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Important Current Affairs 11th January 2021


Japan commits Rs 2,113 cr support for COVID relief efforts

• The Government of Japan has committed Official Development Assistance loan of 30 billion Japanese Yen which is approximately Rs 2113 crore rupees. This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable across the country against the severe impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

• India and Japan have had a long and fruitful history of bilateral development cooperation since 1958. In the last few years, the economic cooperation between India and Japan has strengthened and grown into a strategic partnership.

Joe Biden names two Indian-Americans in US National Security Council

• US President-elect Joe Biden named Indian-American Sumona Guha as senior director for South Asia and Tarun Chhabra as senior director for Technology and National Security.  Guha was co-chair of the South Asia foreign policy working group on the Biden-Harris campaign and serves on the transition’s State Department Agency Review Team.

• During the Obama-Biden Administration, Chhabra served on the National Security Council staff as director for Strategic Planning and director for Human Rights and National Security Issues, and at the Pentagon as a speechwriter to the Secretary of Defence.

• Guha is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University. Named as senior director for Technology and National Security, Chhabra is a senior fellow at the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University.


BMC to set up 5 new stations to monitor air quality

• These stations are being set up under the Centre’s National Clean Air Program, which was launched by the Union Environment Ministry in 2019. The programme aims to reduce the pollution levels across the country to less than 20% in the next five years.

• To get more area-specific air quality data, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to set up continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) at five places in the city. BMC officials said these five CAAQMS will come up at Mahul village in Chembur, Shivaji Nagar in Deonar, Pant Nagar in Ghatkopar; Charkop in Kandivali and Byculla Zoo. The stations will also have display boards showing air quality index (AQI) with its impact and weather information for 24 hours. The BMC has invited tenders for appointing agencies to set up stations. It would cost the civic body about Rs 10 crore.

5-year-old Pune prodigy sets world record with unique memory

• She is only five, but her age didn’t deter her from creating a world record. Meet Presha Khemani, daughter of a city-based chartered accountant and a homemaker, who has aced it to the World Records India Book by naming 150 countries and their capitals after identifying their flags in just 4.17 minutes.

• The little genius won the ‘Youngest Kid to Identify Flags and Country Names’ title for her incredible feat.

Kerala: To set up Kalaripayattu Academy to boost traditional martial art form

• To give a boost to the traditional martial art form of Kerala, the state government is setting up a Kalaripayattu Academy at Vellar Craft Village here, under the Department of Tourism.

• Kalaripayattu, also known as 'Kalari', is known for its long-standing history within Indian martial arts culture and is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in the world.

• According to the Department of Tourism, the 3,500 square feet gallery is expected to be completed in two months, where Kalari Asans (gurus) led by Padma Shri Meenakshiamma will conduct classes.

DRDO develops products to help Indian army battle extreme cold in Eastern Ladakh

• With over 50,000 Indian troops are deployed in Eastern Ladakh to fight against China, the Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed multiple products such the Him-Taapak heating devices and snow melters to help the soldiers fight the enemy in form of the extremely low temperatures.

• The Him Tapak space heating device (Bukhari) has been developed for the Indian Army deployed in Eastern Ladakh, Siachen and high altitude areas and it has placed an order of more than ₹420 crores for these appliances, DRDO's Defence Institute for Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) Director Dr Rajeev Varshney.

West Bengal CM Inaugurates 26th Kolkata International Film Festival

• West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee has inaugurated the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). The inaugural ceremony was also virtually attended by Bollywood superstar and West Bengal’s brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan from Mumbai. Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s classic ‘Apur Sansar’ will be the inaugural film of the festival in which 131 movies from 45 countries will be screened till January 13.

• Films will be screened at Rabindra Sadan, Nandan, Sisir Mancha and Rabindra Okakura Bhavan in Salt Lake. Six films by Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and movies on sitarist Ravi Shankar, singer Hemanta Mukherjee and flicks of comedian Bhanu Bandyopadhyay will be screened.


Former Gujarat Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki passes away

• Veteran Congress leader Madhavsinh Solanki, who served as former External Affairs Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, has passed away. He had served as External Affairs Minister of India from June 1991 to March 1992.

• He had been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for three times between 1976 to 1990.

• He was the longest-serving chief minister of the state before Narendra Modi.


“World Hindi Day” celebrated globally on 10th January

• The World Hindi Day is celebrated annually on January 10 since 2006 to promote the language at the global stage. The day marks the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference which was inaugurated on January 10, 1975, by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

• However, the celebration of first World Hindi Day was commenced on 10 January 2006 by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. It must be noted that the National Hindi Day is celebrated in India on September 14 every year. On that day in 1949, the constituent assembly adopted Hindi, written in Devanagari script, as the official language of the Union.


“Modi India Calling – 2021” Book Released

• A coffee table book named “Modi India Calling – 2021” has been released on the occasion of 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The book contains various photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi captured during his “107 overseas and bilateral visits”.

• The book is the idea of BJP leader Vijay Jolly and it was released by Adesh Gupta, the Delhi BJP president. The book has been published by Maneesh Media and has 450 pages containing thousands of photographs of the PM Modi. Jolly has also said that he wishes to form a similar book on Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

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