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Important Current Affairs 5th February 2020

National

India’s biggest rural technical festival ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Telangana

• Collector of Nirmal inaugurated National Level India’s Biggest Rural Technical Festival titled Antahpragnya 2020 in the state of Telangana at Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies-Basar (RGUKT-Basar).

• Rural areas cannot afford to miss the development bus. Most of the developments in the two lakh years have taken place in the last century.

• The fest showcases 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits and technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation and others.

India hosts Defence dialogue between India and South Korea

• Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea was held in New Delhi today. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Jeong Kyeong-doo held the meeting.

• The theme of DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow is ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’ and India and South Korea recognize the influence of Artificial Intelligence and digital technology in defence sector.

Indian Government unveils new vaccine to control classical swine fever

• The government of India unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF). CSF is a highly contagious fatal pig disease.

• The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one.

 Banking and Economy

Union Cabinet Approves Amendments to Banking Regulation Act to regulate co-operative banks

• The Union Cabinet has given its approval to bring cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of Reserve Bank of India.

• The cabinet approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act on February 5, 2020, thus allowing multi-state cooperative banks to come under the regulation of the RBI.

• The announcement was made by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadkar after a cabinet meeting.

• The 1,540 cooperative banks with 8.6 crore depositors’ money, with around Rs. 5 lakh crore deposits in the country and the proposed amendment will protect the depositors.

• a. The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is legislation in India that regulates all banking firms.

b. Shaktikanta Das is the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Union Govt plans to raise funds through LIC IPO

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that union government plans to sell a partial stake in LIC through IPO or an initial public offer.

• The union budget she proposed that the government will sell its stake in IDBI Bank to private investors and also amend the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen co-op banks.

• The finance minister that the deposit insurance coverage against bank failure will be increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.

• She proposed to expand exchange-traded funds by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of government securities.

LIC: Life Insurance Corporation of India is an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment corporation owned by the Government of India. The Life Insurance Corporation of India was founded in 1956 when the Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act that nationalised the insurance industry in India.

Headquarters: Mumbai

Owner: Government of India (100%)

Founder: Government of India

Founded: 1 September 1956

Awards

Vinod Shukla bags first Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award

• Noted Hindi poet-novelist and Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla has bagged the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book “Blue Is Like Blue“.

• The stories in “Blue Is Like Blue”, translated into English by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai, deal with common people and their daily struggles.

Obituary

Veteran Odia poet Rabi Singh passes away

• Renowned Odia poet Rabi Singh passed away. He was 89.

• The revolutionary poet had received many awards for his contribution to Odia literature.

• He received Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman in the year 2017.

Sports

Sourav Ganguly will be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020

• The recently appointed BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly has been invited by the Indian Olympic Association to be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

•  Sourav Ganguly, known in his hometown as the Prince of Calcutta is one of the most respected sports icons in the entire country

Appointment

Amitabh Bhatt the New CEO (Bangalore Complex) at HAL

• Amitabh Bhatt has taken over as Chief Executive Officer of Bengaluru-headquartered safeguard PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Bangalore Complex.

• Prior, he was serving as Executive Director of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) venture in HAL.

• Bhatt is a Post Graduate in Management and earlier served in SKF India Limited for a long time before joining Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd February 2020

National

India’s First Fruit Train Flagged Off From Andhra Pradesh to JNPT

• In another major milestone achievement for the Indian Railways, a first-of-its-kind ‘Fruit Train’ was flagged off from Tadipatri Railway Station in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, from where the consignment will be exported to Iran.

• This is the first time that an entire train carrying a load of 980 tonnes of locally grown bananas is being sent to the gateway port (JNPT) for export.

• These bananas will be exported under the brand name ‘Happy Bananas’.

Mumbai’s Iconic ‘Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’ Begins from 1st Feb

• The 21st edition of the 9-day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) 2020, one of the biggest open street arts and cultural festival of India, has begun in Mumbai from 1st February 2020.

• The Kala Ghoda Festival is one of the most-awaited art and cultural festivals which takes place in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai since 1999 in early February and attracts a wide range of crowd from all across the world.

• The theme for 2020 KGAF is “PAST FORWARD.”

Union Govt plans to raise funds through LIC IPO

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that union government plans to sell a partial stake in LIC through IPO or an initial public offer.

