1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched a 'MSME Technology Centre' in Puducherry on the occasion of National Youth Day 2022, which will be run by the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
● The Rs 122 crore technological hub was established with an emphasis on the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector.
● The centre was officially opened at the 25th National Youth Festival in Puducherry (12th and 13th January 2022).
● In Puducherry, he also opened the 'Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam,' a new auditorium featuring an open-air theatre.
2. POSCO, South Korea's largest steelmaker, has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Adani Group to explore business potential in India.
● This includes the construction of a green, environmentally friendly integrated steel plant in the Gujarat city of Mundra.
● The project's anticipated investment is up to $5 billion (approx. Rs 37,000 crore).
● In response to carbon reduction requirements, the non-binding MoU also plans to engage at the group company level in many other sectors such as renewable energy, hydrogen, and logistics.
3. PayU Finance's LazyPay, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service, has partnered with SBM Bank India to introduce LazyCard, a prepaid payment instrument backed by a credit line that works on the Visa payment network.
● Because their card offers restricted credit alternatives, to provide financially underserved Indians with easy access to credit.
● With a credit limit of up to 5 lakhs, LazyCard reaches over 62 million pre-approved LazyPay consumers.
● Consumers could get the Lazycard for free, with no yearly fees and a variety of transactional bonuses and rewards.
4. The 17th edition of the biennial 'India State of Forest Report (ISFR)' 2021 has been launched by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
● Since 1987, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) has published the ISFR every two years to estimate the country's forest resources.
● In ISFR 2021, India's forest and tree cover increased by 2,261 square kilometres compared to the previous assessment in 2019.
● This comprises a forest cover increase of 1,540 square kilometres and a tree cover increase of 721 square kilometres.
5. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has completed a 720-second qualification test of the Cryogenic Engine for the Gaganyaan programme at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
● The performance of the engine, according to the space agency, met the test objectives, and the engine characteristics matched the projections closely during the test.
● This successful long-duration test is a significant achievement for Gaganyaan, the Human Space Programme.
● It ensures the cryogenic engine's reliability and resilience for integration with Gaganyaan's human-rated launch vehicle.
● In addition, this engine will be put through four further tests totaling 1810 seconds.
● To complete the cryogenic engine qualification for the Gaganyaan Program, one more engine will undergo two short-duration tests and one long-duration test.
6. Cyprus has discovered a novel variety known as "Deltacron," which shares the same genetic basis as the Delta variant but contains 10 Omicron mutations.
● In Cyprus, the variation has already harmed 25 persons.
● According to Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, head of the University of Cyprus' laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology, 11 of the 25 samples taken in Cyprus were from people who had been hospitalised due to the virus, while 14 were from the general public.
● According to a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study backed by the French government, the new variety from the lineage known as B.1.640.2 is thought to have infected 12 persons in the country.
● According to studies, the coexistence of Delta and Omicron enhances the possibilities of a new variety arising as a result of cross-pollination.
7. The Reserve Bank of India has accepted Ittira Davis' appointment as managing director and chief executive officer of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for a one-year term.
● From January 14, 2022, he will be in charge of the extended term.
● Following the abrupt departure of incumbent Nitin Chugh, the position has remained vacant for three months.
● Davis was the Managing Director of the Europe Arab Bank in London before joining Ujjivan.
● He has also worked for Arab Bank plc in Bahrain and Citibank in India as a senior executive.
● He has worked in India, the Middle East, and Europe for over 40 years.
8. Raghuvendra Tanwar, a Kurukshetra University professor emeritus, has been named chairperson of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
● Tanwar's appointment is for three years, beginning on the day he takes the position of Chairman of the Council and ending until additional orders are issued.
● Tanwar, who began teaching at Kurukshetra University in August 1977, has a stellar academic record, including two gold medals in MA History.
● The Indian Council of Historical Research's principal goal and objective is to promote and direct historical research, as well as to support and cultivate objective and scientific history writing.
● The primary goal of the ICHR's agenda has been to improve the academic quality of the output of its activities.
9. At the 'Global Private Banking Awards 2021,' organised by Professional Wealth Management (PWM) in a virtual ceremony, HDFC Bank was voted the 'Best Private Bank' in India.
● The Financial Times Group publishes PWM, a wealth management magazine.
● The prize was presented for assisting in the acceleration of major trends, such as digitisation, communication, and investment in ESG initiatives (environmental, social, and governance).
10. Since 2017, the Armed Forces Veterans Day has been observed on the 14th of January in India.
● The purpose of the day is to recognise and honour our veterans' unselfish devotion and sacrifice in the service of the country.
● The 6th Armed Forces Veterans Day will be held in 2022.
● It is commemorated as a token of respect and gratitude for the contributions of Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, who retired on January 14, 1953.
11. Deon Lendore, an Olympic athlete who competed in the 400 metres race at the 2020 Olympics, died in a catastrophic car accident in Texas, United States (US), at the age of 29.
● He was a 400 metres champion who was born on October 28, 1992 in Trinidad and Tobago (the Caribbean Islands, South America).
● In 2012, he competed in the London Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the 4400 metre relay.
● He also competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
12. The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) has given the All India Sports Council of the Deaf permission to hold the first World Deaf T20 Cricket Championship in Kerala from January 10 to 20, 2023.
● This championship was supposed to take place in 2020-21, but owing to a coronavirus outbreak, it was postponed first to 2022, then to 2023.
● The tournament is projected to attract at least eight countries, and it will be the first time that such an international event is staged in India with the consent of the ICSD."