Current Affairs

4 January, 2020


UNICEF:2019 concluded as deadly decade for children in conflict; >1.7lac grave violations verified

On December 29, 2019 the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund established announced that more than 1,70,000 grave violations against children in conflict were verified which is the equivalent of more than 45 violations a day for the last 10 years.

The countries experiencing conflict is the highest since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

2018 data by UN: The United Nations (UN) in 2018 verified more than 24,000 grave violations against children. The 6 grave violations identified by UN include killing & maiming, sexual violence, abductions, denial of humanitarian access, child recruitment by armed forces and armed groups,attacks against schools or hospitals. This count was more than 2.5 times higher than that recorded in 2010.

Pacific Island Nation Palau becomes first nation in the world to ban ‘reef-toxic’ sun cream

Palau has become the first nation to ban sun cream which damages the coral reefs, sea life and are toxic to juvenile wildlife species. It is the Pacific Island country in the Western Pacific Ocean near Philippines.
Palau- The second nation to sign Paris Climate Agreement after Fiji.
Palau Capitals- Ngerulmud, Melekeok.
Tommy Remengesau- Palau’s President.
Currency- United States Dollar.
Rock Island, Palau- World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2012.


10k cameras to be used for 2020 Asiatic lion census in Gujarat

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII),an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change(MoFCC), is set to conduct the Asiatic Lion Census in May 2020 by using around 8,000-10,000 cameras across 25,000 sqkm (Square kilometre) area spanning 7 districts in Gujarat.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s technology will be used for the lion census.
The whole census area is to be divided into 3-km grid. Around 1,000 to 2,000 officers are to be employed to collect lion’s hair, nails, teeth, etc by using scientific methods laid out by NTCA. In the 2nd phase, 10,000 cameras are to be used to capture the lions

Ritualistic Festival ‘Lai Haroba’ begins in Tripura

Lai Haroba, a ritualistic festival observed by Manipuri meitei communities began in Agartala. The five-day long festival was inaugurated by Speaker of State legislative Assembly, Rebati Mohan Das.
Lai Haroba was celebrated through oral literature, music, dance and rituals. A cultural troupe from Manipur came and performing manipuri martial arts, folk music and folk dances.
The festival was organized by:
i.Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of Tripura.
ii.Puthiba Lai Haraoba Committee and Puthiba Welfare & Cultural Society, Agartala.
To Uphold Tradition and Cultural values of Meitei community.
Tripura- Agartala.
CM- Biplab Kumar Deb.
Governor- Ramesh Bias
State Bird- Green imperial Pigeon.
State Animal- Phayre’s leaf monkey.
National Park- Clouded Leopard National Park,Rajbari National Park.
Wildlife Sanctuary- Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary, Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Gujarat CM unveiled world’s 2nd tallest statue of Vallabhbhai Patel in Ahmedabad

The Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Ramniklal Rupani unveiled the world’s 2nd largest statue of Sardar vallabhbhai Patel at Sardardham campus near Vaishnodevi circle in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This bronze statue which is 50 feet tall weighing 70,000 kilograms was built at a cost of Rs 3.25 crores. Padma Bhushan awardee Ram Vanji Sutar(Sculptor) who designed the world’s tallest statue has built this world’s second tallest statue too.

The world’s tallest statue known as the ‘statue of unity’ of Sardar Patel was built at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Central Gujarat. Its height is 182 meters (597 ft) and was built at a cost of Rs 3000 crores.
About Gujarat:
Capital- Gandhinagar.
Cultural Capital- Vadodara.
Governor- Acharya Devvrat
Chief minister- Vijay Rupani.
National Parks (NP)- Gir Forest NP, Blackbuck NP, Marine NP, Vansda NP.

Indian Railways launches integrated helpline number 139 for passengers

The indian Railways launched an integrated helpline number 139 for quick grievance and enquiries by the passengers during journeys.
About Indian Railways:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Founded– 16th April 1853
Minister of Railways– Piyush Goyal
Minister of state for Railways– Suresh Angadi

30% of Poshan Abhiyaan funds used in 3 years as per data shared in parliament

According to an analysis of the data shared by Minister for Women and Child Development (MoWCD) Smriti Irani in the Parliament, merely 30% of the Poshan Abhiyan funds have been used in 3 years. Apart from Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, none of the state govt has used the fund granted to them in the past 3 years. The data in detail are as follows,

Best performers:Among the states that utilised the poshan abhiyan funds well, Mizoram(65.12%) emerged as the best performer. It was followed by Lakshadweep (61.08%), Bihar (55.17%), Himachal Pradesh (53.29%) and Meghalaya (48.37%) in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place respectively.

