15 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

15 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. M S Swaminathan Honoured with ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award’

  • Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan was presented the ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence’ for his distinguished contribution to the field of agriculture.
  • He becomes the first recipients the award presented by the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu during the Pongal Celebrations held at Raj Bhavan in Chennai today.
  • The Award instituted by the Muppavarapu Foundation was announced recently during its 10th-anniversary celebrations in Hyderabad.
  • It carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs and a citation.
  • Swaminathan is known as the “Father of the Green Revolution in India and the Doyen of Agricultural Science”.
  • He has been playing a pioneering role in the advancement of agriculture and improving the lives of the farmers. 

2. Ishwar Sharma wins ‘Global Child Prodigy Award’

  •  British Indian yoga boy Ishwar Sharma (10-year-old) wins Global Child Prodigy Award.
  • He was chosen from the UK for the awards which honour child prodigies from across 45 countries and 30 different categories such as palaeontology, biking, choreography, fitness and martial arts etc.
  • Ishwar Sharma also has the skill to chant up to 50 shlokas from the Vedas and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and practices yoga. Sharma, originally from Mysore, has participated in over 100 yoga events across the UK and worldwide.
  • Global Child Prodigy Awards is A Global Talent Recognition for Child Prodigies. Kids Upto age 15 years who are extraordinary in their own way.
  • One hundred Global Child Prodigies will be recognized and will be featured in the Global Child Prodigy Award Book 2019.
Source: Business-standard

3. Himachal creates Guinness World Record by preparing the largest quantity of Khichdi 

  • Himachal Pradesh has made the Guinness Book of World Records for preparing the largest-ever quantity of ‘bean and rice’ dish (khichdi) on 14 January 2020 at Tattapani in Mandi district.
  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur accepted the certificate on behalf of the state’s Tourism and Civil Aviation department.
  • A team of 25 chefs from Holiday Home hotel in Shimla, cooked 1995 kg of the dish in a vessel weighing 270 kg, with the dimensions of four feet depth and seven feet diameter, that was specially acquired from Jagadhari in Haryana.
  • The chefs’ team took five hours, 4 AM to 9 AM, to prepare the stew.
  • The khichdi container was too heavy to be carried that a crane was used to tilt out the khichdi from the enormous container for serving khichdi to devotees at Tattapani.
  • Earlier, the record for making the largest amount of khichdi (918.8 kg) was held by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
  • Sanjeev Kapoor represented the Indian ministry of food processing industries at an event in New Delhi on November 4, 2017.

4. Capt Tania Shergill to be 1st woman parade adjutant

  • Indian Army Officer Captain Tania Shergill will be the first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade.
  • Captain Shergill is an electronics and communications graduate.
  • A parade adjutant is responsible for the parade.
  • She was commissioned in March 2017 from the Officer Training Academy, Chennai.
  • Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather have also served in the Army.
  • In last year's Republic Day parade, Captain Bhavna Kasturi was the first woman officer to lead an all-men contingent.

5. A P Maheshwari appointed as the new DG of CRPF

  • Senior IPS officer AP Maheshwari has been appointed as the director-general of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • Maheshwari, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, has been appointed to the post up to February 28, 2021.
  • He took the charge from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) DG Surjeet Singh Deswal who was given an additional charge as the head of CRPF after the retirement of DG Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar on December 31, 2019.
  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is India's largest Central Armed Police Forces.
  • It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India.

6. Lt General Girish Kumar appointed as the Surveyor General of India

  • The government of India has appointed Lt General Girish Kumar as the Surveyor General of India in Survey of India on contract basis for a period of one year.
  • Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved the proposal from re-appointment of Kumar on the post for one year with effect from January 1, 2020.
  • It further mentioned that "necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Department of Science and Technology."
  • Earlier, Kumar was appointed as Surveyor General of India on September 30, 2017, under the Survey of India, the national survey and mapping organization of the country.

National Affairs

7. Center to set up 11-member Committee on royalty rates revision of minerals 

  •  The central government has decided to set up an 11-member committee to look into the issues related to the revision of royalty rates for minerals other than coal, lignite, sand for stowing and minor minerals. 
  • The committee will be headed by K. Rajeswara Rao, the additional secretary of the ministry mines.
  • Mines secretaries of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha will be the members of the committee.
  • The committee will submit its report within 1 month to the ministry of mines. 

8. Indian Railways signs MoU with RailTel for Phase 2 of e-office Execution 

  • After the successful completion of the Phase 1 execution of NIC e office for 50000 users in 58 units, Indian Railways has signed MoU with RailTel, a miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, for the phase 2 of the project. 
  • In phase 2, RailTel will register 39000 users over 34 Railway divisions on NIC e office platform by 30th June 2020. 
  • The phase 1 of NIC e-office execution started with a mandate to complete the work by March 2020. 
  • But with a lightning speed of execution RailTel completed the work way ahead of time and successfully created 50000+ users in 58 units of Indian Railways and trained the executives to handle the platform in a span of mere 6 months’ time.
  • MoU was signed by Executive Director (ED/TD), Railway Board, Shri Umesh Balonda, and General Manager (GM)/Information Technology (IT) project/RailTel, Smt. Haritima Jaipuriar.
Source: PIB

 9. 6th Island Development Agency meeting held in New Delhi 

  • 6th meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) was held New Delhi on January 13, 2020. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of Home Affairs (MoHA) Shri Amit Shah. 
  • The meeting focused on “Green Development in the Islands to reach new heights”. Also, during the meeting progress made towards “Holistic development of islands” were reviewed. 
  • The Island Development Agency (IDA) has taken up scientifically assessed sustainable development goals in order to improve growth of the Islands. 
  • This is the first time such an initiative is being implemented.

 10. The Government of India launched the Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD) 

  • The government of India (GoI) has launched an Integrated Road Accident database. 
  • It is a central accident database management system that will help in analysing causes of road crashes and in devising safety interventions to reduce such accidents in the country.
  • This IT tool has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) and will be implemented by the National Informatics Centre. 
  • The project costs ₹258 crore and is being supported by the World Bank.
  • The system will be first piloted in the six States with highest fatalities from road crashes — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It was launched during ‘Road Safety Stakeholders’ Meet held in New Delhi. 
 Important Days

11. India celebrates 72nd Army Day today

  • Today, the 72nd Army Day is being celebrated across the country.
  • Army Day is celebrated every year on 15th January to mark the day when (then) Lieutenant General KM Popularly known as “Kipper”, KM Cariappa was the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Indian Army.
  • The day is celebrated to pay homage, salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.
  • On Army Day, General Bipin Rawat (Chief of Defence Staff), General Manoj Mukund Naravane(Army chief), Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Air Force Chief)and Admiral Karambir Singh (Navy Chief) paid tributes at the National War Memorial Ground in New Delhi.
Source: DD News
 Banking & Finance

