- Niti Aayog to develop National Data Platform
- Government think-tank Niti Aayog will develop a national data and analytics platform to make all government data accessible to stakeholders in a user-friendly manner.
- The platform will be powered by a user friendly search engine, backed by seamless navigation, with a worldclass user interface. Data will be provided in a machine-readable format with customisable analytics.
- Stating that the NDAP will provide access to data from multiple sectors in one place, the document said data will be sourced from different Central and State Ministries and Departments. NDAP will be a reliable platform for up-to-date data. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be developed to keep data updated.
- There will be a high powered steering committee under the chairmanship of vice chairman, Niti Aayog to provide direction, oversee progress, guide on data sources, and address various inter-ministerial issues on collating data.
- Besides, there will be a Technical Advisory Group (TAG)consisting of sector and technology experts to provide guidance on the development of the platform, management of data, and aligning the platform for user-needs.
- 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.
- Mumbai malls, shops, eateries can stay open 24X7 from January 27
- Maharashtra cabinet has approved a proposal to allow malls, multiplexes, shops and eateries to remain open round the clock.
- The decision will come into force from 27th January and will be implemented only in non-residential areas like Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point.
- In another decision, cabinet has made the film “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” tax-free in the state. The film is based on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s trusted lieutenant Tanaji Malusare who had played a pivotal role in capturing the Sinhagad Fort. The movie that released on 10th January has already grossed over 150 crore rupees.
- Delhi airport gets a new women-only cab service
- At the Indira Gandhi International Airport is an exclusive ‘Women with wheels,’ taxi service that is unique as it is operated by women drivers, for women.
- The service, an initiative by ‘Sakha cabs’ was launched from the international airport from January 10 in a bid to make women feel safer.
- The cabs are driven by women drivers and the services are also provided to only female commuters.
- India opens its first Mahatma Gandhi convention centre in Niger
- External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou jointly inaugurated the first convention centre established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The External Affairs Ministry stated that the establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) is a landmark for India-Niger friendship, as also a symbol of India’s firm commitment towards Africa.
- It is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth Anniversary was observed last year. The convention centre has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union member states and other high-level conventions.
- Pakistan conducts training launch of nuclear-capable ‘Ghaznavi’ missile
- Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ghaznavi‘, which can strike targets up to 290 kilometres.
- The training launch was part of Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command aimed at rehearsing operational readiness procedures during day and night
- The ‘Ghaznavi’ missile is capable of delivering multiple types of warheads upto a range of 290 kilometers.
- The launch was witnessed by Lt Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Army Strategic Forces Command, Scientists and Engineers of the strategic organisations, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan.
- Palestine takes over chairmanship of G77
- Palestine has taken over the chairmanship of G77 from Palestine will be formally elected chair at the annual G77 ministerial meeting, scheduled to take place in mid-September
- The chairmanship of the G77 is based on the system of geographical rotation. 2019 was Asia’s turn and the Asian group had unanimously endorsed
- Egypt was representing the African Group of countries. Palestine’s chairmanship of G77 which is the biggest UN block assumes great significance time it is being increasingly blacklisted by the Trump administration of US. Even though Palestine is not the member-state of UN, Palestine has been recognised by 136 UN members and has the status of non-member observer state similar to Vatican.
- G77 is a coalition of 134 developing nations (including China) at the United Nations. Traditionally G77 speaks with a single voice before the 193-3-member General Assembly and also at all UN committee meetings and at international conferences. G77 was formed on 15 June 1964 by the “Joint Declarlaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries” issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group was credited with a common stance against apartheid and for supporting global disarmament.
Banking & Finance
- City Union Bank launches all-in-one app with multilingual chat-bot
- City Union Bank (CUB) has introduced its multilingual interactive voice-based all-in-one mobile app.
- The customers can converse with the chat-bot ‘Ask Lakshmi’ of the app in Tamil, English, Hindi or Telugu. Customers can converse for their general banking needs including transactions such as balance enquiry, mini statement, fund transfer over voice/text instructions.
- This new app covers all the financial and non-financial transactions such as fund transfer, bill payments, opening/closing of deposits, opening/closing of loan on deposits, balance enquiry, statement of account, stop payment of cheque, set card limit, handle wallet/UPI and invest (buying and selling) in Mutual Funds through simple guided interaction.
