Current Affairs

23 November, 2021


US, Australia and UK signs key deal in Nuclear Submarine Alliance

Australia officially became a part of the new Nuclear Powered Submarine defence alliance with the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) after signing a deal with the countries in Canberra, Australia. Under the AUKUS deal, Australia will be provided with 8 nuclear powered submarines capable of stealthy and long range missions. It will also provide sharing cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum and unspecified undersea capabilities.

Signatories: Peter Dutton (Defence Minister of Australia), Michael Goldman (Defence Minister of US) and Victoria Treadell (British High Commissioner).
What is the AUKUS:

AUKUS is a trilateral security pact signed between Australia, UK & USA in September 2021.

The first major initiative of AUKUS would be to deliver a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia. The nuclear-powered submarines will give Australia naval heft in the Pacific, where China has been particularly aggressive. While the US and Britain have had the capability for decades, Australia has never had a nuclear submarine.

About Australia:
Prime minister- Scott Morrison
Currency- Australian dollar
Capital- Canberra

Renewable wood-based products can help combat climate change: FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) released a new report titled ‘Forest Products in the global bioeconomy: Enabling substitution by wood-based products and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)‘. The report highlighted the forestry’s role in providing green solutions for Net Zero future, and the use of Renewable wood-based products to combat climate change and to achieve SDG. The event was hosted at the COP26 South African Pavilion by Jane Molony, CEO of Fibre Circle and Executive Director of the Paper Manufacturers of South Africa (PAMSA) and facilitated by Derek Nighbor, President of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) and President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).


Airbus Defence and Space Signed Pact with BEL to Manufacture & Supply RWR & MAWS

Airbus Defence and Space, an aircraft manufacturer, has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Indian Government-owned aerospace and defence electronics company, for the manufacture and supply of Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS). This is a part of Airbus’s Offset commitments under the C295 aircraft programme of the Government of India. This contract with Airbus and Space is in line with the ‘Make in India’ policy of India and this is the biggest ever export order received by BEL. According to BEL, the export order is worth USD 93.15 million (~INR 692 Crore) .

The contract was signed by Vinay Kumar Katyal, Director (Bengaluru Complex) and M V Raja Sekhar, Director (Research & Development) of BEL, and Dominique Arnal, Senior Vice President, Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics, and Annika Mulder, Vice President, Procurement Structure, Materials & IT of Airbus Defence & Space.
About Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL):
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is a Navratna PSU under the Ministry of Defence.
CMD- Anandi Ramalingam
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka

VP Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates 24th Bengaluru Tech Summit

Vice President (VP) Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 24th edition of Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS), Asia’s Largest Technology Event, that was conducted between 17th to 19th November in the Hybrid format. For the 1st time, BTS hosted the United States (US) Tech Conclave. Theme of 2021 BTS – ‘Driving The Next’

International Representation:
This year’s event saw the virtual participation of Australian PM Scott Morrison and Israeli PM Naftali Bennett.
BTS 2021 saw participation from over 30 countries, including the 1st time participation from South Africa, Vietnam and the UAE.
Establishment of Australia-India Centre of Excellence
During his address, Australian PM Scott Morrison, announced the establishment of the Australia-India Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bangalore, Karnataka.
About Karnataka:
Governor – Thawar Chand Gehlot
Coorg is nicknamed as ‘Scotland of India’
Bangalore is nicknamed as ‘Garden City of India’
Tiger Reserve – Kali Tiger Reserve, Bhadra Tiger Reserve


India’s GDP to grow 7%-7.5% in FY23: Economic Advisory Council to PM Projections

The meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) members was held in New Delhi to examine the Indian economic growth in 2022-23 (FY23) and further. There, EAC-PM members projected India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 7-7.5% and a nominal rate of growth of more than 11% in FY23. They also projected a growth of 5% in the current fiscal year (FY22) from record contraction of 7.3% (-7.3%) in FY21.

About Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM):
It is a council of 7 members who advise the Prime Minister (Currently Narendra Modi) on India’s economy.
Chairman– Bibek Debroy
Part-Time Members– Rakesh Mohan, Poonam Gupta, T.T. Ram Mohan, Sajid Chenoy, Neelkanth Mishra, and Nilesh Shah.