 12. Retail inflation jumps to about 5-yr high of 7.35 % in Dec 2019

  • Retail inflation rose to about five-and-half year high of 7.35% in December 2019, mainly due to the rise in prices of vegetables as onions.
  • Now, it is surpassing the RBI's comfort level, 
  • As per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the spike in inflation in the vegetable segment was 60.5%  during the month compared to December 2018.
  • The overall retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.11% (in December 2018) and 5.54% ( in November 2019).
  • The previous high in retail inflation was witnessed at 7.39% ( in July 2014).
  • The Central Government has mandated the Reserve Bank of India to keep inflation in the range of 4% with a margin of two per cent on either side.
  • Retail inflation means the increase in prices of certain products or commodities compared to a base price.
  • In India, retail inflation is linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is managed by the Ministry of Statistics.
  • CPI numbers are widely used as a macroeconomic indicator of inflation, as a tool by governments and central banks.
Source: AIR News

13. World Bank & ADB Approves Rs 14000 crore to enhance road safety in India

  • According to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Transport ministry has firmed up a Rs 14,000 crore state support programme for strengthening road safety in India, which will be funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • The road transport and highways ministry will fund half of the `14,000-crore programme while the World Bank and the ADB will equally contribute the remaining half.
  • According to the World Road Statistics, India recorded the highest number of road accident deaths across 199 countries in 2018.
Art & Culture

 14. Bhogi is being celebrated in south India

  • Bhogi is being celebrated in Tamil Nadu and several other parts of southern India.
  • It marks the last day of the month of Margazhi in the Tamil calendar.
  • On Bhogi day, redundant or unusable materials are disposed of, to welcome the auspicious Pongal festival.
  • Bhogi is a prelude to the grand Pongal festivities.
International Affairs

15. Iranian Olympic medalist Kimia Alizadeh announces her defection

  •  Iran’s Olympic medalist, Kimia Alizadeh took to her Instagram to announce that she is leaving the country.
  • Alizadeh is the only woman from Iran to have won the Olympic medal.
  • She made history at the Rio Olympics in 2016, when she won the bronze medal for her country in Taekwondo.
  • Alizadeh did not announce any future plans or the country which she has gone to, but she said that she will remain the daughter of Iran.

 16. Japan Coast Guard Ship ‘Echigo’ arrives in Chennai

  • The Japan Coast Guard Ship ‘Echigo’ has arrived in Chennai on a five-day goodwill visit.
  • It will be participating in the Annual Joint Exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’ with the Indian Coast Guard off Chennai.
  • This is the 19th such exercise being conducted between the two Coast Guards since 2000.
  • Four Indian Coast Guard ships, their aircraft and a vessel from the Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology - NIOT are participating in the exercise along with the Japanese vessel.

17. India finish 2019 as number one shooting nation in the world

  • India finished this year as the top shooting nation in the world, leaving behind Olympic heavyweights China and the USA.
  • In terms of overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals in an unforgettable year. 
  • While India leads the standings with 30 medals overall, China is second with 11 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze for a total of 44 podium finishes. 
  • The USA is placed third with 15 medals including six gold six silver and three bronze.
  • The number of Olympic quotas, which now stands at a record 15, is not an only refection of the country's rapid rise in the sport over the last one year but also sets up the shooters nicely for a record haul at the Tokyo Games, after the meltdown at Rio de Janeiro. 
  • Indian shooting's best show at the Olympics remains the two medals won at London in 2012. 
Source: AIR News 
14 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

14 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Michael Patra appointed as fourth deputy governor of RBI

  • On January 14, 2020, the central government has appointed Michael Patra as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a three-year term.
  • At present, he is serving as an executive director at the Reserve Bank of India.
  • He replaces Viral Acharya, who left office on July 23, 2019.
  • He will take over as the fourth deputy governor at the Reserve Bank.
  • He was in charge of the central bank’s monetary policy division until now.

2. Statue of Unity included in ‘8 Wonders of SCO’

  • The Statue of Unity at Kevadia, Gujarat has been included in 8 wonders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
  • The Statue of Unity is the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of independent India.
  • The 182-meter tall statue is the world’s tallest statue that was inaugurated by PM Modi on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in October 2018.
  • The statue was inaugurated on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 2018.

3. PM Modi attended the inaugural session of Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi

  • India's flagship global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics Raisina Dialogue has begun in New Delhi on January 14, 2020.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the inaugural session at which seven former heads of state or government will share their views on important challenges facing the world.
  • The fifth edition of the prestigious Raisina Dialogue, jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
  • 700 international participants from over 100 countries are expected to participate in the dialogue.
  • 12 foreign ministers, including from Russia, Iran, Australia, Maldives, South Africa, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Uzbekistan, and the EU will participate in it.

4. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to inaugurate “Classical Telugu Centre” in AP

  • Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate a new Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu on January 21 in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The center will facilitate to focus its activities for the development of this rich classical Telugu through Research, seminars, debates and various activities.
  • The Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu (CESCT) came under the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL).
  • Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhrial 'Nishank' is also set to attend the event.
  • Andhra Pradesh governor Biswabhusan Harichandan
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Source: Business Standard

5. IOC launches special NATO class diesel for Indian Navy

  • State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has developed a special class diesel conforming to NATO grade for use in ships and vessels of the Indian Navy.
  • Vice Admiral G S Pabby launched the Upgraded High Flash High-Speed Diesel (HFHSD- IN 512) in New Delhi.
  • The fuel possesses the best rheological and detergent characteristics validated against most stringent military specifications.
  • It also has a lesser environmental impact due to low Sulphur content and would result in better performance of engines.
  • This fuel will facilitate the Indian Navy to enhance its global footprint and will allow India to fuel the vessels of friendly foreign countries at places where fuel conforming to NATO grade is supplied.
  • The changeover to the upgraded HFHSD- IN 512 has been done without any additional cost to the Indian Navy.
Source: Business Standard

6. India to acquire 200 fighter jets for Air Force

  • According to Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, the Union government is in the process of acquiring around 200 aircraft to cope with the depleting aerial inventories of the Indian Air Force.
  • The contract for HAL-manufactured 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1 A advanced fighter jets are in the final stages.
  • Apart from these, Expression of Interest has been floated for another 110 aircraft, based on which Request for Proposal will be floated.
  • The Air Force has Sukhoi 30 MKIs, Mirage 2000s, Mig 29s, and the aging Jaguars and Mig 21 Bisons in its inventory of fighter jets at present.
  • The last fleet of seven swing-wing MiG-27 fighters, which played an important role during the 1999 Kargil war, was decommissioned on 27th December 2019.

