 5 RLDCs have witnessed cyber-attacks from Red Echo, a hacker group affiliated with the Chinese government, which had repeatedly targeted India’s power grid in 2020.
About Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL):
It is a Maharatna central public sector enterprise & India’s Largest Electric Power Transmission Utility
Chairman & MD – K Sreekant
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched a 100-day Reading Campaign ‘Padhe Bharat’

Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, launched a 100-day reading campaign “Padhe Bharat” to encourage the reading habit among students and to improve the learning levels of the students with a focus on children studying in Balvatika to Grade 8. The 100 days (14 weeks) reading campaign will be organised from January 2022 to April 2022.

To promote joyful reading culture for children by ensuring the availability of age-appropriate reading books in Indian Languages including the local/mother tongue/regional/tribal Language.
About Padhe Bharat:
i.The campaign is in line with the National Education Policy(NEP) 2020 which promotes joyful reading culture among students.
ii.It is also aligned with the vision and goals of the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy mission.
iii.International Mother Tongue Day which will be celebrated on 21st February 2022 has also been integrated into the campaign and the day will be celebrated with the activity of “Kahani Padho Apni Bhasa Main” (Reading story in own language) across India.
iv.The Department of School Education & Literacy, under the Ministry of Education(MoE) will invite all the stakeholders to participate in this campaign to build a strong foundation for the children.
About Ministry of Education(MoE):
Union Minister– Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha- Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– Annpurna Devi (Constituency- Kodarma, Jharkhand); Dr Subhas Sarkar (Constituency- Bankura, West Bengal); Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Constituency- Inner Manipur, Manipur)

Ladakh Celebrates ‘Losar Festival’ the traditional new year of Tibetan Buddhist

The Losar Festival in Ladakh is celebrated at the onset of the New Year in the traditional schedule of Tibetan Buddhism. It is celebrated by the Buddhist Community in the Ladakh region. The Losar is a 15 days festival, from the start of the Tibetan Lunar calendar, marking the 1st day of the 11 month in Tibetan Calendar. Losar is a Tibetan word which means ‘New Year’.

About Ladakh:
Ladakh is also known as “the Land of Passes‟ (La-passes, dakh-many) and also famous for several monasteries like Hemis, Thiksey and Lamayuru Monastery.
National park– Hemis National Park
Rivers– Zanskar River, Indus River, Shyok River

PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, UP

i.The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi laid the foundation stone of ~ Rs 700 Crore Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh (UP). It will be established at Salawa and Kaili villages of Sardhana town in Meerut

ii.The Governor of UP Anandiben Patel and its Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath were also present at the event.
iii.Dedicated to Major Dhyan Chand, an Indian field hockey player, the university will graduate 1,080 students annually.
iv.It should be noted that Meerut is exporting sporting goods to more than 100 countries.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Wildlife Sanctuaries– Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary, National Chambal Sanctuary
Tiger Reserve– Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Amangarh (buffer of Corbett TR)
Zoological Park– Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden, Kanpur Zoological Park


Nippon India MF launches India’s first Auto Exchange Traded Fund

Nippon Life India Asset Management Limited (NAM India), the asset manager of Nippon India Mutual Fund (NIMF) launched a New Fund Offer (NFO) for Nippon India Nifty Auto Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). It is India’s First Auto sector ETF. The scheme will provide exposure to top 15 companies of auto sectors such as automobiles 4 wheelers, automobiles 2 & 3 wheelers, auto ancillaries, and tyres.
About Nippon Life India Asset Management Limited:
Chief Executive Officer- Sundeep Sikka
Head Office – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Government Retains the Interest Rate of Small Savings Schemes for Q4 of FY22

Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs (Budget Division), has maintained the status quo and retained the Interest Rate of Small Savings Scheme unchanged for the 4th Quarter (Q4) for the Financial Year 2021-22 (FY22) (i.e. from January 2022 to March 2022) same as Q3 FY22, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 variant Omicron and elevated level of inflation. The interest rates on various small savings instruments such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), term deposits in post offices, etc remain unchanged from Q2 FY21 (around 7 quarters).

