Current Affairs

23 January, 2020

International

Hyderabad ranked 14th globally in Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index Q3, 2019, Budapest in Hungary tops

In the Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index Q3 (Quarter) 2019, Hyderabad has ranked 14th among 150 cities in the world with an appreciation of 9% in residential prices on a YoY (Year-over-Year) basis.

In this index, Budapest in Hungary is in first place with the highest annual growth rate of 24%, followed by Xi’an and Wuhan in China at 15.9% and 14.9%.

CDP India annual report 2019: India ranks 5th in Carbon disclosure project 2019,US tops

According to the “Climate and business partnership of the future: CDP India Annual Report 2019” released by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), a not-for-profit charity running the global disclosure system for investors, companies to manage their environmental impacts, India has ranked 5th among the countries surveyed for corporate commitments to science-based targets (SBT).
As per the report, 58 Indian companies shared details about the environment-related activities undertaken by them in 2019.
Top 5 countries with SBT companies:

Rank Country SBT Companies
1 United States of America (USA) 135
2 Japan 83
3 United Kindom (UK) 78
4 France 51
5 India 58

U.N’s decarbonisation target of Shipping industry could cost over $1 trillion: UMAS study

According to a new study by experts from University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS), London, England, which includes University College London’s (UCL) Energy Institute & the Energy Transitions Commission, the shipping industry must spend a scale of investment of at least $1 trillion (£0.8 trillion) on new fuel technology to decarbonize the international shipping if it is to meet UN emissions targets by 2050.

Since about 90% of world trade is done by sea, Global shipping is responsible for around 2.2 % of the world’s CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions.

Guyana takes over the chairmanship of G77

Guyana takes over chairmanship of the Group of 77 (G77) for the year 2020, the year which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN). It assumes the chairmanship of the Group from the State of Palestine.
About G77:
Founded- June 15, 1964; Members: 77 developing countries including India
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
About the United Nations:
Founded- 24 October 1945
Headquarters- New York
President- Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
About Guyana:
Capital- Georgetown
Currency- Guyanese dollar

National

UAE has been declared ‘reciprocating territory’ by India under section 44A of CPC, 1908

The Central Government has declared the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be a “reciprocating territory” under Section 44A of Civil Procedure Code (CPC), 1908. The order was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.
About UAE:
Capital city- Abu Dhabi
President- Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
About Ministry of Law and Justice:
Founded- 1833
Minister- Ravi Shankar Prasad

Defence Ministry approves procurement of military hardware worth Rs. 5,100 crore

The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh approved the procurement of military equipment from indigenous sources worth over Rs. 5,100 crores.
About Ministry of Defense:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Founded– 15th August 1947
About Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO):
Headquarter– New Delhi
Founded– 1958
Chairman– Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy

Bengaluru airport first in India to get disabled aircraft recovery equipment

An agreement was signed by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to acquire Disabled Aircraft Recovery Equipment (DARE) to enhance operational capabilities and to reduce downtime during runway emergencies.
About Ministry of Civil Aviation:
Founded– 21st October 2016
Headquarters– Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi
Minister of Civil Aviation– Hardeep Singh Puri

Central Government Notifies National Startup Advisory Council

The Central Government announced the structure of the National Startup Advisory Council, chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry(MoCI) Shri Piyush Vedprakash Goyal. The council will provide measures to build a strong ecosystem for new innovations and start-ups in the country.
AIM: The council aims to increase the economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities in India.

Indian Navy Signs MoU for offshore Data with Geological Survey of India

The Indian Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for sharing seabed sediments data, products and expertise for Naval application in Meteorology and Oceanography.
About Geological Survey of India GSI:
Founded– 1851
Founder– Thomas Oldham
Headquarter– Kolkata
Director General– Shri S N Meshram
About Indian Navy:
Headquarter– New Delhi
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh

Uttarakhand is the 1st state in the country to implement agricultural leasing policy

Uttarakhand has become the first state in India which has made a policy to lease agricultural land. After the approval of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the state government has issued the order.
About Uttarakhand:
Capital City- Dehradun
Chief Minister- Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor- Baby Rani Maurya
State Animal- Alpine musk deer
State Bird- Himalayan monal
State Flower- Brahma Kamal
State Tree- Rhododendron arboreum

‘Youth Co:Lab- National innovation Challenge’ was hosted by Atal Innovation Mission and UNDP in New Delhi

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a three day long Youth Co:Lab -National Innovation Challenge in New Delhi.

The programme aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India. This programme supports young people by catalysing youth-led innovation and empowers them through Youth Co:Lab.

70,000 crore rupees has disbursed till January 13, 2020 under MSME loan scheme: Ministry of Finance

Under the scheme of providing loan to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) within 59 minutes nearly 70,000 crore rupees has been disbursed till January 13, 2020. The report was given by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurates 2nd edition of ‘NIC Tech Conclave 2020’ in New Delhi

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad ,the Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology(IT), has inaugurated a 2-day long 2nd edition of ‘NIC TechConclave 2020’based on the theme “Technologies for NextGen Governance” held at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology:
Founded– 1999
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Union Minister– Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad (Constituency- Patna Sahib, Bihar)
About NIC:
Founded– 1976
Headquarter– New Delhi
It works under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

Economy

For the 1st time, RBI Releases Minutes of board meeting

For the 1st time, India central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the minutes of the 579th meeting of Central Board of Directors (BoD) held in Chandigarh on October 11, 2019 as part of the central bank’s transparency initiative.

The disclosure of the information is considered as a measure to further enhance public awareness about the functioning of the RBI & and bring accountability to the directors.

