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Important Current Affairs 30th January 2020

National

Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Vanilla’

• Indian Navy recently sent INS Airavat to Madagascar as post-natural disaster relief. Indian Navy will provide basic help to the people of Madagascar like food, drinking water, shelter, medicines, sanitary pads, etc.

• The INS Airavat is capable to carry more than 500 troops and 10 battle tanks. It was commissioned in the Indian Navy on May 19, 2010.

Nepal creates Guinness World Record for highest altitude fashion show event

• Nepal has created a new Guinness World Record for organizing highest altitude Fashion Show on the earth.

• The Mount Everest Fashion Runway was held at 5340 meters (17515 feet) elevation at Kala Patthar, near Everest base camp.

• The Guinness world record registered the title and awarded a certificate to the organizers including Dr Pankaj Gupta from India and Ms Ramila Nemkul and Mr Riken Maharjan from Nepal.

• The main objective of the fashion show was to create awareness about climate change and also to give a message to the world that Nepal is the destination for all activities.

World’s largest meditation centre inaugurates in Telangana

• World’s largest meditation centre was inaugurated at Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, Telangana.

• This centre is built to mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) and Heartfulness Institute.

• The meditation centre with a central hall and eight peripheral halls to accommodate 1,00,000 people will offer meditation training free.

Yuva Swabhiman Yojana

• The MP government launched on January 31, 2019, guaranteeing 100 days of work and pay to unemployed youth who have registered themselves with the Madhya Pradesh government.

• The stipend has been hiked by Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month.

• On the lines of MNREGS, the government is ready to extend the guarantee of 100 workdays to 365 days of temporary employment a year .

16th Mumbai International Film Festival begins

• The 16th Mumbai International Film Festival-2020 for Documentary, Short Fiction and Animation films), inaugurated at Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli, Mumbai.

• The oldest and largest film festival for non-feature films in South Asia, which began in 1990 is organized by the Films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.

• The festival directorate has received 874 entries, with 144 entries from 24 countries in the International competition and 730 entries in the National competition.

Reliance Industries launching new project to use plastics in road construction

• Reliance Industries organization will try to work with India’s highway authority and individual states to possibly supply a plastics-implanted blend.

• India, which utilizes around 14 million tons of plastic every year, comes up short on a sorted out framework for the administration of plastic waste.

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee conferred D.Lit degree by Calcutta University

Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee conferred the honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by Calcutta University at its annual convocation in Kolkata. The Vice-Chancellor of the University Ms Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee presented the Degree to him.

Banking and Economy

RBI appoints Executive Director Janak Raj as member of MPC

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appoints its Executive Director, Janak Raj, as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

• The Monetary Policy Committee takes decisions based on a majority vote. Raj replaces M D Patra recently promoted as Deputy Governor of the RBI.

• The decision to appoint Janak Raj taken at the 581st meeting of the central board held in Mumbai.

• The RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das heads the MPC.

Google announces USD 1 million grant to promote news literacy in India

• Technology giant Google has announced USD 1 million grant to promote news literacy among Indians to avoid spreading of misinformation.

• The money will be given to Internes, a global non-profit organisation, which will select a team of 250 journalists, fact checkers, academics and NGO workers for the project.

• A curriculum will be developed by a team of global and local experts, who will roll out the project in seven Indian languages.

Sports

Esow Alben wins gold at Berlin cycling tournament

• Indian cyclist Esow Alben has bagged a gold in the men’s Keirin individual event of the Six-Day Berlin Tournament.

• Czech Republic’s Tomas Babek, who won a silver in the 2017 World Championship, came in second while Maximilian Lev of Germany took home the bronze.

Ranking

Bengaluru has the worst traffic in the world

• According to a report by TomTom, the Netherlands-based global provider of navigation, traffic, and map products, Bengaluru is the world’s most traffic-congested city.

• Manila in the Philippines took the second place.

• Mumbai, Pune, and New Delhi were the other Indian cities that also featured in the top 10, taking fourth, fifth, and eighth places, respectively.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd January 2020

National 


Cabinet approves closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd

• The Union Cabinet recently approved the closure of public sector Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd (HFL). Only 88 employees are working in this company.
• HFL has been at a loss since 2013-14 and its net worth has come down to a negative mark. As on March 31, 2019, the company incurred a cumulative loss of Rs 62.81 crore and its net worth is Rs 43.20 crore.
• NBCC (India) will be a land management agency for facilitating the disposal of land assets. Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd is a subsidiary company of Hindustan Organic Chemicals.

