Current Affairs

30 January, 2022

International

Malaysia’s AirAsia Renamed its Listed Holding Company to Capital A

AirAsia Group Berhad based in Malaysia has renamed its listed holding company as, Capital A Berhad (Capital A), to highlight the diversity of AirAsia’s business portfolio and its aim to grow in the non-airline revenue.
The new name “Capital A” reflects the group’s core businesses and its future undertakings as rapid digital transformation takes shape. The airline retains the AirAsia brand name.
About Capital A Berhad (Capital A):
CEO– Tony Fernandes
Headquarters– Sepang, Malaysia

India & Philippines Signs USD 374.9 Million Deal for BrahMos missiles

Philippines signed a USD 374.96 Million deal with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (India) for the supply of shore-based anti-ship variants of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, a joint product between India and Russia and it will be the 1st export order for the missile. The contract was signed by Defence Secretary of National Defence of Philippines Delfin Lorenzana and Director General of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, Atul Dinkar Rane in a virtual ceremony.

About the deal:
i.The deal includes the delivery of 3 batteries, providing training for operators and maintainers and providing the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.
ii.The coastal defence regiment of the Philippine Marines will be the primary employer of missile systems.
iii.Background: On 14th January 2022 The Secretary of National Defence of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana signed the ‘notice of award’ for accepting the proposal of BrahMos Aerospace at USD 374.96 million. Click here to know more
About BrahMos:
i.BrahMos is a joint project between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya. BrahMos derives its name from Brahmaputra (India) and Moskva (Russia) rivers.
ii.The missile is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets.
iii.The original range of the missile was 290 kilometres (km) but after India’s entry into Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016, the missile range has been extended to 450 km and then to 600 km.
About Philippines:
President – Rodrigo Duterte
Capital – Manila
Currency – Philippines Peso

National

73rd Republic Day 2022: Tableaux from 12 States, Flypast at Rajpath

India celebrated the 73rd Republic Day on 26th January 2022 with the annual parade held at Rajpath, New Delhi showcasing the nation’s cultural diversity with a series of tableaux and cultural performances. The Republic Day parade witnessed the biggest fly-past with 75 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).The flypast is showcased by Advanced Light Helicopters developed by the Army Aviation Corps. The number of tableaux in 2022 was reduced to 21 with States and Union territories (UTs) presenting 12 while 9 were featured by Ministries and Departments including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The tableau of the Navy and the Air Force were also showcased.

Additional info – Except in 2021, Jammu & Kashmir is the only state whose Tableau has been part of every Republic Day parade since 2005.
Note – Due to the pandemic, for the second consecutive year, no chief guest was invited for the celebration. However, sanitation workers, frontline workers, auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers and labourers were among special guests invited to the Republic Day parade.

MoA&FW Announces Subsidy to Popularise Drone in Agriculture; MoCA Notifies DCS

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has amended the guidelines of Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) to provide a 100 percent grant (up to Rs 10 lakh) to Agricultural Institutes for the purchase of drones for Farming and its allied activities. The financial assistance and grants would be available until March 31, 2023.

Aim – To promote precision farming in India and to make drone technology affordable to the stakeholders of this sector. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has notified a drone certification scheme (DCS) to ensure minimum safety and quality requirements for boosting indigenous manufacturing of drones which is applicable to indigenous drone manufacturers, assemblers and importers

About Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Shobha Karandlaje (Udupi Chikmagalur, Karnataka) ; Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan)

PM Narendra Modi virtually hosted 1st India-Central Asia Summit 2022 with 5 Nations

i.The Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi hosted the 1st India-Central Asia Summit 2022 in a virtual format with the Presidents of 5 Central Asian Nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
ii.This summit, also the first engagement of its kind between both sides at the level of leaders, coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them.
iii.It highlights India’s growing cooperation with Central Asian countries as a part of its ‘Extended Neighbourhood’.
iv.The leaders reiterated their support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan. They also agreed to set up Joint Working Groups (JWG) at senior official level on Afghanistan.
About Central Asia:
i.Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia .
ii.Kazakhstan is also the main oil producer in the region which is followed by Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
iii.Largest Lake- Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan

Economy

Google to Invest Up to $1 Billion in Airtel to Develop India’s Digital Ecosystem

Bharti Airtel (Airtel) signed a long term, multi-year agreement with Google to enhance the growth of the digital ecosystem of India. Under this agreement, Google is set to invest up to USD 1 billion in Airtel.
The agreement also includes an investment of USD 700 million to acquire 1.28% in Bharti Airtel at a price per share of Rs.734. This fund is a part of the Google for India Digitization Fund of USD 10 billion, announced by Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Alphabet and Google.