• The union budget she proposed that the government will sell its stake in IDBI Bank to private investors and also amend the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen co-op banks.

• The finance minister that the deposit insurance coverage against bank failure will be increased to ₹5 lakh from ₹1 lakh.

Indian Railways Demands Setting Up Pension Fund To Deal With Rs 50,000 Crore Burden

• Indian Railways Demands Setting Up Pension Fund To Deal With Rs 50,000 Crore Burden Rs 50,000 crore outgo as pension to more than 15.5 lakh former railway employees, the railways asked the Finance Ministry to set up the pension fund.

• About 25 percent of the railway's earnings go into paying the pensions to the former railway employees.

• Last year, the operating rate for the railways was 97 percent, while this year it has gone up to 98.44 percent. The operating ratio is a measure of expenditure against revenue, and it shows how efficiently the national transporter.

Sports

Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin Clinches Australian Open 2020 Tennis Tournament

• The 2020 Australian Open was the 108th edition of the annual Australian Open tennis tournament and the first Grand Slam of the year. It was held from 20 January to 2 February 2020.

• The winners are as follows:

o Men’s Single: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Dominic Thiem (Austria)

o Women’s Single: Sofia Kenin (US) beat Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

o Men’s Double: Rajeev Ram (US) / Joe Salisbury (UK)

o Women’s Double: Tímea Babos (Hungary) / Kristina Mladenovic (France)

o Mixed Double: Barbora Krejčiková (Czech Republic) / Nikola Mektić  (Croatia)

Ayonika Paul won the women's 10m Air Rifle T1 event

Olympian Ayonika Paul won the women's 10m Air Rifle T1 event Vijayveer Sidhu won the men's 25m Pistol T2 event in the National Shooting trials at Thiruvananthapuram.

She came to a quality eight-woman field, which had the likes of Tokyo 2020 quota holders Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil among competitors.

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Important Current Affairs 31st January 2020

National 


Economic survey likely to peg India’s FY21 growth at 6-6.5%: Report
•    India’s economic survey is seen projecting growth of 6 to 6.5 per cent in the next year starting April 1, boosted by a series of fiscal measures to revive demand that the government is likely to announce in the budget.
•    India faces its worst economic slowdown in a decade. Growth slipped to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter, imperilling job prospects for millions of young people entering the workforce each year.
•    The government has estimated gross domestic product expansion at 5 per cent for the financial year ending on March 31, which would be the slowest pace since the global financial crisis of 2008/09.
•    An economic survey by chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian will be officially announced later in the day and the government will present its budget

India-Bangladesh Joint Exercise ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ to Begin in Meghalaya from February 3
•    The ninth edition of the bilateral joint military training exercise between India-Bangladesh named SAMPRITI-IX will be held at Umroi, Meghalaya from February 3 to February 16, 2020.
•    The annual exercise is hosted alternately by both countries to get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills, besides strengthening military trust and cooperation between two nations.

Govt aims to achieve objective of Housing for All by 2022 under PMAY-G
•    Union Government aims to achieve objective of Housing for All by 2022 under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Grameen.
•    A total of over one crore 50 lakh rural houses have been completed in the last five years.
•    Ministry of Finance stated, the eligible beneficiaries will get one crore 95 lakh houses in the second phase of the scheme. Government has set a target of 60 lakh houses for the current financial year.

A special Supreme Court bench to frame issues about gender inequality at religious places

The apex court recently announced that a nine-judge bench will frame issues related to the discrimination against women in different religious places in India. The court will consider issues like restriction on Muslim women to enter into mosques. The court will also hear issues related to female genital mutilation in Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community.

Indian railways to equip over 3.5 lakh coaches with RFID tags

Indian Railways will make its coaches smarter and safer with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.

The ministry of Railway of India has recently announced that all freight and passenger coaches will be equipped with RFID tags. These RFID tags will help the ministry to locate and monitor coaches. At present, about 20,000 coaches have already equipped with RFID tags.