Jaipur Literature Festival begins

• Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 on January 23, 2019. Litterateurs of the country participate in the festival.
• It is the 13th year of the Jaipur Literature Festival. This time more than 550 speakers are joining the festival from different parts of the country and the world.
• Some issues like NRC, CAA and Delhi's JNU can also be discussed during the festival. Although the organizers have not listed these issues in the list of discussions.

ECI to conduct first Sukumar Sen Memorial lecture

• Election Commission of India (ECI) has organized an annual lecture as a tribute to Sukumar Sen, the first Chief Election Commissioner of India.
• Sukumar Sen (1898–1963) admirably conducted the first two general elections for the Lok Sabha and the state legislatures. Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee delivered a lecture on this occasion.
• Sukumar Sen was born on January 02, 1898. He completed his education from Presidency College, Kolkata and University College, London. He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1922.

S Jaishankar inaugurates Gandhi Convention Center in Niger

• Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou jointly inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Center. 
• It is the first convention center that started in Africa on the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
• This convention center was designed as a spacious, modern and environmentally friendly facility. S Jaishankar is the first foreign minister of India to visit Niger.


Banking and Economy

ICICI Bank introduces cardless cash withdrawal facility through ATMs
•    ICICI Bank has rolled out “Cardless Cash Withdrawal” service through ATM. The “Cardless Cash Withdrawal” service can be used for cash withdrawal having a per day transaction limit of Rs 20,000. 
•    The service will enable the ICICI customers to withdraw cash from the ATM by putting a request on ICICI Internet Banking App “iMobile”.

UN lowers India’s GDP growth rate to 5.7% for FY 2019-20
•    The United Nations has lowered India’s GDP growth rate to 5.7% for the Fiscal Year 2019-20 in its World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020 report. 
•    UN has lowered the growth rate to 5.7% from 7.6% which it projected in its WESP 2019 report.
•    UN has also projected India’s growth rate at 6.6% for FY 2020-21 and 6.3% for FY 2021-22. According to the UN, India’s growth rate for FY 2018-19 was 6.8%.

Awards

Priya Prakash wins Cisco Youth Leadership Award 2019

•    The founder and CEO of India based HealthSetGo, Priya Prakash, has won the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award for 2019. The award was given for her school health program that provides healthcare support to children.

•    HealthSetGo is a healthcare organisation that supports the UN’s (United Nation) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to improve the health & lives of children.

Sports

Indian shooter Divyansh & Apurvi wins gold medal at Meyton Cup
•    Indian shooters Divyansh Singh Pawar and Apurvi Chandela have clinched a gold medal each in Meyton Cup, a private tournament in Innsbruck, Austria. 
•    While Divyansh won the gold in the men's 10m air rifle event with an effort of 249.7, Apurvi bagged the yellow metal in the 10m air rifle women's category with a 251.4.


Appointment


Challa Sreenivasulu Setty becomes SBI MD

• Challa Sreenivasulu Setty has been appointed as the new Managing Director (MD) of the State Bank of India (SBI). He will remain on this post for the next three years.
• Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved his name proposed by the Department of the Financial Services.
• Challa is currently working as the deputy managing director of the SBI. This post is extendable by two years or until any other orders. However, such orders come only after reviewing performance.

BOB, BOI and Canara Bank get new MD & CEOs
•    The government on Monday appointed heads of three large public sector banks - Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Canara bank for a period of three years. Sanjiv Chadha has been appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank of Baroda (BoB) by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). He succeeds P S Jayakumar, whose term ended in October last year.

•    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed Lingam Venkat Prabhakar as MD & CEO of Canara Bank and Atanu Kumar Das as MD & CEO of Bank of India. Prabhakar was the executive director of Punjab National Bank and he will be replacing RA Sankara Narayanan who will retire end of this month.

•    Atanu Kumar Das has been appointed as the MD and CEO in Bank of India. He will head the bank for three years from date of assuming office. He is at present working as the Executive Director in the same bank.


Ranking

Greenpeace India Report: Jharia most polluted city in India

•    The coal-belching town of Jharia in Jharkhand to be the most polluted city in India according to a Greenpeace India Report. Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, known for its rich coal reserves and industries, is the second-most polluted city in India.