Banking and Finance

7. RBI restricts cash withdrawals up to Rs 35,000 in Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put restrictions on cash withdrawals for the account holders of Sri Gururaghavendra Sahakara Bank.
  • As per the RBI directions, the bank will not be able to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability, including borrowing of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits.
  • This has been done after finding alleged irregularities in transactions.
  • The bank’s savings and current account customers and depositors can, however, withdraw cash up to ₹35,000 only till further notice.
  • The directive will remain in force for 6 months from January 10 and is subject to review,” added the official.
  • Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha is an urban cooperative bank and the RBI has issued directions in the exercise of powers vested in it under subsection (1) of Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

8. Former Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal acquires DHFL General Insurance

  • Sachin Bansal (Flipkart co-founder and former CEO) has acquired DHFL General Insurance from Kapil Wadhawan-led Wadhawan Group Capital (WGC) for around Rs 100 crore.
  • WGC is the parent company of debt-laden Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) and this deal is seen as a distress sale.
  • Now, Bansal has entered the insurance business, and the investment is also seen as part of his strategy to enter into the financial services industry.
  • Earlier, Bansal had done multiple investments in the insurance business to increase his portfolio of firms in the sector.

9. Infosys signs five-year deal with a European firm to digitize global operations

  • On January 13, 2020, the Global software major Infosys signed a 5-year deal with leading European automotive logistics firm GEFCO to digitize its worldwide operations.
  • Infosys is partnering with the Paris-based GEFCO to digitize its multi-modal supply chain solutions and support its digital transformation over the next five years.
  • The 70-year-old GEFCO has a presence in 47 countries and serves about 300 destinations worldwide with 15,000 workforces.
  • As a technology partner, Infosys will help transform GEFCO's business application management services, leverage its live enterprise suite to evolve into a digital native organization.
  • Digitization will also enable the logistics company to process information in real-time and help it respond intelligently across the value chain.
  • The 4.6-billion-euro GEFCO designs smart, flexible solutions to meet supply-chain challenges in every industry sector.

 International Affairs

10. Robert Abela Sworn in as New Prime Minister of Malta

  • Lawyer Robert Abela (42 years) was sworn in as the 14th Prime Minister of Malta
  • He replaced ruling PM Joseph Muscat, who resigned amid accountability over the murder of an investigative journalist.
  • Abela is the son of former President of Malta George Abela.
  • Robert Abela secured a surprising victory in Malta’s governing party’s internal leadership contest to be elected as the new leader.
  • The prime minister of Malta is the highest official of Malta (head of government).
  • Capital of Malta: Valletta
  • Currency: Euro

11. Nearly 8,000 Philipinos evacuated as Taal volcano erupts near Manila

  • Around 8,000 residents were evacuated after a small active Taal volcano near Manila spewed a massive cloud of ash.
  • Experts warned of another possibility of "hazardous explosive eruption."
  • Taal (one of the world's smallest active volcanoes) sits in the middle of a lake about 70km (45 miles) south of the center of Manila.
  • There was a risk an eruption could cause a tsunami in the lake.
  • The Philippines lies on the Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is also prone to earthquakes.
  • Taal has erupted more than 30 times in the past five centuries, most recently in 1977.

 Important Days

12. Armed Forces Veterans Day: 14 January

  • Armed Forces Veterans Day is celebrated every year on January 14.
  • The day is being celebrated since 2017 and the day was initially called Armistice Day.
  • Every year, January 14 is marked as Armed Forces Veteran Day as the Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the first Commander-in-chief of Indian Armed Forces retired on the day.
  • The fourth Army Forces Veteran Day, 2020 is to be celebrated at National War Memorial.

 Sports News

13. Japan's Kento Momota wins Malaysia Masters

  • Japanese badminton player Kento Momota (World number-1) has won the Malaysia Masters 2020.
  • He defeated Denmark's Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11.
  • The victory in Malaysia lends credence to Momota's drive to win the gold in July's Tokyo Olympics.
  • The reigning world champion told reporters that his eyes more success in 2020.
  • Momota, currently the best player on the planet, won a record 11 titles last year.
  • The 2020 Malaysia Masters was the first tournament of the 2020 BWF World Tour.
  • It is also part of the Malaysia Masters championships, which had been held since 2009.
  • This tournament was organized by the Badminton Association of Malaysia and sanctioned by the BWF.

14. Novak Djokovic Leads Serbia to win inaugural ATP Cup with 2-1 victory over Spain

  • Serbia has won the inaugural 2020 ATP Cup tennis tournament, defeating Spain 2–1 in the final in Sydney.
  • Novak Djokovic (from Serbia) was the key performer in the tournament.
  • Djokovic (World No. 2) claimed a straight-sets victory over Rafael Nadal (World No. 1) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in singles.
  • In doubles, Djokovic and Viktor Troicki claimed 6-3, 6-4 straight sets victory over Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta.
  • ATP Cup was the opener for the 2020 ATP Tour, as well as the first ATP team tournament since the last edition of the World Team Cup in 2012.


15. Raj Kapoor’s daughter Ritu Nanda passes away

  • Ritu Nanda, entrepreneur, and daughter of late Bollywood actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor passed away on January 13, 2020, in New Delhi.
  • Ritu Nanda is the sister of Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor. She was suffering from cancer.
12-13 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

12-13 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Haitham Bin Tariq Al -Said becomes new Sultan of Oman

  • Haitham bin Tariq al-Said took over as Sultan of Oman after the death of a long-time ruler Qaboos bin Said Al Said.
  • Late Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed had ruled Oman since 1970 as the 8th Sultan of the House of Al Said.
  • The late sultan had himself chose Haitham Bin Tareq Al Saeed (cousin of late Sultan Qaboos) as his successor, as the Sultan had no children.
  • He was the longest-serving monarch among the recent Arab rulers.
  • The Sultan of Oman is the highest decision-maker and holds the parallel position of the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

2. World Trade Organization set up a dispute panel over India’s duty hike on 28 American goods

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) has set up a panel to examine complaints filed by United States (US) against India for hiking customs duties of 28 American goods in July 2019.
  • The US had dragged India to the WTO by filing a complaint against New Delhi's move to increase customs duties, alleging the decision as inconsistent with the global trade norms.
  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a WTO pact, signed by all member countries of the multi-lateral body, aims to promote trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers like customs duties.
  • The US had also alleged that the duties imposed by India appear to be inconsistent with the two norms of GATT.
  • The US rolled back export incentives from India under its GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) programme and New Delhi has imposed higher customs duties on 28 American products such as almond, pulses, walnut, chickpeas, boric acid, etc.
  • India’s exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while its imports were at $26.7 billion. The trade balance is also in favour of India.
  • It is a WTO pact signed by all the member countries of WTO and aims to promote trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers like customs duties.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Founded: 1 January 1995.
  • Director General (DG): Roberto Carvalho de Azevedo.

