January 15, 2020

National

  1. Statue of Unity gets listed among 8 wonders of SCO
  • The Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) has included the Statue of Unity in its eight wonders of the SCO list. Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted about this.
  • Statue of Unity’s inclusion in SCO’s list of eight wonders also means that now SCO itself will promote the world’s highest statue in member countries.
  • The Statue of Unity is the 182-meter tall statue of the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is the tallest statue in the world. This statue is located near Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada in Kevadia Colony in Gujarat.
  1. Supreme Court dismissed curative pleas filed by Nirbhaya case convicts
  • A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court dismissed the curative petition filed by convicts of Nirbhaya case Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma.
  • The bench comprising Ashok Bhushan, Arun Mishra, NV Ramana, RF Nariman, and R Banumathi found no merits in the curative petitions.
  • Delhi court has already issued a death warranty against convicts of the Nirbhaya case. But, convicts Mukesh and Vinay moved a curative petition in Supreme Court as their last legal option.
  1. Raisina Dialogue to begin in New delhi.
  • India’s flagship global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics Raisina Dialogue will begin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the inaugural session. 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 organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, will bring together 700 international participants from over a 100 countries.
  1. Centre to set up panel to examine issues on royalty rates for major minerals
  • The Centre has decided to set up an 11-member panel including mines secretaries from various states, to examine issues pertaining to the revision of rates of royalty for minerals. The members of the panel includes mines secretaries from the states like Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
  • The Mines Ministry has decided to set up an official committee, for examining the issues raised by the stakeholders with regard to revision of rates of royalty and dead rent for minerals (other than coal, lignite, sand for stowing and minor minerals) .
  • The 11-member committee under the Chairmanship of Mines Additional Secretary will submit the report to the Ministry of Mines after examining the issues raised by stakeholders.”The committee will submit its report within a period of one month from the date of holding its first meeting,”
  • In February, 2018, the mines ministry had set up a study group to revise the rates of royalty and dead rent for minerals. The study group had submitted its report in July last year. The Ministry of Mines received comments representations from stakeholders with regard to the revision of rates of royalty.

State

  1. Kolkata Port Trust renamed after Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently announced to rename the Kolkata Port Trust to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust.
  • Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was a noted politician, educationist and barrister. He was also the Minister of Industry and Supply in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s government.
  • PM Modi made this announcement during an event at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. It was an occasion of 150th anniversary of Kolkata Port Trust.
  1. Festival of harvest, Lohri being celebrated in North India
  • The festival of harvest, Lohri is being celebrated in North India especially in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh.
  • Lohri marks the end of the long nights of winter and welcomes the longer days of summer, as the Sun begins its journey to the Northern Hemisphere. Lohri is celebrated with a bonfire. The festival is mostly associated with crop harvesting and happiness, It also encouraged a sense of community and unity.
  • Several young married couples also pray for a child during Lohri celebrations and those who get child also celebrate it with great fervour.
  1. Kaziranga records 96 species of wetland birds
  • Kaziranga National Park and avian specialists conducted the second wetland bird count.
  • The teams counted a total of 19,225 birds belonging to 96 species under 80 families.
  • The first waterfowl census in 2018 had yielded 10,412 birds covering 80 families from 21 families.
  • About Kaziranga National Park
  • Kaziranga National Park is a protected area in the northeast Indian state of Assam. Spread across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River, its forests, wetlands and grasslands are home to tigers, elephants and the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • It was established in 1908.
  • It is located about 220 km east of Guwahati, Assam. It is a World Heritage Site since 1985.

International

  1. Iran’s only female Olympic medalist Kimia Alizadeh announces defection
  • Iran’s only female Olympic medal winner, Kimia Alizadeh, recently announced on Instagram that she is leaving the country forever.
  • Kimia Alizadeh has won an Olympic bronze medal during Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • She wrote that she has experienced a lot of political exploitation and finally she has decided to take this decision.
  1. India-Bangladesh I&B Ministers’ Meet 2020 to be held in New Delhi
  • India – Bangladesh Information and Broadcasting Ministers’ Meet 2020 will be held in New Delhi . Bangladesh Information Minister Muhammad H Mahmud arrived in New Delhi .
  • Bangladesh official broadcaster Bangladesh Betar and All India Radio will inaugurate a content sharing programme.Both sides are also expected to hold talks on the bilaterally planned biopic of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding figure of Bangladesh.
  1. Nepal to make yoga education compulsory for schoolchildren
  • The Nepal government has decided to make yoga education compulsory for school children to promote healthy lifestyle among students.The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has completed designing courses on yoga for Grades IX, X, XI and XII.
  • Through integrated approach certain topics about yoga will be included as part of the compulsory subjects such as English and Nepali.
  • However the students can make choice between yoga, Ayurveda and natural medicine as optional subject at the school level.The courses will have credits similar to other subjects.
  • These courses will be implemented from the upcoming academic session at schools.
  • The subject will be taught under three-year diploma programme under the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training.
  1. Ahead of Beijing 2022, China launches driverless bullet train
  • Ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, China has launched a new driverless train capable of travelling at
  • The high-speed bullet train, which connects Beijing with Zhangjiakou — two of the main host cities of the Winter Olympics — slashes the journey time from three hours to just 47 minutes.
  • Services such as onboard 5G, intelligent lighting, touchscreen control panels and wireless charging docks are available on the bullet train.
  • The first trains started running on December 30 last year, with around 30 services going between Beijing and Zhangjiakou every day.
  • The line, which took four years to construct, is part of China’s preparation for hosting its first Winter Olympics.
  • The 2022 Games are scheduled to run between February 4 and 20.

