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SAARC Charter Day: 8 December
- The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter Day is observed every year on 8th December.
- On this day in 1985, SAARC Charter was adopted in Dhaka, during the first summit of the group.
- This year marks the 37th anniversary of the regional group.
- The aim of SAARC members is to promote stability, peace, and progress in the region.
President Ram Nath Kovind awards ‘President Standard’ to Navy squadron
- President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the President’s Standard to the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on 8 December 2021.
- The President’s Standard is the highest honor bestowed by the Supreme Commander to a military unit in recognition of the service rendered to the nation.
- A Special Day Cover along with a commemorative stamp was also released by the Postal Department.
Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen C P Mohanty on a visit to Qatar
- Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lieutenant General C. P. Mohanty proceeded on a two-day visit to Qatar on 8 December 2021.
- He will visit the Headquarters of Qatar Emiri Land Forces, the Ahmed Bin Mohammed Military College, and Amiri Guard Headquarters.
- A key aspect of the visit is his scheduled interaction with the senior leadership of leading Qatari Defence industries.
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at four percent for 9th time in a row
- RBI maintained the status quo in key policy rates as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the policy repo rate at four percent.
- The Bi-monthly Policy was announced by RBI Governor Shaktikant Das on 8 December 2021.
- Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rate will remain unchanged at 4.25 percent.
- Reverse repo rate will also remain unchanged at 3.35 percent.
Former CEC Sunil Arora joins Board of Advisors for IDEA
- Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India Sunil Arora has joined the Board of Advisors for International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
- The institute is assisted by a 15-member Board of Advisors that consists of eminent personalities from various fields.
- IDEA is an inter-governmental organization based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of IOC elected President of WLPGA
- Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), has been elected as President of the World LPG Association (WLPGA).
- He is the second Indian to head the organization.
- Sarthak Buheria, former IOC Chairman was the first Indian to head it in 2008.
- Headquartered in Paris, WLPGA represents the global LPG network of over 300 members operating in more than 125 countries.
Maharashtra signs business agreements worth Rs 5,051 crores
- The Maharashtra government on 7 December 2021 signed MoUs worth around Rs 5,051 crore with 12 companies.
- The agreements will generate over 9,000 jobs.
- The MoUs will encourage sectors such as information technology, space research, biofuel, steel, electric vehicle, and ethanol productions, food processing, and others in Maharashtra.
- They will help achieve all-round industrial growth.
Nilmoni Phukan, Damodar Mauzo awarded Jnanpith Award
- Assamese poet Nilmoni Phukan has been awarded the Jnanpith Award for 2020.
- Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo won the award for the year 2021.
- A Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi awardee, Phukan had also received the Sahitya Akademi fellowship.
- Damodar Mauzo was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983.
- Jnanpith Award is the highest Indian literary award presented annually.
Government of Meghalaya partners with SIAL India
- The Government of Meghalaya has partnered with the world’s no. 1 food innovation network, SIAL India, for its event at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi from 9-11 Dec’21.
- The event will encompass both wine and spirits and will have an exhibit of around 20-30 international wine producers alongside Indian producers.
- SIAL India will also see the launch and establishment of Vinexpo.
NCW launches ‘She is a Changemaker’ programme for women
- The National Commission for Women (NCW) on 7 December 2021 launched a pan-India capacity building programme,‘She is a Changemaker’.
- It is for women representatives at all levels, gram panchayats to parliament members and political workers.
- The official launch of training programmes under ‘She is a Changemaker’ series was held on 7 Dec in Thane, Maharashtra.
Tata Power, IIT Madras ink MoU to collaborate on R&D, training
- Tata Power and IIT Madras have signed MoU to collaborate on R&D, consultancy, advocacy, training and technology solutions.
- As a part of the MoU, Tata Power and IIT Madras will aim to pursue advanced research in areas of future technology.
- The agreement also includes campus recruitment opportunities for postgraduate students of IIT Madras.
India becomes No.1 food supplier to Arab nations
- India surpassed Brazil in food exports to the League of Arab States for the first time in 15 years.
- The data was provided by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce on 7 December 2021.
- Brazil accounted for 8.15% of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 League members in 2020, whereas India captured 8.25% of that trade, ending Brazil’s 15-year advantage.
