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Important Current Affairs 1st February 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Honduras: Xiomara Castro sworn in as first female president

  • In Honduras, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (Libre) member Xiomara Castro has been sworn in as the first female President of the country. The 62-year-old Castro replaces President Juan Orlando Hernández, as 56th President of Honduras. Hernández has held the position for eight years from 27 January 2014 to 27 January 2022. Castro announced part of her cabinet Thursday, with her son Hector Zelaya as private secretary and Jose Manuel Zelaya — her husband’s nephew — as defence minister.
  • The oath was sworn before Judge Karla Romero, flanked by Castro’s choice of Congress president, Luis Redondo, who draped the presidential sash over his new boss before a crowd of some 29,000. The guests included US Vice President Kamala Harris, King Felipe VI of Spain and Taiwan Vice President William Lai.

NATIONAL

Union Budget 2022-23 is being presented by Union Finance Minister

  • Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Union Budget 2022 for the 4th time in a row. She will be presenting the financial statements and tax proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023). A Made in India tablet has replaced the traditional ‘Bahi Khata’ as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves the Finance Ministry’s office to go to the Parliament to present the Budget.
  • The Economic Survey 2021-22 was released on 31st January 2022 by the Chief Economic Advisor of India,  V Anantha Nageswaran. The government sees the Indian economy growing at 8-8.5 per cent in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23).

Key highlights of the Union Budget 2022-23:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget, said that the country is expected to grow at 9.27 per cent.
  • Two parallel tracks for the next 25 years: public investments in infrastructure and a budget that is inclusive and futuristic.
  • PM Gati Shakti plans one of the four pillars of growth. 25,000 km of national highways to be built in 2022-23.
  • 400 new-generation Vande Bharat trains with higher efficiency and better facilities for passengers will be developed in the next three years. Over 2,000 km of rail network to be brought under the indigenous world-class technology KAWACH, for safety and capacity augmentation.
  • 7 focus areas: PM Gati Shakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition, Climate Action and Financing of investments.

SPORTS

Chennai Super Kings Becomes India's First Unicorn Sports Enterprise; Surpasses Market Cap of Parent Entity

  • Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has become the country’s first sports Unicorn with its market cap having touched a high of Rs 7,600 crores and its share in the grey market trading in the Rs 210-225 price band. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, which won its fourth IPL title in Dubai last year, now has a market cap more than its parent entity, India Cements. India Cements’ market cap stood at Rs 6,869 crores.
  • Two key reasons which have led CSK’s market cap to go past its parent entity are the team winning its fourth IPL title in Dubai, and two new franchises being added to the upcoming season at record prices.

PR Sreejesh becomes first Indian man to win World Games Athlete of the Year Award

  • Indian men’s hockey player PR Sreejesh has won the World Games Athlete of the Year award for 2021. He is the second Indian after Rani Rampal to win this award. In 2020, Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal became the first Indian to win the honour for her performances in 2019.
  • A total of 24 athletes from 17 countries were nominated for the annual awards based on individual or team performance. Alberto Ginés López of Spain and wushu player Michele Giordano of Italy are the runner-ups. In the FIH Stars Awards in October, Sreejesh was named the goalkeeper of the year for 2021.

Argentina won 6th Pan Am Women Cup Hockey Championship, beat Chile 4-2

  • Argentina defeated Chile, 4-2 to win its 6th women’s field hockey championship title at the 2022 Women’s Pan American Cup. The Women’s Pan American Cup is the quadrennial international championship of the Americas organized by the Pan American Hockey Federation.
  • The 2022 Women’s Pan Am Cup was the sixth edition of the championship. It was held from January 19 to 29, 2022 in Santiago, Chile. With this win both Argentina and Chile have sealed automatic qualification spots at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, Spain and Netherlands 2022.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

‘India-ASEAN Digital Work Plan 2022’ Approved In 2nd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting

  • India and ASEAN nations have approved a work plan titled India-ASEAN Digital Work Plan 2022, during the second ASEAN Digital Ministers’ (ADGMIN) Meeting held virtually. The ADGMIN meeting was co-chaired by Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, Government of India, and Admiral Tin Aung San, Myanmar’s Minister of Transport and Communications.
  • India and ASEAN will jointly work to develop a system to combat the use of stolen and counterfeit mobile handsets, and a WiFi Access network interface for nationwide public internet.
  • The plan also includes capacity building and knowledge sharing in emerging areas in Information and Communication Technologies such as Internet of Things, 5G, Advanced Satellite Communication and Cyber Forensics.

India, Israel to create 150 villages-of-excellence around 29 joint agriculture projects

  • The Government of India has joined hands with the Government of Israel to create 150 ‘Villages of Excellence’ in 12 States of the country, to help farmers to adopt the latest technology in the farm sector. Israel would provide Technical assistance and other expertise to make agriculture a more profitable business.
  • The 150 villages that are located around CoEs will be converted into ‘Villages of Excellence.’ Out of which, 75 villages are being taken up in the first year to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence. Already, the Israeli government has established 29 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in 12 states.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Coast Guard celebrates 46th Raising Day on 01 Feb 2022

  • Indian Coast Guard is celebrating its 46th Raising Day on 01 Feb 2022. As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, the Indian Coast Guard has played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations in the Maritime Zones of India. The ICG was formally established on February 1, 1977, by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • From a modest beginning with just 07 surface platforms in 1978, ICG has grown into a formidable force with 158 ships and 70 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025. One of the primary duties of the Indian Coast Guard is prevention of smuggling through maritime routes in its area of responsibility. In the last one year, it has seized drugs and contraband worth nearly four thousand crore rupees.

