Current affairs (4TH JANUARY)
DGCI APPROVED 2-VACCINE OF COVID-19 FOR EMERGENCY USE
- The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has formally announced the final approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca “Covishield” and Bharat Biotech “Covaxin” vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for emergency use.
- CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) accepts the subject expert committee reform rations on Serum and Bharat Biotech Covid vaccines.
- About Covishield: The subject expert committee (SEC) under CDSCO had recommended Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as Covishield, for emergency use and Covaxin for restricted use.
- About Covaxin: Covaxin is the indigenous vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
- Serum Institute of India CEO: Adar Poonawalla.
- Serum Institute of India Founder: Cyrus S. Poonawalla.
- Serum Institute of India Founded:
- Serum Institute of India Headquarters location: Pune.
ADB & INDIA SIGNED LOAN HORTICULTURE PROJECTS IN HP
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $10 million project readiness financing (PRF).
- This agreement aims to help finance piloting activities, and design and capacity building for an ensuing project that aims to expand horticulture production and farm household income in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.
- The PRF project will support advance actions to achieve a high level of project readiness through detailed design activities, capacity building of state-level agencies, and creating an enabling environment for subtropical horticulture development in the state.
- The PRF project aims to ensure implementation readiness with prior testing of new production technologies and marketing systems so that the ensuing project is cost-effective and gets completed in a timely manner to enhance farm profitability.
- The ensuing project, to be designed by the PRF, will support the development of subtropical horticulture, including cultivation of fruits and vegetables, in the state’s southern region which is currently lagging due to limited access to perennial water sources, crops losses due to wild animal encroachment and limited access to high-value markets.
RBI RELEASED DIGITAL PAYMENTS INDEX (DPI)
- Reserve Bank of India has launched a Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitization of digital/electronic payments across the country.
- This RBI-Digital Payments Index (DPI) has 5 broad parameters that will be used for the measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments.
These parameters and their weightage are as under:
- Payment Enablers (weight 25%),
- Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors (10%),
- Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors (15%),
- Payment Performance (45%) and
- Consumer Centricity (5%).
- The base period for RBI-DPI is March 2018. This means that the DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100. RBI has calculated the DPI for March 2019 and March 2020 at 153.47 and 207.84 respectively, indicating appreciable growth.
- RBI-DPI shall be published on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months.
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.
BEL AND NAVY INKS PACT FOR SUPPLY OF LASER DAZZLERS
- The Indian Navy has signed a contract with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), to procure Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazzlers (Laser Dazzlers).
- Initially, agreement has been signed for 20 Laser Dazlers. The Laser dazzler technology has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and would be manufactured by BEL, Pune plant.
- It is the first time that this unique product is indigenously designed and developed for the Armed Forces.
- They are used as a non-lethal method for warning and stopping suspicious vehicles/boats/aircraft/UAVs/pirates from approaching secured areas during both day and night.
- It is capable of dazzle and thereby suppress the person’s/optical sensor’s action with disability glare in case of non-compliance to orders.
- While this technology can disorient/ confuse/blind a person temporarily, it can also dazzle and distract aircraft/UAVs.
- Bharat Electronics Limited Chairman & Managing Director: M V Gowtama.
- Bharat Electronics Limited Headquarters: Bengaluru.
- Bharat Electronics Limited Founded: 1954.
- Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Karambir Singh.
- Indian Navy Founded: 26 January 1950.
ITALIAN AUTHOR ALFREDO COVELLI RELEASED HIS BOOK
- Alfredo Covelli, an Italy based author has launched his new book Vahana Masterclass for children and Young Audience.
- The books will be illustrated and published by Scholastic India. Alfredo had a keen interest in our Indian culture and mythology which inspired him to write a story on Lord Ganesh for children.
- The book narrates the story of the Ganesha looking for a new vahana to accompany him to all the great adventures around the cosmos.
- After millenniums of service, the great VahanaMushika, holy mount of Lord Ganesha is about to retire to live the rest of his life in meditation.
- For this reason, 4 young mice (3 months each) are selected from different parts of India: intelligent Anand from Kolkata (selected by Goddess Kali), devoted Kanu from Gujarat (selected by Lord Krishna), brave Karthik from Chennai (selected by the other Vahanas), and compassionate Gitanjali from Uttarakhand (selected by Prakriti, nature).
SUNEET SHARMA APPOINTED AS CEO OF RAILWAY BOARD
- The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved Suneet Sharma appointment as Chairman & CEO of Railway Board, Ministry of Railways and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India.
- He took over in his new role with effect from January 01, 2021. The extended one-year tenure of Sharma’s predecessor, Vinod Kumar Yadav, who also became the restructured Board’s first CEO, ended on December 31, 2020.
- Prior to this, Suneet Sharma worked as General Manager, Eastern Railway.
- Suneet Sharma joined the Indian Railways in 1979 as a Special Class Apprentice while he was studying engineering at IIT Kanpur.
- A graduate in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering he has more than 40 years of experience serving in the Indian Railways in various capacities.
- He has done stints in Operational working, maintenance in Sheds, Depots and Workshops.
- Railway Board Founded: March 1905.
- Headquarters of Railway Board: New Delhi.
WORLD BRAILLE DAY OBSERVED: 4TH JANUARY
- World Braille Day is observed globally on 4th January since 2019. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
- The day is marked remembering the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille – for people with visual disabilities. Louis Braille was born on 4th January 1809 in the town of Coupvray in northern France.
- Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols.
- Braille (named after its inventor in 19th century France, Louis Braille) is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.
- Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.