12-13 January 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

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.

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