Current Affairs

18 January, 2020


World Economic Forum released 15th Global Risk Report 2020

The World Economic Forum(WEF) released the 15th edition of the “Global Risk Report 2020: An Unsettled World”. This report is a part of WEF’s Global Risks initiative and presents about the major risk the world is expected to face in the future. It is also to be noted that the year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, with the 2020 theme being “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”The report in detail are as follows:

WHO released Global health challenges for 2020; 13 health challenges for the decade identified

The World Health Organisation(WHO) released the Global challenges for 2020. 13 health challenges in this decade were also identified. The release in detail are as follows:
Global health challenges for 2020:
i.Top global challenges: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), climate crisis, eventuality of an influenza epidemic and spread of infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) and tuberculosis (TB) were listed as the top global health challenges for 2020.

It is also the second straight year that these challenges have topped the WHO list.


Centre accepts SIT recommendations in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases headed by Justice SN Dhingra

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing of the 1984 anti-sikh riots cases was headed by retired Delhi High Court judge Justice SN Dhingra. The Government has accepted the guidance of the special investigation team that had investigated 186 cases of the 1984 anti-sikh riots and appropriate actions will be taken under law.

23rd National Youth Festival 2020 held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

The 23rd edition of the National Youth Festival (NYF) 2020 was held at Indira Pratishthan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from January 12-16, 2020. It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) and State Government of Uttar Pradesh. The theme of the 2020 NYF was “Fit Youth, Fit India”
Inauguration: It was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State (MoS- independent charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju on 12th January that marked the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Indian-Hindu monk.

Arunachal pradesh becomes the 1st state in India to initiate IUCN’s red-listing of orchids

Arunachal Pradesh (AR) has became the 1st State in India to initiate the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s ‘red listing’ of orchids at the state level after it has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Itanagar, AR.
About IUCN:
Formation– on 5 October 1948
Headquarters– Gland, Switzerland
Director General- Grethel Aguilar
It aims to conserve nature and work for sustainable use of natural resources. It collects data and conducts research, analysis, field projects, advocacy and education.
IUCN Red List: IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species is an important indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. This list is serving as a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change. The IUCN has estimated that these are complications for protecting natural resources.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
Capital– Itanagar
Chief minister– Pema Khandu
Governor– B. D. Mishra.
Bird– Hornbill

India and Bangladesh signs MoU in the field of Information and Broadcasting sector in New Delhi

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Bangladesh in the field of Information and Broadcasting at Information and Broadcasting Ministers meet 2020, in New Delhi. A MoU was also signed for content exchange programme between All India Radio (AIR) and Bangladesh Radio Betar.
About Bangladesh:
Capital- Dhaka
Currency- Bangladeshi taka
President- Mohammad Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister- Sheikh Hasina Wazed

e-commerce platform was launched by the Ministry of Housing in real estate sector

Ministry of Housing launched an e-commerce platform to facilitate home buyers in identifying genuine properties. The objective of e-commerce platform is to bring transparency in the sector and offer only certified projects.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs:
Founded- 1952
Headquarters- New Delhi
Minister- Hardeep Singh Puri

India’s 1st Sukhoi-30 squadron to be stationed in Thanjavur, TN: IAF chief RKS Bhadauria

As per the Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh (RKS) Bhadauria,the induction ceremony of a Sukhoi-30 MKIs (Su-30 MKI) squadron in the southern skies will take place in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu (TN) on January 20,2020.

The range of this will be in the Indian ocean region (IOR) up to Suez Canal.
It will be the IAF ‘s 2nd frontline fighter squadron based in South India, with the most potent platform capable to perform predominantly maritime role and certainly a secondary to all other defensive mechanism.

Mizoram sets to celebrate ‘Chapchar Kut’ festival on March 6, 2020

Government of Mizoram along with the organizing committee under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Zoramthanga has decided to celebrate the ‘Chapchar Kut’, the biggest and most important festival of the Mizos, on March 6, 2020. The two- days festival is celebrated under the theme “Promotion of Mizos’ culture and moral code”.
About Mizoram:
Chief Minister- Zoramthanga
Governor- P. S. Sreedharan Pillai
State Capital City- Aizawl
State Animal- Sumatran serow
State Bird- Vavu
State Tree- Mesua ferrea
State Flower- Renanthera imschootiana

Overview of 5th edition of Raisina Dialogue 2020 held in New Delhi

The 5th edition of the Raisina Dialogue 2020 which is India’s annual global conference on geopolitics and geo-economice was held in New Delhi from January 14-16, 2020. The dialogue was jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Prime Minister(PM) Shri Narendra Modi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (MEA) attended the inaugural session of the dialogue. The highlights of the dialogue in brief are as follows:

India & Finland signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in order to enhance cooperation in the field of production, procurement, research and development in defence sector.

HM Amit Shah signs historic Bru-Reang refugee agreement in New Delhi; around 34,000 refugees to be settled in Tripura

Union Minister for Home Affairs (HM), Shri Amit Shah has presided over the signing of a quadripartite agreement between the central government and state Governments of Tripura ,Mizoram and representatives of the Bru tribe in New Delhi to end 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis.

As per the new agreement, about 34,000 Bru refugees will be inhabited in Tripura and assisted by central government with its allocated budget of Rs 600 crores to help in their resettlement.

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Saksham’ Campaign in New Delhi

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Saksham’ a month long People-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in New Delhi.

Under this campaign PCRA and Gas companies will conduct various workshops, seminars, cyclothons to adapt the measure of using less fuels. This campaign programs will be also broadcast in social media to create awareness among the people in conservation of fuels.