RANKING

Maharashtra has highest number of SC entrepreneurs

  • Maharashtra has topped India’s list in the number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) owned by entrepreneurs from the Scheduled Castes with as many as 96,805 enterprises. Tamil Nadu with 42,997 enterprises and Rajasthan with 38,517 units occupy the second and third slots, according to the data furnished by the Office of the Development Commissioner in the Union Ministry of MSME.
  • The fourth, fifth and sixth slots belong to Uttar Pradesh (36,913 units), Karnataka (28,803 enterprises) and Punjab (24,503 units) respectively. Generally, the proportion of enterprises owned by Scheduled Caste entrepreneurs in the overall national tally of MSMEs is 6%.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Tata Steel arm to buy govt stake in Neelachal Ispat for Rs 12,100 crore

  • Tata Group company, Tata Steel Long Products Ltd’s (TSLP) has acquired Odisha-based Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) for Rs 12,100 crore. Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) is a steel plant located in Kalinganagar in Odisha and was shut in March 2020 due to continued losses. It has a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes a year. This is the 1st instance of privatisation of a public sector steel manufacturing enterprise in India.
  • NINL is a joint venture of four central public sector companies — Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and MECON — and Odisha government entities OMC and IPICOL. NINL’s plant has been shut since March 2020. The Odisha government has 32.47 per cent stake in NINL through IPICOL and OMC, whereas the MMTC holds the 49.78 per cent share.

           

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Important Current Affairs 31st January 2022

NATIONAL

Meta partners FICCI to support 5 lakh women-led SMBs in India

  • Social media giant Meta has partnered with industry body the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to support five lakh women-led small businesses across India. Meta will undertake this initiative under its #SheMeansBusiness programme, in partnership with FICCI’s ‘Empowering the Greater 50%’ initiative. The initiative will create a supportive ecosystem for women and inspire them to become contributors to the overall development of the country.
  • Grow your Business Hub: To provide the necessary information, tools and resources to MSMEs;
  • Commerce Partners Programme: To help businesses go digital and D2C using technology;
  • Facebook Business Coach: To train women through an educational chatbot tool on WhatsApp.

SPORTS

Women’s Asia Cup Hockey: India beat China 2-0 to win Bronze medal

  • India defeated China, 2-0 to win the bronze medal at the 2022 Women’s Hockey Asia Cup tournament. The 2022 Women’s Hockey Asia Cup was the 10th edition of the quadrennial Women’s Hockey Asia Cup. The tournament was held from January 21 to 28, 2022 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman. Japan defeated South Korea 4-2 in the final to win their third title at the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup tournament.

Rafael Nadal Beats Daniil Medvedev In Australian Open Final

  • Rafael Nadal (Spain) has defeated Daniill Medvedev (Russia) 2-6,6-7,6-4,6-4,7-5 to win the Men’s Singles title at the Australian Open 2022. This is his 21st Major title, becoming the first male player to do so. In women’s tennis, Margaret Court (Australian) has 24 singles majors, an all-time record. In women’s, World Number 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia defeated Danielle Collins of the US, 6-3 7-6, to win women’s singles final title at the Australian Open 2022.

The winners of Australian Open Tennis Title 2022:

Events                                     Winners

Men’s Singles              Rafael Nadal

Women’s Singles         Ashleigh Barty

Men’s Doubles            Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios

Women’s Doubles       Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková

Mixed Doubles            Kristina Mladenovic and Ivan Dodig

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day 2022: 30th January

  • World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (World NTD Day) is observed on January 30 every year to raise awareness about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as a critical public health challenge so that we can progress towards their elimination. 2022 theme is ‘Achieving health equity to end the neglect of poverty-related diseases’. The 2022 slogan is “From neglect to care”.
  • The first World NTD Day was held on 30 January 2020. The proposal to recognise the day was made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 74th World Health Assembly endorsed a decision recognizing 30 January as World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (‘World NTD Day’). World NTD Day commemorates the simultaneous launch of the first NTD road map and the London Declaration on NTDs on 30 January 2012. For countries where neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are prevalent and for the global community of partners, this is a new dawn.

World Leprosy Day 30 January 2022

  • World Leprosy Day is observed globally on the last Sunday of January every year. In 2022, the World Leprosy Day falls on January 30, 2022. 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. In India, World Leprosy Day is celebrated every year on 30 January, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death.
  • This year theme of World Leprosy Day 2022 is “United for Dignity”.
  • The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a tribute to the life of Mahatma Gandhi who had compassion for people afflicted with leprosy.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “Fearless Governance” authored by Kiran Bedi

  • The book titled ‘Fearless Governance’ authored by Dr Kiran Bedi has been released. She is the former Lt Governor of Puducherry and IPS (retd). This book is based on the ground realities of nearly five years of service of Dr Bedi as Lt. Governor of Puducherry and her vast experience of 40 years in the Indian Police Service.
  • The author demonstrates the right practises of responsible governance. She brought about team spirit, collaboration, financial prudence, effective policing, bonding in services and decision making through fearless leadership. ‘Fearless Governance’ is a book to read, see, hear and feel for good governance and leadership.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

SPMCIL sets up new bank note printing lines at Nashik and Dewas

  • Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) has set up ‘new banknote printing lines’ at its Currency Note Press, Nashik and Bank Note Press, Dewas. In India, four printing presses for printing and supply of Banknotes. These are at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, Nasik in Maharashtra (owned by SPMCIL), Mysore in Karnataka, and Salboni in West Bengal (owned by Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL)).
  • SPMCIL, a Government of India owned Miniratna company, is engaged in the manufacture/production of Currency and Bank Notes, Security Paper, Non-Judicial Stamp Papers, Postal Stamps, Passport, Visa, Cheques, Bond, Warrant, Special Certificates with security features, Security Inks, Circulation & Commemorative Coins, Medallions, Refining of Gold & Silver, and Assay of Precious Metals among others.

Paytm Money introduces India’s first intelligent messenger for investments

  • Paytm Money has introduced “India’s first” intelligent messenger called ‘Pops’. The company has launched ‘Pops’, with which users can receive specific information related to their stocks, analysis about their portfolio, market news, and important market movements in an easy to consume format, all in one place. The platform will also serve as a marketplace to offer sophisticated stock recommendations, news insights, and other services.
  • Paytm Money is partnering with InvestorAi to offer stock recommendations based on signals generated using artificial intelligence. Now, with Pops on the Paytm Money app, these investors can monitor their portfolios regularly and learn from the market movements with alerts curated for them.