India’s mission to World Trade Organization inks MoU with 2 institutes
- Centre for Trade and Economic Integration of The Graduate Institute, Geneva have signed a tripartite MOU to begin collaboration towards research and capacity-building in the field of international trade law and policy.
- The MoU aims to enhance India’s capacity in formulating its foreign trade policy and contribute towards ensuring stability in the global trade regime.
Microsoft launches cybersecurity skilling program in India
- Microsoft on 7 Dec’21 launched a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity skilling program that aims to skill over 1 lakh learners by 2022.
- The program is designed to give learners hands-on experience in the fundamentals of security, compliance, and identity.
- Microsoft will conduct these courses along with its strategic partners including CloudThat, Koenig, RPS, and Synergetics Learning.
DRDO successfully test-fires short-range Surface to Air Missile
- DRDO successfully test-fired the vertically launched Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- The air defence system can engage targets at around 15 km.
- The missile system has been developed for naval warships.
- DRDO had also successfully tested the high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), ABHYAS.
Centre inks two loan pacts of Rs 2,074 cr with Asian Development Bank
- The govt has inked two loan agreements of Rs 2,074 cr with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for an affordable housing project in Tamil Nadu and a water sanitation programme in Uttarakhand.
- USD 150 mn loan agreement has been signed to provide access to housing for the urban poor in Tamil Nadu.
- USD 125 mn loan was inked to improve access drinking water supply in Dehradun and Nainital, Uttarakhand.
Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize to be merged for years 2021, 2022
- The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize will be awarded for the years 2021 and 2022 together.
- The annual award, won by Journalist-author Raj Kamal Jha in 2020 for his novel ”The City and The Sea”, will now be held for both years in New Delhi in October 2022.
- The award for Social Achievement 2020 was conferred to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the late Sultan of Oman.
‘Localization of Sustainable Development Goals’ report released
- Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj released the report on “Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Panchayati Raj Institutions” on 7 Dec’21.
- Two dedicated Dashboards namely Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Monitoring Dashboard and Training Management Portal were launched.
- Handbook on Training Management Portal was also released.
Central grant of ₹120 cr released to Manipur under Jal Jeevan Mission
- To expedite the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in Manipur, the Government of India has released Rs. 120 crore of central grant to the State.
- Central fund of Rs. 481 crore has been allocated to the State for 2021-22 for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.
- As on date, out of 4.51 lakh rural households in the state, 2.67 lakh (59.2%) households have tap water connections.
Adama Barrow re-elected as The Gambia’s President
- Adama Barrow has won a second term in The Gambia’s presidential election.
- He will officially begin his second five-year term on January 19, 2022.
- He has been in office since 2017.
- The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline.
- Its capital is Banjul and its currency is Gambian dalasi.
India’s first woman psychiatrist, Sarada Menon passes away
- Sarada Menon, considered India’s first woman psychiatrist, passed away in December 2021.
- She has been a recipient of several awards, including the Padma Bhusan in 1992 for her work in the field of mental health.
- She became the first woman psychiatrist in the country when she began working in 1959 at what is now the Institute of Mental Health in Chennai.
Russia beats Croatia to win Davis Cup title after 15-year wait
- Russia’s 15-year wait for a Davis Cup title ended in December 2021.
- Daniil Medvedev beat Marin Cilic 7-6 (7), 6-2 in the second singles match to give Russia a 2-0 lead over Croatia in the final.
- It is Russia’s third Davis Cup title, and first since 2006.
- Russia’s other Davis Cup title was in 2002.
UAE becomes the first country to transition to a 4-and-half day work week
- The United Arab Emirates has announced to change its existing five-day workweek to a four-and-a-half day starting January 1, 2022.
- It has become the world’s first country to make the employee-friendly transition as part of its efforts to improve productivity and work-life balance.
- Monday to Thursday the work timings would be from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, followed by a half-day on Friday.
Sanket Mahadev wins gold at 2021 Commonwealth Senior Championships
- Sanket Mahadev Sargar won a gold medal in the Men’s 55kg snatch category at the ongoing Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 in Tashkent on 7 December 2021.
- He lifted the weight of 113kg.
- With this lift, Sargar also created the new snatch national record.
- The championship is currently being held concurrently in Tashkent along with World Weightlifting Championships.