Current Affairs -22 January 2021

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1.Govt appoints Siddhartha Mohanty as MD of LIC from Feb 1
  • The government appointed Siddhartha Mohanty, currently serving as the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of LIC Housing Finance, as the MD of India’s largest insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) from February 1 onwards.
  • He will serve as the MD of LIC till his superannuation on June 30, 2023. Mohanty will be replacing TC Suseel Kumar, who is set to retire on January 31, 2021.
  • “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the department of financial services for appointment of Shri Siddhartha Mohanty, CEO, LIC Housing Finance as MD, LIC, in the pay scale of Rs 205,400 – Rs 224,400 with effect from the date of his assumption of charge of the post on or after 01.02.2021 and upto the date of his superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier”, the government notification said.
Foot Notes:
About LIC:
Chairperson: M R Kumar
Founder: Government of India
Founded: 1 September 1956
Headquarters: Mumbai

2.Joe Biden makes Covid-19 test and quarantine mandatory for people entering US
  • US President Joe Biden has signed a series of executive orders to address COVID-19 challenges, including making coronavirus test followed by quarantine mandatory for all travellers coming from overseas.
  • In addition to wearing masks, everyone flying to the United States from another country will need to test before they get on that plane, before they depart, and quarantine when they arrive in America, Biden said at a White House event wherein he signed the orders.
Foot Notes:
About US:
President: Joe Boden
Capital: Washington D.C.
Currency: US Dollar
 
3.India sends 1 million doses of COVID vaccine to Nepal as gift under 'Vaccine Maitri' Initiative
  • India sent 1 million doses of a COVID vaccine to Nepal as a gift under the 'Vaccine Maitri' Initiative. Nepal health minister Hridayesh Tripathi said the vaccine gifted by India will be given to health workers and other front-line personnel within a week to 10 days.
  •  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar confirmed on Twitter that Nepal received Indian vaccines. The Minister said in another tweet, along with a photograph of Air India flight that carried the consignments to Dhaka, Touchdown in Dhaka. 'Vaccine Maitri' reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh.
Foot Notes:
About Nepal:
Capital: Kathmandu
President: Bidya Devi Bhandari
Prime minister: K. P. Sharma Oli

4.Indian Railways Renames Howrah-Kalka Mail as Netaji Express 
  • Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Indian Railways on Tuesday renamed one of its oldest trains, the Howrah-Kalka Mail, as the ‘Netaji Express’.
  • Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted: “Netaji’s prakram had put India on the express route of freedom and development. I am thrilled to celebrate his anniversary with the introduction of ‘Netaji Express’.”
  • Started in the 19th Century as one of the early commercial passenger train services in India, the Kalka mail has always enjoyed a steady patronage and popularity connecting Howrah with Kalka. It is said that Bose took this train from Gomoh in Bihar after he escaped from his house in Kolkata in 1941.
Foot Notes:
About Indian Railways:
Founded: 16 April 1853, India
Headquarters: New Delhi
Minister: Piyush Goyal

5.Five die in fire at Serum Institute’s plant near Pune
  • A fire broke at Serum Institute of India's under-construction site at its factory near Pune on Thursday, which killed five people and led to enormous financial damages to the company.
  • The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon at a site near the company's existing production at Manjri, a suburb near Pune, where vaccine manufacturing equipment was being installed for upcoming production of non-covid vaccines, a person aware of the development said.
  • While the company’s covid-19 vaccine Covishield is being produced at another site at Manjri, there has been no impact on its manufacturing, and the extent of damage and impact on other upcoming vaccines will only be determined in the next few days, he said.
Foot Notes:
About Serum Institute:
CEO: Adar Poonawalla 
Founder: Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Founded: 1966

6.Five day Indo-French Air exercise "Ex Desert Knight-21" begins in Jodhpur
  • Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force are conducting a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 in Jodhpur from today till Sunday.
  • The French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel. The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise will include Rafale, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI among other aircraft.
  • The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces. It is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces.
Foot Notes:
About Indian Air Force:
Founded: 8 October 1932, India
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chief of Air Staff: RKS Bhadauria

7.Sundaram Finance appoints Rajiv Lochan as its managing director
  • Chennai-based non-banking finance company Sundaram Finance announces appointment of Rajiv Lochan to succeed its current managing director T.T. Srinivasaraghavan, who will retire on March 31, 2021
  • Lochan, who holds the position of director of strategy, will assume the role of MD of the NBFC, effective April 1, 2021. Srinivasaraghavan will retire on completion of 38 years of service, which includes an 18-year tenure as its managing director. However, he would remain on the board and play a mentorship role, the company said.
Foot Notes:
About Sundaram Finance:
Founded: 11 August 1954
Founder: T.S.Santhanam
Headquarters: Chennai
 
8.World Economic Forum Released 16th Edition of Global Risks Report 
  • The World Economic Forum has released Global Risks Report 2021, the sixteenth edition of the Global Risks Report analysis which details the risks and consequences of increased inequality and societal fragmentation.  
  • Among the highest impact risks of the next decade, infectious diseases are in the top spot, followed by climate action failure and other environmental risks; as well as weapons of mass destruction, livelihood crises, debt crises, and (information technology) IT infrastructure breakdown.”
  • The report then analyzes a number of societal, economic and industrial divides which negatively impact cohesion and international cooperation before offering suggestions for increased resilience, drawing on lessons learned in global efforts to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Foot Notes:
About World Economic Forum:
Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
Founder: Klaus Schwab
Founded: January 1971
Leader: Klaus Schwab
Motto: Committed to improving the state of the world

9.Mihir Dalal’s book on Flipkart wins Gaja Capital’s book prize
  • Mihir Dalal won the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2020 for his debut book, Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story.
  • He was chosen from a shortlist of six books, including works by Sunil Munjal, Rahul Chandra, Tamal Bandyopadhyay, T.N. Hari, M.S. Subramanian and Katherine Eban.
  • Established by the equity firm Gaja Capital last year, the Gaja Business Book Prize seeks to recognize business writing. With prize money of ₹15 lakh for the winner, it is the biggest business book prize in the country.
  • Announcing the 2020 winner virtually, Gopal Jain, co-founder and managing partner of Gaja Capital, spoke of the need to chronicle India’s growth story for the world.
Foot Notes:
About Flipkart:
CEO:
Kalyan Krishnamurthy
Founders: Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal

10.Malayalam actor Unnikrishnan Namboothiri passes away at 98
  • Veteran actor Unnikrishnan Namboothiri on Wednesday passed away at a private hospital in Kannur. He was 98.
  • Unnikrishnan had tested positive for COVID-19 recently. He was receiving treatment for the same at the intense care unit of a private hospital. On Tuesday, he was sent home after his COVID-test came back negative. However, on Wednesday, his health deteriorated and he was taken back to the hospital, where he breathed his last.
  • Unnikrishnan made his acting debut with Desadanam in 1996. However, he became a household name among the Malayalam film audience for his performance as a witty grandfather in Kalyanaraman. He had also played a pivotal role in Kamal Haasan’s hit comedy-drama, Pammal K Sambandam.

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