Union Minister for culture and tourism launched “Indian Heritage in Digital Space” exhibition in New Delhi

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) Shri Prahalad Singh Patel launched the first International Heritage Symposium and Exhibition (IHSE). The exhibition will be held until February 15, 2020 on “Indian Heritage in Digital Space “ and first international heritage symposium will be held for two days in the National Museum in New Delhi.
Chief Minister– Arvind Kejriwal
Deputy Chief Minister– Manish Sisodia

Dr Mihir Shah appointed as Chairman of 11 member Committee to draft the National Water Policy

Dr Mihir Shah, professor at the Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh has been appointed as the chairman of the 11-member committee to draft the National Water Policy(NWP) and will have to submit the report within 6 months from the date of constitution. The committee was established by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation of govt. of India.
Some of the members of the committee are

Shashi Shekhar, former Secretary, Water Resources, Govt of India.

National draft policy on Rare Disease: Govt to provide Rs 15 lakh under Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi scheme

The govt has released the National draft policy on Rare Disease in which financial support of Rs. 15 lakh will be provided under the Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi scheme for one-time treatment of rare diseases.

Beneficiaries: The scheme benefit is limited to people below Poverty Line (BPL) and also 40% of the population eligible as per Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) norms for treatment in government tertiary hospitals only.


South central zone of Indian railways & SBI ink pact for doorstep banking in 585 stations

South Central Railway (SCR) Zone of Indian Railways has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding ) with State Bank of India (SBI) for ‘doorstep banking’ under which the bank will collect earnings generated from all 585 stations of the zone.

India signed $88 million loan pact for Assam Inland Water Transport Project

The Government of India, the Govt. of Assam and the World Bank(WB) signed a loan agreement of $88 million for implementation of the Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) to modernize passenger ferry sector of Assam which runs on rivers including the Brahmaputra river in Assam.

Loan signing: The loan agreement from the Indian side was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and by Mr Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director (India), World Bank on behalf of the WB.

About World Bank(WB):
Founded- 1944.
Headquarters- Washington, D.C., United States(US).
Motto- Working for a World Free of Poverty.
President- David Malpass.
Managing Director(MD)- Anshula Khant.

ICICI bank unveils India’s largest API banking portal called ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’ with nearly 250 APIs

ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) bank,an Indian multinational banking and financial services company has launched India’s largest API (application programming interfaces) Banking portal called ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’which consists of 250 APIs & allows bank’s partner companies across the globe to sign up on it, create an application, select the application, test it out and get the


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Three new frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

The scientists of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had discovered three new species of tiny frogs in Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.The three new species of tiny frogs had been named as ‘Liurana himalayana’, ’Liurana indica’ and ‘Liurana minuta’.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
Capital- Itanagar
Chief Minister- Pema Khandu
Governor- B. D. Mishra
About Zoological Survey of India:
Headquarters- Kolkata
Director- Dr. Kailash Chandra

Rajnath Singh dedicated 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to nation–$26 billion turnover by 2025 in Defence Production

Defence Minister Shri. Rajnath Singh dedicated 51st K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer gun made by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) private sector Limited at Hazira in Gujarat to the Nation. The Government has set a target to achieve a $26 billion turnover in the aerospace and defence industry by 2025 and provides employment to 2- 3 million people.
K9 Vajra guns is the best example of ‘Make in India’ in Defence.

Ariane 5 rocket launches communications satellites for India, Eutelsat into geostationary orbit

Arianespace, French Company launched a pair of communication satellites as its first launch in 2020. Ariane 5 rocket consists of ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) communication satellite GSAT-30(Geosynchronous Satellites) and EUTELSAT KONNECT for the European satellite operator Eutelsat (European Organization of Telecommunication by Satellite S.A) from Guiana space center, French Guiana,South America.
Founded- 15 August 1969.
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Chairman- Kailasavadivoo Sivan.
Founded- 1980.
Headquarters- Courcouronnes, France.
Chief Executive Officer- Stephan Israel.

Mikhail Mishustin becomes the next prime minister of Russia

The Russian lawmakers have approved Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposed candidate Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin, the head of the Federal Tax Service, as the next prime minister of the country. He replaced Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev who resigned from his post.

Mass resignation: Putin proposed major changes in the constitution of Russia that would spread political power more evenly. Shorty after the proposed changes by Putin, Dmitri Medvedev resigned as Prime Minister (PM). Along with Medvedev the russian cabinet also made a mass resignation.

Medvedev as deputy head of security council: Soon after the resignation of Medvedev as the prime minister of Russia, Putin has appointed as the deputy head of the country’s Security Council. The council acts as an advisory board to the president.

16th edition of ICC awards 2019 announced ; Rohit sharma named ODI cricket of the year

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the list of ICC award winners for the year 2019 to recognise and honor the best international cricket players of the previous 12 months.
Indian opener Rohit Gurunath Sharma became ODI (One Day International) Cricketer of the Year for the first time. At the same time, Virat Kohli bagged Spirit of Cricket award.

Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi to be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman

Sindhi (Indo-Aryan language) Writer Vasdev Mohi has been selected for the Saraswati Samman 2019, a literary recognition given annually by the K K (Krishna Kumar) Birla Foundation. The literary award is given for his short stories collection- ‘Chequebook’. The short story talks about the sufferings of the marginalized sections in the society. The work was selected by a committee headed by former secretary general of the Lok sabha, Subash C Kashyap.
Saraswati Samman Award:
i.The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the constitution of India.
ii.It is named after an Indian goddess of learning and is considered to be among the highest literary award in India.
iii.The award is sponsored by K K Birla Foundation.

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