Current Affairs
Select Date
Tags:
Hindi
Share

Important Current Affairs 16th April 2021

NATIONAL

Government to set up oxygen plant under PM-CARES

• With hundreds of C-19 patients gasping for breath due to shortage of medical oxygen at hospitals across states, the central government on Thursday formulated a plan under which the PM-Cares Fund would be used to set up medical oxygen manufacturing units at 100 hospitals so that they become self-reliant.

• Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of C-19 patients.

• The decision was taken at a meeting of the central 'Empowered Group-2' on C-19. During the meeting, the group took three key decisions to create short and long-term availability of medical oxygen in the country.

First woman mayor of Bathinda municipal corporation

• Raman Goyal was unanimously appointed as mayor of Bathinda city, Thursday. She is the first woman mayor to head the Bathinda Municipal Corporation. While Ashok Pradhan was appointed senior deputy mayor, Master Harmandar Singh Sidhu’s name was unanimously agreed to for the post of deputy mayor of Bathinda city.

• Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said that new development projects would be undertaken for Bathinda city in coming days under the leadership of Raman Goyal.

• In the recently held civic polls, Congress had won 43 out of 50 wards in Bathinda Municipal Corporation.

“Online Grievance Management Portal” launched

• Union Minister for Communication & IT and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the “Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)”.

• NCSC Grievance Management portal would make it easier for Scheduled Castes population of our country to register their complaint from any part of the country.

• The portal shall enable them to file their application and other atrocity and services related grievances online and to get them addressed in a time bound manner.

• NCSC aims to streamline the grievance redressal specially of the Scheduled Caste population through this portal.

• The portal designed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India will facilitate an end-to-end e-filing of complaints and grievances and their tracking.

• Finally, it is intended to make the hearing process work on similar lines as e-courts.

• This portal is linked to the Commission’s website and one can file one’s complaint upon registering on it.

• The facility to upload documents and audio/video files is also available. This would supplement the physical submission of complaints and grievances.

Mental-Health Digital Platform MANAS Launched

• The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.

• MANAS stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System.

• MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens.

• The App integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed/researched by various national bodies and research institutions.

• It was initiated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

• It was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, AFMC Pune and C-DAC Bengaluru.

• The app must be integrated with the public health schemes like the National Health Mission, Poshan Abhiyan, e-Sanjeevani and others so that it is used widely.

• Catering to the overall wellbeing of people of all age groups, the initial version of MANAS focuses on promoting positive mental health in the age group of 15-35 years.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Launched “e-SANTA”, an Electronic Marketplace For Aqua Farmers

• Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal has inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace, to provide a platform for connecting aqua farmers and buyers. e-SANTA aims to raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, of aqua farmers.

• e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade-in Aquaculture.

• Here, the term National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority.

• It will act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.

• The platform will help the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers and enhancing traceability.

• e-SANTA Portal can be accessed through the following link: https://esanta.gov.in/

NITI Aayog launched ‘Poshan Gyan’, a digital repository on health, nutrition

• NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University launched called “Poshan Gyan”, a national digital repository on health and nutrition. The website can be accessed through eh following link: https://poshangyan.niti.gov.in/

• The unique feature of the repository is that it has a crowdsourcing feature that allows anyone to submit communication material for inclusion on the website, followed by a review by a designated committee.

• Poshan Gyan repository enables the search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.

• Content for the repository has been sourced from the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Development and developmental organizations.

• The website provides an intuitive interface that means multi-parametric search, multiple downloads at a point in time, easy sharing of materials via social media and easy viewing on any type of smartphone.

• The portal will have a dedicated “Theme of the Month” in line with MoHFW and MoWCD guidelines to promote key topics.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement

• The Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement with the space agency of France CNES for cooperation in its first human space mission, Gaganyaan. CNES will train Indian flight physicians and CAPCOM mission control teams at French facilities. The Gaganyaan orbital spacecraft project was kicked off in August 2018. It originally intended to send astronauts from Indian soil to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

• CNES will provide equipment developed by it, tested and still operating aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to Indian crews.

• It will also supply fireproof carry bags made in France to shield equipment from shocks and radiation.

• The agreement provides for the CNES to support the implementation of a scientific experiment plan on validation missions, exchange information on food packaging and the nutrition programme, and above all the use by Indian astronauts of French equipment, consumables and medical instruments.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Amazon launched $250-million Venture Fund for Digitizing SMEs in India

• The e-commerce giant Amazon has launched a $250 million (Rs 1,873 crore) venture fund called “Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund”, to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs, with a focus on digitizing SMEs. The launch of the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to attract the best ideas and empower entrepreneurs in the country to partner in this vision.

• Digitisation of small and medium businesses (SME) in India

• Drive innovation in Agri-tech innovations to empower farmer productivity and reach

• Drive innovation in Health-tech to provide universal and quality health care

• As a part of its first investment through the ‘Smbhav’ fund, Amazon invested in Gurugram-based M1xchange which connects SMEs with banks and financiers.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0) from May 1, 2021, to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems and compliance procedures of the central bank for streamlining them and making them more effective. The RRA will be set up for a period of one year unless the timeline is extended by the RBI.

• M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor, RBI will be the head of the Regulations Review Authority.

• RRA will be tasked with making regulatory and supervisory instructions more effective by removing redundancies and duplications if any.

• It must be noted that prior to this, a similar RRA was set up by RBI on April 1, 1999, for a period of one year to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from the public, banks, and financial institutions.

Ashok Leyland incorporates new unit for freight business

• Commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland on Thursday said it along with Hinduja Leyland Finance has incorporated a company to take care of the freight mobility business.

• The company and its subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd have jointly incorporated a firm in the name of 'Gro Digital Platforms Limited' on April 14, 2021, Ashok Leyland said in a regulatory filing.

• "'Gro Digital Platforms Ltd (GDPL) is incorporated to carry on the business of freight mobility and associated services relating to fleet-owners," it added.

• The firm, with its registered office in Chennai, is yet to commence operations, Ashok Leyland added.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 9th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Kosovo: Vjosa Osmani elected as a president

• Kosovo’s parliament elected Vjosa Osmani as the country’s new president. Osmani received 71 votes from the lawmakers at the third round of voting in the Assembly of Kosovo.

• While 82 deputies participated in the vote in the 120-member parliament, 11 votes were declared invalid. The 38-year-old politician studied law at the University of Pristina in Kosovo and earned a doctorate from Pittsburgh University in the US.

Vietnam National Assembly select Prime Minister  & President

• Vietnam’s legislature voted to make Pham Minh Chinh, a member of the Communist party with a history as a security official, the country’s next Prime Minister. Outgoing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was appointed the new President.