Banking and Economy


FICCI survey projects FY20 GDP growth at 5%, to improve to 5.5% in FY21
•    Industry body FICCI stated its Economic Outlook Survey has projected the country’s annual median GDP growth for 2019-20 at 5 per cent, in line with the projections made by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
•    The survey has put the median growth forecast for agriculture and allied activities at 2.6 per cent for 2019-20, the industry and services sector at 3.5 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively, during the current year.
•    Growth is likely to improve to 5 per cent in 2020-21 as per the projections, the survey stated.
About FICCI:
•    Headquarters location: New Delhi
•    Founded: 1927
•    President Sangita Reddy
•    Senior Vice-President : Uday Shankar
•    Vice President: Sanjiv Mehta

Obituary


Padma Shri awardee Tushar Kanjilal passes away
Famous social worker, environmentalist, educationist & writer Tushar Kanjilal passed away. The Government of India awarded Tushar Kanjilal the 4th highest civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1986.  


Sports


India hockey captain Rani Rampal named 2019 World Games Athlete of the Year
•    Rani Rampal wins the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019. The long wait is over! The Indian women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal has been voted as the 'World Games Athlete of the Year'. 
•    Toppling all the 25 athletes, the Indian skipper won with a massive 199,477 votes.

 
Ranking


ICICI Bank Launches a unique self-service delivery facility ‘iBox’ for customers
•    The private lender ICICI Bank has launched a first-of-its-kind, unique self-service delivery facility, called ‘iBox’, that will enable its customers to collect their deliverables such as debit card, credit card, cheque book and returned-cheques, in a hassle free manner, anytime any day.
•    This facility is especially useful for customers who are not available at home to receive their package during working hours.
•    The Bank has introduced the iBox facility at over 50 branches in 17 cities in the country.

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2020

National  


Bharat Parv 2020' begins at Red Fort to celebrate spirit of India 
 
●The ‘Bharat Parv 2020’ is being held at Red Fort ground in New Delhi from 26 to 31 January 2020 to celebrate the spirit of India. 
●The Bharat Parv festival is organised every year by the Government of India as a part of Republic Day celebrations, to encourage people to visit different tourism places of the country and to inculcate the spirit of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ (See Your Country). 
●The theme of 2020 Bharat Parv is ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘Celebrating 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi. Samvidhaan’ Chosen as Oxford’s Hindi word of 2019 
●The word Samvidhaan’ (Constitution) has been chosen as the Oxford Hindi Word of 2019 by the Oxford University Press (OUP). 
●The Oxford Hindi Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year. 
●‘Samvidhaan’ means a body of fundamental principles or  established precedents according to which a state or other organisation is acknowledged to be governed. 
  
Andhra Pradesh Assembly passes resolution to abolish Legislative Council 
 
●The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly unanimously passed a resolution on January 27, 2020 to abolish the state legislative council.  

The state cabinet had approved the resolution earlier in the day. The proposal will now be sent to the centre for further action. 
  
●The one-line resolution to abolish the state council was passed in the assembly by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. The resolution was passed with 133 members voting in favour of it.  This was announced by assembly speaker Tammineni Seetharam. 
 
Maharashtra govt launches ‘Shiv Bhojan’ scheme 
 
●Maharashtra government launched ‘Shiv Bhojan’ scheme. The scheme aims to provide a meal to the poor for just 10 rupees, on the occasion of the 71st Republic Day.  
●Under the scheme, which has been launched on a pilot basis, thalis or lunch plates would be available to people at designated centres/ canteens during a stipulated time in all the districts. 
 
GRSE set to deliver anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kavaratti to Navy soon 

•Defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) is set to deliver anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kavaratti to the Indian Navy. INS Kavaratti is 104th warship constructed by GRSE.  
•INS Kavaratti can be used during nuclear, chemical and biological warfare conditions and its weapons and sensors suite is predominantly indigenous.

Banking and Economy 

Indian Bank Association (IBA) appoints Punjab National Bank's former MD and CEO Sunil Mehta as its chief executive. 
 
●Sunil Mehta took over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). He will replace VG Kannan, who resigned from office as chief executive of IBA on December 31, 2019.  
●The term of the CEO of IBA is for 3 years. At present, the managing committee of IBA has SBI chief Rajnish Kumar as Chairman for the year 2019-20 along with 3 deputy chairmen and honorary secretary. 


 
Awards 


Assam tableau wins first prize at 71st Republic Day parade 
 
●Assam tableau wins first prize at 71st Republic Day parade.  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today gave away Best Tableaux  awards for Republic Day Parade, 2020 in New Delhi. 
●The tableaux of National Disaster Relief Force and Jal Shakti  Mission were chosen as the best among the Ministries and  Departments. 


