2. SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARD 2021: NAMITA
GOKHALE NAMED AMONG 20 WINNERS
• Eminent author Namita Gokhale, Punjabi writer Khalid
Hussain and TMC MLA Bratya Basu are among the 20
winners of the Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 announced
on December 30, 2021, by Sahitya Akademi.
• English writer Namita Gokhale won the award for her
novel ‘Things to Leave Behind’.
• She is among the authors who have been honored with
Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 in 20 different languages.
• The annual Sahitya Akademi Award included seven books
of poetry, five short stories, two novels, two plays, an
• d one book each of autobiography, biography, epic
poetry, and criticism. While Namita Gokhale won the
literary honour for her epic historical novel, Bratya Basu
and Khalid Hussain won Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 for
a play and collection of stories ‘Sullan Da Salan’,
3. YEAR ENDER INDIA 2021: FROM SIDHARTH SHUKLA, PUNEETH RAJKUMAR TO
CDS GENERAL BIPIN RAWAT- TRAGIC DEATHS THAT LEFT US REELING IN 2021
• The year 2021 that began as a year of hope soon turned
tragic with the devastating second wave of COVID-19 that hit
India in April-May, claiming many lives both young and old
and leaving many families reeling with the shock.
• There were major losses in the field of politics, arts and
entertainment as well that left a void too large to fill such as
the sudden death of popular actors Sidharth Shukla and
Puneeth Rajkumar and others who passed away after
suffering from a prolonged illness or COVID-19 such as Dilip
Kumar, Surekha Sikri, Vinod Dua, Milkha Singh and his wife
Nirmal Saini and those who left us in tragic incidents such as
CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife Dr. Madhulika Rawat and
12 senior Defence officials including Group Captain Varun
Singh and Pulitzer-winning Indian photojournalist Danish
4. ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS TABLE 2021-2023: AUSTRALIA TOPS
WTC POINTS TABLE, INDIA RANKED 4TH
• India won its first test match against South Africa at
Centurion by 113 runs on December 30, 2021, claiming a
1-0 lead in the three match series.
• With this, India's total points have gone up to 54 and
percentage of points to 64.28 in the World Test
Championship Points Table 2021-2023.
• India is however still ranked fourth on the World Test
Championship Points Table behind Pakistan, as it has
lesser percentage of points.
• Australia is ranked at the top of the ICC WTC Points Table
with 36 points after thrashing England by an innings in
the third Ashes test, claiming the Ashes series 3-0. Sri
Lanka is ranked second on the ICC WTC Points Table with
24 points, while Pakistan is ranked third with 36 points.
5. PM MODI IN UTTARAKHAND: DETAILS OF
DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS LAUNCHED BY PM
MODI IN HALDWANI
• Prime Minister Modi visited Haldwani in Uttarakhand on
December 30, 2021, to inaugurate and lay the foundation
stone of 23 development projects that are worth over Rs.
• The foundation stone in Uttarakhand was laid for 17
projects that are worth over Rs. 14,100 crores and they
cover the sectors that range from the road, irrigation,
housing, industry, health infrastructure, sanitation to
drinking water supply among others.
• PM Modi in Uttarakhand also inaugurated 6 projects which
will include a hydropower facility in Pithoragarh, multiple
road widening exercises, and the projects to improve the
sewerage network in Nainital. The total cost of the projects
to be inaugurated is over Rs. 3,400 crores.
6. THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT VVPAT
• The Indian General Elections 2019 concluded on May 19, 2019 to elect people’s representatives in 542
Parliamentary constituencies for the 17th Lok Sabha. The voters casted their votes on the Electronic
Voting Machine (EVM) linked to the VVPAT unit.
1. What is VVPAT and What does it stand for?
Answer: VVPAT stands for “Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail”. The VVPAT is a method of providing
feedback to voters using a ballot less voting system. It is a printer-like apparatus linked to the
Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) that generates a slip showing serial number, name and symbol of
the candidate and verifies the intended vote.
2. How does VVPAT work?
Answer: The voting in India is done through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) attached to the VVPAT
unit. Once a voter casts his or her vote on the EVM, VVPAT apparatus linked to the EVM generates a
slip showing serial number, name and symbol of the candidate to whom the vote was made.
7. EGYPT BECOMES NEW MEMBER OF BRICS
• BRICS new development bank upsc: India on December
29, 2021, welcomed Egypt as the new member of BRICS
New Development Bank.