• The votes of the nearly 500 members of the National Assembly rubber-stamped the leadership picks the Communist party made during its national congress in January.

NATIONAL

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare launched Madhukranti portal

• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar launched a portal ‘Madhukranti’ and Honey Corners on April 07, 2021, with the aim to bring an increase in income of farmers, employment generation and increase in exports. Madhukranti portal is an initiative of the National Bee Board (NBB). The portal is being developed for online registration to achieve traceability source of Honey and other beehive products on a digital platform.

• The portal will also check the source of adulteration and contamination in honey. It will have an end-to-end record to track the source of honey. Honey Corner is a specially designed space in National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) stores dedicated to the sale of honey.

CJI launched top court's AI-driven research portal 'SUPACE'

• The Supreme Court of India has launched it's Artificial Intelligence portal "SUPACE" (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency). Through this portal, the SC intends to leverage machine learning to deal with the vast amounts of data received at the time of filing of cases.

SC's Artificial Intelligence Committee:

• Justice L Nageshwara Rao, who is also the chairman of the SC's Artificial Intelligence Committee, delivered the opening address during the virtual launch of SUPACE.

• Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde was the first-ever chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee.

• CJI Bobde first spoke of the use of AI to assist the Supreme Court soon after he took oath as the Chief Justice in 2019.

SPORTS

The Great Khali inducted in WWE Hall of Fame 2021

• The Great Khali has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The Great Khali went on to battle many of WWE’s most legendary Superstars, including John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels and fellow 2021 Inductee Kane, whom he defeated to pick up his first win on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania.

• Standing 7-foot-1 and tipping the scales at 347 pounds, Khali made his titanic presence felt from the moment he first entered the WWE Universe in 2006, standing toe-to-toe with the legendary Undertaker and bulldozing over The Deadman, a rare sight between the ropes. The official name of “The Great Khali” is Dalip Singh Rana.

Pakistan and Chad football federations suspended by FIFA

• FIFA has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and Chadian Football Association (FTFA) with immediate effect due to claims of outside interference. The suspension will be lifted once the relevant government decisions have been repealed.

• A group of football officials led by Ashfaq Hussain, which was elected by the Supreme Court in 2018 to run the PFF but was not recognised by FIFA, took over the headquarters recently and seized control from the FIFA Normalisation Committee headed by Haroon Malik. The decision to suspend the PFF was prompted by the "hostile takeover" which constituted a serious violation of its statutes. Pakistan was also suspended by FIFA for third-party interference in 2017.

• The Chadian Ministry of Youth and Sports had stripped the country's FA of its powers on March 10 following concerns over the way it was being run and a breakdown in communication. Last month the country was disqualified from the Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football due to interference.

OBITUARY

First female cricket commentator of India, Chandra Naidu passed away

• India's first female cricket commentator Chandra Naidu passed away. She was the daughter of the country’s first Test captain CK Naidu.

• She had done her first commentary during a match between national champions Bombay (now Mumbai) and MCC in Indore in 1977. She had also penned a book titled 'CK Nayudu: A Daughter Remembers' on her late father, who was a distinguished cricketer.

Padma Shri awardee Fatima Rafiq Zakaria passed away

• Fatima Rafiq Zakaria, a Padma Shri awardee, renowned journalist, academician and chairman of Maulana Azad Educational Trust and Khairul Islam Trust Mumbai, passed away. She was awarded the Padma Shri in recognition of her work in education in 2006.

• Ms Zakaria, who had played an eminent role in the field of education, was also honoured with the Sarojini Naidu Integration Award for Journalism in 1983.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Government appoint S. Ramann as SIDBI CMD

• The government has appointed S Ramann as Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Ramann, a 1991-batch Indian Audit & Accounts Service officer, is currently the CEO of National E-Governance Services Ltd, India’s first Information Utility.

• The appointment is for a period of three years from the date of his assuming the charge or until further orders. Banks Board Bureau, the headhunter for state-owned banks and financial institutions, had recommended his name for the post.

IMPORTANT DAYS

CRPF Valour Day or Shaurya Diwas: 09 April

• Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Valour Day (Shaurya Diwas) is observed on 9 April every year, as a tribute to the brave men of the Force. 2021 marks the 56th CRPF Valour Day.

• It was on this day in 1965, a small contingent of CRPF created history by defeating an invading Pakistani army, several time larger, at the Sardar Post located in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. The CRPF men eliminated 34 Pakistani soldiers and captured four alive. In the conflict, CRPF lost six personnel who had attained martyrdom.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PM Modi to released Hindi version of ‘Odisha Itihaas’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the Hindi translation of the book ‘Odisha Itihaas’, written by Utkal Keshari Harekrushna Mahtab, on 9th April at the Ambedkar International Center.

• The event marking the release of the Hindi version has been organised by the Harekrushna Mahtab Foundation.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with Reliance Jio

• Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm to transfer ‘Right to Use’ for some of its 800 MHz spectrum in three circles to the Mukesh Ambani-led firm. Following this agreement, Bharti Airtel will receive a consideration of ₹1,037.6 crores from Reliance Jio for the proposed transfer. In addition, Reliance Jio will assume future liabilities of ₹459 crores relating to the spectrum.

• As per the agreement, which is subject to statutory approvals, Reliance Jio will acquire the right to use spectrum in the 800MHz band in Andhra Pradesh (3.75 MHz), Delhi (1.25 MHz) and Mumbai (2.50 MHz) circles through spectrum trading.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 22nd March 2021

NATIONAL

Advanced facility launched at NABI

•Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the new Advanced High Resolution Microscopy Facility at National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) and Unveiled the 4 Star GRIHA Certification of Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB) Lab and Admin Building at Mohali in Punjab.

•Both NABI & CIAB are autonomous institutes under Dept. of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology.

•Following the gathering Dr. Harsh Vardhan urged both the institutes to address the problems of hunger & malnutrition and to bring nutritional revolution in the country. Minister emphasized that with government impetus on doubling the farmers income by 2022-23, NABI and CIAB’s roles are crucial to achieve this ambitious goal.

Three day Shehnai festival starts at BHU

•As a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a 3 day Shehnai festival started at Banaras Hindu University campus Varanasi today evening. Sangeet Natak academy and music and performing arts faculty of BHU has come together to organise this music evening to remember the shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan.

•The Program was inaugurated by Prof SK Sharma and Dhrupad Singer Hritwik Sanyal and  Faculty members of BHU, professor Rajesh Shah, Sangeeta Pandit, President of Sangeet Natak academy Lucknow Dr preetesh Aacharya who is son of noted artist Rajeshwar Aacharya were also present at the stage.

PM Modi to launch "Catch the Rain" campaign

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain' campaign on World Water Day, which is celebrated on March 22. The Prime Minister has launch the campaign at 12:30 pm through video conferencing.