Note: Google for India Digitization Fund includes the equity investment and a corpus for potential commercial agreements, to be identified and agreed on mutually agreeable terms within a period of 5 years.
Features of the Agreement:
i.As a part of its commercial agreement, both the companies will work on building airtel’s extensive offerings that cover a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs.
ii.As a part of the strategic goals of this agreement, Airtel and Google will co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, with cutting edge implementations.
About Bharti Airtel Limited:
Chairman– Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquartered– New Delhi, Delhi

TerraPay, NPCI International signs MoU to enable real-time, International Payments

The NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TerraPay, the Netherlands-based global payments infrastructure company. This partnership will allow Indians with an active UPI (Unified Payments Interface) ID to receive real-time, international payments into their bank accounts via TerraPay’s fully regulated, secure, scalable and efficient channel. It will benefit Indian residents, PIOs (Person of Indian Origin), Indian diaspora with convenient cross-border remittances experience.

FAARMS, RGICL Partners to Offer Insurance to Farmers

FAARMS, the Agri-tech start-up, partners with Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. (RGICL) and introduced customised digital insurance solutions for the rural population especially the farmers.
Additional info – Recently, FAARMS have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to provide access to their warehouses across India to support the company deliver seeds, agrochemicals, biofertilisers, poultry and cattle feed to the farmers.
About Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. (RGICL):
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Executive Director & CEO – Rakesh Jain

Sports

Cricket: Overview of India Tour of South Africa 2021-22

The Indian cricket team toured South Africa from 26th December 2021 to 23rd January 2022 to play 3 Tests and 3 One Day International(ODI) matches. In the test series, South Africa defeated India by winning the 3 match series by 2-1 and in the ODI series, South Africa defeated India by winning the 3 match series by 3-0. South Africa’s Test Cricket Team was captained by Dean Elgar and India’s Team was captained by Virat Kohli. The three-match Test series commenced at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, Gauteng Province of South Africa. South Africa won the 3 matches One Day International(ODI) series defeating India. South Africa’s ODI team was captained by Temba Bavuma and India’s team was captained by KL Rahul.

Miscellaneous

IIFL Finance appoints former SBI Head Arun Kumar Purwar as its Chairman

IIFL Finance, a non-banking finance company (NBFC) backed by Fairfax and Capital Group appointed former Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) Arun Kumar Purwar as its new Chairman with effect from April 1, 2022.
About Arun Kumar Purwar:
i.Arun Kumar Purwar (A. K. Purwar), previously served as the Chairman of SBI from 2002-2006. He also worked as Chairman of Indian Bank Association (IBA) during 2005-2006.

ii.Currently he is working for Tadas Wind Energy Pvt and Eroute Technologies.
iii.He also works as an independent director in leading Companies across diverse sectors such as Power including Solar, Wind, Thermal & Gas based power projects, Steel, Pharmaceuticals etc.
Award- CEO of the year Award from The Institute of Technology and Management (2004), “Outstanding Achiever of the year” award from IBA (2004), “Finance Man of the Year” Award by the Bombay Management Association in 2006.
About IIFL Group:
Chairman- Nirmal Jain
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

Justice Ayesha Malik Sworn in as 1st female judge of Pakistan’s Supreme Court

Justice Ayesha Malik has been sworn in as Pakistan’s first female Supreme Court judge in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath of office to Ayesha Malik.
Justice Ayesha Malik has served as the judge at the Lahore High Court, the second-highest court in the judicial system for around 2 decades. In 2021, she outlawed the use of “virginity tests” during rape examinations of sexual assault victims. She has been elevated from the Punjab provincial high court. She has been serving at the Punjab provincial high court since 2012. The promotion was recommended by a 9-member judicial commission. According to Human Rights Watch, Pakistan is the only South Asian country that never had a female Supreme Court judge and only 4% of the High Court judges of Pakistan are women.

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