Appointment 


 Taranjit Singh Sandhu appointed India’s Ambassador to US 
●Taranjit Singh Sandhu takes charge as the new Indian Ambassador to the United States. Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is  currently posted as High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka.  
●He replaces Harsh Vardhan Shringla as India's envoy in Washington. Shringla named as India's next foreign secretary. 
 
 
 
  
 

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Important Current Affairs 27th January 2020

National 


GeM Signs MoU with Uttar Pradesh to Set Up Project Management Unit
•    The Uttar Pradesh government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government eMarketplace (GeM), under the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry,to set up a GeM Organizational Transformation Team (GOTT) Project Management Unit (PMU) in the state.
•    Uttar Pradesh government is the second state after Punjab to establish a GOTT-PMU for inclusive, efficient and transparent procurement system.


Government of India to sell 100% stake in Air India
•    The government of India announced a sale of 100% stake in debt-laden Air India. As part of the strategic disinvestment and has set March 17, as the deadline for submitting an expression of interest (EoI). 
•    Air India would also sell 100% stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS.
•    The financial position of Air India is very fragile and the Government has limited resources. Air India is under a debt trap and the private sector can bring required capital to the Airline. 
•    Air India staff will be offered three per cent of the airline’s total shares in the government’s disinvestment process.

Indian Railway’s First Waste-To-Energy Plant Commissioned In Bhubaneswar
•    The first waste-to-energy plant of the Indian Railways, has been commissioned at Carriage Repair Workshop, Mancheswar, in Bhubaneswar by the East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone.
•    The plant is the first Government of India initiative in waste to energy plant and fourth such plant in the country.
•    It has been built at a cost of Rs 1.79 crore and has the capacity to dispose 500 kg waste, including plastic and e-waste.
•    This waste-to-energy plant uses a patented technology called ‘Polycrack’, which is world’s first patented heterogeneous catalytic process to convert multiple feed stocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.
•    This process will produce energy in the form of light diesel oil which is used to light furnaces.

Kerala Partners MIT To Unveil India’s First ‘Super Fab Lab’ in Kochi
•    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated India’s first Super Fab Lab at the Integrated Startup Complex of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in Kochi on 25 January 2020, that will give India’s hardware industry a huge leap.

•    Fab Labs are fabrication laboratories offering digital fabrication and computation.A Fab Lab lets you make almost anything; make the products you can consume.

•    A Super Lab lets you make a Fab Lab. It is an amazing facility that has the tools not just to make anything, but make the tools that make things.


Govt signs ‘Historic’ Bodo Accord 2020

•    The central government on January 27, 2020 signed the historic Bodo Accord 2020 with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and All Bodo Students Union (ABSU). The NDFB is one of the dangerous militant groups of Assam and the ABSU is the influential student union of Assam. 
•    The peace agreement provides political as well as economic benefits to the tribal areas of Assam without a separate Bodoland.

Andhra Pradesh Cabinet passes resolution to abolish State Legislative Council


•    The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on January 27, 2020 passed a resolution to abolish the Legislative Council. The ruling Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress in the state has a minority representation in the Legislative Council. Out of total 58 members, the YSR Congress has only 9 members.

International


International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
•    International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held on 27 January to commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War due to the genocide that resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and 11 million others, by the Nazi regime and its collaborators
•    Theme 2020: “75 years after Auschwitz – Holocaust Education and Remembrance for Global Justice”

Awards


Padma Awards 2020: Arun Jaitley, Kangana Ranaut among 118 Padma Awardees


•    Padma Awards — one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
•    ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
•    This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards.
•    33 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 Posthumous awardees.

Grammy 2020 winners: List of Winners

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards announced on January 26, 2020. The Awards ceremony was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The show was hosted by Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys. It recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, running from October 1, 2018, to August 31, 2019.
Here is the complete list of winners of Grammy Awards 2020: 

Sl. No.

Category

Winner

1.

Album Of The Year

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Billie Eilish)

2.

Record Of The Year

Bad Guy (Billie Eilish)

3.

Best New Artist

Billie Eilish

4.

Best Rap Album

Igor (Tyler, The Creator)

5.