•According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the campaign has undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, with the theme "catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls".

•"The campaign has implemented from March 22 to November 30 November - the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country. It has launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at the grass-root level through people's participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.

Jharkhand launches ‘SAAMAR’ campaign to fight malnutrition

•The state government of Jharkhand has launched a campaign called SAAMAR to tackle malnutrition in the state. SAAMAR stands for Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition and Anemia Reduction. The campaign has been launched with a 1000 days target, where annual surveys will be conducted to track the progress. The campaign will bring together various departments to identify anaemic women and malnourished children to effectively deal with the problem in a state where malnutrition has been a major problem.

•Most importantly, the campaign, as per the note, also tries to target Primarily Vulnerable Tribal Groups. Stating that there is no research-based information available on their food and nutritional habits, it encourages research and proposes fellowships on the nutritional behaviour of these groups for effective implementation.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Ustad Bismillah Khan birth anniversary

•Known for his impeccable art, Ustad Bismillah Khan was one of the gems of the country. He was the third classical musician to receive this highest civilian award the Bharat Ratna after M S Subbalakshmi and Ravi Shankar.

•The veteran musician was born on March 21, 1916, and passed away on August 21, 2006. This is105th birth anniversary of Ustad Bismillah Khan.

Bihar Diwas 22 March :  2021

•Bihar Diwas, or Bihar Day is being observed 22nd March. This marks the formation of the state of Bihar when the state was carved out from the Bengal Presidency by the British in the year 1912.

•This day is observed as a public holiday for all state and central government offices and companies as well as for schools.

•This day is not only celebrated in Bihar but its observed in other countries as well by the Bihari diaspora.

World Water Day observed globally on 22 March

•World Water Day is observed globally on 22nd March every year. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

•The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing water”. The value of water is much more than its economic value – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.

World Down Syndrome Day: 21 March

•The World Down Syndrome Day is observed globally on 21 March each year, to raise public awareness for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome. This year, the theme for World Down Syndrome Day is “We Decide.” This day was first observed in the United Nation in the year 2012. The 21st day of March (the 3rd month of the year) has been selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

•Down Syndrome is a condition in which the child is born with an extra 21st chromosome. It comes in the category of a genetic disorder, and it also causes developmental disabilities. The child born with this condition is likely to suffer thyroid or heart-related problems.

International Day of Forests: 21 March

•The International Day of Forests (also known as World Forestry Day) is celebrated every year on March 21. The day is to celebrate to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations as well as to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.

•The theme for International Day of Forests 2020 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”. This year’s theme fits into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a call for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world.

•The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.

RANKING

India ranks 139th in World Happiness Report 2021

•India has been placed at 139th position out of 149 countries in the UN World Happiness Report 2021 released. In 2019, India was ranked 140th. The World Happiness Report 2021 has been topped by Finland, for the fourth consecutive year. The 2021 report is the ninth World Happiness Report and focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared.

Top 10 Countries

1. Finland

2. Iceland

3. Denmark

4. Switzerland

5. The Netherlands

6. Sweden

7. Germany

8. Norway

9. New Zealand

10. Austria

Bottom 5 Countries

1. Afghanistan (149)

2. Zimbabwe (148)

3. Rwanda (147)

4. Botswana (146)

5. Lesotho (145)

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 1st February 2021

National

Smriti Irani inaugurates 8th India International Silk Fair

• Textiles Minister Smriti Irani today inaugurated the 8th India International Silk Fair on Virtual Portal. The fair is considered to be India’s biggest silk fair, being held under one roof on Indian Silk Export Promotion Council’s virtual platform. The five days event is being held virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic.

•  Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Irani said that more than 200 overseas buyers have already registered and equal number of their representatives in India will be interacting with more than 100 renowned and big Indian companies manufacturing and trading silk and silk blended products. She called upon the exhibitors and overseas buyers to take part in this initiative to celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of Indian silk.

•  India has  long history of silk production and is the 2nd largest producer of Silk. India is the only country in the world which produces all the four major varieties of silk - Mulberry, Eri, Tassar, and Muga.

India’s First ‘Gender Park’ in Kerala’s Kozhikode

• The Kerala government is all set to launch Rs 300 crore three-tower ‘Gender Park’ in Kozhikode. The park will become functional on the occasion of the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II). The park will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, in between February 11-13 that will also mark the inauguration of the second edition of ICGE-II.

• The gender park was established with the aim of creating relevant interventions so as to address a range of gender-based issues. It includes both off-campus and on-campus activities and other projects that work to empower the individuals and communities.

• The gender park was established by the government of Kerala in 2013. It is an initiative that works towards gender equality and empowerment in Kerala. The headquartered for the initiative is in the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.

• However, the main campus is at Silver Hills, Kozhikode. The campus has an area of 24-acre. The park has been set with its main focus on gender justice.

• The platform will provide an environment for policy analysis, research, capacity development, advocacy, economic and social initiative. The park will be operational under the Department of Social Justice. This space is first of its kind across the world.

Sports

BCCI cancels Ranji Trophy 2020-21 for first time

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided not to conduct the Ranji Trophy in 2020-21. This will be the first time in 87 years since its inception in 1934-35, that India’s premier first-class cricket national championship will not be held in 2020-21 domestic season.

• Instead on Ranji Trophy, BCCI has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women’s One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.

Appointment & Resignation

Facebook appoints henry moniz as its first cco

• Henry Moniz, who has been the chief compliance officer and chief audit executive at media company ViacomCBS Inc., will join Facebook on Feb. 8 to lead the company's global compliance team, according to Facebook. He will be the first person to hold the compliance chief title at Facebook.

R S Sharma appointed as new CEO of Ayushman Bharat Scheme

• The National Health Authority (NHA) has appointed RS Sharma as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of country’s flagship public health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, also called Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. He would replace Indu Bhushan, who is serving as the Chief Executive of the Ayushman scheme since its inception in 2018.

• RS Sharma, a former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), who would take charge of the NHA from February 1.

• Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlining commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”

• Ayushman Bharat is an attempt to move from sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service. This scheme aims to undertake path-breaking interventions to holistically address the healthcare system (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care) at the primary, secondary and tertiary level. Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah takes over as President of ACC

• Jay Shah, the incumbent Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been appointed as the new President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). He is the youngest person ever to be appointed to the office. He replaces Nazmul Hussain, Chief of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) who was the previous chief of the ACC.

• The ACC is Asia’s regional administrative body and it currently consists of 24 member associations. ACC is responsible for organizing the Asia Cup tournaments. The 2020 edition of the Asia Cup was postponed to June this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan was to originally host the tournament but the tournament is now expected to be held in either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.