3. Tsai Ing-wen wins Taiwan presidential election

  • Taiwan - Tsai Ing-wen has secured a second term in office in Taiwan after winning the presidential election with 57.1 per cent of the votes.
  • Tsai won 8.17 million votes, while her main rival Han Kuo-yu bagged 5.52 million votes (38.6 percent).
  • Her Democratic Progressive party retained control of the legislature, according to final results.
  • Capital of Taiwan: Taipei
  • The currency of Taiwan: New Taiwan dollar

4. World's second-largest Muslim congregation 'Bishwa Ijtema' held in Bangladesh

  • Bangladesh hosted the world's second-largest Muslim congregation 'Bishwa Ijtema' from January 10 to 12, 2020.
  • This was the first phase of the congregation. The second phase of the Ijtema will be held from January 17 to 19.
  • Bishwa Ijtema is an annual event that is held in a 160-acre field on the bank of the Turag River at Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka since 1967.
  • Bishwa Ijtema means world congregation and it draws in Muslims from about 150 countries. In 2010, 5 million people were estimated to take part in the Bishwa Ijtema.
  • It is a gathering that focuses on prayer and meditation and is not open to political discussions.
Source: DD News

5. 18th Dhaka International Film Festival begins in Dhaka

  •  The 18th Dhaka International Film Festival was inaugurated in Dhaka, Bangladesh by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen.
  • The festival kicked off with the screening of the Spanish-Greek film Window to the Sea, directed by Miguel Angel Jimenez, at Bangladesh National Museum (BNM).
  • During the festival, 220 films from 74 countries will be screened across various venues in Dhaka between 11-19 January.
  • More than 100 filmmakers and other personalities from the movie world are participating in the event over the next eight days.
  • The theme of the festival is ‘Better Film, Better Audience, and Better Society’.
Source: DD News

Important Days

6. 12th January: National Youth Day

  • National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas) is celebrated in India on 12th January on the birthday of the social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda (157th).
  • On the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, 23rd National Youth Festival 2020 started with a grand inauguration ceremony in Lucknow.
  • The National Youth Festival 2020 is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and State Government of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The theme of the 23rd National Youth Festival 2020 is “FIT YOUTH FIT INDIA”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the youth of the country to try only to purchase local products by 2020 which will help our countrymen.
  • The National Youth Festival will increase the EK BHARAT SHRESTHA BHARAT bonding and it will prove as a learning platform for everyone.
  • Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th January 1863 in the Pausha Krishna Saptami tithi and died on 4 July 1902.
  • He was the chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.
  • He was one of the most prominent figures of India who introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the 'Western' World.

National Affairs

7. Amit Shah launches the country’s first Cyber Crime Prevention Unit ‘AASHVAST’ in Gandhinagar

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated the country's first Cyber Crime Prevention Unit AASHVAST in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • He also launched Video Integration and StateWide Advance Security-VISWAS project.
  • The Cyber Crime Prevention Unit-AASHVAST will have a dedicated service helpline for victims of cyber-crimes.

8. Govt launches mission to develop steel sector in eastern India

  • Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has launched 'Mission Purvodaya' which aims at accelerated development of eastern India through integrated steel hub.
  •  Under the mission, the government will enhance capacity through easing the setup of greenfield steel plants, develop steel clusters near integrated steel plants as well as demand centers.
  • Besides, the government aims to transform logistics and utility infrastructure which would change the socio-economic landscape in eastern India.
  • The steps under mission also include the growth of the steel industry along with employment opportunities across the entire value chain.
  • Eastern India, is a focus area for the government and about half of the aspirational districts are in this region which are becoming hotspots of socio-economic development.
Source: Business Standard

9. Kolkata Port Trust renamed after Syama Prasad Mukherjee

  • On January 12, 2020 PM Narendra Modi announced to rename the Kolkata Port Trust after Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
  • The announcement was made on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the historic Kolkata Port Trust.
  • The event was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He dedicated a Commemorative Stamp to mark 150 years of Kolkata port trust to the nation.
  • The Kaushal Vikas Kendra and Pritilata Chhatri Avas for 200 tribal girl students from Sundarbans were also inaugurated during the event.

10. Indian Scientist Bipul Behari Saha elected as IUPAC Bureau member

  • Bipul Behari Saha, a noted chemist has been elected as a bureau member (2020-23) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). for the period 2020-23.
  • Bipul Behari Saha is the second Indian after CNR Rao (former Director of the Indian Institute of Science and Bharat Ratna) to be elected for this position in a century.
  • Founded 100 years ago, IUPAC is the largest global organization of Chemistry professionals.
  • IUPAC has the responsibility of naming all new elements and compounds, declare atomic weights and physical constants, update Periodic table and carry out research projects.

11. Lt Col Yuvraj Malik appointed director of NBT

  • Lt Col Yuvraj Malik has been appointed the Director of the National Book Trust (NBT) on deputation from the Indian Army.
  • He replaced Sahitya Akademi-awardee writer Rita Chowdhury.
  • Malik has also served with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Raj Bhawan in Jammu & Kashmir, United Nation Missions in Africa and several operational areas in administrative and operational assignments including Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Punjab and Rajasthan.
  • Headquarters of NBT: New Delhi
  • National Book Trust (NBT) works under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
  • Chairman: Govind Prasad Sharma

Banking and Finance

12. RBI extends recurring payments feature to UPI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will now allow consumers to give an e-mandate for recurring payments made through Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • This functionality will allow UPI users to bypass additional factor authentication (AFA) every time a payment is made to a regular merchant by giving a one-time instruction to the UPI service provider.
  • This facility was earlier available for card and wallet-based payments.
  • The limit on such recurring transactions has been set at Rs. 2000.

13. Central govt raised India Overseas Bank’s authorized capital to Rs 25,000 crore

  • The Union government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced an increase in the authorized capital of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) to Rs. 25,000 crores from the previously authorized capital of Rs. 15,000 crores.
  • The authorized capital of a company/bank/institution is the maximum amount of share capital a company is authorized to issue its shareholders.
  • MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank: Shri Karnam Sekar
  • Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Tagline: Good people to grow with.

14. PayU to acquire PaySense for $185 mn

  • Payment and fintech company PayU has decided to acquire a controlling stake in digital credit platform PaySense in a deal valued at $185 million.
  • After that PayU has also decided to merge its consumer lending businesses, LazyPay with PaySense. , will merge their business operations to build a full-stack digital lending platform in India.
  • Also, the founder and CEO of PaySense Prashanth Ranganathan will lead the PayU’s credit business in India as the CEO of the new venture


15. Jasprit Bumrah gets BCCI’s Polly Umrigar award

  • Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah (world’s No. 1 ODI bowler) will receive the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s Polly Umrigar Award for his super performance in international cricket in the 2018-19 season.
  • Currently ranked as the world no.1 ODI bowler, Bumrah had made his Test debut during India’s tour of South Africa in January 2018.
  • He has picked up five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England, Australia, and the West Indies to become the first and only Asian bowler to achieve the milestone.
  • Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav will be given the best international cricketer (women) award.
  • Poonam was conferred Arjuna Award by President Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of National Sports Day in 2019.
  • Krishnamachari Srikkanth (Former India captains) and Anjum Chopra (Indian cricketer) will be presented with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively.
  • Teenager Shafali Verma (15) was awarded the best international debutant and best woman cricketer in junior domestic cricket.
Source: India Today

