31 January 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

31 January 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Piyush Goyal receives Carnot Prize 2018

  • The Union Minister Piyush Goyal received the fourth annual Carnot Prize 2018 by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
  • Piyush Goyal decided to donate award money (USD 25,000) to International Solar Alliance to institute the Diwakar Award.
  • The Diwakar award will recognise every year, an outstanding organisation that has been working for special children and maximising the use of solar energy.
  • Earlier, Mr Goyal unable to accept the award in the United States of America, due to the unfortunate train tragedy in Amritsar

Science & Defence

2. Scientists create AI-based system that translates thoughts into speech

  • The first time, Scientists have created an artificial intelligence (AI) based system that directly translates thoughts into intelligible, recognisable speech.
  • The research will help people who cannot speak regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.
  • The technology developed by researchers from Columbia University in the United States can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity.
  • The breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesisers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain.

National Affairs

3. Civil Aviation Ministry launches first GI Store in Goa

  • The Union Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated country’s first Geographical Indication (GI) Store at International Airport at Dabolim, Goa.
  • The store jointly set up by Airport Authority of India (AAI) and The Cashew Export Promotional Council of India (CEPCI).
  • The GI stores will promote local products made by the artisans and handicrafts at the airport.
  • Soon, AAI will sign an agreement with all the state Government in the country to promote their local produce at the airport.
  • According to Mr. Prabhu, currently there are 270 GI registered products in the country and the store will be a boon for the global tourists.

4. Telangana govt declares 2nd February to be appointing day

  • The Telangana government has declared 2nd February as 'appointing day' for the newly elected Sarpanches of the Gram Panchayats in the state.
  • The Telangana State Election Commission has held elections to over 12000 Gram Panchayats and over 1 lakh 13 thousand ward members in three phases during the month following the High Court order.
  • Over 34 thousand candidates contested for Sarpanch posts while over 2 lakh candidates competed forward members during these apolitical elections.
  • The results of the final phase are yet to be announced.

5. Alphons inaugurates First Swadesh Darshan project in Sikkim

  • The Union Minister for Tourism K J Alphons inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit” in Gangtok.
  • The NE circuit consists of Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang- Sherathang- Tsongmo - Gangtok-Phodong-Mangan-Lachung-Yumthang-Lachen-Thangu-Gurudongmer-Mangan-Gangtok-Tuminlingee-Singtam.
  • The project implemented under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was sanctioned by the Ministry in June 2015 for Rs 98.05 crores.

6. Javadekar inaugurates new campus of National Museum Institute at Noida

  • The Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated the new campus of the National Museum Institute at Noida.  
  • He said that there is a huge scope for the courses offered by the Institute like the history of arts, conservation, museology among others.
  •  For its independent campus, a land of approx. three acres was allotted at NOIDA by the NOIDA Development Authority (NDA).
  • The total budget of Rs.90.40 crores (including 10% escalation charges) the project was completed by CPWD in a span of about 4 years.

7. Power Minister RK Singh lays the foundation stone of Regional testing laboratory of CPRI

  • The Union Minister Shri R K Singh laid the foundation stone of Regional testing laboratory of Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) at Nashik, Maharashtra.
  • Manufacturers in the western region will be greatly benefited as they can test their products close to their manufacturing units.
  • This shall help the power utilities in the country to install reliable and quality equipment in the power system network. 
  • This would reduce the turnaround time and overhead cost.
  • CPRI (Autonomous body under the Ministry of Power, Govt of India) serves as an Independent third-party testing laboratory.
  • CPRI has been serving for the past five decades in the field of Testing and Certification, Research, Consultancy, Third Party Inspection services, Training & Vendor Analysis.

8. Shri Piyush Goyal launches the IEA’s Report “The Future of Rail”

  • Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal has launched the report “The Future of Rail” of International Energy Agency (IEA) at an event.
  • The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.
  • The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
  • The IEA is an inter-governmental organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 members countries and 8 association countries.
  • Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.

9. PM Modi dedicates National Salt Satyagraha Memorial to the nation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated grand and iconic ‘National Salt Satyagraha Memorial’ to the Nation at Dandi, Gujarat.
  • The Memorial has been constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at Dandi (Gujarat) in commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March.
  • It has been completed in 20 months and within the sanctioned amount of Rs. 72.23 crores.
  • Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex.
  • The Salt Satyagraha March, well known as the Dandi March of 1930 has been a landmark event in the history of India’s freedom struggle.

10. ICAR launches national agricultural higher education project

  • ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) has launched Rs 1100 crore ambitious the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.
  • This project will be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
  • The objective of the NAHEP for India is to support participating agricultural universities and ICAR in providing more relevant and higher quality education to Agricultural University students.

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