Obituary

Nobel Prize Winner Paul Crutzen passes away

• The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen, has passed away. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, jointly with Mario J. Molina and F.

• Sherwood Rowland, for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone. He was known for his work on the ozone layer and climate change and for popularizing the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe a proposed new era when human actions have a drastic effect on the Earth.

Important Days

Indian Coast Guard to celebrate 45th Raising Day

• The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will celebrate its 45th Raising Day today, February 1.

• According to an official release by the Ministry of Defence, the ICG has played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations within the maritime zones of India.

• The ICG seized contraband worth Rs 1,500 crore and ten illegal foreign fishing boats with 80 miscreants in the Indian exclusive economic zone in 2020.

• A country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is an area extending from the coastline to 200 nautical miles in the sea, wherein it has exclusive rights to fish, drill and also conduct other economic activities.

World Leprosy Day 2021: 31 January

• World Leprosy Day is observed around the world on the last Sunday of January every year. This year World Leprosy Day held on 31 January. The day is celebrated to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.

• This year theme of World Leprosy Day 2021 is “Beat Leprosy, End Stigma and advocate for Mental Wellbeing ”.

• The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a tribute to the life of the Mahatma Gandhi who had compassion for people afflicted with leprosy.

Ranking

India ranks 10th in ‘Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index’

• India ranked 10th out of 11 Asia Pacific countries in a newly-launched health index to measure the progress towards personalised healthcare. Singapore(1st), Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd) and Australia (4th) also performed well in overall readiness. These include Policy Context, Health Information, Personalised Technologies and Health Services.

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report ”Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index” measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the region–Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand–in adopting personalised healthcare, enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time.

• The ‘Personalised Health Index’ measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ”Vital Signs”.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 28th January 2021

NATIONAL

India pledges $150,000 for UN Peacebuilding Fund for 2021

• India has announced a pledge of USD 150,000 to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) for the year 2021 to support the activities and programs this year. The Peacebuilding Fund has put forth its five-year strategy, which requires 1.5 billion dollars for 2020-2024. This was announced by TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations on January 25, 2021.

• UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed that he was grateful to the countries that committed to providing over $439 million in support of the UN’s work toward peacebuilding & conflict prevention through the UN Peacebuilding Fund.

TCS ranks third most valued IT services brand globally

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been ranked third most-valued IT services brand globally, after Accenture and IBM, according to a report by Brand Finance. Third-ranked TCS is rapidly closing the gap with IBM following a healthy 11% brand value increase to USD 15 billion.  Accenture retained the title of world’s most valuable and strongest IT services brand with record brand value of USD 26 billion, while IBM continued at the second place with a brand value of USD 16.1 billion.

• Four Indian IT services companies have secured spots in the top-10 globally, namely, TCS (3), Infosys (4), HCL (7) and Wipro (9). Accenture has retained the title of world’s most valuable and strongest IT services brand with a brand value of $26 billion.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan launches ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ for Girl Child

• In Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched a new scheme ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ on 24 January, to mark the occasion of National Girl Child Day. The scheme has been launched under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme for the empowerment and growth of the girl child. The CM also announced scholarships worth Rs 6.47 crore for 26,099 girls under Ladli Laxmi Yojana.

• ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ is a year-long programme. The letter in the PANKH scheme stands for:

‘P’ – protection

‘A’ – awareness of their rights

‘N’ – nutrition

‘K’ – knowledge

‘H’ – health.

UP becomes first Indian State to have 2 Expressway airstrips

• In Uttar Pradesh, a new 3,300-metre-long airstrip has been constructed near Kurebhar on Purvanchal Expressway. With this new airstrip, Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India having two airstrips on expressways. Uttar Pradesh also has an airstrip on Lucknow-Agra Expressway. Airstrips on expressways are designed to facilitate emergency landing and take-off of fighter planes.

• Earlier, the Indian Air Force had examined Yamuna Expressway and Agra Expressway. Aircraft like Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Sukhoi 30 and Super Hercules had already landed on Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

• Uttar Pradesh government is trying to connect the entire northern part of the country with expressways.

• The Hindon and Agra airbases of the Indian Air Force will be able to use the runway of all three expressways if needed.

• Also, these airstrips of Uttar Pradesh can serve the Air Force to respond against China and Pakistan in case of any war.

DRDO successfully conducts maiden test launch of Akash-NG Missile

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha. Akash-NG is a new generation Surface-to-Air Missile for use by Indian Air Force (IAF) with an aim of intercepting high manoeuvring aerial threats. The launch met all the test objectives by performing high maneuvers during the trajectory.

• The performance of the Command and Control system, onboard avionics and aerodynamic configuration of the missile was successfully validated during the trial. The Multi Function Radar was tested for its capability of integration with the system. The Akash-NG system has been developed with better deployability compared to other similar systems with canisterized launcher and much smaller ground system footprint.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

• International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed on 27 January every year since 2006 to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. A genocide occurred during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945.

• The theme of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021 is “Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution after the Holocaust”.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India Inks Strategic Partnership Agreement with IEA

• India has inked a strategic partnership agreement with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s premier energy monitor, on 27 January 2021. The objective of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation in global energy security, stability and sustainability as well as strengthen mutual trust and cooperation between IEA members and the Government of India.

• The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Power Secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai and IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. This deal will help India to gain full membership of IEA.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari wins Subhash Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021

• The Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021 has been conferred upon Dr Rajendra Kumar Bhandari in the Individual category and Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) in Institutional category. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and a certificate for an institution and Rs 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.

• The Government of India announces the award every year on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, to recognise and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organisations in India in the field of disaster management.

51st International Film Festival of India Concludes

• The 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held from 16 January to 24 January 2021 at Shyamaprasad Stadium near Panaji in Goa. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held in hybrid mode, there was the physical and virtual screening of 50 films out of 224 films across various categories. Bangladesh was a country of focus at the festival. Four films of Bangladesh was included in ‘country of focus’ section.

• Golden Peacock Award for Best Film: Into the Darkness

• Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Male): Tzu-Chuan Liu, The Silent Forest

• Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Female):  Zofia Stafiej, I Never Cry

• Silver Peacock Award for Best Director: Chen-Nien Ko, The Silent Forest

• Best Debut Director Award: Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Valentina

• Special Mention Award: Kripal Kalita, Bridge

• Special Jury Award: Kamin Kalev, February

• ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award: Ameen Nayfeh’s 200 Meters

• Indian Personality of the Year Award: Biswajit Chatterjee

• Lifetime Achievement: Vittorio Storaro (Italian cinematographer).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

HSBC inaugurates international banking unit in Gujarat

• Global financial services major HSBC has inaugurated it’s International Banking Unit (IBU) branch at GIFT City near Gandhinagar city in Gujarat. HSBC is one of the earliest global financial institutions setting up a branch at India’s GIFT City and was the first bank to get a licence from the newly set up International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA). HSBC’s IBU branch at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) will be operational for customer transactions with effect from January 27.