Tatas pick SBI, two other banks to finance Air India's old debt

  • Tata Group has chosen State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank as preferred bankers for Air India. Recently Tata Group has taken over Air India from the government. Air India is the largest international carrier out of India with an 18.6% market share. Tata Sons have availed of a Rs 10,000-crore loan from SBI and a Rs 5,000-crore loan from BoB. The loan from HDFC Bank is not known yet. The loans are unrated, unsecured, and pegged at 4.25% [interest rate] annually.
  • Tata Sons-promoted Talace has acquired Air India, offering Rs 18,000 crore that include Rs 15,300 crore for the carrier’s existing debt and Rs 2,700 crore cash to be paid to the government. The new debt availed by the Tata Group will be used to refinance Air India’s debt availed at over 10%.

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Important Current Affairs 30th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Dutch King Willem-Alexander unveils 'world's largest' sea lock

  • The world’s largest canal lock has been inaugurated at Ijmuiden, a small port city, in the Port of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The sea lock was inaugurated by Dutch King Willen-Alexander. The Ijmuiden sea lock is 500-meter (1,640-feet) long and 70-meter wide. Construction on the massive infrastructure project began in 2016 and was meant to be done by 2019. It also went over the initially planned budget by around €300 million ($338 million).
  • The Ijmuiden lock was designed to allow large, modern cargo ships to reach the port of Amsterdam. The structure is also deep enough that ships will no longer have to wait for a favourable water level to enter the canal. With almost nine meters above the sea leave, the structure is also a defence against the threat of flooding.

                                                                  NATIONAL

Gurugram gets India's biggest Electric Vehicle charging station

  • India’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station with a capacity of 100 charging points for 4 wheelers, was opened at Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in Gurugram. Previously, India’s largest EV charging station was situated in Navi Mumbai with 16 AC & 4 DC charging ports for EVs. The new EV charging station has been developed by tech-piloting company Alektrify Private Limited.
  • This EV charging station will not only boost the electric vehicles industry in the region but will also act as a benchmark for large EV charging stations across the nation in future. The electric vehicle charging station of this size and magnitude is rare and will be instrumental for the industry to experience actual Ease of Doing Business in smooth ‘Certification Compliance’ and ‘Safety Standards’.

APPOINTMEN & RESIGNATION

PESB names Pushp Kumar Joshi for HPCL's CMD post

  • Pushp Kumar Joshi has been named to be the new chairman and managing director of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), the nation’s third-largest oil refining and fuel marketing company. Joshi, who is currently Director – Human Resources at HPCL has been on the board of HPCL for almost a decade now. He will replace Mukesh Kumar Surana, who superannuates on April 30 this year.
  • The recommendation will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister (PM) of India. ACC will decide on his selection after getting reports from anti-corruption agencies such as CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

PM Modi Hosts First India-Central Asia Summit

  • Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit, through the virtual platform. It was the first of its kind engagement between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders. The central Asian region has five recognized countries. The Summit was attended by the Presidents of these five Central Asian countries.
  • These are the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan), Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. The first India-Central Asia Summit coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asian countries. During the summit, the Leaders agreed to hold the Summit every 2 years (biennial). The summit is symbolic of the importance attached by the leaders of both sides to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership.

TerraPay, NPCI International partner to enable real-time

  • TerraPay has signed MoU with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) to allow Indian customers with an active UPI ID to receive real-time, international payments into their bank accounts via TerraPay’s secure payments technology. It will enable a seamless and convenient cross-border remittances experience. NIPL is an international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • This association with NIPL will allow Indians with an active UPI ID to receive real-time, international payments into their bank accounts via TerraPay’s adaptive and secure payments technology. The intended collaboration will now further empower UPI users to leverage TerraPay’s agile interoperable payments infrastructure to receive payments on a fully regulated, secure, scalable, and efficient channel.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Martyrs’ Day: 30 January 2022

  • Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas is observed every year on January 30 in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated at Gandhi Smriti in the Birla House by Nathuram Godse in 1948. This year nation observed 74th Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas. The day is observed to remember the sacrifices made by freedom fighters in the struggle for India’s independence and to pay our respects to them. Notably, Martyrs’ Day is also observed in India on March 23 to pay respect to Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, who was hanged death on this day in 1931.’
  • The President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, and the Defense Minister on 30 January get together at the Rajghat to the Samadhi of the Mahatma Gandhi to pay honour by putting a garland of flowers to the statue of the Bapu. An honourable salute is also given by the armed forces personnel and inter-services contingent to pay respect to the martyrs.

Data Privacy Day:28 January 2022

  • Data Privacy Day is celebrated on January 28, every year across the world. The objective of the day is to sensitize individuals and disseminate privacy practices and principles. It encourages everyone to own their privacy responsibilities to create a culture of privacy. Observance of the day is “an international effort of creating awareness on the importance of respecting privacy, enabling trust and safeguarding data”.
  • The theme for this year is ‘Privacy Matters’. It instils a sense of accountability that Privacy is integral to every individual’s life.  Data privacy has been one of the hot topics of discussion in a digitally connected world. The issue has become pertinent at the time of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic when more and more people are forced to spend time in the online world.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 years of Independence’ authored by Ruskin Bond

  • A new book titled “A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 years of Independence” authored by Ruskin Bond was released, marking 75 years of India’s Independence. The book is the blend of “physical and spiritual” attributes of India and also highlights the last 75 years of India’s progress as a nation. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). It is a record of some of my memories and impressions of this unique land — of its rivers and forests, literature and culture, sights, sounds and colours — an amalgamation of the physical and spiritual.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Global gold demand rises 10% to 4021 tonnes in 2021: WGC

  • According to the World Gold Council (WGC) report ‘Gold Demand Trends 2021’ has informed that the global gold demand rose 10 per cent in 2021 to 4,021.3 tonnes. The overall gold demand during 2020, which was impacted following Covid-19 related disruptions, stood at 3,658.8 tonnes.
  • The demand for the yellow metal was mainly driven by Central bank buying during the fourth quarter of 2021, recovery in jewellery consumption, mainly in India and China. India’s gold consumption surged to 797.3 tonnes in 2021, on the back of the recovery in consumer sentiments and pent-up demand post Covid-19-related disruptions and the bullish trend is set to continue this year as well.

