Home » Current Affairs Date: 18 January 2022

Current Affairs Date: 18 January 2022


41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

⇒ India has successfully launched the 41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica with the arrival of the first batch of its contingent at the southern white continent.

The first batch comprising of 23 scientists and support staff reached the Indian Antarctic station Maitri.

The 41st expedition has two major programs.
First Program:
    • The first program encompasses geological exploration of the Amery ice shelf at Bharati station.
    • This will help explore the link between India and Antarctica in the past.
Second Program:
    • The second program involves reconnaissance surveys and preparatory work for drilling of 500 meters of ice core near Maitri.
    • It will help in improving the understanding of Antarctic climate, westerly winds, sea-ice and greenhouse gases from a single climate archive for past 10,000 years.
    • The ice core drilling will be done in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey and the Norwegian Polar Institute.
    • The Indian Antarctic program, which began in 1981, has completed 40 scientific expeditions.
    • Under Indian Antarctic program, three permanent research base stations has been built in Antarctica, named Dakshin Gangotri (1983), Maitri (1988) and Bharati (2012).
    • Maitri and Bharati are fully operational.
    • The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa—an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences—manages the entire Indian Antarctic program.

MANAK Awards Programme

⇒ The MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) awards programme under the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research’ (INSPIRE) scheme is a flagship programme of Department of Science and Technology (DST).

    • It targets to generate one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children specially between Class 6 to 10.
    • It calls on schools to participate in it every year.
    • The awards are being executed by DST with National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of DST.
    • In the year 2020-2021 it brought 6.53 lakh ideas from more than 2 lakh middle and high schools across the country.
8th NLEPC (National Level Exhibition and Project Competition) of the INSPIRE Awards-MANAK 2019-20:
    1. Navshri Thakur, a student from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh developed a ‘multi-useful kitchen machine’ which she submitted at the INSPIRE MANAK AWARDS, a programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and bagged the first prize for it.
    2. In the same competition, a stretcher embedded with shock absorbers by Owais Ahmed from Karnataka bagged the second prize.
    3. Dasari Ashok from Telangana bagged third prize for “ceiling fan lifting tool”.


Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) - 2021 'Conclave of Chiefs'

⇒ The 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) ‘Conclave of Chiefs’ was hosted by French Navy at Paris, France from 15 to 16 November, 2021.

IONS Chair:

The IONS Chair is presently held with France.


Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, led a two member Indian Naval delegation for this Conclave.

The Conclave of Chiefs was attended by Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Lead Maritime Agencies of IONS nations.


Various bilateral interactions were conducted on the sidelines of the conclave to facilitate a greater degree of maritime cooperation and understanding between the IONS nations.

7th edition of IONS Symposium:

The 7th edition of IONS Symposium was held at Le-Reunion from 28 June to 01 July, 2021 in hybrid format due to COVID protocols. During the Symposium, it was agreed upon to conduct the extant Conclave of Chiefs at Paris.

About IONS:
    • IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008 as a forum which seeks to enhance maritime co-operation among Navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
    • IONS provides an open and inclusive platform for discussion on regionally relevant maritime issues.
    • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in Feb 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years.

Important Day

First Audit Diwas

⇒ The First Audit Diwas was celebrated on 16 November, 2021.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the event marking the first Audit Diwas at CAG office premises, on 16th November, 2021.

    • Prime Minister also unveiled the statue of SardarVallabhbhai Patel on the occasion.
    • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Shri Girish Chandra Murmu was among those present on the occasion.

» Audit Diwas was celebrated to mark the historic origins of the institution of CAG and the contribution it has made to the governance, transparency and accountability over the past several years.

About Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG):
    • CAG was established under Article 148 of the Constitution to audit expenditures of the central as well as state governments.
    • It is the statutory auditor and also conducts a supplementary audit of companies in which the government has an equity share of 51%.
    • The CAG is ranked ninth in the order of precedence and enjoys the same status as a Supreme Court judge.

64th Formation Day of NMDC

⇒ National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a public enterprise under Ministry of Steel celebrated its 64th Formation Day at its Head Office – Hyderabad.

NMDC, the largest iron ore producer in the country was incorporated on 15th November 1958 and has completed 63 years of service to the nation.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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