• HSBC has been present in the country for more than 160 years and its fourth branch globally was opened in India. HSBC operates in all of the leading international financial service hubs in the world and looks forward to the development of GIFT City as a globally competitive international financial centre.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 19th January 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India and Japan inks MoC to promote movement of skilled workers

• India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) a Basic Framework for Partnership for Proper Operation of the System Pertaining to Specified Skilled Worker (SSW), to promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan. The MoC was signed between Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Ambassador of Japan to India Suzuki Satoshi.

• The MoC covers 14 categories of specified skills. The skilled workers from India who meet these skills requirement and Japanese language tests would be eligible for employment in Japan on a contractual basis.

• These workers would be granted the status of Specified Skilled Worker by Japan.

• The 14 specified industry fields include nursing care, building cleaning, material processing, industrial machinery manufacturing, electric and electronic information, construction, shipbuilding and ship-related industry, automobile maintenance, aviation, lodging, agriculture, fisheries, food and beverages manufacturing and food services industry.

NATIONAL

Harsh Vardhan chairs 148th session of WHO Executive Board

• Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally chaired the 148th session of WHO Executive Board, through Video Conference. The 148th session of the Executive Board has been organised from 18-26 January 2021.

• The meeting provides a platform to bring together all member states to set the directions and agenda and continue striving for the objective of Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Also, the WHO has declared the Year 2021 as the Year of Global Solidarity and Survival.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates National Road Safety Month 2021

• The first-ever National Road Safety Month was inaugurated by Union Minister for Defence Shri Rajnath Singh and Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways & MSME Nitin Gadkari. It is the inaugural edition of the National Road Safety Month and is being held in place of National Road Safety Week, which was being observed since the past few years. The objective of the month-long programme is to build awareness about road safety and reduce road accidents in India. It will be held till 17 February 2021.

• During this period, nation-wide activities would be conducted throughout the country in association with State Govt./Union Territory administrations, NHAI, NHIDCL, OEMs and NGOs.

• The centre is also taking several measures to reduce road accidents by Restructuring and Strengthening 4E’s of Road safety, which are: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency care Services.

PM Modi launches Rs 1,000-crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Rs 1,000-crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ on 16 January 2021, while addressing the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’ 2021. This initiative will help in setting up new startups and promote their growth.

• The Startup India Seed Fund would support startups in need of initial capital to start and grow their business and help budding entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas.

• The government has been implementing the Fund of Fund Scheme to help startups raise equity capital. Going forward, the government will also help startups in raising debt capital.

India’s first COVID-19 Vaccine recipient is Manish Kumar

• Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker in Delhi, became the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in India after PM Modi flagged off the nationwide vaccination drive on 16 January 2021. Manish Kumar was given the injection at AIIMS in Delhi while Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was also present.

• PM Modi launched the nationwide vaccine drive via videoconferencing and congratulated the people of India on getting two Made in India vaccines. India’s vaccination programme is based on a very important principle that those who are in need of the vaccine will get vaccinated first. Our doctors, nurses, medical & paramedical staff, sanitation workers in hospitals – be it private or hospital are entitled to get vaccinated. This will be done on priority.

SPORTS

Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sport & Youth festival 2021 begins

• In Ladakh, the inaugural edition of the Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sport & Youth Festival 2021 kicked off on 18th January 2021. The 13- Day Zanskar Winter Sports Festival aims to open a new arena in Ladakh for adventure and Nature loving tourists and a boost for local Youth to hone up their skills in winter sports to represent India.

• A series of snow-based activities will be held for the next 13 days to promote tourism and economic activities in the Snowbound, picturesque Zanskar.

OBITUARY

Legendary classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passes away

• Legendary Indian classical musician and Padma Vibhushan awardee Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhusan in 2006, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2018.

• In 2003, he was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, which is the highest recognition given to practising Indian artists by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

IMPORTANT DAYS

GoI decides to celebrate January 23 as Parakram Diwas

• The birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on January 23, as ‘Parakram Diwas’ every year, the Ministry of Culture announced. The day is celebrated to honour and remember Netaji’s indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Culture held a high-level committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a befitting manner.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit West Bengal on January 23 to attend Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary celebrations at the Victorial Memorial in Kolkata. The PM is also likely to visit National Library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore.

NDRF Celebrates its 16th Raising Day

• The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 16th Raising Day on 18th January. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a specialized multi-skilled, humanitarian force of the country, came into existence on January 19th, 2006 has been playing a vital role in Disaster Management and Community awareness for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the country.

• The NDRF has earned good name and fame nationally and internationally with its selfless service and unmatched professionalism in disaster management. NDRF has saved more than One lakh lives in its 3100 operations and rescued/evacuated over 6.7 lakh people during disasters.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Ramchandra Guha’s latest book ‘The Commonwealth of Cricket’

•  Ramchandra Guha’s latest book ‘The Commonwealth of Cricket’ would be launching virtually in the Tata Literature Live (The Mumbai Lit fest) this month. His latest book juxtaposes his life with his abiding love for the game & this conversation could not come at a better time with India and Australia in the midst of an enthralling test series.

•  In his upcoming book, ‘The commonwealth of cricket: The most subtle and sophisticated game known to mankind’, Guha has penned down his personal account of being intimately involved with the game starting from the time he was a child growing up in Dehradun to his days in college, from his encounters with the best Indian and foreign cricket players to becoming part of the BCCI.

•  As he traces his multifaceted encounters with the game through anecdotes, memoirs and evocative portraits of cricketing legends, he charts the extraordinary social and historical changes that cricket underwent in India and the world.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 9th January 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Indian-American Raj Iyer becomes U.S. Army’s first CIO

• Indian-American Dr Raj Iyer has taken over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army, after the Pentagon created the position in July 2020. Dr Raj Iyer is one of the highest-ranking Indian-American civilians in the US Department of Defence.

• Dr Iyer holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering had been serving as the Principal Advisor to the Secretary of the Army and directs representation of the secretary in matters relating to information management/information technology (IT). The position of CIO is equivalent to a three-star General.

NATIONAL

India to chair 3 key subsidiary bodies of UN Security Council

• The Permanent Representative of India to the UN, T S Tirumurti has announced that India has been asked to chair three important committees of the UN Security Council (UNSC), during its tenure as a non-permanent member of the powerful 15-nation UN body.

