Current Affairs

25 December, 2020


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ISRO & IIT-BHU Signs MoU to Set-up Regional Academic Center for Space (RAC-S) at IIT-BHU

i.Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)-Banaras Hindu University(BHU) to set up its Regional Academic Centre for Space(RAC-S) at the institute.
ii.This will enable advanced research in the future technology of the Indian space program.
iii.Purpose– To ease the short and long term projects at the institute so as to advance the research and development culture among students.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman– Kailasavadivoo (K) Sivan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)-Banaras Hindu University(BHU)
Director– Prof. Pramod Kumar Jain
Headquarters– Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

India Becomes 6th Country to Manufacture High Power Electric Locomotives Indigenously

India became the 6th Country to manufacture High Power Electric Locomotives indigenously, in 2015 Ministry of Railways & Alstom (France)signed a contract worth €3.5 billion (INR 25,000 crore) to produce High Power Electric Locomotives at Madhepura Electric Loco Factory in Bihar. It was the largest ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) project of Indian Railways. 2020 marks the 5th year of signing of the contract.
The other countries which manufacture High Power Electric Locomotives are Russia, China, Germany & Sweden.
Target – By the year 2030, Indian Railways expects to be the first 100 per cent green railway in the world with net-zero emission.
About Indian Railways:
Chairman Railway Board– V. K. Yadav
Union Railway Minister– Piyush Goyal (Maharashtra)
About Alstom:
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer– Henri Poupart-Lafarge
Managing Director(MD), India & South Asia– Alain Spohr

MeitY, MoHFW Announce Grand Challenge for Strengthening CoWIN Platform

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) & Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) announced a Grand Challenge for the Strengthening of “CoWIN” – COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN).
i.CoWIN is a digital platform developed by MoHFW to roll out & scale up mechanisms for COVID Vaccine Distribution System (VDS) across India.
ii.The Challenge is set to be launched on MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) Portal. Startups, Technology specialists have been invited to take part in the challenge.
iii.The challenge will address areas relating toinfrastructure, monitoring & management, dynamic learning & information systems, constraints of human resources-including technical capacities, vaccine logistics management & Tracking of enlisted beneficiaries (due to adverse events following immunization).
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State – Ashwini Kumar Choubey
About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad
Minister of State – Sanjay Dhotre

Cabinet Approval with Foreign Countries on December 23, 2020;Revised Air Services Agreement with Philippines & Afghanistan

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of a Revised Air Services agreement between India & 2 Countries – Philippines & Afghanistan.
i.The agreement will help in creating an environment for enhanced & seamless connectivity between the air service carriers of both sides.
ii.Apart from ensuring safety & security, the agreement has the capacity to increase trade, investment, tourism & cultural exchanges with India & both the countries.
iii.The agreement is being seen as an important landmark in civil aviation relations.
Air Service Agreement (ASA):
i.It is a bilateral agreement to allow international commercial air transport services between signatories. It has its basis under the Chicago Convention (also known as Convention on International Civil Aviation) which was signed in December 1944.
Ministry of Civil Aviation:
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri
About Philippines:
Capital– Manila
Currency– Philippine peso
About Afghanistan:
Capital – Kabul
Currency– Afghan afghani


HDFC Signed MoU with IGBC of CII to Promote Green Building Initiatives

HDFC Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), a part of Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) to promote green building in India.
Features of MoU: HDFC will collaborate with IGBC to create awareness and promote financing green buildings in India. Under this MoU the HDFC and IGBC will promote green housing through joint training and awareness programmes to enable the capacity building across India. This MoU will advance the National Green Building movement.
About CII:
President– Uday Kotak
Director General– Chandrajit Banerjee
Headquarters– New Delhi


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India successfully Test-fires Army variant of MRSAM from ITR, Odisha

India successfully conducted the first army variant test of Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha. The missile has been jointly developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) & Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
i.The MRSAM has been manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
ii.The army variant includes a command post, a multi-function radar & mobile launcher system.
Other variants:
MRSAM has both Land & Maritime variants. The maritime variant is being used by both Indian Navy & Israel Navy.
About Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi

Boeing & US Navy launch F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Using Ski-jump;Eying Indian Navy Contract

Boeing & United States (US) Navy successfully launched the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III version using a ski-jump at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. The Launch showcases the compatibility of Super Hornet to operate from Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) configured Indian Aircraft carriers such as INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vikramaditya & future INS Vikrant.
i.With this, Boeing has put Super Hornet in contention for Indian Navy’s Fighter Jets procurement.
ii.Ski-jump is an upward-curved ramp which allows aircraft to take off from Aircraft Carriers.
iii.The F/A-18E Super Hornet will act as a force multiplier for Indian Navy.
iii.Under Boeing’s “By India, for India” sustainment program, the hornets can be serviced in partnership with the Indian Navy as well as India & US based partners throughout its lifecycle.
iv.At present, Mikoyan MiG-29K is serving as Fighter Jet of the Indian Navy.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi
About Boeing:
Headquarters – Chicago, United States (U.S.)
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – David L. Calhoun

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