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Important Current Affairs 29th January 2022

                                                                  NATIONAL         

Kerala Gets India's 1st Graphene Innovation Centre

  • India’s first innovation centre for graphene will be set up in Kerala by the Digital University Kerala (DUK), along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) in Thrissur, for Rs 86.41 crore. This will be the first graphene Research and Development (R&D) incubation centre in the country. Tata Steel Limited is set to be the industrial partner of the centre.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has given approval for the project. The project, which will be implemented with the support of the Kerala government, is expected to accelerate the state’s growth in the knowledge industry sector.

Parliament launches Digital Sansad App to make live proceedings accessible to citizens

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has launched the official mobile application of the Parliament named ‘Digital Sansad App’ on January 27, 2022, to allow citizens to access live proceedings of the House, including the Union Budget 2022 live. The app will make the Parliament and Parliamentary proceedings accessible not only to the members but also to the public of the country.
  • Through the Digital Sansad App, citizens can check what their members of Parliament are doing, what debates they are participating in and what they are saying. Using the app, parliamentarians can also digitally log their attendance.
  • The app contains information on budget speeches since 1947 as well as House discussions from the 12th Lok Sabha to 17th Lok Sabha. It will also contain a live telecast of Sansad proceedings. 2022 Budget session can also be watched live on this App.

APPOINTMEN & RESIGNATION

V Anantha Nageswaran named new chief economic advisor

  • The Government of India has appointed Dr V Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Adviser. The announcement came days ahead of the presentation of the 2022 Union Budget on February 1 and the tabling of the 2021-22 Economic Survey on January 31. This post was lying vacant since December 17, 2021, when KV Subramanian left the office. He is a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC).
  • Dr Nageswaran, who is a noted writer, author, teacher, and economic consultant, has taught at several business schools and institutes of management across India and abroad. Before his appointment as the Chief Economic Adviser, he was the Dean of the IFMR Graduate School of Business and a visiting professor of Economics at the Krea University in Andhra Pradesh.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Google to invest $1 bn in Bharti Airtel, to buy 1.28% stake for $700 mn

  • Bharti Airtel and Google have announced a long-term partnership agreement, to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. Under the deal, Google will invest USD 1 billion in Airtel. From the total investment, Google will invest USD 700 million to acquire a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. The remaining USD 300 million will go toward multi-year commercial agreements with Airtel, including devices built together by the two tech giants.
  • The USD 1 billion funding is part of Google’s USD 10 billion ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’, launched in 2020. This is Google second investment in an Indian telecom service provider (after Reliance Jio). Discussion between the two companies had been going on since the first half of 2021 and culminated in an announcement.

OBITURY

Renowned Marathi writer, social activist Dr Anil Awachat passes away at 78

  • Renowned Marathi author and social activist Anil Awachat has passed away. Awachat was the founder of a de-addiction center called Muktangan Rehabilitation Center in Pune in 1986. He was known for his several Marathi books like “Manasa”, Swatahavishayi, “Gard”, “Karyarat”, “Karyamagna” and “Kutuhalapoti”.
  • In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal called Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985) on Dalit atrocities and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in TN wins TX2 Award for doubling tiger population

  • Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Erode district, Tamil Nadu) has been given the prestigious TX2 award after its tiger numbers doubled to 80 since 2010. Apart from the STR, the Bardia National Park in Nepal has won this year’s TX2 award for doubling the population of wild tigers. Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 2013 and the reserve that spread across 1,411.60 sq km is an important link between the Nilgiris and Eastern Ghats landscape. The Nilgiri biosphere landscape that this reserve is part of is currently the home to the largest tiger population in the world. It is connected to other well-established tiger habitats like Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and BR Hills Tiger Reserve.
  • The award acknowledges the efforts by the State governments and the local communities which have played one of the most important roles to turn a relatively new tiger reserve into one of the source populations of tigers in India. The awards are presented by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Global Tiger Forum (GTF), IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP), Panthera, UNDP, The Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF.

Kashmir police bags lion's share of gallantry medals this Republic Day

  • Jammu and Kashmir Police has bagged 115 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG), out of a total of 189 awarded this year. They more than doubled their last year’s tally of 52 PMGs. J&K Police won awards for conducting several counter-insurgency operations in 2019-20. Police personnel from Jammu and Kashmir have been awarded 115 Police Medals for Gallantry, the highest number from any police force this year, followed by CRPF with 30, Chhattisgarh Police with 10, Odisha Police with nine, and Maharashtra Police with seven.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “The $10 Trillion Dream” authored by Subhash Garg

  • The former finance secretary of India, Subhash Chandra Garg has announced his debut book named “The $10 Trillion Dream”. The book is scheduled to hit stands towards the end of February 2022. The new book explores the critical policy issues that India faces today and suggests reforms for it to become a USD 10 trillion economy by the mid-2030s. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
  • Garg, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for over 36 years, has served in various key positions for both the Union government and the government of Rajasthan. He was designated finance secretary in March 2019.