The three highly significant committees include:

1. Taliban Sanctions Committee

2. Counter-Terrorism Committee

3. Libyan Sanctions Committee

• Among these, India will chair the Counter-Terrorism Committee of UNSC in 2022, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. India began its two-year term at UNSC from January 01, 2021. It is the eighth time that the country has joined UNSC as the non-permanent member. In 2021, along with India, Norway, Kenya, Ireland and Mexico joined as non-permanent members in the Council.

PM Modi dedicates new Section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) to the nation. Through video-conferencing, Modi also flagged off the world’s first double-stack long-haul 1.5-km-long container train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli-New Kishangarh.

• The New Rewari-New Madar section of the WDFC is situated in Haryana, approximately 79 km in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts and Rajasthan approximately 227 km in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur, and Alwar districts.

Karnataka Government launches Krishi Sanjeevani Vans to test soil, water

• The Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa flagged off 40 Krishi Sanjeevani vans in Bengaluru. These vans have been launched by the state Agriculture Department with Central assistance under National Krishi Vikas Yojana to take up this novel programme.

• To take labs to the agriculture fields, study the conditions and address the needs of the farmers about pest control, the fertility of the soil, weeds and suitable crops in the existing conditions so that farmers get support for their farming techniques.

• Depending on the soil, water and pests inflicting the crops, the Agriculture Department personnel can suggest remedies.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Pakistan successfully test fires “Fatah-1” Rocket System

• The Pakistan Army successfully conducted the test flight of an indigenously developed Guided Multi Launch Rocket System, Fatah-1. The Fatah-1 weapon system is capable of precisely delivering conventional warheads deep into “enemy territory.”

• According to Director General of Army, Media Wing, Major General Babar Iftikhar, Fatah-1 weapon system can hit targets up to a range of 140 km.

OBITUARY

Veteran Professor Chitra Ghosh passes away

• Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s niece and eminent academician Chitra Ghosh has passed away. She made pioneering contributions to academics and community services and dedicated her life in serving the people, teaching & inspiring the youth.

• Professor Bose was the former head of the political science department at Lady Brabourne College in Kolkata.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

JK Maheshwari sworn in as Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court

• Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court. Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Justice Maheshwari during a function held in Raj Bhavan.

• Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami of the Sikkim High Court has now been transferred for appointment as the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice.

Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court

• Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court informed the Ministry of Law and Justice. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in the exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court, as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.

• Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, was enrolled as an Advocate on July 7, 1986, and practised in the Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts in Civil, Constitutional, Service, and Labour matters and has specialized in Service and Constitutional matters. He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Uttarakhand High Court on November 1, 2008.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

RBI officer Giridharan pens novel ‘Right Under our Nose’

• A general manager at RBI, R Giridharan has authored his debut book ”Right Under our Nose”. In ”Right Under Your Nose”, a murderer eliminates scientists right under the nose of the police and leaves forensics baffled.

• In response, the chief minister calls upon Vijay, who is given an impossible deadline to solve the case before Parliament resumes in a week.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IHS Markit: Indian economy to rebound with 8.9% growth in FY22

• London-based financial services company IHS Markit has projected the Indian economy to rebound by 8.9 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, beginning April 2021. This upward estimate is based on the backdrop of the significant improvement in domestic economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2020 by India.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 5th January 2021

INTERNATIONAL

U.S. Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’

• The U.S. Congress has passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ to increase the number of scholarships for Pakistani women in higher education under merit and needs-based programme. The bill was passed by the United States Senate by a voice vote on January 1. The bill now heads to the White House for U.S. President Donald Trump to sign into law.

• The bill requires the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarships under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022, across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.

• The bill also requires USAID to consult with and leverage investments by the Pakistani private sector and Pakistani diaspora in the United States to improve and expand access to education programmes in Pakistan.

NATIONAL

Bajaj Auto becomes world’s most valuable two-wheeler company

• Indian multinational two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturing company, Bajaj Auto has become the most valuable two-wheeler company in the world, after it crossed a market capitalization of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore, on January 01, 2021.

• Bajaj’s share price on NSE closed at Rs. 3,479 per share on the first day of 2021, leading to a market capitalization of more than Rs 1,00,670.76 crore. Thus, Bajaj Auto is not only the most valued company in the two-wheeler segment but also the first-ever two-wheeler company in the world to have reached this market cap milestone.

PM Modi inaugurates National Metrology Conclave 2021

• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the National Metrology Conclave, via video conferencing on January 04, 2021. National Metrology Conclave 2021 was organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, to mark its 75th year of inception.

• This year theme: ‘Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation’.

• As a part of this conclave, PM Modi also dedicated ‘National Atomic Timescale’, and ‘Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya’ to the nation, and laid the foundation stone of the ‘National Environmental Standards Laboratory’.

Delhi government sets up Tamil Academy

• Delhi government Department of Art, Culture, and Language has set-up a Tamil academy to promote the language and culture of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Delhi has a large population of people from Tamil Nadu and we want to present a platform to the people of Delhi to get a taste of the art and culture of Tamil Nadu.

• The Delhi government has appointed a former councillor and member of Delhi Tamil Sangam N Raja as the Vice-Chairman of the academy.

• The Department of Art, Culture, and Language of the Delhi govt has decided that the new academy will introduce various awards to promote and reward the good works of people in Tamil language and culture.

• The government will also provide language courses through this academy. The De

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

GRSE delivers 8th landing craft utility ship to Indian Navy

• Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has delivered the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class vessel ‘IN LCU L-58’ (Yard 2099) to the Indian Navy. The amphibious ships, to be based in the strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is close to various routes leading to the South China Sea. LCU L-58 is the final ship in the series of 8 LCUs being manufactured by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

• The LCU ships, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, were developed in-house with 90 per cent of its parts indigenously manufactured.

• These ships are very unique in their design and class in the world. A very specific kind of requirement was given by the Indian Navy — the speed of 15 knots, a displacement of 900- odd tonnes and a low draught for beaching in the shallowest of waters.

• The ships are designed to accommodate 216 personnel and have two indigenous CRN 91 guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations.

OBITUARY

Ace mountaineer Colonel Narendra ‘Bull’ Kumar passes away

• Ace mountaineer Colonel Narendra ‘Bull’ Kumar, who helped India secure the Siachen Glacier, passed away. He was responsible for the success of Operation Meghdoot in 1984. He was the first Indian to climb Mount Nanda Devi. He climbed Mount Everest in 1965, Mount Blanc( highest peak in the Alps), and later Mount Kangchenchanga. He earned the nickname ‘Bull’ for relentlessly charging into everything he did.

