Current Affairs

27 November, 2021


Germany Announces 1.2 Billion Euros for Clean Energy Commitments to India

Germany announced new development commitments over Euro 1.2 billion (approx Rs 10,025 crore) to India to support its fight against climate change and assist in projects like clean energy. Announcement for aid was made amid the visit of a Professor Dr Claudia Warning, Director General, German Ministry of Economic Cooperation & Development. The commitment of more than EUR 1.2 billion includes EUR 713 million for energy, EUR 409 million for urban development, and EUR 90 million for agro ecology and natural resources. The projects will support India’s targets to expand solar power generation.

Indo-German Collaboration on climate change:
i.India is Germany’s largest development cooperation ally with four fundamental areas of collaboration such as climate change, urbanisation, natural resource depletion and strain on politics and society.
ii.India and Germany collectively contributed to roughly 9% of Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG).
iii.Comparing to 1990, Germany has planned to bring about climate neutrality by the year 2045 and also to reduce emissions by 77% in energy sector and 58% in the industrial sector while India aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070.
iv.At 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), both the countries agreed to phase down unabated coal power. India has already identified 50 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants for retirement by 2027.
About Germany
President – Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Capital – Berlin
Currency – Euro
German Ambassador to India – Walter Lindner

41st Session of UNESCO’s General Conference held in Paris, France from 9-24 November 2021

The 41st session of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) General Conference was held in Paris, France from 9th to 24th November 2021. Ambassador Santiago Irazabal Mourão, Permanent Delegate of Brazil to UNESCO, has taken over as the President of the 41st session of the General Conference.

Audrey Azoulay re-elected as the Director-General of UNESCO:
Audrey Azoulay was reelected for a 2nd mandate as Director-General of UNESCO. She won the 2nd mandate at the 41st session of the General Conference with 155 votes out of a total of 169 ballots cast.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Members- 193 Members and 11 Associate Members.

India gets Elected to UNESCO World Heritage Committee for 4-year term

India was elected to the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with 142 votes for a four-year term from 2021-2025.
About World Heritage Committee:
Chairman – Tian Xuejun (China)
i.The World Heritage Committee meets annually which contains a Total of 21 representatives of the States Parties elected by the UN General Assembly.
ii.The Committee is responsible for reporting on conservation and implementing the World Heritage Convention and also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and World Heritage List.
About UNESCO Executive Board:
i.The UNESCO Executive Board is one of the three constitutional organs of the UN agency (Others – General Conference and the Secretariat) which is elected by the General Conference.
ii.It consists of 58 member states each with a 4-year term of office
iii.The Executive Board examines the programme of work and budget estimation for the UN organization.
Note – In November 2021, India was re-elected to the UNESCO Executive Board for a 4-year term.
Director General – Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters – Paris, France


Kantar’s BrandZ India report 2021: Amazon, Asian Paints, Tata Tea top the India’s Most Purposeful Brand Rankings

Kantar’s BrandZ India report unveils 2021’s most purposeful brands in India. As per the report, Amazon, Asian Paints, and Tata Tea emerge as the most purposeful brands in India across technology, non-Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and FMCG categories respectively. The report is based on an analysis of 418 brands across 30 categories, to find the brand’s purpose and its ability to ‘make people’s lives better’. It report surveyed over 12,000 respondents and the database includes 28 attributes that make a brand favourable to shoppers.

India’s Top 5 Most Purposeful Brands – Technology, FMCG, Non-FMCG:

Rank Most Purposeful Technology Brands Most Purposeful FMCG Brands Most Purposeful Non-FMCG Brands
1 Amazon Tata Tea Asian Paints
2 Zomato Surf Excel
(detergent brand)

Samsung and Jio
3 YouTube Taj Mahal (tea brand) MRF
4 Google and Swiggy Parachute and Maggi Tata Housing
5 Flipkart Britannia Airtel

About Kantar:
CEO – Chris Jansen
Global headquarters – London, England

IAF commissions 2 Mirage 2000 Fighters from France at Gwalior Air Base

The Indian Air Force (IAF) received 2-second hand combat aircrafts Mirage 2000 from France at Gwalior air base as a major boost to the fighter jet fleet of IAF amid border tensions with China and Pakistan. With this inclusion, there are a total of 50 Mirage 2000 Fighters in India. The IAF had acquired around 51 Mirages in different batches and they form three squadrons which are all based in the Gwalior Air Force station under the Mirage upgrade deal.

Note – The Mirage upgrade deal was signed in 2011 between the France and India was signed for enhancing the capabilities of these 51 aircraft
i.India has been acquiring the Mirage aircraft fleet from the French Air Force since the 1980s.
ii.In July 2011, India signed a $2.1 billion worth deal with France to upgrade its fleet of Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Mirage 2000-5 Mk at about $43 million per Mirage aircraft.
iii.In 2011, another $900 million worth deal was signed with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for upgrading remaining Mirage aircraft in India in 2015.
i.The Mirage upgrade deal aims at enhancing the capabilities of 51 Mirage aircraft with new radar systems, new weapon suite, electronic warfare system, and missiles.
ii.The aircraft will be upgraded to the latest standard as part of the ongoing Mirage upgrade deal with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The Indian investment on phased out old french aircraft for spares of Mirages will help in maintaining the aircraft till 2035.
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
Chairman & Managing Director – R Madhavan
Headquarters – Benguluru, Karnataka