Book ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’ launched by Meenakashi Lekhi 

  • Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakashi Lekhi has released a pictorial comic book titled ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’, as a tribute to the forgotten women freedom fighters of the country. The book has been prepared by the Ministry of Culture in partnership with Amar Chitra Katha, an Indian publisher of Indian comics and graphic novels. India will be celebrating 75 years of independence this August 15. And so, the book celebrates the lives of 75 unsung women freedom fighters of India, including Chakali Ilamma, Padmaja Naidu, Durgabhai Deshmukh, among others.
  • The book is a fitting tribute to the forgotten heroes of our freedom struggle as it celebrates the lives of women who led the charge and lit the flame of rebellion throughout the country. It contains stories of queens who battled imperialism and dedicated their lives for Maa Bharati.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Pencilton launches debit card with NCMC for teens in partnership with Transcorp

  • A teen-focused Fintech startup based in India, Pencilton has recently launched PencilCard, a debit card that is compliant with National Common Mobility Card standards. It has been launched in partnership with Transcorp. The National Common Mobility Card was developed by India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in early 2019. It allows the user to pay for travel, toll duties, retail shopping and withdraw money.
  • PencilCard works for both online and offline payments in addition to its utility as a metro and bus card. It can currently be used for travel on the airport line in Delhi and a KTC bus card in Pune. It will soon be accepted for metro travel in Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai. Also in the works is utilization on BEST buses in Mumbai. 

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2022

          

NATIONAL

It's official! Air India now formally handed over to Tata Group

  • The government of India officially handed over India’s flag carrier, Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, 2022, almost 69 years after acquiring the conglomerate. The total value of the deal is Rs 18,000 crore (US$2.4 billion). The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India includes the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of GoI in Air India to Tata Sons, along with management control.
  • The transaction covers three entities namely, Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS (AI SATS). Under the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm AI SATS.

                                                                                                               

India pays its UN regular budget assessment in full with payment of US $29.9 million

  • India has paid USD 29.9 million in UN regular budget assessments for the year 2022. As of January 21, 2022, 24 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council and its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.
  • “#India proud to pay again in full! India joins the 2022 Honour Roll of 24 Member States out of 193 that have paid their @UN RegularBudget Assessments in full,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

Kerala gets its first ever scientific bird atlas

  • Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies. It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.
  • Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

IT Ministry releases five-year roadmap for electronics sector in India

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector. The Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 bn Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing & Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in association with the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). It is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document. Vision Document 2.0 provides a year-wise break-up and production projections for the various products. This will help India to transform into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026, from the current US$75 billion.
  • This roadmap is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document – the first of which was released in November last year. The first part of the document titled “Increasing India’s Electronics Exports and Share in GVCs” was released in November 2021.

SPORTS

RPSG Group's IPL team to be called Lucknow Super Giants

  • Lucknow’s IPL franchise, which is owned by Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG Group), has been renamed Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. Lucknow team roped in KL Rahul as their captain and also roped in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The official IPL team of Lucknow crowdsourced its name from fans and a consumer engagement campaign was launched on social media on 3rd Jan 2022.
  • Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs 7090 Crores. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad who were bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs 5635 Crores.

OBITURY

Milena Salvini, ambassador of Kathakali in France, passes away at 84

  • Noted Kathakali dancer Milena Salvini of France has passed away. Italian-born Salvini was a regular visitor to India, especially Kerala where she learnt Kathakali, and ran ‘Centre Mandapa’, a school for Indian dance forms, in Paris. The Government of India conferred the Padma Shri award on Salvini in 2019 for her contribution in the field of performing arts.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Customs Day 2022: 26th January

  • The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs. This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’.
  • The International Customs Day’s objective is to boost leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations as WCO strongly opines that while borders divide, it is the ‘customs’ that establish a connection between countries.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Assam government to confer 'Asom Baibhav Award' to Ratan Tata

  • The government of Assam has conferred its highest civilian award ‘Assam Baibhav’ on Industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred ‘Asom Baibhav’ to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.
  • Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.
  • Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

City Union Bank launches debit card in fitness watch with GOQii

  • City Union Bank in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a wearable payment solution called CUB fitness watch debit card. Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs 6,499).
  • Customers can set limits for their payments using Net / Mobile Banking. Payments made using this Debit Card in a Fitness Watch are safe and secure, the bank said in a statement. For each transaction done using the watch, SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number. Customers can raise a request for the Fitness Watch Debit Card through Net banking/ Mobile banking. Usage of wristwatches can be managed by customers on their own through CUB All in One Mobile App.

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2022

          

NATIONAL

It's official! Air India now formally handed over to Tata Group

  • The government of India officially handed over India’s flag carrier, Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, 2022, almost 69 years after acquiring the conglomerate. The total value of the deal is Rs 18,000 crore (US$2.4 billion). The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India includes the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of GoI in Air India to Tata Sons, along with management control.
  • The transaction covers three entities namely, Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS (AI SATS). Under the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm AI SATS.

                                                                                                               

India pays its UN regular budget assessment in full with payment of US $29.9 million

  • India has paid USD 29.9 million in UN regular budget assessments for the year 2022. As of January 21, 2022, 24 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council and its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.
  • “#India proud to pay again in full! India joins the 2022 Honour Roll of 24 Member States out of 193 that have paid their @UN RegularBudget Assessments in full,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

Kerala gets its first ever scientific bird atlas

  • Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies. It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.
  • Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

IT Ministry releases five-year roadmap for electronics sector in India

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector. The Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 bn Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing & Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in association with the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). It is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document. Vision Document 2.0 provides a year-wise break-up and production projections for the various products. This will help India to transform into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026, from the current US$75 billion.
  • This roadmap is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document – the first of which was released in November last year. The first part of the document titled “Increasing India’s Electronics Exports and Share in GVCs” was released in November 2021.

SPORTS

RPSG Group's IPL team to be called Lucknow Super Giants

  • Lucknow’s IPL franchise, which is owned by Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG Group), has been renamed Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. Lucknow team roped in KL Rahul as their captain and also roped in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The official IPL team of Lucknow crowdsourced its name from fans and a consumer engagement campaign was launched on social media on 3rd Jan 2022.
  • Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs 7090 Crores. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad who were bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs 5635 Crores.