Best R&B Album Winner

Ventura (Anderson .Paak)

6.

Best Rap Song

A Lot 

7.

Best Country Album

While I’m Livin’ (Tanya Tucker)

8.

Song Of The Year

Bad Guy ( Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell)

9.

Best Rock Album

Social Cues (Cage The Elephant)

10.

Best Rock Song

This Land (Gary Clark Jr.)

11.

Best Dance/Electronic Album

No Geography (The Chemical Brothers)

12.

Producer Of The Year, Classical

Blanton Alspaugh

13.

Best Music Video

Old Town Road

14.

Best Country Song

Bring My Flowers Now

15.

Best Folk Album

Patty Griffin

16.

Best Comedy Album

Sticks & Stones (Dave Chappelle)

Obituary


NBA legend Kobe Bryant passes away
•    Veteran American professional basketball player Kobe Bean Bryant, has passed away in a helicopter crash on 26 January 2020. He was 41.
•    The National Basketball Association (NBA) legend died when a helicopter he was riding in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
•    Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist

Appointment


Sunil Mehta Sworn in as IBA Chief Executive
•    Former MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank, Sunil Mehta, has taken charge as the chief executive of the Indian Bank’s Association (IBA) from 27 January 2020.
•    He succeeds VG Kannan, who demitted office as chief executive of IBA on December 31, 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 26th January 2020

National

Republic Day 2020: India celebrates its 71st Republic Day – 

• This year's Republic Day was unique for India in many different ways as compared to the previous years. Starting from the military might that was displayed through indigenously developed artillery gun system 'Dhanush' or with first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day with Captain Tania Shergill leading the parade; there were many ‘firsts’ that marked India’s 71st Republic Day Celebrations.

• Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at India's 71st Republic Day Parade on January 26.

• At the 71st Republic Parade, for the first time, newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat attended the Republic Day parade. General Rawat welcomed PM Modi for the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National War Memorial along with the service chiefs for all the three armed forces i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force.

• Continuing the theme of women power, the day also saw an all-woman biker contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) make its debut as a part of the 71st Republic Day Parade. The contingent was commanded by Inspector Seema Nag, who is posted with the Rapid Action Force (RAF).

• The Indian Air Force (IAF) also participated in the Republic Day Parade with its tableau showcasing scaled system of the five-fighter system. The models on display during Parade included Rafale Fighter Jet and Tejas Aircraft.

Nitin Gadkari Launches Web Portal “GATI” to Monitor Road & Highways Projects

• The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari has launched an online Web Portal ‘GATI’ on the pattern of ‘PRAGATI’, the portal used by the Prime Ministers’ Office (PMO) for monitoring projects.

• The GATI portal has been created by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and can be accessed from NHAI Website.

• The portal was launched by the minister during the two-days long review meeting of NHAI-Ministry projects in Haryana’s Manesar on 23 & 24 January 2020.

• A total of 500 projects (including delayed ones) costing around Rs 3 lakh crore were taken up for review during the meeting.

Inaugural Ganga-Volga Dialogue of Civilizations between India and Russia held in New Delhi

• The maiden Ganga Volga Dialogue of Civilization took place in New Delhi on 22 January 2020, to provide a platform for enhancing the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.

• The idea of the Dialogue was conceptualized during the October 2018 India-Russia Summit between President Putin and Prime Minister Modi.

• The event was inaugurated by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan.

• The Dialogue was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.

International

Global Unemployment to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020: ILO Report

• The International Labour Organization (ILO) has released a report titled “World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020” which predicts that unemployment is likelt to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020.

• However, the report also revealed that after nine years in decline, the rate of global unemployment remained unchanged in 2019, at 5.4%, and is expected to stay the same for the next two years, due to fluctuations in the population seeking work.

Researchers discovered a new species of Allosaurus in Utah

• Paleontologists have unveiled a remarkable new species of the meat-eating dinosaur at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

• It is suspected that the species must have evolved at least 5 million years earlier than fragilis.

Banking and Economy

India’s GDP to grow at 5.0% in FY20 & 5.5% in FY21: India Ratings

• India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected India’s GDP growth rate for fiscal 2019-2020 at 5 percent, which is a multi-year low.