•    Delhi is the 10th-most polluted city in India, according to the report.  As per the report, 6 of the top-10 polluted cities are in Uttar Pradesh comprising of Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad and Firozabad. 
•    Lunglei in Mizoram is the least polluted city in the country. The report is based on analysis of PM10 data from 287 cities across the country.
 

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Important Current Affairs 20th January 2020

National 


Printing process for Union Budget 2020-21 begins

• The Printing process for the Union Budget 2020-21 began with the Halwa ceremony in North Block on January 20, 2020.
• The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020. 
• At present, all the officials involved in the preparation of Union Budget 2020 have been subject to “Lock-in” to avoid any prospective leak of information. 

PM Modi interacts with students at Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020

• The 3rd Edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha was held on January 20, 2020 at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. 
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with over 2000 students who would appear for the Board Exams 2020. 
• PM Modi shared interesting tips for exam preparations and also talked about the ways to handle stress and anxiety.

First squadron of Sukhoi-30 aircraft inducted into Indian Air Force

• The first squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft was inducted into the Indian Air Force at its Thanjavur base, Tamil Nadu on January 20, 2020. 
• The Sukhoi-30 aircraft has been integrated with the supersonic BrahMos missiles.
• This 222-squadron known as the Tigersharks will serve as a platform for conducting aerial and maritime missions in the Indian Ocean Region.

NDRF Celebrates its 15th Raising Day

•    The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 15th Raising Day on 19th 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. A workshop was also be conducted on ‘Urban flooding & challenges’ and ‘Biological Emergencies & New Technology in Disaster Management’.

International

Coronavirus in China: 139 new cases reported so far

• The outbreak of deadly novel coronavirus has now spread to Beijing and Shenzhen cities of China.
• So far, the authorities have reported a total of 198 confirmed cases of coronavirus containment and death of 3 people.
• A few cases of coronavirus infection have been reported from Thailand and Japan as well. 

Awards

‘Castle of Dreams’ gets Best Film Award at DIFF
•    The Iranian film ‘Castle of Dreams’ directed by Reza Mirakarimi won the Best Film Award in Asian Competition section of the 18th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF). The film also won the Best Director Award.
•    Indian film ‘Finally Love’ directed by Anjan Dutt bagged Best Audience Award in Cinema of the World Category. Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s film ‘Children of the Sun’ won Special Jury Award.

SAG Awards 2020 winners list


The winners of the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards were awarded at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, the US on 19 January. The award honours the biggest achievements in TV and film for the year 2019.

Winners' List:
Television Awards:
Television Movie/Miniseries (Male): Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon 
Television Movie/Miniseries (Female): Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Drama Series (Male): Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Drama Series (Female): Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Comedy Series (Male): Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Comedy Series (Female): Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Ensemble in a Drama Series: The Crown
Ensemble in a Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: Game of Thrones

Motion Picture Awards:
Leading Role (Male): Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Leading Role (Female): Renée Zellweger, Judy
Supporting Role(Male): Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Supporting Role (Female): Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Cast in a Motion Picture: Parasite
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Avengers: Endgame

Science & Technology

APEDA sets up 186 Agri products testing laboratories

•    20 January 2020 Current Affairs:Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has added 135 laboratories to existing 51 recognized laboratories. With this addition of laboratories, APEDA recognition of laboratories has reached 186 laboratories in India. 
•    The move is significant as the Laboratory testing requirements are crucial in the Agri export supply chain. The number of laboratories added includes 35 in Maharashtra, 23 in Gujarat, 10 in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 23 in Tamil Nadu 17 in and Karnataka. 

•    APEDA introduced a policy decision for the simplification of APEDA recognition of laboratories to increase the laboratory network further. It has been decided that the laboratories which are National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited will be recognized by APEDA. These laboratories will be added in the network of APEDA recognition laboratories.

Appointment


Union Minister Arjun Munda was elected as the President of AAI

•    Union Minister Arjun Munda was elected as the President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) elections. Arjun Munda defeated his rival BVP Rao by a margin of 34-18 votes. 
•    Munda was elected for a full tenure of four years. The AAI elections were held according to the Delhi High Court order. 
•    The election was held in the presence of an observer each from World Archery (WA), Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

GoI appoints Nripendra Misra as chairman of NMML

•    Nripendra Misra has been appointed chairperson of the executive council of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). The Executive Council of the NMML has been reconstituted and it will be now chaired by Mr Misra. Dr A Surya Prakash, chairperson of the Prasar Bharati board, will be the council’s vice-chairperson.

•    The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) established in the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

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