• With this, Egypt has now become a fourth new
member to be admitted to BRICS NDB. The BRICS
group includes five major emerging countries around
the world- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
and the multilateral bank BRICS NDB was established by
these rising economies to finance the sustainable
• The news of Egypt being a new member of BRICS NDB
was announced by the Spokesperson of External Affairs
Minister, Arindam Bagchi who also said that the
membership expansion will enable the bank to position
itself as a significant development institution.
8. COVID-19 OMICRON CASES IN INDIA TODAY
• India is witnessing a sharp rise in Omicron variant
cases with the total Omicron case tally rising to 961
as of December 30, 2021.
• The National Capital is the worst-hit with a total of
263 Omicron cases, followed by Maharashtra that
has reported 252 Omicron cases so far.
• Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain warned of
community transmission of Omicron in Delhi, saying
that people with no travel history have also been
found infected with Omicron, which means that it is
gradually spreading in community.
• He also said that the Omicron variant has been
found in 46 per cent of 115 samples sequenced in
Delhi till now.
9. INDIAN ARMY SETS UP NEW QUANTUM COMPUTING LAB, ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE CENTRE IN MP’S MHOW
• The Indian Army has set up a quantum
computing laboratory and a centre for
artificial intelligence at a military
engineering institute in Mhow, Madhya
Pradesh. MM Naravane, the Chief of Army
Staff General had also visited the facility
during his recent visit to MP’s Mhow.
• The Defence Ministry of India announced
that the Indian Army with support from
the National Security Council Secretariat
(NSCS) established the Quantum Lab at
Military College of Telecommunication
Engineering, Mhow in MP
10. ROSS TAYLOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM
• New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor announced his
retirement from international cricket on December 30,
• The cricketer announced that his last series would be
New Zealand's two-match home Test series against
Bangladesh and six ODIs against Australia and
Netherlands. New Zealand is scheduled to tour
Australia for three ODIs in late January then will play
Netherlands at home.
• Taylor tweeted saying, "Today I'm announcing my
retirement from international cricket at the conclusion
of the home summer, two more tests against
Bangladesh, and six odi’s against Australia & the
Netherlands. Thank you for 17 years of incredible
support. It’s been an honour to represent my country
11. JHANSI STATION NEW NAME: JHANSI RAILWAY
STATION IN UP RENAMED AS VEERANGANA
LAXMIBAI RAILWAY STATION
• The Government of Uttar Pradesh has renamed the Jhansi
Railway Station as ‘Veerangana Laxmibai Railway
Station’. Jhansi station new name has been decided after
• The Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath made the
announcement regarding the new name of Jhansi station
on December 29, 2021, via a tweet.
• The Uttar Pradesh Government also issued a notification
and the Railways has also started preparations to
implement the change in the name of Jhansi Railway
Station. The notification informing about Jhansi station new
name also stated that the name has been changed after a
‘no-objection certificate’ issued by the Home Affairs
Ministry in a letter dated November 24, 2021.
12. INDIAN PERSONALITIES IN NEWS 2021: NEERAJ CHOPRA, VIRAT
KOHLI, HARNAAZ SANDHU, MUKESH AMBANI, ANIL MENON & 20
OTHER PERSON IN NEWS
• The year 2021 was marked by brilliant achievements
by Indian personalities all over the world, starting with
Neeraj Chopra winning India's first-ever individual
Olympic gold in athletics, Mukesh Ambani joining the
exclusive $100 Billion Club, Falguni Nayar becoming
India’s wealthiest self-made woman billionaire, Sirisha
Bandla becoming the second Indian-born woman to
fly to space after Kalpana Chawla to India's Harnaaz
Sandhu bringing home the Miss Universe 2021 crown,
Indian-origin Abhimanyu Mishra becoming the
youngest-ever Chess Grandmaster and Samir
Banerjee becoming the third Indian-origin player to
win Wimbledon boys singles.
13. PM NARENDRA MODI'S UAE VISIT POSTPONED AMID OMICRON
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
scheduled visit to the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) has been postponed
amid the surge in the number of
Omicron cases across the globe.
• The Prime Minister was supposed to visit
UAE on January 6, 2022.
• The scheduled trip has reportedly been
rescheduled due to the rise in Omicron
cases across the world. The visit is likely
to be pushed to February 2022.