• Ind-Ra expects gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 5.5 percent in FY21.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India signs 15 MoU with Brazil including Cyber Security

• India and Brazil on Saturday signed 15 MoUs in various fields including cybersecurity, bioenergy and health and medicine among others, following the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro.

• An MoU on bioenergy cooperation, investment cooperation and facilitation treaty, agreement on cooperation in the field of health and medicine, cultural exchange programme for the period 2020-2024 were exchanged between the two sides.

Appointment

EU Appoints Joao Vale De Almeida As First Ambassador To Post-brexit UK

EU named Joao Vale de Almeida its first ambassador to the post-Brexit United Kingdom after PM Boris Johnson on Friday signed the agreement to leave the bloc.

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Important Current Affairs 25th January 2020

National

India’s First War Memorial for Service Animals to come up in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

•The Government of India has planned to set up a first-of-its-kind war memorial for service animals in Meerut city of Uttar Pradesh.

•The memorial will be set up at the army’s specialized breeding, rearing and training centre for animals: the Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College in Meerut.

•It will be similar to the National War Memorial in Delhi, but on smaller scale.

•India’s first war memorial for animals including dogs, horses and mules will be dedicated to the contributions and heroics of animals who lost their lives in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and in the battlefield during the Kargil War, while helping the Army.

India & Brazil Signs 15 Pacts to Boost Strategic Ties

• President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro arrived in New Delhi on 24 January 2020 on four-day state visit to India.

• He is also the chief guest at the 2020 Republic Day of India celebrations.

• Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Prime Minister Narendra Modi inked 15 agreements on 25 January to boost cooperation in a wide range of areas between the two countries.

• List of MoUs Signed Include:

1) MoU on Bioenergy Cooperation

2) MoU for Cooperation in the field of Oil and Natural Gas

3) Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty 

4) Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

5) MoU in the field of Early Childhood

6) MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine

7) MoU in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.

8) Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2020-2024

9) Agreement on Social Security

10) MoU on Cooperation between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) of India and the General Coordination of Network Incident Treatment Centre, Department of Information Security, Institutional Security, Cabinet of the Presidency of Brazil (CGCTIR/DSI/GSI) on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security

11) Programme of Scientific and Technological Cooperation for implementing the agreement on scientific and technological cooperation for the period 2020-2023

12) MoU on Cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources

13) MoU between Invest India and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency

14) Joint Declaration of Intent (DoI) for Cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairying

15) MoU for establishing a nodal institution in India to carry out research on Bioenergy

CJI S.A. Bobde Inaugurates All India Members’ Conference of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in New Delhi

• The Chief Justice of India, Justice S.A. Bobde, inaugurated the All India Members’ Conference of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in New Delhi on 24 January 2020.

• The two day event was held as a part of the 79th Foundation Day Celebrations of ITAT.

• India’s Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) was set up on 25 January 1941.

• ITAT functions under the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Banking and Economy

World Bank Approves USD 210 Million Loan for Maharashtra Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project

• The Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra has signed a USD 210 million loan agreement with the World Bank. The loan agreement has been signed for Maharashtra Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project.

• The USD 210 million loan will be funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), having a 6-year grace period with a maturity period of 13.5 years.

Switzerland Mints World’s Smallest Gold Coin; Features Albert Einstein

• In Switzerland, State-owned Swissmint has minted world’s smallest gold coin measuring 2.96-millimeter (0.12-inches).

• The coin features the image of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue.

• Swissmint has minted just 999 such coins.

• The size of the coin is 2.96-millimeter (0.12-inches).It weighs 0.063 grams (1/500th of an ounce).

• The coin has a nominal value of 1/4 Swiss francs (USD 0.26).

• It will be sold for 199 francs, along with a special magnifying glass so that owners can see the famous physicist on its face.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Election Commission of India to sign MoU with EC of Tunisia and Papua New Guinea

• The Election Commission of India has received the approval from the Union Cabinet to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission and Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia. The MoU aims to enhance the cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also approved the agreements in the field of mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, cooperation in the field of early childhood care, oil and natural gas, and Geology and Mineral Resources between India and Brazil.

Ranking

India celebrates National Voters’ Day on 25th January

• In India, the National Voters’ Day is celebrated on 25 January every year in a bid to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process.

• The day is being observed since 2011 to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI), formed on 25 January 1950, to overlook the smooth running of elections in India

• The theme of National Voters’ Day 2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for a Stronger Democracy.’