• Col Kumar, who was awarded the Kirti Chakra, Padma Shri, Arjun Award and the McGregor medal, carried out multiple expeditions in the Siachen glacier area in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Former Union Minister Buta Singh passes away

• Former Union Minister and senior Rajasthan Congress leader Buta Singh passed away. The veteran politician Buta Singh served as Home Minister of India in the Rajiv Gandhi government from 1986 to 1989.

• Buta Singh had also served as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was a four-time MP from Jalore-Sirohi Lok Sabha constituency. He served as the Chairperson of the National Commission For Scheduled Cast from 2007 to 2010.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Pankaj Mithal sworn in as CJ of J&K, Ladakh Court

• Justice Pankaj Mithal has been appointed as the new Chief Justice (CJ) of the Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh in Jammu on January 04, 2021.

• Chief justice Mithal has been appointed in view of the retirement of chief justice Gita Mittal recently. Chief Justice Mithal was administered the oath of office by Lieutenant Governor of J&k, Manoj Sinha.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Oscar nominee ‘Another Round’ to be opening movie at 51st IFFI

• The 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will open on 16th January, with the Indian premiere of the movie ‘Another Round’ by Thomas Vinterberg. The movie starring Cannes Best Actor Award winner Mads Mikkelsen is among a star-studded line up of movies being showcased at IFFI. The movie is also Denmark’s official entry to the Oscars. The festival will also witness the World Premiere of ‘Mehrunisa’. The film by Sandeep Kumar will premier mid-fest.

• The festival will close on 24th January with the India Premiere of the historical drama ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

51st IFFI is being organised from 16th to 24th January in Goa.

• This edition is being organised in a hybrid mode for the first time and will comprise of both online and in-person experience. The festival will be loaded with a line-up of famous movies with a total of 224 films from across the globe.

• This includes 21 non-feature films and 26 feature films under the Indian Panorama section. Media registration for the festival has opened recently and is available till 10th January.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB approves $100 million loan to upgrade power distribution system in Bengaluru

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a USD 100 million (around Rs 730 crore) loan to modernise and upgrade the power distribution system in Bengaluru city. Besides the USD 100 million sovereign loans, ADB will provide a USD 90 million loan without sovereign guarantee for the project to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM), one of the five state-owned distribution utilities in Karnataka.

• In parallel to underground distribution cables, over 2,800 km of fibre optical cables will be installed to strengthen communication network. Moving about 7,200 km of distribution lines underground will help reduce technical and commercial losses by about 30 per cent.

• The fibre optical cables will be used for smart metering systems, distribution automation system (DAS) in the distribution grid, and other communication networks.

• The project will install 1,700 automated ring main units adapted with a DAS to monitor and control the distribution line switch gears from the control centre.

• The loan will strengthen the capacity of BESCOM in operation and maintenance of underground cabling, environment and social safeguards, financial management and commercial financing. Improved financial management ca.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 3rd January 2021

NATIONAL

PM Modi lays foundation stone of Light House projects (LHPs)

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Light House projects (LHPs) at six sites across six States through video conference on 1st January 2021. The LHPs will be implemented at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).

• The project is being constructed under the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)-India. It has been conceptualised by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

• GHTC-India envisages providing an ecosystem for the adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.

• Under the programme, over 1,000 houses would be built in each of the six cities in 12 months along with allied infrastructure facilities.

• The houses are called lighthouse projects in technical language. Houses being built under the Light House Projects (LHPs) will take less time to build and will be resilient, affordable and comfortable as they use the best of new-age alternative global technologies, materials and processes in the construction sector.

OBITUARY

Legendary Music Director Shantanu Mohapatra passes away

• Legendary Odia musician, Shantanu Mohapatra passed away. He was the first Odia music composer to work with legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey and Md Rafi and also the first to work in Hindi, Bengali, Assamese and Telugu film industries.

• Mohapatra has composed music for hundreds of Odia film songs and Jatra (opera) shows in a career that spanned over three decades. Mohapatra, who retired as the Director of Odisha Mining Corporation, received several awards including the Odisha Film Critic Award for his contribution to Odia music.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Umesh Sinha named deputy election commissioner

• Umesh Sinha has been named as the deputy election commissioner in the Election Commission of India. Sinha, a 1986-batch IAS officer (retired) is at present serving as secretary-general in the commission.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared the extension in the term of reemployment of Sinha as deputy election commissioner on contract basis for a period of six months beyond December 31, 2020. His term will end on June 30, 2021. At present Sinha is also part of a committee set up by the Election Commission to look into the issue of revising the election expenditure of candidates during campaigning.

Suneet Sharma takes over as new Chairman & CEO of Railway Board

• The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved Suneet Sharma appointment as Chairman & CEO of Railway Board, Ministry of Railways and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India. He took over in his new role with effect from January 01, 2021. The extended one-year tenure of Sharma’s predecessor, Vinod Kumar Yadav, who also became the restructured Board’s first CEO, ended on December 31, 2020.

• Prior to this, Suneet Sharma worked as General Manager, Eastern Railway.

• 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. He has done stints in Operational working, maintenance in Sheds, Depots and Workshops.

IMPORTANT DAYS

DRDO Celebrates 63rd Foundation Day on 1st January 2021

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) observed the 63rd Foundation Day of its establishment on January 01, 2021. DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in the Defence sector. At that time, it was tasked with designing and developing cutting edge defence technologies for Indian Armed Forces.

• As of now, DRDO is working in multiple cutting edge military technology areas, which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation, cyber, life sciences and other technologies for defence.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled “Vahana Masterclass” launched by Italian Writer Alfredo Covelli

• Alfredo Covelli, an Italy based author has launched his new book Vahana Masterclass for children and Young Audience. The books will be illustrated and published by Scholastic India. Alfredo had a keen interest in our Indian culture and mythology which inspired him to write a story on Lord Ganesh for children.

• The book narrates the story of the Ganesha looking for a new vahana to accompany him to all the great adventures around the cosmos.

• After millenniums of service, the great VahanaMushika, holy mount of Lord Ganesha is about to retire to live the rest of his life in meditation.

• For this reason, 4 young mice (3 months each) are selected from different parts of India: intelligent Anand from Kolkata (selected by Goddess Kali), devoted Kanu from Gujarat (selected by Lord Krishna), brave Karthik from Chennai (selected by the other Vahanas), and compassionate Gitanjali from Uttarakhand (selected by Prakriti, nature).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB to provide $231 mn loan to enhance power generation capacity in Assam

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $231 million loan with the Government of India to augment electricity generation capacity in the state of Assam. This is the third tranche loan for the ‘Assam Power Sector Investment Programme’ that was approved by the ADB Board in July 2014.

• Under the project, 120 megawatts (MW) hydroelectric power plant would be constructed. The programme focuses on enhancing the capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve the availability of electricity service to end-users. The programme, including its two previous tranches, focuses on enhancing capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve electricity service to end-users.

