1. More than 200 contestants were honoured by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship at the conclusion of the India Skills 2021 nationwide competition.
● There were 270 medallions of excellence awarded to the competition winners, including 61 gold, 77 silver, 53 bronze, and 79 medallions of excellence.
● With 51 medals, Odisha took top place out of 26 states and union territories in this year's 'IndiaSkills 2021' competition.
● Odisha took home 10 gold medals, 18 silver medals, 9 bronze medals, and 14 medallions.
● Maharashtra remained in second place with 30 medals, while Kerala finished third with 25 medals.
● The winners of the India Skills 2021 competition will also be eligible to compete in the World Skills International Competition, which will be held in Shanghai, China, in October 2022.
● From the 7th to the 9th of this month, tournaments were organised at a variety of settings, including Pragati Maidan and offsite locations throughout the National Capital Region.
2. The Reserve Bank of India has created an internal fintech department (Financial technology).
● The FinTech Division of the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Central Office has been absorbed into the new department, which will take effect on January 4, 2022. (DPSS, CO).
● The department will not only support innovation in the sector, but will also recognise and address the difficulties and opportunities that come with it.
● Ajay Kumar Choudhary, the department's leader, was recently promoted to Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India.
3. The Indian Navy's BrahMos supersonic cruise missile's extended range sea-to-sea variant was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
● The Indian Navy's INS Visakhapatnam, a stealth guided-missile destroyer, launched this sophisticated sea-to-sea variant of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile.
● BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India and Russia, makes supersonic cruise missiles that may be fired from submarines, ships, planes, or ground platforms.
● Submarines, ships, planes, and land platforms can all launch the missile.
● The BrahMos missile travels at 2.8 Mach, or nearly three times the speed of sound.
4. After the launch of its first boat, 'Muziris,' among the 23 battery-powered electric boats being produced by Cochin Shipyard Limited, Kochi, Kerala has become India's first city to establish a Water Metro Project.
● Kochi Water Metro Ltd operates a Rs 747-crore project, and this launch is part of it (KWML).
● Water Metros will be the name of the boats.
● The project's major half is funded through Indo-German Financial Cooperation through a long-term loan arrangement of 85 million Euros (Rs 579 crore) with the German financial agency, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), with a total investment of Rs 819 crore.
5. Gurugram will acquire India's first heli-hub with comprehensive aviation amenities, according to Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.
● The heli-hub will be the first of its type in India, with all helicopter facilities at one location.
● The heli-hub is expected to be built in Gurugram, next to a metro station and with convenient access to industrial regions (Noida & Bhiwadi).
● The Haryana government has proposed to build the country's first heli-hub in Gurugram, which will include a heliport, hangars, maintenance, and other aviation-related services.
6. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, a French-born economist, has been named the next chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
● He will succeed Gita Gopinath, the first woman to hold the position of head economist at the Fund.
● From January 21, 2022, he will serve as the IMF's first deputy managing director.
● Gourinchas will begin working for the IMF part-time on January 24, 2022.
● From April 1, 2022, he will assume a full-time position.
7. Harshaali Malhotra, who starred in the 2015 film Bajrangi Bhaijaan, has been given the 12th Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Award 2022.
● Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra, presented her with the award for her outstanding performance in the film and contribution to Indian cinema.
● As part of the forthcoming 73rd Republic Day, the Maharashtra government hosted the Bharat Ranta Dr Ambedkar national Awards 2022 ceremony in honour of Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.
8. The National Youth Day in India is observed on the 12th of January each year to commemorate Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary.
● The main goal is to ensure that students all around the country are encouraged to study about Swami Vivekananda's life, ideals, and philosophy and apply them to their own lives.
● Swami Vivekanand's 159th birthday will be commemorated in 2022. (12 January 1863).
● The theme for the 2022 National Youth Day is "It's all in the head".
● In 1984, the decision was made to commemorate Swami Vivekananda's birthday as National Youth Day, which was observed for the first time on January 12, 1985.
9. David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, passed away due to health concerns.
● From July 2019 until his death in January 2022, he was President of the European Parliament.
● He was elected to the European Parliament (MEP) for the first time in 2009.
● Sassoli was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament in July 2014.
● He was elected as the new president of the European Parliament in Italy in 2019 with 128,533 votes.
● The European Parliament is one of the EU's seven branches.
● The company's headquarters are in Strasbourg, France.
10. Chandrashekhar Patil, also known as "Champa," was a well-known Kannada writer who died at the age of 82.
● He was also the President of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) and Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority.
● He was a Kannada language activist, poet, and playwright
11. Following his magnificent 10-wicket haul against Virat Kohli and Co. in the second Test in Mumbai, India-born New Zealand cricketer Ajaz Patel has been named the ICC Player of the Month for December.
● The left-arm spinner was up against India opener Mayank Agarwal and Australian pacer Mitchell Starc for the trophy, but he won it thanks to an extraordinarily unusual achievement.
● Ajaz took 14 wickets in the Mumbai Test against India in early December, including all ten in the first innings, to become only the third player in Test history to do so, behind Jim Laker and Anil Kumble.
12. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports' Mission Olympic Cell has added ten athletes to the roster of athletes who would get support under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
● There are a total of ten new entrants, five of them are in the Core group and five in the Development group.
● The overall number of athletes participating in TOPS has risen to 301, with 107 in the Core group and 294 in the Development group.
Athletes added to the Core group includes:
● Aditi Ashok (Golf)
● Fouaad Mirza (Horse Rider/ Equestrian)
● Anirban Lahiri (Golf)
● Diksha Dagar (Golf)
● Mohammed Arif Khan (Alpine Skiier )
Athletes added to the Development group includes:
● Shubhankar Sharma (Golf)
● Tvesa Malik (Golf)
● Yash Ghangas (Judo)
● Unnati Sharma (Judo)
● Linthoi Chanambam (Judo)
13. Chris Morris, the South African all-rounder, has declared his retirement from all forms of cricket.
● Morris has represented South Africa in four Tests, 42 One-Day Internationals, and 23 Twenty20 Internationals.
● Morris did not play in a Test match until 2016, and he only played four games in the classic style, scoring 173 runs and taking 12 wickets.
● Morris got 467 runs in ODIs and 133 runs in T20s with the bat in his hands.
● Rajasthan Royals paid a record INR 16.25 crores for his services in February 2021.
● Morris has also appeared in the IPL for the Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Chennai Super Kings teams.