OBITURY

Milena Salvini, ambassador of Kathakali in France, passes away at 84

  • Noted Kathakali dancer Milena Salvini of France has passed away. Italian-born Salvini was a regular visitor to India, especially Kerala where she learnt Kathakali, and ran ‘Centre Mandapa’, a school for Indian dance forms, in Paris. The Government of India conferred the Padma Shri award on Salvini in 2019 for her contribution in the field of performing arts.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Customs Day 2022: 26th January

  • The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs. This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’.
  • The International Customs Day’s objective is to boost leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations as WCO strongly opines that while borders divide, it is the ‘customs’ that establish a connection between countries.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Assam government to confer 'Asom Baibhav Award' to Ratan Tata

  • The government of Assam has conferred its highest civilian award ‘Assam Baibhav’ on Industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred ‘Asom Baibhav’ to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.
  • Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.
  • Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

City Union Bank launches debit card in fitness watch with GOQii

  • City Union Bank in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a wearable payment solution called CUB fitness watch debit card. Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs 6,499).
  • Customers can set limits for their payments using Net / Mobile Banking. Payments made using this Debit Card in a Fitness Watch are safe and secure, the bank said in a statement. For each transaction done using the watch, SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number. Customers can raise a request for the Fitness Watch Debit Card through Net banking/ Mobile banking. Usage of wristwatches can be managed by customers on their own through CUB All in One Mobile App.

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Important Current Affairs 27th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Russia delivers all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 to India

  • Russia delivered all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces had placed an order for 670,000 rifles, for which the contract was signed on December 06, 2021, between India and Kalashnikov (Russian defence manufacturing unit). The total cost of the contract is around Rs 5,124 crore. The contract included procuring 70,000 rifles off the shelf.
  • The remaining 600,000 rifles will be manufactured by an Indo-Russian joint venture company, Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), based at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh India under transfer of technology (ToT). [at Korwa Rifle Factory, Amethi]. The lightweight AK-203 Rifles will replace the military’s in-service INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) Rifle.

Iran, Russia and China begin naval drill

  • The Russian, Chinese and Iranian navies undertook naval exercises CHIRU-2Q22 in the Gulf of Oman. The maritime drills conducted in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean aimed at deepening practical cooperation among the navies of the three countries. The participants practised various tactics and operations, such as rescuing ablaze vessels, saving hijacked vessels, shooting at targets, nocturnal shooting at aerial targets, and other tactical manoeuvres as a part of the drill. At least 140 warships and over 60 aircraft with nearly 10,000 military personnel would be taking part in the military exercises.

                      

Apple Retains Most Valuable Brand Title in 2022

  • Apple has retained its position as the most valuable brand in 2022 as well, according to the Brand Finance 2022 Global 500 report. The brand valuation of Apple was recorded at $355.1 billion in 2022, which is an increase of 35% from last year. This is the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking history.
  • TikTok (18th) has been named the world’s fastest-growing brand in the list. Its brand value increased from US$18.7 billion in 2021 to US$59.0 billion in 2022.
  • Tech remained the most valuable industry in the list in terms of sector. This was followed by Retail, Banking, Media and Telecoms in top 5 respectively.

NATIONAL

Indian Navy conducts 20-day joint maritime exercise at Arabian Sea

  • Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022) off the West Coast which concluded. The exercise continued for 20 days and was conducted with an aim to enhance Inter-Service synergy among the Indian Navy, IAF, Indian Army and Coast Guard. The Western Naval Command (HQ- Mumbai) is one of the three command-level formations of the Indian Navy. The other two are Eastern Naval Command (HQ- Visakhapatnam) and Southern Naval Command (HQ- Kochi).
  • A variety of weapon firings in a realistic tactical scenario, besides validation of operational missions and tasks under varying settings, were undertaken during the exercise. The exercise provided all participating forces an opportunity to operate together under realistic conditions, in responding to contemporary maritime challenges, across the areas of the Command’s responsibility.

Rajasthan set to get its fourth tiger reserve

  • Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, which is among the proposed five sites in the country, is expected to be formally notified as tiger reserve (TR) soon before the Global Tiger Summit, which is to be held at Vladivostok, Russia. The Centre also announced the development during the 4th Asia ministerial conference on tiger conservation. The Centre has already given its approval of granting tiger reserve status to Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, along with MM Hills in Karnataka, Guru Ghasidas National Park in Chhattisgarh.
  • The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary will be spread across 1,071 sq kms. A 302 Sq Km area in the proposed tiger sanctuary will be left as critical habitat for Tigers and the rest of the area will act as a buffer zone for the Ranthambore National Park.
  • Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1982. The core areas of the sanctuary have 8 villages and are home to large numbers of wild animals like sambhars, caracals, wild boars, nilgai, and striped Hyena.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022: 27th January

  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed on 27 January. In 2022, the theme guiding the United Nations Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity and Justice”. The objective of the day is 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. United Nations designated the day in 2005 to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.

RANKING

India ranks 85th out of 180 countries in Corruption Perceptions Index

  • Transparency International has released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021 in which India has been ranked at 85th spot (Score of 40). The ranking has been topped jointly by three countries- Denmark, Finland and New Zealand (Score of 88). This ranking measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). 180 countries are ranked in it.
  • Last year (for 2020) India was ranked 86th with a score of 40. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill. The global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of 100 points.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Government approves PMC Bank merger with Unity Small Finance Bank

  • The Government of India has sanctioned and notified the Scheme for the amalgamation of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd with Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. This means that from January 25, 2022 all the branches of the PMC Bank will function as branches of Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. Unity Small Finance Bank Limited is promoted by Centrum Financial Services Limited along with Resilient Innovation Private Limited. Both the promoters have infused capital of Rs 1105.10 crore in the bank.
  • After the amalgamation of PMC Bank with Unity SFB, Unity SFB will pay the customers of PMC Bank the amount it receives from DICGC (maximum up to amount insured by DICGC i.e Rs 5 Lakh) in instalments of 10 years. Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 empowers the Reserve Bank of India to prepare a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of banking companies (which include co-operative banks).

IMF cuts India's GDP forecast for FY22 to 9% from 9.5%

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) to 9 per cent, in its latest world economic outlook report. Earlier this was estimated at 9.5%. IMF has projected the growth forecast for India in 2022-23 (FY23) at 7.1% IMF has projected the global growth rate in 2022 to 4.4%, and in 2023 to 3.8%.
  • According to the IMF, India’s prospects for 2023 are marked up on expected improvements to credit growth and, subsequently, investment and consumption, building on the better-than-anticipated performance of the financial sector. A revised assumption removing the Build Back Better fiscal policy package from the baseline, earlier withdrawal of monetary accommodation, and continued supply shortages produced a downward 1.2 percentage-point revision for the United States.

