28th January,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date :28th January,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • A) International Relations
  • First India-Central Asia Summit(PIB)
  • B) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  • Electronic Goods Exports Register a Whopping Growth (PIB)
  • C) Art, Culture and History
  • India’s Women Unsung Heroes of Freedom Struggle (TH, pg 10)
  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav- Profile of Makhan Singh (PIB)
  • D) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity
  • Hussainsagar Lake and Bioremediation (TH, pg 5)
  • E) Economic Developments: India and World
  • Rising Crude Oil Prices and Its Impact (IE)
  • Global Fall in Stock Markets (TH, pg 15)
  • F) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  • Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) (IE)
  • ‘Hooch’ or Spurious Alcohol (TH, pg 10)


A) International Relations

  1. First India-Central Asia Summit(PIB)
  • Context:Prime Minister of India hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format on 27 January 2022, which was attended by Presidents of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • This first India-Central Asia coincided with the 30thanniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asian countries.
  • In a historic decision, the Leaders agreed to institutionalize the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it every 2 years.


  • The five Central Asian Republics (CARS) viz Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attained independence on the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • These five countries were the last to declare independence from the Soviet Union.
  • Kazakhstan is the largest Central Asian and the 9th largest country in the world.
  • It shares the world’s longest land boundary with Russia of 7,400 kms.
  • Turkmenistan is the second largest country in areain Central Asia after Kazakhstan.
  • In current times, Central Asian Republics constitute the extended neighborhood of India.
  • Three Central Asian Republics viz Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan share borders with Afghanistan.
  • About 60 percent of the region consists of desert land, the principal deserts being the Karakum, occupying most of Turkmenistan, andthe Kyzylkum, covering much of western Uzbekistan.
  • Most of the desert areas are unsuitable for agricultural use except along the margins of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya river systems, which wind their way northwestward through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and eastern Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan after rising in mountain ranges to the south and east.
  • Those two major rivers drain into the Aral Sea and provide most of the region’s water resources.
  • On the east and south-central Asia is bounded by the western Altai and other high mountain ranges extending into Iran, Afghanistan, and western China.






B) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues

  1. Electronic Goods Exports Register a Whopping Growth (PIB)
  • Context:India’s exports of Electronic Goods touched USD 1.67 Billion last month. During April-December 2021, the Sector Exports registered a growth of 49% to USD 11.0 Billion (Provisional) over USD 7.4 Billion during same period in the year 2020.


  • Top 5 export destinations in April-November 2021 (latest available, share% in bracket) are: U S A (18%), UAE (16.6%), China (7.6%), Netherland (4.5%) & Germany (4.2%).
  • Mobile Phones constitute a major chunk of India’s Electronics Goods sector exports.
  • Steps taken by the Government which are expected to increase the domestic manufacturing and export of Electronics Goods including mobile phones include formulation of:
  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing,
  • PLI for IT hardware,
  • Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS),
  • Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) under the National Policy on Electronics, 2019, which envisages to position India as a global hub for Electronics, System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).
  • Moreover, FDI upto 100% under the automatic route is permitted for electronics manufacturing subject to applicable laws.
  • Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) has been notified to promote domestic value addition in mobile phones and their sub-assemblies / parts manufacturing.


C) Art, Culture and History

  1. India’s Women Unsung Heroes of Freedom Struggle (TH, pg 10)
  • Context: Ministry of Culturereleased a pictorial book on India’s Women Unsung Heroes of Freedom Struggle as part of Azadi ka Mahotsav.