Conference and Summit

16. ‘Wings India 2020’ to be held at Begumpet Airport Hyderabad in March 2020

  • Biennial International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation Sector, ‘Wings India 2020’ will be held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, Telangana from March 12-15, 2020. The theme of the exhibition is “Flying for all”.
  • The exhibition will be jointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce And Industry (FICCI), Airports Authority of India (AAI).
  • It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in presence of Minister for Civil Aviation.
  • During the event first-ever “Wings India Awards’ for Excellence in the Civil Aviation Sector will be announced that will be conferred upon the Aviation-related Companies.
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation: Hardeep Singh Puri
  • Ministry of State for Civil Aviation: Suresh Prabhu
  • Director-General of Directorate General of Civil Aviation: Arun Kumar

17. World Future Energy Summit begins in Abu Dhabi, UAE

  • On January 13th, 2020 the World Future Energy Summit 2020 begun in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Abu Dhabi.
  • The four-day annual Summit is dedicated to advancing future energy, clean technologies, and energy efficiency.
  • Held annually at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the 2020 edition includes exhibition and forum programs across five main pillars: energy, solar, water, waste and smart cities, hosting an unrivaled gathering of top-level government and business leaders. 
  • The theme for this year's summit is "Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment." World Future Energy Summit is the Middle East’s largest future energy and sustainability event.
  • 33,500 participants from 170 countries participated in the summit.
11 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

11 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Census India-2021 to begin on 1st April

  • ‘Census India-2021’ (16th Indian Census) will begin on 1st of April this year and end on 30th of September 2020 with actual enumeration in February 2021 and a revision round in March.
  • It will be conducted through a mobile phone application, moving away from the traditional pen and paper.
  • The reference date will be 1st March 2021 in most of the country and 1 October 2020 for Jammu and Kashmir and some areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • Enumerators of the census will seek the information of the mobile number of the head of the family, information related to toilets, TV, Internet, vehicles owned, source of drinking water besides asking other questions during the house listing phase of the exercise.
  • The Indian Census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different

2. Union Budget to be presented on 1st Feb & Economic Survey on 31st Jan

  • Union Budget will be presented on the 1st of February and the Economic Survey on 31st January 2020.
  • The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on the 31st of this month.
  • The first Union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on 26th November 1947.
  • Until 2016, the budget of the Indian Railways was presented separately to Parliament and dealt with separately.
Economic Survey of India: 
  • The Economic Survey of India is the flagship annual document of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance presents the Survey in the Parliament every year, just before the Union Budget.
  • It is prepared under the guidance of the Chief Economic Adviser attached to the Ministry of Finance.
Union Budget:
  • The Union Budget of India is the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Constitution of Republic of India.
  • The Government presents it on the first day of February so that it could be materialised before the beginning of the new financial year in April.

3. Home Minister Amit Shah dedicates National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal to nation

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and dedicated National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in) to the nation.
  • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal is a citizen-centric initiative that will enable citizens to report cyber-crimes online through the portal.
  • It enables filing of all cyber-crimes with a specific focus on crimes against women, children, particularly child pornography, child sex abuse material, online content pertaining to rapes.
  • At the initiative of the Home Ministry, 15 States and UTs have given their consent to set up Regional Cyber Crime Coordination Centres.
  • All the cyber-crime related complaints will be accessed by the concerned law enforcement agencies in the States and Union Territories for acting as per law.
Source: AIR News

4. Government releases State Energy Efficiency Index 2019

  • Power Minister R K Singh has released the State Energy Efficiency Index 2019, which tracks the progress of Energy Efficiency Initiatives in 36 States and Union Territories.
  • The index this year incorporates qualitative, quantitative and outcome-based indicators to assess energy efficiency initiatives, programs and outcomes in five distinct sectors.
  • The index is developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency in association with Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
  • It will help states to contribute towards national goals on energy security and climate action by helping drive Energy Efficiency policies and programme implementation at the state and local level.
  • These are buildings, industry, municipalities, transport, agriculture, and DISCOMs.
  • The required data were collected from the concerned state departments such as DISCOMs, Urban Development and other departments with the help of State Designated Agencies.

5. Pulses Conclave to be held in Lonavala

  • India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) has announced the fifth edition of the Pulses Conclave, will be held in Lonavala, Maharashtra from 12-14 February 2020.
  • IPGA expects close to 1500 trade stakeholders from India and key pulses exporting countries like USA, Australia, Canada, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi.
  • IPGA is the nodal body for the country's pulses trade and industry.
  • The conference aims at increasing exports, processing efficiencies, protein extraction, value addition and post-harvest management.

6. GoI to launch Purvodaya to accelerate Eastern India Development

  • The Ministry of Steel will launch “Purvodaya”, a world-class steel hub.
  • The hub aims at an accelerated development programme of eastern states.
  • The Ministry will be joined by CII (Confederation of India Industries) in the implementation of “Purvodaya”.
Honour & Award

7. Jasbinder Bilan wins UK children's book award

  • India-born author Jasbinder Bilan has bagged a coveted UK children's book award for her debut novel.
  • Her novel, 'Asha and the Spirit Bird', aimed at readers aged nine years and above, beat competition from three other shortlisted books to be named the winner of the 2019 Costa Children's Award this week.
  • Bilan will receive 5,000 pounds as the winner of the award.
  • The award is open to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and presented annually across five categories of First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.
Source: Telegraph India

8. Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman passes away

  • The King of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said (79-years) passed away due to years-long struggle with an illness.
  • Sultan Qaboos supported by Britain came to power in 1970 in a bloodless coup against his father.
  • Sultan Qaboos followed a moderate and a stable foreign policy and is credited with turning Oman into a modern country.
  • During his rule, Oman often became the neutral mediator in the otherwise volatile region.
  • The written constitution Qaboos introduced requires the ruling family to choose a successor within three days of the throne falling vacant.
Know about Qaboos bin Said
  • Qaboos was born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18 November 1940 as an only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Sheikha Mazoon al-Mashani.
  • He attended school in Oman and England before entering the U.K.’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
  • The Sultan of the Sultanate of Oman is the monarch and head of state of Oman.
  • It is the most powerful position in the country.
Source: AIR News
Banking & Finance

9. RBI amends KYC norms, allows banks to use V-CIP

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has amended the KYC norms allowing banks and other lending institutions regulated by it to use Video-based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP).
  • The V-CIP will make it easier for banks and other regulated entities to adhere to the RBI's Know Your Customer (KYC) norms by leveraging digital technology.
  • According to RBI, it decided to permit video-based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) as a consent-based alternate method of establishing the customer's identity, for customer onboarding with a view to leveraging the digital channels for Customer Identification Process (CIP) by regulated entities (REs).
  • The regulated entities will have to ensure that the video recording is stored in a safe and secure manner and bears the date and time stamp.
  • As per the circular, the reporting entity should capture a clear image of the PAN card to be displayed by the customer during the process.
  • The official of the reporting entity should ensure that the photograph and the identification details in Aadhaar/PAN should match with the details provided by the customer.
  • It also said that Live location of the customer (Geotagging) shall be captured to ensure that customer is physically present in India.
Source: Air news
International Affairs