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Important Current Affairs 11th February 2020

National

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Releases book ‘A Child of Destiny’ by K. Ramakrishna Rao

• The Vice President of India, and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri M Venkaiah Naidu released a book titled, ‘A Child of Destiny’, an autobiography penned by Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao, well-known educationist in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

• The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2011.

5th India-UK Joint Military Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR 2020 to begin from Feb 13

• The fifth edition of annual Joint Military Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR-2020 between the Armies of India and the United Kingdom is scheduled to be conducted at Salisbury Plains, the United Kingdom from 13 to 26 February 2020.

• The exercise will comprise 120 soldiers each from the Indian and United Kingdom Army.

State of the World's Children Report UNICEF

• The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recently released State of the World's Children Report 2019. The report informed that India’s under-5 mortality rate is 37 per 1000 live births.

• According to UNICEF, more than 8 lakh children below 5 years died under five years of age. UNICEF identified some major reasons for child mortality in India.

• UNICEF report said that major causes of child mortality are - Pneumonia (17.1%), Prematurity & low weight (29.8%), Other non-communicable diseases (8.3%), Birth asphyxia & birth trauma (8.2%), Injuries (4.6%), Diarrheal diseases (8.6%) among others.

National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad, to be renamed as Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management

• National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad will be known as Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management (AJNIFM) as the Government of India has decided to rename the institute.

• NIFM facilitates state governments, defense establishments, banks, other financial institutions and PSUs. It does not only provide training but also management education.

• He introduced the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST), which brought the country under a single tax system. Under his leadership, the railway budget was merged with the general budget.

Awards

Lalremsiami becomes FIH Women's Rising Star of Year

• Lalremsiami is a forward player in India’s women’s hockey team. She has been selected as the FIH women’s rising star of the year.

• The voting was conducted by the International Hockey Federation. Argentina's Julieta Jankunas and Netherlands’ Frederique Matla secured second and third places respectively.

Sports

Aditya Mehta wins National Snooker Championship

• Aditya Mehta, an Indian snooker player, won National Snooker Championship held in Pune recently. He defeated world champion, Pankaj Advani, in the final match. Madhya Pradesh's Vidya Pillai won the title in the women's category.

• Aditya Mehta is ranked 49th in the global ranking. He has won gold medals in world and Asia level competitions so far.

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Important Current Affairs 6th January 2020

HM Amit Shah lays foundation stone of 220 km Delhi Cycle Walk project

• Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of Delhi Cycle Walk project on 6th January 2020 at Tughlakabad in New Delhi to make the city most walkable and environment friendly.

• The first phase of the Delhi Cycle Walk project will cover 36 kilometre of the whole network of over 220 km.

International team of astronomers finds farthest galaxy group EGS77

• An international team of astronomers funded in part by NASA has found the farthest galaxy group identified as “EGS77“. EGS77, the trio of galaxies dates to a time when the universe was only 680 million years old, or less than 5% of its current age of 13.8 billion years.

• EGS77 is the farthest group of galaxies to have ever been sighted. EGS77 was discovered as part of the Cosmic Deep And Wide Narrowband (Cosmic DAWN) survey.

• The team of astronomers was led by an Indian-origin Goa-born scientist, Vithal Tilvi.

• Vithal Tilvi is currently a visiting researcher at the School of Earth & Space Exploration, at the Arizona State University, US.

• Headquarters of NASA: Washington, D.C.

• Established: July 29,1958.

Piyush Goyal Inaugurates NSE’s AI Powered Knowledge Hub in New Delhi

• The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Knowledge Hub in New Delhi on 06 January 2020.

• NSE Knowledge Hub is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered learning ecosystem that will assist the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector to enhance their skills in AI and Machine Learning.

• The Knowledge Hub created by NSE will help academic institutions in preparing future-ready talent for the BFSI sector.

• The initiative is also available on mobile as state-of-the-art and future-ready platform to bring together world class content and learners.

• Government is committed to achieve USD 1 trillion by 2035 through AI and Machine Learning.

Rajnath Singh Inaugurates National Traders Convention in New Delhi

• The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the three-day National Traders Convention at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on 06 January 2020.

• The convention has been organised by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

Journalist Day Observed in Maharashtra on January 6

• Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra state celebrates the Journalist Day on January 6th every year in the memory of late journalist Balshastri Jambhekar.

• Balshastri Jambhekar, is also known as ‘The Father of Marathi Journalism’, for his efforts in starting journalism in Marathi language.

• The first newspaper in the Marathi language named ‘Darpan’, was published on January 6, 1832, the date which also marks his birth anniversary.

Adani Ports to buy 75% stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company for Rs 13,572 cr

• The Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), India’s largest private sector port operator has announced to acquire controlling stake (75%) in Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL).

• The company will buy a 75% stake in KPCL at an enterprise value of Rs 13,572 crore.

• It is the largest acquisition in the port sector in India.

RevFin Ties-up with PNB MetLife to offer life cover to customers

• RevFin, a digital lending start-up, has partnered with PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) to offer protection to its customers through life insurance on their loans.

• The insurance will cover loans up to Rs 3 lakhs for a term of 3 years.

CSC inks MoU with Paytm Payments Bank for sale of FASTags

• CSC e-Governance Services India has signed a memorandum of understanding with Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL), to jointly sell FASTags.

• Under the agreement, CSC will integrate its platform with Paytm Payments Bank for the sale of PPBL FASTags, to carry out seamless transactions

• In September 2017, CSCs started selling FASTags when it partnered with Equitas Bank. Later on, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank came onboard.

• Since March 2019, CSC has tied up with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also for selling FASTags.

• Around 2.84 lakh FASTags have been sold by CSCs across the country so far.