- ICICI Lombard gets IRDAI nod to pilot five projects under Sandbox
- ICICI Lombard stated it has received Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) ’s approval to pilot five innovative applications and programs in its health and motor portfolio under the Sandbox Project.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s Regulatory Sandbox Project has provided the insurance industry with the flexibility to explore new products and services that suit today’s technology and data driven world.
- This is the highest number given to any company under the IRDAI-introduced project. ICICI Lombard is to pilot the five proposals from February 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
- The insurer has secured approval for APP Monitored Diabetes Mellitus Wellness Program, APP Monitored Dyslipidaemia Management Program under the health insurance portfolio, Pay As You Use (PAYU) policies for Private Car, Pay How You Use (PHYU) policies for Private Car and Single owner multiple vehicle (Motor floater policy).
- This methodology allows insurers to launch and test a product with a select group of people for a period of six months, after which, on the basis of the results of the pilot run and the feedback, it will be launched commercially for the public.
Business & Economy
- Google partners with Airtel to offer G Suite to small, medium businesses
- Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Google Cloud announced a partnership offer G Suite to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in India as part of its integrated information and communication technology portfolio.
- G Suite is a set of intelligent apps-Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and more-designed with real-time collaboration and machine intelligence to bring people together and help them work smarter and safer.
- Global cloud service providers have been tapping into partnerships with Indian enterprises to tap into the fast growing demand for digital services in the country.
- This latest agreement will provide a platform for both companies to tap growth opportunities in India, which ranks amongst the fastest growing economies and has the second highest number of internet users in the world. Airtel serves over 2,500 large businesses and over 500,000 SMBs and technology startups across India.
- Apollo Hospitals launches ‘Health EMI card’
- Apollo Hospitals Group in collaboration with Bajaj Finserv has launched a “Health EMI Card” that offers a credit limit of up to ₹4 lakh and covers nearly 600 procedures for patients.
- The Apollo Hospitals-Bajaj Finserv Health EMI Card, according to Rajeev Jain, managing director of Bajaj Finance Limited, was to enable easy EMI financing for healthcare.
- The cards would be accepted across all Apollo Hospitals in the country. It also features a personal accident insurance cover of ₹ 1 lakh. The cards are digitised and customers can have it available once they download our wallet app. The card would cover the entire family.
- It would enable users to convert their medical expenditure into no cost EMIs that can be repaid over a period of 12 months.
- 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.
- World Archery lifts suspension on India enabling Indian archers to represent country
- The World Archery conditionally lifted the suspension on India, less than a week after the embattled national federation held its elections.
- A statement from the World Archery stated the federation needs to comply with good governance and activity portions of the World Archery constitution and rules. Must report every three months.
- The Indian archers, who had to compete as neutral athletes at the Asian Championships because of the suspension, can now represent the country under the Tricolour. The next international tournament is Indoor World Series in Las Vegas in three weeks’ time.
- Union Minister Arjun Munda was elected as President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) after the much-delayed elections were held in presence of three observers, including one from the World Archery.
- The elections were held as per the Delhi High Court order and the two bitter rivals clashed for the first time. World Archery had sent an Observer in Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol.
Appointment & Resignation
- North Korea appoints former Army officer as new Foreign Minister
- North Korea has appointed former military officer Ri Son Gwon as the new foreign minister of the country. Korean Central News Agency disclosed the news on January 23, 2020.
- It was mentioned in the report that Ri Son had participated in a reception for foreign diplomats in Pyongyang.
- He has served as the chairman of the government body responsible for relations with South Korea. In the past 15 years, he has participated in inter-Korean military talks several times.
- The Story of Yoga: From Ancient India to the Modern West
- Book titled “first definitive history” of Yoga, “The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World” has been written by Scottish cultural historian Alistair Shearer, published by Penguin Random House.
- Shearer’s revealing history boasts a colourful cast of characters past and present, in an engaging tale of scholars and scandal, science and spirit, wisdom and waywardness. This is the untold story of yoga, warts and all.
- The book is divided into 2 parts,”Today” and “Yesterday”, with 9 chapters, including “The Age of invasions”, “Female fitness” and “Yoga Goes West”.
- 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.