The minutes of the meetings of the Central Board will be uploaded on the RBI’s website under provisions of Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act,2005, which needs suo motu (on its own) disclosure of information by each public authority.

NICL board approves its merger proposal with OICL & UIIC

The Board of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) has approved its merger with Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL) and United India Insurance Company Ltd (UIIC). The merger would help cut down costs and achieve economies of scale.
About National Insurance Company Ltd (NICL):
Founded– 1906
Headquarters– Kolkata, West Bengal
Chairman & MD– Ms. Tajinder Mukherjee
About Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL):
Founded– September 12, 1947
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman & MD– A V Girija Kumar
About United India Insurance Company Ltd (UIIC):
Founded– 18 February 1938
Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Chairman & MD– Girish Radhakrishnan

ICICI Bank launches ‘cardless cash withdrawal’ through ATMs using ‘iMobile’; daily transaction limit set at Rs 20,000

ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank, an Indian multinational bank has launched Cardless cash withdrawal facility from its ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) with a per-day transaction limit of Rs 20,000.
With this, customers can withdraw cash from more than 15,000 ATMs of the bank through the bank’s mobile banking application ‘iMobile’.
About ICICI bank:
Founded- 1994
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Executive Director– Mr. Anup Bagchi
MD & CEO– Mr. Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline– Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apk

Sports

India wins 7 medals in UWW Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series 2020 held in Rome, Italy

The Indian wrestling team has clinched 7 medals (4 gold, 2 silver, and a bronze) in the 1st UWW (United World Wrestling) Matteo Pellicone Rome Ranking Series 2020 held from January 15 – 18, 2020 in the Italian Capital, Rome. The 4-day tournament, organized by UWW, has featured all the 3 disciplines – freestyle, Greco Roman and women’s wrestling. The 2020 ranking series consists of two events: the 1st, which already held in Rome, Italy and the 2nd will held from June 4-7, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. The ranking series started in 2019.
List of Indian winner:

S.No Winner Category Medal
1 Bajrang Punia 65kg freestyle Gold
2 Ravi Kumar Dahiya 61kg freestyle Gold
3 Vinesh Phogat 53kg Gold
4 Gurpreet Singh 82kg -Greco-roman Gold
5 Anshu Malik 57kg Silver
6 Sunil Kumar 97kg Silver
7 Sajan Bhanwal 77 kg Bronze

Sania Mirza wins 2020 doubles title at 27th WTA Hobart International Trophy in Australia

Indian Tennis Player Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok have won the 2020 women’s doubles title of the 27th WTA (World Tennis Association) Hobart International Trophy held in Hobart, Australia.
Cash Award: Sania and Nadiia received a cash award of $13580 as prize money.
About 2020 Hobart International:
i.The 2020 Hobart International was a women’s tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.
ii.It was the 27th edition of the Hobart International and part of the WTA International tournaments of the 2020 WTA tour.
iii.It took place at the Hobart International Tennis Centre in Hobart, Australia from 13 to 18th January 2020.
iv.Elena Andreyevna Rybakina, a Kazakh-Russian tennis player won women’s singles category of 2020 Hobart International tournament

Miscellaneous

Xenobots: World’s first living, self-healing robots

Scientists of the University of Vermont and Tufts University have created the world’s first living and self-healing robots Xenobots, using stem cells from frogs. It is named after the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis from which they take stem cells.

Health ministry takes action for the recent novel coronavirus outbreak in China

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) of govt. of India has initiated various measures as a precaution for the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. Some of the measures taken are as follows:

Screening at airports: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has been asked to facilitate thermal screening at the international airports of Delhi, Mumbai(Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Chennai(Tamil Nadu), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Hyderabad(Telangana) and Cochin (Kerala) under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

In a 1st, TSEC to use face recognition app in 2020 Telangana Municipal polls on pilot basis

The Telangana State Election Commission(TSEC) of the Indian state of Telangana, for the first time in India will use facial recognition in the Telangana Municipal polls to tackle the counter impersonation by the voters. This will be done on a pilot basis in selected 10 polling stations of Telangana’s Kompally Municipality of Medchal Malkajgiri district.
About Telangana:
Founded- 2 June 2014.
Capital- Hyderabad
Governor- Tamilisai Soundararajan
Chief minister- Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao.

Food delivery startup Zomato acquires Uber Eats in all-stocks deal for $350 mn

Zomato, an Indian restaurant aggregator and food delivery startup has acquired Uber’s food delivery business in India, Uber Eats in an all-stocks deal valued at about $350 million (Rs 2,485 crore).
About Zomato:
Founded– July 2008
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
Founder and CEO– Deepinder Goyal
About Uber:
Founded– March 2009
Headquarters– San Francisco, U.S.
CEO– Dara Khosrowshahi
It is an ride-hailing company & has started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017.
About Uber Eats:
Formation– 2017
It was competing with Zomato as well as Swiggy in the market.

President of India Presented 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

President of India Shri.Ram Nath Kovind, presented “14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards” at a ceremony in New Delhi.
Ramnath Goenka:Ramnath Goenka was an Indian newspaper publisher who launched Indian Express in 1932 and the award is given by his name since 2006 by the Express Group.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee Confers ‘Champions of Change 2019’ Award to Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

Jharkhand CM (Chief Minister) Hemant Soren was conferred with ‘Champions of Change Award-2019’ for social welfare (Aspirational Districts) by Former President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in New Delhi.
Award Contribution:The award is contributed to Hemant for his work in the Barhait and Dumka assembly constituencies in the state.
About Jharkhand:
Capital- Ranchi.
Governor- Draupadi Murmu.
Formation Year- 15 November 2000.

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