10. Second largest Muslim Congregation in the world Bishwa Ijtema begins in Bangladesh

  • The first phase of the world’s second-largest Muslim congregation after Haj began on the outskirts of Dhaka.
  • Thousands of devotees from Bangladesh and abroad are thronging the bank of river Turag at Tongi near Dhaka to participate in the congregation called Bishwa Ijtema.
  • Noted scholars give a religious sermon to the devotees on this occasion.
  • The Ijtema began with the ‘aam bayan’ and will end on January 12 with the final prayers ‘Akheri Munajat’.
  • The second phase of Bishwa Ijtem will take place between January 17-19.
  • Bishwa Ijtema has been taking place on the Turag riverbank in Tongi near Dhaka since 1967.
  • In 2011, the congregation was split into two phases to ensure better management.
  • Bishwa Ijtema draws in Muslim devotees from about 150 countries.

11. Israel unveils revolutionary laser-based air defence system

  • According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israel has successfully developed a laser-based air defence system.
  • The system is meant to intercept aerial threats ranging from as mortar fire, drones, medium-range Grad rockets, anti-tank missiles as well as long-range missiles.
  • The technological development will enable the long-range targeting and stabilization of laser beams, allowing them to intercept targets at great distances.
  • The system is set to be tested in six months' time at an undisclosed location in northern Israel.
  • If the interception test is successful, the laser-based system will be dispatched for field use along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.

12. India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant likely to be commissioned by 2021

  • The manufacturing of the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase three.
  • It is likely to be commissioned by early 2021.
  • This carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi.
  • According to Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022 and it will have a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.
Source: Economics Times
Art & Culture

13. Famous chariot festival of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple started in Tamil Nadu

  • The famous chariot festival of the Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple is being held with great camaraderie and devotion.
  • The ten-day annual festival is held in the Tamil month falling in December - January.
  • The temple is especially significant because it is sacred to both the Shaivite as well as Vaishnavite sects.
  • This 17th-century temple is famous for its architectural grandeur.
  • There is an Anjaneya statue, which is 22 feet tall and is carved out of a single granite block.
  • It is said to be one of the tallest statues of its type in India.
10 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

10 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. 3rd Khelo India Youth Games begins today in Guwahati

  • On January 10, 2020, the 3rd Khelo India Youth Games 2020 started at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.
  • Khelo India Youth Games event is a National level multidisciplinary games conducted every year.
  • Six thousand five hundred athletes from 37 teams will take part in the event.
  • Cycling and Lawn Ball have been introduced as new disciplines in the games.
  • The games include two categories namely under-17-year school students and under-21-year college students.
  • Under the event, an annual scholarship of Rs 5,00,000 is given for 1000 kids to prepare them for international sporting events.
  • The Games will continue till January 22.
  • The third edition of Khelo India Youth Games-2020 is advocating for the elimination of single-use plastics this time.

2. Ladakh won 7th National Ice Hockey Championship Women trophy

  • Ladakh has won the 7th National Ice Hockey Championship Women trophy. The match was held at the Karzoo Ice Hockey Rink in Ladakh.
  • The tournament was organized by the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) in association with the Ladakh winter sports club.
  • Four women teams representing Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Ladakh participated in the tournament.

 Banking and Economy

3. SBI lowers GDP estimates for FY20 to 4.6% from 5%

  • The State Bank of India’s research desk has released its ‘Ecowrap’ report on January 09, 2020.
  • In its report, the SBI has lowered its GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 4.6 percent from the earlier 5 percent.
  • Also, the latest SBI Ecowrap report even predicted the growth rate to remain below 6 percent for the two years in a row.
  • For FY20, the budgeted nominal GDP growth rate was 12 percent which has now been revised downwards to 7.5 percent.
  • Based on this GDP revision, the impact on fiscal deficit is around 12 basis points for FY20.
  • The SBI Ecowrap report clarified this estimate has a shelf-life of two months and is only used as an input for budget calculations.
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will release the first revised estimate of FY17, FY18, and FY19 on January 31, the report said, and based on that, GDP and GVA for FY20 would be revised further downwards in the second advance estimate for FY20 on February 28 and on May 29.

4. Paytm launches unified QR code for merchants to enable unlimited payments

  • India's leading digital payments company Paytm announced the launch of its all-in-one QR for merchants across the country.
  • The QR code will enable the business to accept unlimited payments through Paytm Wallet, Rupay Cards and all UPI-based payment apps directly into their bank account at zero percent fee
  • The platform offers a single reconciliation of all payments through its 'Paytm for Business' app
  • Paytm also launched ‘Paytm Business Khata’, a new service to promotes the Paytm merchant partners to maintain digital ledgers of all their customer transactions including cash and credit.
  • Along with this, the company has also launched QR codes into the calculator, power bank, watch, pen stand and radio for the convenience of businessmen.

5. In a first, HDFC Bank launches myApps to boost digital payments

  • India’s leading private sector lender HDFC Bank launched myApps application to boost digital payments in India on January 09, 2020.
  • myApps is a unique customized suite of banking products to benefit urban local bodies, housing societies, local clubs and gymkhanas, and religious institutions.
  • At present HDFC Bank is offering four types of applications — mySociety, myClub, myPrayer and myCity.
  • myApps will allow institutions to customize their branding and content. Moreover, the app can be customized in over 20 languages starting with Hindi and English.
  • HDFC Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Managing Director– Aditya Puri
  • Tag line– We Understand Your World

6. World Bank cuts India's FY20 growth estimates to 5% from earlier 6%

  • The World Bank in its “January 2020 Global Economic Prospects: Slow growth, policy challenges”, report cut India’s GDP growth forecast for FY 2020 to 5% from earlier 6% estimate in October 2019.
  • The multilateral development lender also expects India's growth to pick up slightly to 5.8 percent in the next fiscal.
  • As per the report, the reason behind this is weakness in credit from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
  • The State Bank of India also reduced the GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 4.6 percent from the earlier 5 percent.
  • The SBI Ecowrap report has predicted the growth rate to remain below 6 percent for two years in a row.
  • Recently, the government's Central Statistics also forecast that India's nominal GDP is expected to grow by 5 percent in FY20.