  • Rani Abakka, the Queen of Ullal, Karnataka, fought and defeated the mighty Portuguese in the 16th century.
  • VeluNachiyar, the queen of Sivaganga was the first Indian queen to wage war against the British East India Company.
  • Jhalkari Bai, was a woman soldier who grew to become one of the key advisors to the Rani of Jhansi and a prominent figure in the First War of Indian Independence, 1857.
  • MatanginiHazra was a brave freedom fighter from Bengal, who laid down her life while agitating against the British.
  • Gulab Kaur was a freedom fighter who abandoned her own hopes and dreams of a life abroad to fight for and mobilise the Indian people against the British Raj.
  • ChakaliIlamma was a revolutionary woman who fought against the injustice of zamindars during the Telangana rebellion in the mid-1940s.
  • Padmaja Naidu, the daughter of Sarojini Naidu and a freedom fighter in her own right, who would later become Governor of West Bengal and a humanitarian after Independence.
  • Bishni Devi Shah, a woman who inspired large number of people in Uttarakhand to join the freedom movement.
  • Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was one of the greatest Hindi poets, who was also a prominent figure in the freedom movement.
  • Durgawati Devi was the brave woman who provided safe passage to Bhagat Singh after the killing of John Saunders and much more during her revolutionary days.
  • Sucheta Kripalani, a prominent freedom fighter, became independent India’s first woman Chief Minister of UP Government.
  • Accamma Cherian, an inspirational leader of the freedom movement in Travancore, Kerala, she was given the name ‘Jhansi Rani of Tranvancore’ by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali was an inspirational freedom fighter who is perhaps best remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag in Mumbai during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
  • Durgabai Deshmukh, a tireless worker for the emancipation of women in Andhra Pradesh, she was also an eminent freedom fighter and member of the Constituent Assembly.
  • Rani Gaidinliu, the Naga spiritual and political leader, led an armed uprising against the British in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.
  • Usha Mehta was a freedom fighter from a very young age, who is remembered for organizing an underground radio station during the Quit India Movement of 1942.
  • Parbati Giri, one of Odisha’s most prominent women freedom fighters, was called the Mother Teresa of Western Odisha for her work in the upliftment of her people.
  • Tarkeshwari Sinha, a prominent freedom fighter during the Quit India Movement, she went on to become an eminent politician in the early decades of independent India.
  • Snehlata Varma, a freedom fighter and tireless worker for the education and upliftment of women in Mewar, Rajasthan.
  • Tileshwari Baruah, one of India’s youngest martyrs, she was shot at the age of 12 by the British, during the Quit India Movement, when she and some freedom fighters tried to unfurl the Tricolour atop a police station.


  1. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav- Profile of Makhan Singh (PIB)
  • Context:We remember the freedom fighter, Makhan Singh who helped overthrow the British empire by joining nationalist movements in two countries, India, the land of his birth, and Kenya, his adopted homeland.


  • Kenya was also a center of the Ghadar Party and Makhan Singh, Gopal Singh Chandan and Wasdev Singh were its chief organizers.
  • In December 1939, Makhan Singh left for India to “study working-class conditions and functioning of the Trade Unionism in Bombay and Ahmedabad.”
  • In India, he addressed gatherings in Bombay and attended the Ramgarh session of the Indian National Congress as an African delegate.
  • He also worked with the newspaper Jang-i-Azadi.
  • As India was going to achieve independence on 15 August 1947, Singh left for Kenya. In Kenya, Singh organized the Kenya Youth Conference and became active as the general secretary of the East African Trade Union Congress.
  • Singh was detained by the colonial government in 1950. He remained behind the bars during the famous Mau Mau Uprising of Kenya. He remained in prison for 12 years till 1961. Kenya attained independence in 1963, and Singh was granted permanent residency in the country.

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
  • The official journey of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commenced on 12th March 2021 (from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat) which starts a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of Independence.


D) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

  1. Hussainsagar Lake and Bioremediation (TH, pg 5)
  • Context:A worker of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority spraying a solution into the Hussainsagar Lake to prevent algae formation, as part of the bioremediation efforts to prevent pollution.
  • The lake was excavated in the year1562 A.D. by Hussain Shah Wali during the reign of Ibrahim QuliQutb Shah.
  • It is a large manmade lake of Hyderabad and was constructed on a small tributary of the Musi River.


  • Bioremediation is the use of living micro-organisms to degrade the environmental contaminants into less toxic forms.
  • It uses naturally occurring bacteria and fungi or plants to degrade or detoxify substances hazardous to human health and/or the environment.
  • The micro-organisms may be indigenous to a contaminated area or they may be isolated from elsewhere and brought to the contaminated site.
  • Contaminant compounds are transformed by living organisms through reactions that take place as a part of their metabolic processes.
  • Biodegradation of a compound is often a result of the actions of multiple organisms.
  • Bioremediation can be effective only where environmental conditions permit microbial growth and activity.
  • The application often involves the manipulation of environmental parameters to allow microbial growth and degradation to proceed at a faster rate.

