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Important Current Affairs 2nd January 2021

INTERNATIONAL

GoAir announces expansion of services to United Arab Emirates

• Budget carrier GoAir on Thursday announced expansion of its services to the UAE with launch of new flights to Sharjah from Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi and Kannur.

• Currently, flights to the UAE are operated under an Air Bubble Agreement since international commercial flights to and from India remain suspended from March 23 in the wake of the C-19 pandemic.

NATIONAL

INDIAN AIR FORCE LAUNCHES E-GOVERNANCE (E-OFFICE) PAN IAF

• The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC formally launched the IAF e-Governance (e-Office) portal at Air HQ, Vayu Bhavan on 31 Dec 20. The implementation undertaken as part of Digital India and e-governance initiative will transition the entire Indian Air Force to a ‘paperless office’ workflow.

• The launch of e-Governance in IAF marks a paradigm shift from the current method of correspondence, filing and documentation to a digital one. The platform would achieve enhanced transparency, improved efficiency, increased accountability, assured data integrity and rapidly accessible archives along with a major reduction in the use of paper.

Agriculture Ministry inaugurates virtual Agri-hackathon Atmanirbhar Krishi

• Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020 organised by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in association with IARI, Pusa, New Delhi.

• Speaking on the occasion, Narendra Singh Tomar said that Agri India Hackathon is the largest virtual gathering to create dialogues and accelerate innovations.

Odisha govt plans memorial for 'martyrs' C-19 warriors

• Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced plans to build a memorial in the State Capital for the C-19 warriors who laid their lives in the line of duty.

• The Chief Minister made this announcement during a discussion with family members of martyred C-19 warriors of five districts through video conference. Expressing his gratitude to the family members of martyred warriors, Naveen said names of those who lost their lives will be inscribed in the memorial to keep their memory live.

India exports first shipment of moringa powder to US

• India has started exports of Moringa powder, keeping in mind its rising global demand and nutritional properties, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

• "Two tonne of organic certified Moringa powder were sent to the US through air consignment on December 29.

Delhi's air quality in December best in 4 years: CPCB

• Pollution levels in Delhi this December were the lowest in the last four years, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

• The average air quality index (AQI) for December stood at 308. It was 337 last year, 360 in 2018 and 316 in 2017, the CPCB data showed.

• The capital recorded four "severe" air quality days this December as compared to eight each in 2019 and 2018 and one in 2017.

• There were 10 "poor" air days this December as against seven, four and nine in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Shri Suneet Sharma takes over the charge of new Chairman & CEO of Railway Board

• Shri SuneetSharma, has taken over the charge of new Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India. The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Suneet Sharma as Chairman & CEO of Railway Board. Prior to this, Shri Suneet Sharma worked as General Manager, Eastern Railway.

• Shri Suneet Sharma joined the Indian Railways in 1979 as a Special Class Apprentice while he was studying engineering at IIT Kanpur. A graduate in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering he has more than 40 years of experience serving in the Indian Railways in various capacities.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Canara Bank Raises Rs 1,635 Crore Via Bonds

• State-owned Canara Bank on Thursday said it has raised Rs 1,635 crore through bonds, to fund business growth.

• The capital was raised by issuing additional tier-1 bonds at 8.50 per cent coupon on December 31, the bank said in a statement.

• The fund raise will help the bank boost its capital adequacy ratio.

Jubilant FoodWorks to buy 10% stake in Barbeque Nation

• Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd will invest ₹92 crore to buy a 10.76% stake in Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd (BNHL), which runs the popular Barbeque Nation (BBQ) chain of restaurants.

• “The company will acquire 36,50,794 fully paid-up equity shares of face value of ₹5 each aggregating to 10.76% stake in BNHL,” Jubilant FoodWorks, which operates the Domino’s Pizza chain and the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and doughnut chain in India, said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. The all-cash deal is expected to conclude by 25 January.

RBI to conduct simultaneous sale-purchase of govt securities on Jan 7

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under open market operations (OMOs) for Rs 10,000 crore each on January 7.

• The decision was taken after a review of current liquidity and financial conditions, the RBI said in a statement.

• Eligible participants should submit their bids in electronic format on RBI's core banking solution (E-Kuber) system between 10 and 11 am on January 7.

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