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Important Current Affairs 17th January 2020


Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis: Home Minister presides over signing of Historic Agreement to end the Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis

•    Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently signed a historic pact between Bru-Reang representatives, Central Government and Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and to end 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis. 

•    Under the agreement, each displaced family of Bru-Reang Tribals will be given 40x30 sq. ft. of residential plots along with Rs. 1.5 lakhs to build their houses, a fixed deposit of Rs. 4 lakhs, free ration for 2 years and Rs. 5000 cash every month for 2 years.

•    Bru -Reang are one of the 21 scheduled tribes. The Bru can be found Tripura ,Mizoram and Assam

1st edition of Krishi Manthan begins in Gujarat

The 1st edition of Krishi Manthan– the largest Food, Agri-business and Rural Development Summit of Asia begins in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This summit is organized by Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

Defence Minister dedicates 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to nation

•    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicates the 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to the nation. 
•    This gun is self-propelled Howitzer gun made by L&T’s Armoured System Complex at Hazira in Gujarat. 

‘K9 VAJRA-T’ Guns
•    The ‘K9 VAJRA-T’ Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns are being manufactured by Larsen & Toubro under the contract awarded to the company by Ministry of Defence through global competitive bidding to deliver 100 such guns.
•    More than 75 percent of K9 Vajra has been manufactured in India.
•    The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47-kilogram bombs at targets up to a distance of 43 kilometres. It can also turn around at zero radius.

Arunachal Pradesh Becomes First State to ink Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IUCN
•    Aunachal Pradesh has become the first State in India to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
•    As per the MoU, the state government will collaborate to prepare the IUCN’s Red List Assessment for all orchids in the State.
•    The Department of Environment and Forest is the nodal department for execution of the project.
•    IUCN Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland


Microsoft promises to be carbon negative by 2030

•    The US tech giant Microsoft has announced that it would become “carbon negative” by year 2030. The announcement has been made in the form of its increased efforts to combat the climate change.
•     The company announced that it vows to eliminate all the carbon emissions created by the company since its inception in 1975.

•    Microsoft has also announced its investment of $1 billion in a “climate innovation fund” for technology for carbon capture and removal.

•    Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft: Satya Nadella.
•    Founded: April 4, 1975; Headquarters: Washington, United States(US).

Banking and Economy

World Bank and GOI Inks USD 88 million loan agreement for the implementation of Assam Inland Water Transport Project
•    The Government of India, the Government of Assam and the World Bank has signed a loan agreement worth $88 million for the implementation of the Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP).
•    The loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will help to
o    Modernize the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services
o    Strengthen the capacity of the institutions running the inland water transport
o    Make ferry services more sustainable with least disruption to nature, because of technically better designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels (both new and retrofitted).

Science & Technology

ISRO's GSAT-30 satellite successfully launched aboard Ariane rocket

•    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on January 17, 2020 launched the first satellite of the year 2020 - ‘GSAT-30’ from French Guiana. GSAT-30 is a telecommunication satellite and has a mission life of around 15 years.
•    The GSAT 30 satellite was launched onboard Ariane 5 launch vehicle (VA 251) along with the European Space Company’s Eutelsat Konnect, a telecommunication satellite. It has been configured to give a boost to communication services such as television uplink, DTH,  digital satellite news and VSAT. It weighs approximately 3357 kg.
•    The satellite derives its heritage from ISRO's previous INSAT/GSAT satellite series. It will replace INSAT-4A spacecraft services with enhanced coverage.


WEF Global Risks Report 2020: Climate action failure, biodiversity loss, extreme weather top global risks
•    WEF Global Risks Report 2020 was released by the World Economic Forum on January 15, 2020. The report is based on the Global Risks Perception Survey of the WEF that is conducted annually. 
•    The report categorized all Global Risks into five categories - Economic Risks, Environmental Risks, Geopolitical Risks, Societal Risks and Technological Risks.
•    The Global Risks Report 2020 comes at a time when the global economy is facing a synchronized slowdown, cyber-attacks are on a rise and climate change is becoming an increasingly concerning phenomenon with the past five years being the warmest on record.

Most Powerful Passports of 2020: India ranks 84th
•    The Henley Passport Index 2020 was released recently, revealing the most powerful passports of the year 2020. Japan’s passport was ranked as the Most Powerful Passport of 2020. 
•    Indian passport was ranked at 84th position in the index that listed passports of 199 countries and 227 tourist places. The index is prepared on the basis of data of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
•    According to the Henley Passport Index, Japan has the most powerful passport in the world.
Japan’s passport holders can visit 191 countries without any visa.
•    Top 10 countries in the index are – Singapore, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, and Denmark.
•    Headquarters of Henley & Partners: London, United Kingdom; Founded: 1997.
•    Chairman of Henley & Partners: Christian Kalin.
•    Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Juerg Steffen.

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