International Affairs

7. Henley & Partners releases ‘Henley passport Index 2020’

  • The Henley Passport Index 2020 was released by Henley & Partners. The report is being published every year based on the data obtained from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • According to the index, Indian passport ranked at the 84th spot among the world’s most powerful passports list, which is a drop by 2 places as it ranked 82nd in 2019.
  • For the third consecutive year, Japan secured the top spot on the Henley Passport Index, with a score of 191. It was followed by Singapore in the second position, while Germany and South Korea shared the third spot.
  • Prepared by Henley and Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm, the Henley Passport Index claims to be the “original ranking of all the world’s passports”.
  • The index covers 227 destinations and 199 passports.
  • The International Air Transport Association is a trade association of the world’s airlines and its Headquarters is located in Montreal, Canada 

8. Economist Intelligence Unit released the world’s fastest-growing cities Survey

  • The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a survey that ranks the world's fastest-growing urban regions/ fastest-growing cities in the world.
  • As per the report, 3 of the cities in Kerala were ranked in the top 10 places. Malappuram city of Kerala was ranked 1st in the list, while Kerala’s Kozhikode and Kollam cities were ranked in the 4th and 10th place respectively.
  • The list was compiled on the basis of the data provided by the United Nations Population Division (UNPD).
  • Malappuram was followed by Can Tho region in Vietnam at 2nd spot and Suqian in China in the 3rd spot.

9. Election Commission of India Mauritius renewed MoU on Cooperation

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius on cooperation in electoral management.
  • The memorandum of understanding, which was in existence from April 2013 to April 2018, was renewed between the two sides at Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius
  • The MoU was signed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Mohd Irfan Abdool Rahman, Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius.
  • Capital of Mauritius - Port Louis
  • Currency- Mauritian rupee
  • Prime minister- Pravind Jugnauth
 Source: Business Standard.

 National Affairs

10. Naval Exercise 2020 will be host by Visakhapatnam

  • Vishakhapatnam the proposed executive capital city of Andhra Pradesh will host the International naval exercise ‘MILAN’ in March 2020.
  • The theme of the exercise for the year 2020 is ‘Synergy Across the Seas’.
  • The Milan exercise which will be hosted by Eastern Naval Command (ENC) the objective of this exercise is to enhance professional interaction between foreign navies and also make use of the best practices in the maritime domain.
  • India has invited 41 navies of different countries of which 30 navies have confirmed their participation in MILAN 2020.
  • Andhra Pradesh is considering the three capitals for the state Visakhapatnam one among them. Other two are Amaravati (de facto) and Kurnool (Judicial Capital)
  • Governor- Biswabhusan Harichandan.
  • CM: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

11. Indian Railways to Install IP based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations

  • Indian Railways in an effort to improve the overall security of the passengers traveling in the trains has decided to install Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations.
  • Railway Board has approved works for the provision of a Video Surveillance System covering 983 stations over Indian Railways under Nirbhaya funds.
  • This year a budget of Rs. 250 crore was allotted to Indian Railways from the Nirbhaya fund for installation of the video surveillance system.
  • Railways has entrusted RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways with the work of providing IP based VSS with video analytics and facial recognition system.
  • Under VSS, four types of full HD cameras namely Dome type, Bullet type, Pan Tilt zoom type, and Ultra 4k-HD cameras will be installed.
  • Each HD camera at the station consumes approximately 1TB of data and 4k camera consumes 4 TB data per month
Source: LiveMint

12. Crime in India increased by 1.3% in 2018: NCRB

  • The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has released its report on Crime in India for the year 2018 on January 09, 2020.
  • As per the report, a total of 50.74 lakh crimes, including 31.32 lakh under the IPC and 19.41 under the Special Local Laws was registered in 2018
  • The report says that there was an overall rise of 1.3% in the registration of cases in 2017, but the crime rate per lakh population was down to 383.5 in 2018 from 388.6 in 2017.
  • A total of 1.05 lakh cases of kidnapping and abduction across the country was registered in 2018, showing an increase of 10.3% over 95,893 such cases in 2017
  • NCRB works under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

13. Hudco appoints M Nagaraj as Chairman, Managing Director

  • M Nagaraj has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the state-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
  • He will replace Ravi Kanth. Nagaraj is also the Director (Corporate Planning) of the company.
  • HUDCO provides loans for housing and urban infrastructure projects.

14. South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo 2020 held at Greater Noida

  • The 27th edition of South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo (SATTE) 2020 was held from 8th January to 10th of January 2020 at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida – Delhi NCR.
  • It is an annual three-day B2B trade show designed to bring together the key travel industry leaders in the region.
  • It convenes Indian & International exhibitors and buyers to forge new partnerships and strengthen the business.
  • The SATTE expo was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and sponsored by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department.
  • The expo was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Shri Prahalad Singh Patel Ji, Union Minister for State for Tourism & Culture (I/C), Government of India.
  • The SATTE witnessed the participation of over 50 countries and 28 Indian states.

State Affairs

15. AP govt, German bank ink Rs 711 cr loan pact for natural

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has signed an Rs.711 crore loan agreement with Kfw, a Germany Development bank.
  • The Loan Agreement is for expanding the climate-resilient Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in the state for the next five years.
  • The state government will spend another Rs 304 crore on the project under which 2.39 lakh farmers in 591 village panchayats will be encouraged to take up ZBNF.
  • The ZBNF project is being undertaken by the state government, dovetailing the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) of the Centre, with the Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives extending technical support.
  • KfW will also provide an Rs 7.9 crore grant for financing independent verification and audit; baseline-midline-end line review and evaluation and related studies of the ZBNF project.

 Important Days

16. World Hindi day being celebrated across the world today

  • The World Hindi day being celebrated across the world every year on 10th January to create awareness about the language of Hindi across the World.
  • Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world.
  • The first World Hindi Conference was organized in Nagpur on 10th January 1975.
  • The National Hindi Divas is being observed on 14th September every year across India.
09 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

09 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Zoran Milanovic wins Croatia presidential Election

    • Zoran Milanovic of Croatia has won the presidential election of the country held on January 05, 2020. He defeated incumbent conservative leader Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
    • Zoran Milanovic is the former Prime Minister of Croatia, who has pledged to make Croatia a tolerant country.
    • The Social Democrat candidate, Milanovic took 52.7 percent of the vote, while President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic garnered 47.3 percent.
    • Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was the first female President of Croatia.
    • Capital of Croatia: Zagreb.
    • The currency of Croatia: Croatian Kuna

    2. Iran designate US armed forces and Pentagon as ‘terrorist entities’

    • On January 09, 2020, the Iranian Parliament has approved a triple-urgency bill that designates the US army and the Pentagon as a terrorist entity.
    • The Bill further requires the government to allocate 200 million euro to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force to take revenge for the US killing of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
    • Iran's IRGC's Quds Force Commander General Soleimani and Iraq's Popular Forces Commander Abu Mahdi al-Modandis, as well as eight other military men, were killed by the US Army.
    • 233 MPs repeated the words of the speaker, Ali Larijani, warning US President Donald Trump to await the consequences of his actions.
    • Irani Parliament: Majlis
    • President: Hassan Rouhani
    • Capital of Iran: Tehran
    • Currency: Rial

    Awards and Honours

    3. Kanhaiya Kumar and Prashant Kishor in Forbes’ 20 people list to watch in the 2020s

    • Two youth leaders from Bihar Kanhaiya Kumar and Prashant Kishor included in the Forbes India list of 20 people to watch in the 2020s.
    • Poll strategist Prashant Kishor is Janata Dal (United) National Vice President while Kanhaiya Kumar is former President of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union.
    • Kanhaiya Kumar finds 12th position in the list while Prashant Kishor is at 16th
    • Indian origin US-born political commentator Hasan Minhaj is on the 1st position while Keyna’s Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge in on the 20th place.
    • Other Indians who find a place in the list is Dushyant Chautala (deputy chief minister, Haryana), Mahua Moitra (Lok Sabha member, Trinamool Congress), the Godrej family (of Adi Godrej) and Garima Arora.
    • President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa also figured in the list.