Banking & Finance

  1. World Bank predicts Sri Lanka’s economic growth at 3.3 pct for 2020
  • The World Bank forecasts Sri Lanka’s GDP below four percent in the next three years. World Bank also estimated a growth rate of Sri Lanka at 3.3 percent.
  • World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects for 2021 and 2022 predicts that Sri Lanka’s GDP will remain low in the next coming years.
  • Sri Lanka’s growth rate dipped below 3 percent after terrorist attacks held on easter last year. However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced that achieving a 6.5 percent economic growth per annum from 2020 is his target.
  1. SEBI defers deadline by 2 years for top 500 firms to separate roles of chairman and MD
  • Markets regulator SEBI has deferred by two years till April 2022 its directive for companies to separate the roles of chairman and managing director in view of demand from the corporates and to keep compliance cost lower amid slowing economy.
  • Under the Sebi norms, the top 500 listed entities by market capitalisation were mandated to comply with the requirement of separation of the roles of chairperson and managing director (MD) or chief executive officer (CEO) with effect from April 1, 2020.
  • Now, the date of implementation of the regulatory provision has been deferred to April 1, 2022, However, sources stated that the decision has been taken in view of demand from corporates and to ease the compliance burden amid the current economic scenario.
  1. Retail inflation jumps to about 5-yr high of 7.35 pct in Dec 2019
  • Retail inflation rose to about five-and-half year high of 35 per cent in December 2019, surpassing the RBI’s comfort level, mainly due to rise in prices of vegetables as onions.
  • As per the data released by National Statistical Office (NSO) the spike in inflation in the vegetable segment was 5 per cent during the month compared to December 2018.
  • The overall retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 11 per cent in December 2018 and 5.54 per cent in November 2019.
  • As per the data released by the NSO, the overall food inflation rose to 14.12 per cent in December as against (-) 2.65 per cent in the same month of 2018. The food inflation was 10.01 per cent in November 2019.
  • The previous high in retail inflation was witnessed at 7.39 per cent in July 2014, the year Narendra Modi-led Government assumed office for the first term.
  • The inflation in ‘pulses and products’ was recorded at 44 per cent, while in case of meat and fish it was nearly 10 per cent.

Sports

  1. India finish 2019 as number one shooting nation in world
  • With its sparkling show through 2019, India finished the 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 a 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.
  1. Hyderabad FC appoints Albert Roca as the new head coach
  • The bottom-placed ISL outfit Hyderabad FC named Albert Roca as their new head coach for the 2020-21 season on a two-year deal.
  • According to an ISL media release, Roca, who had earlier coached Bengaluru FC to the AFC Cup finals, will advise the new coaching staff for the remainder of the season and will take full charge from the beginning of next season.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Robert Abela wins election to be prime minister of Malta
  • Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new prime minister after being elected Labour Party Leader.
  • The election came after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was forced to resign last month following widespread pressure over the government’s handling of a probe into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was killed in a car bombing in October 2017.
  1. Senior IPS officer A.P. Maheshwari appointed Director General of CRPF
  • The Central Reserve Police Force was assigned its new director general, A.P. Maheshwari, a 1984 batch IPS officer, following the superannuation of its previous DG, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar.
  • Maheshwari take over the charge from ITBP Director General S. Deswal who was given the additional charge to head the country’s largest paramilitary force, CRPF, after Bhatnagar retired last month.
  • Maheshwari, a 1984-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer, has been appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet as the CRPF DG up to 28 February, 2021, the date of his superannuation, or till further orders, a Ministry of Personnel order issued. Maheshwari is at present Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. GSAT-30 Satellite To Be Launched On January 17 Using Ariane-5 Launch Vehicle
  • Communication satellite GSAT-30 is set to be launched on January 17 by Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the European Space Agency Ariane space will start their space missions for the year 2020 with GSAT-30, which is an operational communication satellite for DTH, Television uplink and VSAT services.
  • The GSAT 30 produced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will provide high-quality television, telecommunication, and broadcasting services, ensuring continuity of service for INSAT 4A satellite.
April 15, 2020

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