ADB and India sign $10 million loan to support horticulture in HP

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $10 million project readiness financing (PRF). This agreement aims to help finance piloting activities, and design and capacity building for an ensuing project that aims to expand horticulture production and farm household income in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.

• The PRF project will support advance actions to achieve a high level of project readiness through detailed design activities, capacity building of state-level agencies, and creating an enabling environment for subtropical horticulture development in the state.

• The PRF project aims to ensure implementation readiness with prior testing of new production technologies and marketing systems so that the ensuing project is cost-effective and gets completed in a timely manner to enhance farm profitability.

• The ensuing project, to be designed by the PRF, will support the development of subtropical horticulture, including cultivation of fruits and vegetables, in the state’s southern region which is currently lagging due to limited access to perennial water sources, crops losses due to wild animal encroachment and limited access to high-value markets.

Read More
Read Less
Share

Important Current Affairs 29th December 2020

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India-Vietnamese Navy conducts PASSEX-2020 in South China Sea

• The Indian Navy and Vietnamese Navy undertook the naval passage exercise PASSEX in the South China Sea. The two-day exercise was conducted s part of efforts to boost maritime cooperation between the two countries. The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kiltan took part in the exercise.

• INS Kiltan, reached Vietnam’s Nha Rong Port in Ho Chi Minh City, carrying humanitarian assistance to deliver 15 tonnes of relief material for flood-affected people under Mission Sagar-III. This mission of INS Kiltan is part of India’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries during the ongoing pandemic.

NATIONAL NEWS

ICF develops new high-speed Vistadome coaches

• Indian Railways' Integral Coach Factory(ICF) the coach manufacturing unit located in Chennai has successfully completed the speed trials of the new design Vistadome tourist coaches.

• The new design Vistadome tourist coach manufactured by ICF has successfully completed 180kmph oscillation trial.

• Squeeze test of the above coach were already completed in ICF in the current month.

• The Vistadome coach has large glass windows, glass roof, observation lounge and rotatable seats allowing passengers to experience breathtakingly beautiful locations and sites enroute the journey.

PM to inaugurate ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)

• ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) will be inaugurated by the PM Narendra Modi on 29th December, 2020 at 11 AM through video conferencing.

• During the event, Prime Minister will also inaugurate EDFC’s Operation Control Centre (OCC) at Prayagraj.

• On the occasion, Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shrimati Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal will also be present.

• New Bhaupur- New Khurja section of EDFC is 351 km and situated in Uttar Pradesh. It is built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crores. The section will open new vistas of opportunity for the local industries such as aluminium industry (Pukhrayan region of Kanpur Dehat district), dairy sector (Auraiya district), textile production/block printing (Etawah district), glassware industry (Firozabad district), pottery products (Khurja of Bulandshahr district), asafoetida or ‘hing’ production (Hathras district) and locks and hardware (Aligarh district).

• The section will also decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi mainline and will enable Indian Railways to run faster trains.  A state-of-the-art Operation Control Centre (OCC) at Prayagraj will act as the command centre for the entire route length of the EDFC.

• Globally, the OCC is one of the largest structures of its type. It consists of modern interiors, ergonomic design and best-in-class acoustics. The building is environment-friendly with a Green Building rating of GRIHA4 and is built as per norms of the ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’.

• The EDFC is 1856 route km and starts from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab). It will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

• It is being constructed by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), that has been set up as a special purpose vehicle to build and operate Dedicated Freight Corridors.

• DFCCIL is also constructing the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (1504 route km) that connects Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai and will traverse through the states of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

SPORTS

ICC Awards of the Decade 2020 announced

• The winners of the prestigious ICC Awards of the Decade were announced on 28th December 2020. The ICC Awards of The Decade recognise the best players across Cricket over the past 10 years.

List of Winners

• ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade: MS Dhoni (India)

ICC Men’s Awards

• Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)

• ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)

• ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade:  Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

• ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade: Steve Smith(Australia)

• ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)

ICC Women’s Award

• Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)

• ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry(Australia)

• ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)

• ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kathryn Bryce (Scotland)

OBITUARY

Veteran Dance Historian Sunil Kothari passes away

• Padma Shri awardee dance historian and critic, Sunil Kothari has passed away. He was qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before turning to the study of Indian dance forms. He authored more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms.

• The noted dance scholar Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms. Some of them include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1995); the Padma Shri bestowed by the Government of India (2001); and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011).

Cinematographer Ishwar Bidri passes away

• Veteran cinematographer Ishwar Bidri, best known for his work in popular 1990s films like Andaz Apna Apna and Border, died on Sunday due to multiple health issues. He was 87.

• The noted director of photography breathed his last at a hospital in Karnataka, his son Sanjeev Bidri said.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Union Minister Shripad Naik Releases book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav”

• Union Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH and Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik released a Konkani book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav”, by Dr Roopa Chari on 26 December, 2020. It is published by Sanjana Publications .

• Dr. Roopa Chari is a well-known personality in the field of Compering in Goa.

• This book will help aspiring youngsters, who wish to make a career in this field. This is the spontaneous art; you don’t nurture it by having any classes. With proper study, you always have to be vigilant, as compere is the link between the audience and the speaker.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

TCS crosses ₹11 trln in market capitalisation

• Tata Consultancy Services Ltd's market capitalisation surged past ₹11 trillion on Monday, making it the second Indian firm after Reliance Industries Ltd to achieve this milestone.

• Shares of TCS jumped nearly 1.2% intraday to hit an all-time high of ₹2942 a piece on the BSE with a market capitalisation of ₹11.03 trillion. So far, this year, the scrip has surged 36%.

• Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd remains India's most valued company with an mcap of ₹12.75 trillion.

• Of the 47 brokerages tracking TCS, 26 have recommend buy, 14 have maintained sell, while 7 have put hold rating on the stock, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla to start selling cars in India in early 2021

• Billionaire Elon Musk’s clean energy and electric vehicle company Tesla will start operations in India early next year, confirmed Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.

• Tesla is initially expected to sell its vehicles in India, and it would also look at setting up a manufacturing facility at a later stage depending on demand.

• Gadkari has already held a few rounds of talks with top Tesla executives. Some states have also held meetings with the electric car company for sales of its vehicles in India.

Dixon Technologies’ subsidiary to make smartphones for Motorola

• Dixon Technologies said its wholly-owned subsidiary Padget Electronics will begin making smartphones for Motorola.

• Padget Electronics has inked an agreement with Motorola Mobility LLC for manufacturing smartphones, the statement added.

• The products will be manufactured at Padget’s manufacturing facility located at Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Read More
Read Less

All Rights Reserved Top Rankers