Interest Rates on Small Savings Instruments for Q4 FY22:

Small Savings Scheme Maturity (years) Rate of Interest (%) (applicable for Q4 FY22) Compounding Frequency
PPF 15 7.1 Annually
Post Office Savings Account (SB)​ – 4.0 Annually

Term Deposits

1 Year 1 5.5 Quarterly
2 Year 2 5.5 Quarterly
3 Year 3 5.5 Quarterly
5 Year 5 6.7 Quarterly
National Savings Recurring Deposit Account 5 5.8 Quarterly
Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Account (SCSS)​ 5 7.4 Quarterly and Paid
NSC (VIII Issue) 5 6.8 Annually
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) 124 Months 6.9 Annually
Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) Scheme 21 7.6 Annually
Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) 5 6.6 Monthly and Paid
About Ministry of Finance (MoF):
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Constituency – RajyaSabha, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Pankaj Chaudhary (Constituency – Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh); Dr.Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad (Constituency – Rajya sabha Maharashtra)


Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez announces retirement from International Cricket

Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez (41), who captained his national team in every format of the game, has announced his retirement from international cricket. He represented Pakistan in 392 international matches in which he scored 12,789 runs and took 253 wickets. He has played 55 Tests, 218 ODIs (One Day International) and 119 T20Is (Twenty20 International) including three ICC (International Cricket Council) ODI World Cups and six T20 World Cups. He won 32 Player-of-the-Match awards, the fourth-highest among Pakistan players in all international cricket, after Shahid Afridi (43), Wasim Akram (39) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (33). Overall, Hafeez played in three 50-over World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2019), six 20-over World Cups (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2021) and three ICC Champions Trophies (2006, 2013 and 2017).
Currently he signed up with Lahore Qalandars for the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League and will be available for global franchise cricket.


Tech Mahindra acquires 100% stake in Allyis India & Green Investments LLC

Tech Mahindra announced that its subsidiary, Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. is set to acquire 100 % equity shares in Allyis India Private Ltd and Green Investments LLC, a holding company for United States (US) based Allyis Group.
About Tech Mahindra:
CEO & MD- C. P. Gurnani
Incorporated- 1986

Sudan’s PM Abdalla Hamdok Resigns amid Political Deadlock

The Prime Minister (PM) of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok Al-Kinani announced resignation due to political deadlock and protests in the capital city Khartoum, Sudan. This protest comes amid Sudan’s political transition to democracy.

i.Previously, Abdalla Hamdok was appointed as the Prime Minister of Sudan, after the overthrow of Dictator Omar al-Bashir who ruled the country for 30 years.
Protest against the military coup:
i.The protest arose against the deal signed by the PM in November 2021 for sharing of power with the army.
ii.In October 2021, the army had staged a military coup in Sudan and placed the PM under house arrest. Later the civilian and military leaders had signed a power-sharing agreement.
iii.The Protesters demanded for full civilian rule in Sudan.
About Abdalla Hamdok:
He became the 15th PM of Sudan in 2019, Prior to which, He served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
About Sudan:
It is the third largest country by area in Africa as well as in the Arab League.
Capital- Khartoum
Currency– Sudanese pound

Vinay Kumar Tripathi Appointed as New Chairman and CEO of Railway Board

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Vinay Kumar Tripathi as a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Railway Board, New Delhi. Tripathi is currently working as the General Manager of North-Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh and has been appointed in place of outgoing Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma The appointment has been made for six months from January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022 and the ACC has approved a six-month extension to Tripathi’s tenure (i.e.) up to December 2022.

About Vinay Kumar Tripathi:
i.He is a B Tech (Electrical Engineering) graduate and has joined railways through the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE) batch of 1983.
ii.His first posting was as an Assistant Electrical Engineer on Northern Railway. He played a key role in the commissioning of state of art three-phase locomotives and their indigenization, which are now the workhorse of Indian Railways. He has attended higher management training programmes in Switzerland and USA.

iii.Tripathi also held kee posts of Electrical Department on Northern, Central & Western railway; Divisional Railway Manager in North Central Railway, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh; Chief Electrical Locomotive Engineer and Additional General Manager of Western Railway; and Additional Member/Traction in Railway Board.
iv.Under his guidance North Eastern Railway won two Railway Board shields, one in sale management and the other in the running room category.
Composition of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet:
Chairman – Prime Minister
Members – Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation

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