HDFC Bank Launched 2nd Edition “Mooh Band Rakho” Campaign

HDFC Bank has launched the 2nd edition of its campaign “Mooh Band Rakho” to increase awareness of all types of frauds and the importance of being close-mouthed to ensure fraud prevention. The campaign was launched as a part of the International Fraud Awareness Week 2021, held from 14th to 20th November 2021, an annual observance of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners(ACFE). HDFC bank will conduct around 2000 workshops in the next 4 months to educate the customers on how to prevent financial frauds.


Pakistani Cricketer Usman Shinwari Announced Retirement from Test cricket

Usman Khan Shinwari, the fast bowler of the Pakistan cricket team, has announced his retirement from the longest format (test cricket or red-ball cricket). He made his international debut in December 2013 and played 17 ODIs and he has played only one Test match for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 2019. Shinwari has featured in 33 first-class matches and took 96 wickets at an average of 26.84.

Lewis Hamilton wins inaugural Qatar Grand Prix 2021

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom) won the inaugural edition of Qatar Grand Prix 2021 that was organised at Losail International Circuit. Red Bull Racing’s driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands) secured 2nd position in the race, while Alpine Racing driver Fernando Alonso secured 3rd place. Next Grand Prix session of 2021 will be held in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

i.This marks the 102st victory of Lewis Hamilton in Formula One racing, and the 7th win in 2021.
Note – In September 2021, Lewis Hamilton became the 1st Formula-One driver in the history to reach 100 wins, after winning the Russian Grand Prix (GP).
ii.Lewis Hamilton registered back to back victories, after winning the Brazilian GP earlier in November 2021.

About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):

President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France


ICC appoints Geoff Allardice as Permanent CEO

Geoff Allardice (Australia) has been appointed as Permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Geoff Allardice has replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July 2021. He was awarded permanent CEO for his successful execution of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Note – Previously in November, Sourav Ganguly was appointed as the Chairman of ICC Men’s Cricket Committee.
About Geoff Allardice
i.Geoff Allardice is a former Australian first-class cricketer and administrator who served as the ICC General Manager, Cricket for eight years. He has also held similar roles at Cricket Australia.

ii.Geoff Allardice has served as interim CEO for more than eight months before being Permanent CEO
About the International Cricket Council (ICC)
ICC expanded the total participation teams in the T20 World Cup, from the current 16 team format to 20 team format, for 2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030 editions.
Chairman – Greg Barclay
Headquarters – Dubai, UAE

NHM, J&K receives award for Swasthya Nidhi Survey App at 4th Digital Transformation Awards Summit 2021

The 4th Digital Transformation Summit & Awards 2021 titled ‘Towards Integrated Digital Health Infrastructure’ was held virtually which was organized by Governance Now, the premier publication on public policy and governance from Sri Adhikari Brothers Group. The key themes of the summit were Digital Health, Digital Agriculture, Smart Cities, Smart Villages, Urban Governance, Digital Education (Nation Education Policy- NEP2020), Digital Security.

Governance Now 4th Digital Transformation Awards, 2021: J&K, and HP
During this event, the Governance Now 4th Digital Transformation Awards, 2021 were given which appreciate and recognize the efforts and initiatives of the government towards Digital India.
The National Health Mission (NHM), Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) received an award under the ‘Digital Health’ category for its ‘Swasthya Nidhi survey’ app. This app used a digital approach to track suspicious COVID-19 patients and to take timely action. The project had helped the administration at the district, block and village level to contain the risk and allocation of resources at all levels.

The state Himachal Pradesh (HP) also adjudged as a winner for the project Digital Health Approaches for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) prevention and control as a continuum of care.

Swachh Survekshan 2021 Awards: Indore Became India’s Cleanest City for 5th time in a row; Surat and Vijayawada bags 2nd, 3rd Spot

In November 2021, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, felicitated the awardees of the cleanest cities of India at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ hosted as part of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0) by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The award ceremony was organized to recognize the work done for Swachhata by towns/ cities, States and Union Territories (UTs) under various initiatives of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), such as, Swachh Survekshan 2021 (SS 2021), Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge, and certifications for Garbage Free Star rating for cities. More than 300 awards were given under various categories.

About Swachh Survekshan:

i.Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns across India.
ii.It was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aimed to make India clean and free of open defecation by 2nd October 2019.
iii.The 1st survey was undertaken in 2016 and covered 73 cities, by 2020 the survey had grown to cover 4242 cities and was said to be the largest cleanliness survey in the world.

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