    4. Indian-born Jasbinder Bilan won UK children’s book award

    • India-born author Jasbinder Bilan has bagged a coveted United Kingdom’s Costa Children’s Award 2019’. She won the award for her debut novel ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’.
    • ''Asha and the Spirit Bird'', aimed at readers aged nine years and above, beat competition from three other shortlisted books to be named the winner of the 2019 Costa Children's Award this week.
    • Jasbinder’s novel was shortlisted from 144 other entries.
    • She will receive 5,000 pounds as the winner of the award.
    • The award is open to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and presented annually across five categories of First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.


    5. Cabinet approves 'In Principle' strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding of 4 PSUs in Neelachal

    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has given 'in principle' approval for strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding in 4 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) & 2 Odisha State PSUs in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL).
    • The 4 CPSEs includes Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), MECON, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). 2 Odisha State PSUs includes Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL) and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
    • NINL is a Joint Venture company, in which four CPSEs namely MMTC, NMDC, BHEL and MECON and 2 State PSUs of Odisha Government, namely IPICOL and OMC are shareholders.
    • The proposed strategic disinvestment of NINL would unlock resources to be used to finance the social sector/developmental programmes of the Government benefiting the public.
    Source: Business Standard

    6. Govt to provide Rs 5,559 cr viability gap funding to set up the gas grid in NE

    • On January 08, 2020, the Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to provide Rs 5,559 crore viability gap funding for building a 1,656 km gas grid in the Northeast region.
    • The funding will be provided to Indradhanush Gas Grid Ltd for setting up the North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid.
    • The gas pipeline would be developed in 8 states of the northeast; this will lead to the development of an industrial climate in these states and improvement in the standard of living of people in the region.
    Source: Business Standard

    7. Indian economy likely to grow to $7 trillion by 2030: Deutsche Bank

    • According to the Deutsche Bank report Imagine 2030, the Indian economy is likely to become $7 trillion by 2030.
    • The Indian economy is expected to grow almost two and half times from about $3 trillion now and thus it becomes the world’s third-largest economy.
    • According to the report, India will grow with the Nominal GDP growth rate of just over 10% in the next decade.
    Source: LiveMint

    National Affairs

    8. Sakthivel takes over as AEPC India Chairman

    • Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) has appointed A Sakthivel as the new chairman of the organization. He is appointed for the period 2020-2021.
    • He will replace HKL Magu. He is also the first person in the history of AEPC, who is sworn-in for the fourth time as Chairman of the AEPC.
    • Sakthivel along with some exporters had founded Tirupur Exporters Association in 1990.

    9. Narendra Modi fifth-biggest geopolitical risk of 2020: Eurasia Group report

    • The political risk consultancy, the Eurasia Group has listed India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the fifth biggest geopolitical risk of 2020.
    • The Eurasia Group has said that Modi has spent much of his second term--since winning the April-May poll--promoting controversial social policies at the expense of an economic agenda and its impact will be felt in 2020.
    • The Eurasia Group list is topped by the elections in the US and followed by events and developments like the US-China technology tug of war on 5G as well as the trade war between Beijing and Washington.

    10. Institutions at Gujarat Ayurved University to get status of Institution of National Importance

    • The Union Cabinet has approved conferring the status of Institution of National Importance to a cluster of Ayurvedic institutions at the Gujarat Ayurved University campus in Jamnagar.
    • The elevation of the status of the institution will provide it with the autonomy to upgrade the standard of Ayurveda education, frame various courses in Ayurveda as per national and international demand.
    • It will help the institute to develop tertiary care in Ayurveda and to secure inter-disciplinary collaborations to give a contemporary thrust to Ayurveda.

     Banking and Finance

    11. SBI announces 'residential builder finance with buyer guarantee' scheme

    • On January 08, 2020, the country's largest public sector bank, State Bank of India (SBI) has announced the 'Residential Builder Finance with Buyer Guarantee' (RBBG) scheme to give a push to residential sales and improve homebuyers' confidence.
    • Under this scheme, the SBI will issue a guarantee for the completion of select residential projects to customers who have availed home loans from it.
    • The scheme will focus on affordable housing projects priced up to 2.50 crore rupees in 10 cities initially.
    • Under RBBG, the guarantee would be given by the bank until the project gets the Occupation Certificate (OC).
    Source: News on AIR

    12. RBI allows 24x7 forex market operations via select banks

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has enabled selected banks in India to offer forex rates to Indian clients round-the-clock (24×7).
    • In effect, this opens up the forex market in India round the clock, allowing Indians to hedge their foreign exchange risks at any time of the day.
    • This will also make the offshore currency markets in Dubai and Singapore less attractive for Indian investors.

     State Affairs

    13. Maharashtra to organize ‘Advantage Maharashtra expo 2020’

    • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will inaugurate 'Advantage Maharashtra Expo 2020' in Aurangabad.
    • The four-day mega industrial exhibition has been organized by the Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture (MASSIA).
    • Growth of Marathwada industries in technology and innovation and the products produced and exported from the region will be showcased in this exhibition.
    • Over 450 exhibitors from within the state as well as outside the state are participating in this exhibition.
    • This exhibition will provide the opportunity for ambitious businesses and will serve as the platform for small entrepreneurs.


    14. Weightlifter Sarbjeet Kaur banned for 4 years for doping

    • Weightlifter Sarbjeet Kaur has been slapped with a four-year ban for doping by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
    • The sample of Sarbjeet, who won the 71kg event at the women’s national weightlifting championships in February last year, was collected during 34th Women Senior National Weightlifting Championship held at Vishakhapatnam.
    • “The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel has found weightlifter Sarbjeet Kaur guilty of anti-doping rule violation. She has been imposed a penalty of ineligibility for a period of four years.
    • Earlier in December 2017 Commonwealth Championships silver medallist weightlifter, Seema was also slapped with a four-year ban for doping.
    • Seema had finished sixth in the women’s 75kg competition at the Gold Coast CWG.
    • The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) is the national organization of India to promote, coordinate and monitor the doping control programmes of sports of all forms in line with the World Anti Doping Code in the country.
    • It works under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It was constituted under the Societies Registration Act in 2006 in the aftermath of the 2004 Copenhagen Declaration on Doping in Sports to which India is a signatory.