Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 23 April 2022

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 23 April 2022


After 118 years, three new toy trains on Kalka-Shimla route

  • The Indian Railways is set to deploy three new toy trains on the Kalka-Shimla route for the first time since the service became operational 118 years ago, railways officials familiar with the development said, adding the trains will start running by the end of the year.
  • “Coaches of the Kalka-Shimla toy trains are being made in the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala. They will be made operational by December,” a railways official confirmed.
  • The new toy trains will operate on the 96.6-km narrow-gauge tracks, built by the British in 1903. German manufacturer Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB)-designed coaches, which will be used on the Kalka-Shimla route, are “lighter in weight, have increased codal life, better safety, higher carrying capacity and speed potential as compared to the old Integral Coach Factory (ICF) model coaches,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
  • As many as 30 new-generation LHB coaches will be manufactured for the toy trains that use 765-mm narrow gauge, the official added.
  • Narrow gauge tracks have less than the standard 1,435 mm width
  • “The new coaches will have 180 degrees rotatable chair seats in AC coaches and flip type seating arrangement in GS coaches,” another railways official said, who also requested anonymity. “Besides, they will be equipped with CCTVs, passenger announcement system, passenger information system and sink-in LED destination board.”
  • A Kapurthala-based railways official said, “The three new trains in Kalka-Shimla will have two emergency alarm push buttons per coach, flexible gangway, onboard WiFi for infotainment with compact modem, ergonomically designed cushioned seats besides others.”
  • The new trains will allow modification in seating patterns, in case of private or group bookings. “In the new coaches, seats will be placed in a manner that their arrangements in the coach can be changed as per requirement of passengers,” the official added.


Covid shots still work but researchers hunt new improvements

  • Covid-19 vaccinations are at a critical juncture as companies test whether new approaches like combination shots or nasal drops can keep up with a mutating coronavirus — even though it’s not clear if changes are needed.
  • Already there’s public confusion about who should get a second booster now and who can wait. There's also debate about whether pretty much everyone might need an extra dose in the fall.
  • “I’m very concerned about booster fatigue” causing a loss of confidence in vaccines that still offer very strong protection against COVID-19’s worst outcomes, said Dr. Beth Bell of the University of Washington, an adviser to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Despite success in preventing serious illness and death, there's growing pressure to develop vaccines better at fending off milder infections, too — as well as options to counter scary variants.
  • “We go through a fire drill it seems like every quarter, every three months or so” when another mutant causes frantic tests to determine if the shots are holding, Pfizer vaccine chief Kathrin Jansen told a recent meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences.
  • Yet seeking improvements for the next round of vaccinations may seem like a luxury for U.S. families anxious to protect their littlest children — kids under 5 who are not yet eligible for a shot. Moderna's Dr. Jacqueline Miller told The Associated Press that its application to give two low-dose shots to the youngest children would be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration “fairly soon.” Pfizer hasn't yet reported data on a third dose of its extra-small shot for tots, after two didn't prove strong enough.


Waning demand for LIC IPO highlights fiscal challenges for PM Modi

  • India’s decision to go ahead with a much-reduced target for its vaunted life insurer’s initial public offering, as skittish investors continue to pull money from the South Asian nation, is adding to the risks threatening the nation’s fiscal deficit target.
  • Life Insurance Corporation of India’s board on Saturday approved selling a 3.5% stake for about 210 billion rupees ($2.8 billion), far lower than the 500 billion rupees estimated before Russia invaded Ukraine. Anchor investors had been reluctant to commit as the war eroded demand for equities, according to people with knowledge of the matter, with foreign funds withdrawing more than $16 billion from Indian stocks this year.
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi needs inflows because crude oil prices -- one of India’s largest imports -- have surged. Costs have risen so much that it’s becoming unsustainable for the administration to keep charging taxes on fuel that have been key to bridging a budget deficit. Leaving pump prices high risks stoking inflation and potential social unrest that is already roiling neighboring nations as the region emerges from the pandemic.
  • “I am absolutely grateful to the people of India,” Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman said in an interview in Washington last week, while outlining some of her government’s welfare programs. “Unless the people are going to stand up and say ‘right, we have to survive this,’ it’s not going to be easy.”


Regaining momentum in sports: Venkaiah at launch of Khelo India University Games

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 2nd Khelo India University Games 2021 at the SreeKanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Sunday after a grand show depicting Karnataka’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi kicked off the “Khelo-India” campaign highlighting the significance of sport to the nation’s growth. “The power of sports increases the power of the country. Identity in sport, increase of recognition of the country,” Modi said in a video message to the Games.
  • The Prime Minister said in his message that the power of sport and the startup spirit of Benglauru would infuse fresh enthusiasm among youth.
  • “The city of Bengaluru in itself is a symbol of the nation’s youth. In the era of Digital India and this city of startups, this intersection with sports is unique. Hosting the Games will add to the immense energy of this beautiful city. “Hosting these Games while contending with a global pandemic is a testament to the resolve and passion for sports among the people of India. I salute the courage of the people of Karnataka.”

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