- CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit, ‘Om’, to test for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. This is the first Omicron detection kitt made by any government institution and the third indigenously made kit for specific testing. At present, two more such kits developed by private companies are available in the market. The kit will give test results in about two hours. OM enables quick and cost-effective detection of Omicron variants upon genome sequencing for a large population. It will cost around Rs 150. Moreover, it will give the test result in about two hours.
- The Union Home Ministry announced the Padma awards on the eve of the country’s 73rd Republic Day. The awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of a high order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved. These awards are presented by the President of India in ceremonial ceremonies which are usually held at Rashtrapati Bhavan around March/April every year. This year the President has approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards including 2 duo cases. The list includes 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRIs/PIOs/OCIs and 13 posthumous awardees.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a hologram statue of Netaji at Delhi’s India Gate, on the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. PM Modi unveiled the holographic version of the statue. On this occasion, PM said, “The grand statue of our Netaji, who established the first independent government on the soil of India, is being installed in digital form near India Gate. Soon this hologram statue will be replaced by a huge granite statue.” The dimensions of the granite statue will be 28 feet tall and six feet wide. The statue will be placed in the same place as the statue of George V until 1968.
- Transparency International has released the Corruption Perception Index 2021 in which India is ranked 85th . The ranking has been jointly topped by three countries- Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. This ranking measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). 180 countries have been ranked in this. Last year , India was ranked 86th with a score of 40. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows that the level of corruption is stable around the world. The global average remained unchanged for the tenth year in a row, only 43 points out of 100.
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector. Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 Billion Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing and Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in collaboration with India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). This is the second section of a two-part vision document. Vision Document 2.0 provides year-wise break-up and production estimates for various products. This will help transform India into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026 from the current US$75 billion.
Read more: TATA TAKES OVER 69 YEARS OLD AIR INDIA; PROMISES TO RESTORE ITS OLD GLORY
- The Government of India officially handed over Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, 2022. Almost 69 years after it was taken over from Tata. The total value of the deal is Rs 18,000 crore. Air India’s strategic disinvestment transaction involves the transfer of 100 per cent Government of India stake in Air India to Tata Sons along with management control.
- The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit through a virtual platform. This was the first engagement of its kind between India and Central Asian countries at the level of leaders. There are five recognized countries in the Central Asian region. The Presidents of these five Central Asian countries participated in the summit. These are the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The first India-Central Asia Summit coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Central Asian countries. During the summit, the leaders agreed to hold the summit every 2 years. The summit signifies the importance of a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership by the leaders of both sides.
- Shaheed Diwas was celebrated on 30 January in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948 at Birla House. This year the nation celebrated 74th Martyrs’ Day. The day is celebrated to remember and honour the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters in the struggle for the independence of India. Notably, Martyrs’ Day in India is also celebrated on 23 March to pay respect to Bhagat Singh, Shivram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, who were hanged on this day in 1931. On January 30, the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister met at Raj Ghat on to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi. A respectful salute is also given by the Armed Forces personnel and inter-service contingent to pay respect to the martyrs.
Also read: Corona Updates: Drop In Daily Cases; Ease In Restrictions
- The Government of India has appointed Dr V Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Advisor. The announcement comes days before the presentation of the Union Budget for 2022 on February 1. The post was lying vacant since December 17, 2021, when KV Subramanian left office. Dr. Nageswaran, who is a renowned author, teacher and economic consultant, has taught in many B-schools and management institutes in India and abroad. Prior to his appointment as Chief Economic Adviser, he was Dean of the IFMR Graduate School of Business and Visiting Professor of Economics at Krea University in Andhra Pradesh.
- Budget session of Parliament has started on 31 January 2022. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Economic Survey Report for the year 2021-22 in the Lok Sabha. According to the Economic Survey, GDP growth has been estimated at 8-8.5% in 2022-23. The Economic Survey said that vaccine coverage and supply-side reforms will support growth. The government’s GDP estimate is based on the assumption that no further economic activity will be affected by the pandemic and the monsoon will also be normal.