National Tourism Day: 25 January

• The National Tourism Day is celebrated on 25th January in India every year to raise awareness about the importance of tourism for the country’s economy.

• The Indian government established the National Tourism Day to cultivate awareness among the global community on the importance of tourism and to demonstrate how it affects social, political, financial, cultural worth and economic values worldwide.

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Important Current Affairs 24th January 2020

National


National Girl Child Day 2020

•    India observed the National Girl Child Day 2020 on January 24, 2020 with an aim to raise awareness about the importance of girl child and create facilities for them. 
•    The Day is utilised as a platform to share about the atrocities and inequalities faced by girls in their lives.

India's first e-waste clinic opens in Bhopal

• The first e-waste clinic of the country has been recently opened in Bhopal. This clinic will segregate and process e-waste from household and commercial units.
• The clinic will process all types of e-Waste materials like computers, mobile, chargers, etc. The clinic will run a campaign ‘junk to jugaad’ for those e-waste materials which will not be possible to process.
• The e-waste clinic has been prepared in a junk low floor bus. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) are providing technical support to this clinic.

India, Bangladesh signed agreement to upgrade a road into 4-lane highway

• India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement to upgrade Ashuganj-Akhaura road (50.58-kilometer) into a four-lane highway.
• A stretch of 39 kilometers between Ashuganj river port to Dharhar area will be developed by Indian Company, Afcons Infrastructure Limited and Roads and Highways Department (RHD) of Bangladesh.
• This road up-gradation project is a part of two billion second line credit extended by India to Bangladesh. Apart from that, 46 other projects have been identified in Bangladesh that would improve connectivity within and outside of Bangladesh.

International


US amends visa rules to restrict 'birth tourism'

•    The United States recently announced new visa rules to restrict ‘birth tourism’ wherein no temporary visitor visas (B-1/B-2) will be issued to foreigners seeking birth tourism.
•    As per the US White House, the move is aimed at boosting national security and public safety on the whole

International day of education 2020 observed
•    
• International Education Day is observed every year on January 24. The United Nations passed a resolution on December 3, 2018, and decided to declare January 24 as International Education Day.
• Its purpose is to underline the role of education in peace and development. The proposal for International Education Day was prepared by 58 countries including Nigeria. 
•  In India, National Education Day is observed on November 11 every year. It is the second year of the International Day of Education.

Banking and Economy


RBI cancels certificate of authorisation of Vodafone m-pesa
•    The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said it has cancelled the Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) of Vodafone m-pesa on account of voluntary surrender of authorisation.
•    Following the cancellation of the CoA, the company cannot transact the business of issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments, the central bank said.
•    Vodafone m-pesa was one of the 11 firms that was given payments bank licence by the RBI in 2015.

Investment limit for FPIs in government & corporate bonds increased to 30%

•    The investment limit for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in government and corporate bonds have been raised by the Reserve Bank of India. The decision aims to bring in more foreign funds into the market. 
•    The investment limit for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have been raised from 20% to 30% in government & corporate bonds.
•    Along with increase in the investment limit for Foreign Portfolio Investors, the RBI has also announced relaxations in the voluntary retention route (VRR) for FPI investments in debt. 
•    According to the RBI circular, the investment cap through VRR has been increased to Rs 1.5 lakh crore from Rs 0.75 lakh crore. The central bank has also permitted the FPIs to invest in exchange-traded funds that invest only in debt instruments.
Awards

Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020 winners announced

•    The Union Home Ministry on January 23, 2020 announced the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020. 
•    The Ministry will confer the award upon Kumar Munnan Singh in Individual Category and  Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre, Uttarakhand in Institution Category. 
•    The award is announced on the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.


Sports

India successfully chased the biggest T20 target abroad

• Team India has completed its biggest run chase overseas by achieving a target of 204 against New Zealand in the first T20I in Auckland on January 24, 2020. 
• India completed its last biggest run chase abroad on July 8, 2018, by achieving the target of 199 runs given by England in Bristol. 
• In this match, Shreyas Iyer (58) and KL Rahul (56) smashed rapid 50s whit captain Virat Kohli scored 45 runs.

