Morning Current Affairs for UPSC: 16 December 2021


UNESCO includes Durga Puja in Kolkata on ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ list

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on December 15, 2021 included “Durga Puja in Kolkata” on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. A total of 14 ICH elements from India have been inscribed on the list by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Virat Kohli confirms availability for India’s ODI series in South Africa

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli squashed all the rumours on December 15, 2021 by confirming his availability for the ODI series in South Africa. India will be touring South Africa for three tests and three ODIs, which will take place between December 26-January 23, 2021 across four venues. While India’s test squad for the series has been announced, the ODI squad is yet to be announced. There were reports that Kohli has requested to be rested for the ODI series but the player cleared this during his press conference saying that he is very much available for selection and that he didn’t have any communication with the BCCI to ask for rest. 

Steve Smith to lead Australia in second Ashes Series, Pat Cummins out after COVID scare 

Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test against England after being deemed a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Cummins isolated himself as soon as he was detected to be close contact and has had a PCR test, which had come out negative. Cummins will still need to isolate for seven days and as a result, he will not be able to play in the second Ashes Test match in Adelaide. He is anticipated to be available for the third Ashes Test. Steve Smith will captain the Australian cricket team in the second test in Cummins’ absence. and Travis Head will be the Vice-Captain. 

PM Modi to participate in ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaals’ reception ceremony at War Memorial today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the reception ceremony of ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaals’ at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on December 16, 2021. This is a part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh Celebrations to commemorate 50 years of India’s victory in the 1971 war against Pakistan and the formation of Bangladesh. PM Modi had lit the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal from the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial on December 16, 2020. He had also lit four flames that were to traverse along with different directions and since then, the four flames have traversed across the country including Siachen, Kanyakumari, Rann of Kutch, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Longewala and Agartala. The flames were also taken to the houses of gallantry award winners and 1971 war veterans and key battle areas. These four flames will again be merged with the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial today by PM Modi. 

Tamil Nadu, West Bengal report first Omicron case

Tamil Nadu reported its first case Omicron COVID-19 case on December 15, 2021 after a 47-year-old tested positive for the variant after returning from Nigeria. West Bengal also reported its first Omicron case after a seven-year-old boy from Murshidabad district tested positive. Maharashtra has so far reported 32 Omicron cases. Delhi also reported 4 new infections recently.

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