Salient features

  • It is cost effective. No construction or additional infrastructure is required.
  • These microbes are effective in controlling odour, reducing Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), oil/ grease accumulation in sewage/ polluted water and solids.
  • These microbial consortia exhibit growth at wider temperature range
  • These strains maintain a satisfactory level of DO and therefore aerators, which consume high power can be avoided or its use can be reduced.
  • Control the nutrient level in water thus help in controlling “Eutrophication” process.

Biomining Vs Bioremediation

  • Biomining is the process of using microorganisms (microbes) to extract metals of economic interest from rock ores or mine waste.
  • Biomining techniques may also be used to clean up sites that have been polluted with metals.
  • Valuable metals are commonly bound up in solid minerals. Some microbes can oxidize those metals, allowing them to dissolve in water.
  • This is the basic process behind most biomining, which is used for metals that can be more easily recovered when dissolved than from the solid rocks, e.g., copper, uranium, nickel.
  • A different biomining technique, for metals which are not dissolved by the microbes, uses microbes to break down the surrounding minerals, making it easier to recover the metal of interest directly from the remaining rock, e.g., gold.
  • When the metal of interest is directly dissolved, the biomining process is called “bioleaching,” and when the metal of interest is made more accessible or “enriched” in the material left behind, it is called “bio-oxidation.”
  • Both processes involve microbial reactions that can happen anywhere the microbes, rocks, and necessary nutrients, like oxygen, occur together.

What are the environmental risks of biomining?

  • The greatest environmental risks are related to leakage and treatment of the acidic, metal-rich solution created by the microbes, which is similar to the acid mine drainage from some abandoned mines.
  • This risk can be managed by ensuring that biomining is conducted under controlled conditions with proper sealing and waste management protocols.
  • In Europe, the BIOMOre project is studying the feasibility of biomining deep underground to avoid having to excavate the rocks themselves.




E) Economic Developments: India and World

  1. Rising Crude Oil Prices and Its Impact (IE)
  • Context: Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine are leading to a surge in oil prices, with Brent breaching the $90-a-barrel mark — the first time since 2014.


Reasons for rise in Crude prices

  • Crude oil prices have risen sharply since the beginning of the year as a surge in Covid-19 cases around the world owing to the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus has not lowered demand for crude oil in line with expectations.
  • Geopolitical tension in the Middle East and fresh tensions between Russia and Ukraine are leading to speculations of supply disruptions.
  • OPEC+ had agreed to sharp cuts in supply in 2020 owing to Covid-induced travel restrictions, but the organisation has been slow to boost production since then.

Impact on Indian Economy

  • Not only do rising prices feed into inflation, but also increase the amount of LPG and kerosene subsidy the government is required to pay.
  • However, on the positive side, government revenues on taxes of oil and related products have also been rising over the last two years.
  • The country’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index, has already risen to a five-month high of 5.59 per cent in December.
  • Wholesale price index-based inflation rose to 13.56 per cent during the same month.
  • High inflation will force the government to cut taxes on oil and related products.
  • Oil prices are a big factor in the Budget and the overall fiscal math of India as it imports more than 85 per cent of its crude requirements.
  • The Oil import bill is already up by more than 70 per cent from last year and it affects the balance of payments adversely.


  1. Global Fall in Stock Markets (TH, pg 15)
  • Context:Stock markets across the world are witnessing a significant fall as it becomes increasingly clear that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to contain rising prices (inflation).
  • Bond yields, on the other hand, have risen as speculators expect central banks to reduce the liquidity support that they offer to bond markets.


What is a Bond?

  • A bond is a fixed income instrumentthat represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower (typically corporate or governmental).
  • If central banks were to withdraw the support they have offered to credit markets and allow interest rates to rise, it will result in stock prices to fall.
  • The rise in the price of bonds causes their interest rates (yield) to fall.
  • When interest rates on safer investments like bonds fall, more investors would be willing to invest in stocks.

What do rising interest rates mean?

  • Central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India and others constantly influence interest rates by regulating money supply.
  • When central banks are willing to flood the credit market with plenty of money, this causes the overall demand for credit instruments like bonds to rise as speculators bid up the price of bonds in the expectation that central banks will buy these bonds eventually.
  • The rise in the price of bonds causes their yields (or interest rates) to fall.
  • When central banks, on the other hand, contract money supply or slow down the pace at which they create fresh money, this can lead to a fall in liquidity in the credit market and consequently lead to a drop in the speculative demand for bonds and other credit products like short term loans. As a result, the prices of these instruments drop and their yields (or interest rates) rise.

Why are stocks falling as interest rates rise?