Delhi AIIMS’ Professor Suresh Chandra Sharma Appointed as First Chief of National Medical Commission

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Professor Suresh Chandra Sharma, head of Delhi AIIMS’ ENT head-neck surgery department, as the Chairman of National Medical Commission (NMC) on 2nd January 2020.

• Besides him, Rakesh Kumar Vats, the Secretary General in the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India, has been appointed as secretary of the commission.

About National Medical Commission (NMC)

• The National Medical Commission (NMC) is the new medical education regulator to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).

• President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019 on August 8, 2019.

• The MCI has been dissolved after countless allegations of corruption in medical education came up.

Dubai-based Indian girl Sucheta Satish, wins Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 for Twin World Records in Singing

• Dubai-based Indian girl, Sucheta Satish, who can sing in 120 languages, has won in the ‘Global Child Prodigy Awards 2020’ in New Delhi on January 3, 2020.

• The 13-year-old Sucheta Satish was selected for the award for her twin world records, which included singing in most languages during one concert and the longest live singing concert by a child.

Global Child Prodigy Award

• The 100 Global Child Prodigy Award is a first of its kind platform with the objective of recognizing child’s talent and power in different categories such as arts, music, dance, writing, modeling, acting, science and sports to give them the global exposure that they deserve and provide them with the right opportunities at the right time to ensure that they create a major impact on society.

• The Global Child Prodigy Award is supported by the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Oscar winning music director AR Rahman among others.

Former Governor of Karnataka T N Chaturvedi Passes Away at 90

• Former Governor of Karnataka Triloki Nath Chaturvedi has passed away. He was 90.

• T N Chaturvedi served as the 14th Governor of Karnataka from 2002–2007.

• He was also the Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 1984 to 1989.

• Mr Chaturvedi was the recipient of Padma Vibhushan award in 1991.

UN declares Malala Yousafzai ‘Most Famous Teenager of The Decade’

• The United Nations has declared Pakistani education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai as “Most Famous Teenager of The Decade”. The revelation has been made in its ‘Decade in Review’ report.

• Malala is working towards children’s rights ever since she was a teenager. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and also become the yougest recipient of the award.

• Headquarters of United Nations: New York, USA; Founded: 24 October 1945.

• Secretary-General of the United Nations: Antonio Guterres.

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Important Current Affairs 5th January 2020

PM Modi Launches I-STEM Portal to Link Researchers with Resources

• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Indian Science, Technology and Engineering Facilities Map (I-STEM) portal (https://www.istem.gov.in/) at the 107th edition of the Indian Science Congress on 3rd January 2020 at Bangalore.

• The I-STEM Web Portal is the gateway for users to locate the specific facilities they need for their R&D work and identify the one that is either located closest to them or available the soonest.

• It is a unique One Nation One Research Web Portal for national collaboration among all institutions and private laboratories.

India’s Biggest Defence Expo to be held in UP’s Lucknow in February 2020

• The Defence Expo- 2020 will be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 5 to 8, 2020.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the biennial Defence Expo-2020 on February 5.

• The theme of the 11th edition of expo is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’.

International Symposium on Marine Ecosystems Challenges and Opportunities 2020 to be held in Kochi from January 7

• The third edition of the International Symposium on Marine Ecosystems Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS-3) will be held in Kochi, Kerala from 7 to 10 January 2020.

• MECOS3 is being organized by the Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI) at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi.

MP Government Launches Mukhyamantri Karmachari Swasthya Bima Yojana for its Employees

• The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has approved a health insurance scheme named Mukhyamantri Karmachari Swasthya Bima Yojana on 04 January 2020 as a new year bonanza for its 12.55 lakh employees.

• The scheme will be effective from 01 April 2020.

• Under the scheme every government employee and their families will be eligible for medical treatment worth Rs 5 lakh annually.

• For some critical diseases, the eligibility will be enhanced to Rs 10 lakh.

Kolkata Police to begin third edition of ‘Sukanya’ project from January 6th

• The third edition of the ‘Sukanya’ project of Kolkata Police will begin from 06 January 2020.

• Sukanya is an initiative of the Kolkata Police’s Community Policing Wing to provide self-defence training to girl students of city-based schools, colleges and universities in martial art forms such as taekwondo, judo, kick-boxing and aikido.

• The Sukanya project covers those schools that come under Kanyashree scheme.

First International Yoga Day Media Award to be conferred on 30 Media Houses

• The first edition of the ‘Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman’ will take place in New Delhi on 7th January, 2020.

• The Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar will confer the award on 30 Media Houses for their contribution in popularizing of Yoga at national and international level.

• The Ministry of I&B had instituted the first Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman (AYDMS) in June, 2019 to acknowledge the positive role & responsibility of media in spreading the message of Yoga.

PM Modi Launches Braille Version of his Book ‘Exam Warriors’ On World Braille Day

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Braille version of his book Exam Warriors on World Braille Day on 04 January 2020.

• The book is a guide to bust examination related stress, and has illustrations, activities and yoga exercises

• The braille version is in both Hindi as well as English.

Neutral Pronoun ‘They’ Voted Word of the Decade by US Linguists

• The US language experts have voted neutral pronoun ‘They’ as the Word of the Decade.

• The third-person plural pronoun “They” is increasingly being used in English as singular form to refer to people who identify their gender as neither entirely male nor entirely female.

Irfan Pathan Announces Retirement from all forms of Cricket

• Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket on January 5, 2020.

• Irfan made his Team India debut at the age of 19 in 2003.

• He has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the Team India.

Shooter Saurabh Chaudhary wins men’s 10 metres air pistol gold at the 63rd National Shooting Championship

• Ace Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary has won the men’s 10 metres air pistol gold at the 63rd National Shooting Championship in Bhopal on January 05, 2020.

• The 17-year-old from Uttar Pradesh scored 246.4 to finish on top.

• Sarabjot Singh of Haryana stood second, while world number two Abhishek Verma settled for bronze.

• Also, Abhishek and Sarabjot together won the team gold for Haryana.

• Sarabjot also won the junior men’s gold.

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