Ranking


Corruption Perception Index 2019: India slips two positions to 80th rank

•    The Transparency International on January 23, 2020 launched the Corruption Perception Index 2019 during the ongoing World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos. India’s rank slipped to 80th place on the index from 78th position in the year 2018. 
•    Denmark and New Zealand have been ranked as the most honest countries on the index.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd January 2020

National 


Cabinet approves closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd

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

Jaipur Literature Festival begins

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

ECI to conduct first Sukumar Sen Memorial lecture

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

S Jaishankar inaugurates Gandhi Convention Center in Niger

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


Banking and Economy

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

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

Awards

Priya Prakash wins Cisco Youth Leadership Award 2019

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

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

Sports

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


Appointment


Challa Sreenivasulu Setty becomes SBI MD

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

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

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

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


Ranking

Greenpeace India Report: Jharia most polluted city in India

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 22nd January 2020

National 


Supreme Court forms committee to draft mediation law

•    The Supreme Court has set up a committee to firm up draft legislation to give legal sanctity to disputes settled through mediation. The panel, to be headed by mediator Niranjan Bhat.
•    The other members of the panel, appointed by the Mediation and Project Conciliation Committee (MCPC) of the Supreme Court, included Justice K Kanan, former ASGs AS Chandok and PS Narsimha, senior advocates Sriram Panchu and JP Singh, and senior mediators Susheela S, Sadhna Ramchandran, Laila Ollapally, and Anil Xavier.
•    Chief Justice of India: Sharad Arvind Bobde; Founded: 28th January 1950.

UP Govt launches Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana
•    Uttar Pradesh Government has launched Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana. This scheme will provide financial assistance to the family of farmers who die or become handicapped while working in fields.
•    government has also decided to implement Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojana to boost tourism in state. under Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojana one tourist point will be developed with a fund of 50 lakh rupees in each and every assembly segment of the state.

Coronavirus Triggers Fear in India: All You Need to Know
•    
The deadly spread of Coronavirus in China has caused panic in surrounding countries including India and Bangladesh. 
•    The Indian government has issued an advisory to people travelling to and from China.
•    Proper checking is being undertaken for those coming from China. The deadly virus was first detected in Wuhan, China.


International


Greece elects Katerina Sakellaropoulou as first female President
•    
Katerina Sakellaropoulou has been elected as the first woman President of Greece. She received majority votes cutting across party lines. 
•    She will succeed Prokopis Pavlopoulos and will be the first President who does not belong to any party. 
•    She has also Greece’s traditional norm of men mostly taking senior government positions. 


World Economic Forum 2020: US joins One Trillion Trees initiative, Greta Thunberg says emissions have to stop
•    
US President Donald Trump affirmed during the first day of the 50th World Economic Forum that the United States harbours the cleanest air and drinking water on Earth.
•    He also announced that the US will be joining the One Billion Trees initiative and continue to work towards restoring and growing forests and trees. 


Banking and Economy

Telecom department approves FDI limit in Bharti Airtel to 100%

•    The Telecom department of India has approved the Bharti Airtel Ltd to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the company to 100%. 
•    The approval from the Telecom department will enable Singtel or Singapore Telecommunications Ltd to increase its stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd currently owns 35% stake in Bharti Airtel.
•    Bharti Telecom is the single-largest shareholder in Bharti Airtel with about a 41% stake while Singtel owns 48% in Bharti Telecom, which provides it a 35% stake in Bharti Airtel.

RBI ranked 6th among central banks in buying gold abroad;China’s central bank tops
•    On January 15, 2020 India’s central bank i.e., the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been ranked 6th largest buyer of sovereign gold abroad after it purchased 25.2 tonnes in the first 10 months of 2019 according to World Gold Council(WGC) report titled “Outlook 2020: Global economic trends and their impact on gold”. 
•    The central banks of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Poland have purchased more gold than India in 2019.

Sports

Celebrated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik inducted in AlCS

•    Celebrated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik are among the new inductees in the government's All India Council of Sports (AICS).
•    It is an advisory body to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which was formed in 2015 by the  then Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
•    Its term has also been extended by three years and it will continue to be led by veteran sports administrator V K Malhotra as President.
•    Some other renowned new entrants in the Council are former shooter Anjali Bhagwat, footballer Renedy Singh, and mountaineer Bachendri Pal. Senior India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been inducted in the council. 


 

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