  • Stock prices and bond yields are inversely related.
  • As bond yields rise, stock prices fall; and as bond yields fall, stock prices rise.
  • This is because, when interest rates (or yields) on safer investments like bonds fall for instance, more investors would be willing to invest in stocks.
  • Conversely, when interest rates rise, this can cause future cash flows from stocks to be discounted at higher rates, causing stock prices to fall as a result. So, it is possible that the recent fall in stocks is due to speculators pricing in higher interest rates.
  • Rising interest rates can also wreak havoc on the economy as there could be the need for widespread reallocation of goods and services across the economy to adjust to higher interest rates.
  • For example, business projects that seemed to make sense when interest rates were low and liquidity was abundant may need to be abandoned in favour of other, more viable projects.


F) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

  1. Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) (IE)
  • Context: The new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation Dr S Somanath told that ISRO’s indigenous new launch rockets, called the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) (SSLV-D1 Micro SAT), will have its much-delayed, maiden flight in April 2022.
  • Dr S Somanath himself is credited with the design and development of the SSLV during his time as director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram since 2018.


  • ISRO is developing a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) with private participation to be launched in 1stquarter of 2022.
  • The development of SSLV has been primarily envisaged to realize a cost-effective launch vehicle with high launch frequency and quick turnaround capability in order to cater to the growing opportunity in the global launch services market for small satelliteson account of the need for developing countries, private corporations, and universities for small satellites.
  • The Indian SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) is a planned small launch vehicle serving the marked below the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) family.The SSLV is the smallest vehicle at 110-ton mass at ISRO.
  • Initially the satellites will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, but beginning with the third launch, a new launch site on the Indian west coast near Gujarat is planned.
  • The SSLV has three solid motor stages, and like the PSLV and GSLV, can accommodate multiple satellites, albeit smaller ones.
  • PSLV is a four-staged launch vehicle with first and third stage using solid rocket motors and second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.
  • GSLV is a three-stage vehicle with solid, liquid and cryogenic stages.
  • Unlike the PSLV and GSLV, the SSLV can be assembled both vertically and horizontally.
  • Its bigger siblings are assembled only in an upright position in the assembly bays at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
  • In that respect, the SSLV is like the old SLV and ASLV which could be assembled flat on the ground.
  • SSLV is designed to inject small satellites weighing up to 500 kilogrammes in Low Earth Orbits/Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • The induction of SSLV is likely to boost launch capacity of the space agency in small satellitecategory.
  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is capable of launching satellites in 1100-1600 kg class into Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • SSLV is perfectly suited for launching multiple microsatellites at a time and supports multiple orbital drop-offs.
  • It is designed for the launch-on-demand concept with very quick turn-around capability in between launches.
  • SSLV promises on-demand access to space, with the rocket assembly taking a mere 15 days and minimum personnel to do it.
  • ISRO currently piggybacks smaller satellites on the PSLV and GSLV along with bigger satellites.
  • The SSLV is expected to reduce the launch time as well as cost less to launch small satellites, which are much in demand.

Do you know?

  • One of the aims of the newly-created ISRO commercial arm, New Space India Limited (NSIL), is to use research and development carried out by ISRO over the years for commercial purposes through Indian industry partners.
  • Manufacturing and production of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through technology transfer is one of the mandates of the NSIL.


  1. ‘Hooch’ or Spurious Alcohol (TH, pg 10)
  • Context:At least five people died and three others fell critically ill in a suspected case of hooch consumption in Buxar district of Bihar.


  • ‘Hooch’ is a term used for spurious alcoholic preparations.
  • Spurious liquors include:
  • illicit liquor (un-authorized preparation, not fit for human consumption and not complying with the BIS standards) and
  • denatured alcohol (prepared for industrial uses and is rendered entirely unfit for human consumption by adding denaturants).
  • Methyl alcohol (methanol) is a commonly used adulterant because of its appearance and taste similar to ethyl alcohol and its easy availability.
  • On consumption, methanol is changed into formic acid inside the body and adversely affects various organ systems.
  • In cases of ‘hooch’ tragedy, toxicity often comes from drinking methanol, which results in blindness, tissue damage or death.
  • Delay in providing antidote (ethyl alcohol) at the initial stage leads to more casualties.
  • Ethyl alcohol, widely known as ethanol, grain alcohol or drinking alcohol, is found in alcoholic beverages.

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