NIA: Foundation stone of India’s 1st Zero Emission Airport laid by PM Narendra Modi at Jewar, UP

i.The Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi laid the foundation stone of Noida International Airport (NIA) or Jewar Airport at Jewar, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

ii.The airport is planned in 1334 hectares in the Yamuna Expressway International Development Authority (YEIDA) notified area of district Gautam Budhha Nagar, UP.
iii.The airport is being developed by concessionaire Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a 100% subsidiary of Zurich International Airport AG (Kloten, Switzerland).
iv.It will be India’s first net zero emissions airport. It has earmarked dedicated land to be developed as a forest park using trees from the project site.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Airport– Kanpur airport, Gorakhpur airport, Agra Airport (Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Airport)
Heritage site – Agra fort(1983) , Taj Mahal (1983), Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
Bird sanctuary– Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary,Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched River Cities Alliance for Sustainable Management of Urban Rivers

i.Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) launched first of its kind Alliance in the world namely ‘River Cities Alliance (RCA)’.
ii.This alliance is launched after the collaboration of two entities i.e. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), MoJS; and National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
iii.Its Secretariat will be set up at NIUA, with NMCG’s support.
About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, is a society registered on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA). Aim- To clean Ganges and its tributaries.

Director General– Rajiv Ranjan Mishra
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA):
Established in 1976, it is tasked to bridge the gap between research and practice on issues related to urbanization.
Director– Hitesh Vaidya
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi


HSBC India Launched India’s 1st Credit Card made from Recycled PVC Plastic

HSBC India launched India’s 1st credit card made from recycled PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) plastic. The cards are made from 85 percent recycled plastic and each card will save 3.18gm of plastic waste in addition to helping lower overall carbon emission. The cards have been introduced in partnership with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA to gradually eliminate single-use PVC plastic. At first, the initiative of using recycled PVC plastic was implemented for HSBC Cashback Credit Card and it will be gradually extended to all card variants. The card was launched as a part of a new programme launched by HSBC Group to introduce sustainable cards across all its global locations to support its global commitments to sustainability and a net-zero in its operations by 2030.

About HSBC India:
Establishment – 1853
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO – Hitendra Dave

Yes Bank partnered with Amazon Pay, AWS to offer UPI Services

Yes Bank collaborated with Amazon Pay and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer customers instant payment systems via Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The integration will enable Amazon Pay to issue UPI IDs with its @yapl handle and allow customers to make secure, fast and convenient payments through Yes Bank’s digital payments platform. This will also extend the bank’s presence in the UPI merchant business segment.

About Yes Bank:
MD & CEO– Prashant Kumar
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience Our Expertise


Alexander Zverev beats Daniil Medvedev to win ATP Finals title

In Tennis, Alexander Zverev of Germany beat World No.2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 6-4, 6-4, in the men’s singles finals to clinch the 2021 ATP Finals title, held at Turin in Italy. This is Zverev’s second Nitto ATP Finals title, after winning the first in 2018. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France clinched the men’s double title by defeating Rajeev Ram of the US and Joe Salisbury of the UK.


Pakistan Successfully Test Fires Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile – Shaheen 1-A

Pakistan successfully test fired a surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Shaheen 1-A’ which is aimed at re-validating certain design and technical parameters of the weapon system. The flight test was witnessed by Lieutenant General Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Raza Samar, National Engineering & Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Chairman, Lieutenant General Muhammad Ali, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, and the scientists and engineers of strategic organisations. The Pakistan army did not share any technical details of the missile.

Previous Test Fires:
i.On February 3 2021 Pakistan’s Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC) successfully test fired the Nuclear capable surface-to-surface Ballistic missile Ghaznavi (HATF-III)
ii.On February 11 2021, Pakistan test fired a short-range surface-to-surface Ballistic missile ‘Babur’ from a state-of-art multi tube missile launch vehicle
iii.In March 26 2021, the Pakistan armed forces had conducted the successful test launch of the nuclear-capable Shaheen 1-A (HATF – IV) medium-range ballistic missile with a range of 900 kilometres.
About Pakistan
President – Arif Alvi
Prime Minister- Imran Khan
Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Pakistani Rupee

Interpol Elects UAE’s Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi as its President

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) elected Inspector General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi (United Arab Emirates) as its President for 4 year term at the 89th Interpol general assembly meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey. He replaces Kim Jong Yan from South Korea. The president is a high profile figure who chairs meetings of Interpol’s assembly and executive committee.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special director Praveen Sinha elected as the delegate for Asia in the Executive Panel/committee of the Interpol. CBI represents India in Interpol to ensure the widest possible assistance between criminal police authorities to prevent crimes.

About Interpol:
Headquarters- Lyon, France
Secretary General – Jürgen Stock
Founder- Johannes Schober
Founded- 1923
member-195 countries

Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2021 – NFT

The Collins Dictionary has selected the term ‘NFT’, the short for ‘Non-Fungible Token’, as the word of the year 2021. According to Collins, NFT is defined as a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record the ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectable.
Collins’s word of the year 2020 was “Lockdown”.
NFT word of 2021:
i.NFT was chosen as the word of the year 2021 since the use of the abbreviation has increased by more than 11000% in 2021.
ii.NFT is one of the 3 tech-based words to make it to Collins’ new words list. ‘Crypto’, a short form of cryptocurrency and ‘metaverse’, which describes a three-dimensional virtual world are the other 2 tech-based words on collins list.

What is an NFT?
i.NFT are digital assets, real-world physical assets like a painting, game, music album, collectable sports cards.
ii.These assets are bought and sold using cryptocurrency, as they are encoded with similar software, simplifying the transaction process.
iii.NFT can only have one official owner at a time.

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