Worst performers: The top worst performers were Punjab (0.45%), Karnataka (0.74%), Kerala (8.75%), Jharkhand (13.94%) and Assam (23.01%).


India to place restrictions on non-essential imports from China by March 2020

India has decided to place stricter quality standards for 371 items. This has been done with the aim of curbing imports of non-essential items such as toys, plastic goods, sports items and furniture, especially from China. The proposed rules will be framed by respective ministries in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), that will help in ensuring stricter inspection of imports. The new rules will be spearheaded by Union trade minister Shri Piyush Goyal.

China’s imports: Non-essential imports from China is estimated to amount $4 trillion per annum.

Trade deficit with China: India’s trade deficit with China stands at $53.6 billion

DPIIT: FDI inflows rose 15% to $26 Bn in 1st half of FY2020; Singapore largest FDI source of India

According to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India rose 15% to $26 billion in the first half of FY2020 (Fiscal year 2020). Singapore continued to be the largest source of FDI in India during the first half of FY2020 with $8 billion investments. The inflow of FDI during April-September of 2018-19 stood at $22.66 billion. The data in brief are as follows:

Other top FDI sourcing countries to India:Singapore was followed by Mauritius ($6.36 billion), the United States(US) ($2.15 billion), the Netherlands ($2.32 billion), and Japan ($1.78 billion) in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place respectively.

BoB joins hands with JM Financial for co-lending to home buyers

Bank of Baroda (BoB), an Indian Multinational, public sector Bank has signed a co-lending partnership agreement with JM Financial Home Loans Limited (JMFHL), the housing finance arm of JM Financial Group, to provide retail loans to home buyers.

This tie up will boost the credit delivery to customers & also promote home buying field in India.
About Bank of Baroda (BoB):
Founded- 20 July 1908
Headquarters- Vadodara, Gujarat
Non-Executive Chairman- Hasmukh Adhia
Tagline- India’s International Bank.
About JM Financial Home Loans Limited (JMFHL):
Formation– 16 December 2016.
Headquarters– Mumbai,Maharashtra
CEO– Manish Sheth


Mahendra Singh Dhoni picked captain of ESPNCricinfo’s ODI and T20 teams of past decade

Charismatic Former Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, 38 years old picked as captain of ESPNCricinfo’s ODI(One Day International) and Twenty20 teams of the decade. Virat Kohli was named the leader in Tests.

Indian chess grandmaster Koneru humpy finishes 12th in FIDE World Blitz competition 2019 held in Moscow, Russia

Humpy Koneru (32), an Indian chess grandmaster from Andhra Pradesh, has settled 12th overall in the 2-day FIDE World Blitz competition 2019 held at at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. She ended the tournament with 10.5 points out of 17 games.
Kateryna Lagno (13 points) of Russia and Magnus Carlsen of Norway (16.5 points) retained their titles in the Women’s and Men’s Blitz Championships respectively.
About FIDE World Blitz Championship 2019:
It is a 21-round Swiss tournament organized by FIDE- Fédération Internationale des Échecs (English: International Chess Federation or World Chess Federation).
The prize fund for the championship is $350,000, with $60,000 for the winner.
About FIDE:
Formation– July 20, 1924
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
President– Arkady Dvorkovich

For the first time Lawn bowls & Cycling to be included in 3rd Khelo India Games 2020

Chief Executive Officer of “Khelo India Games” has announced the inclusion of “Lawn bowls” and “Cycling” in the 3rd edition of Khelo India Games. These two games will be included in the event for the first time.


Mastercard acquires RiskRecon to strengthen its cybersecurity front

Mastercard,a leading global payments & technology company has acquired RiskRecon Inc,a leading third-party cyber risk solutions provider, to protect its cyber systems & infrastructure. The acquisition has been finalized for an undisclosed sum & is expected to be complete by early 2020.
About RiskRecon:
Founded– 2011
Headquarters– Salt Lake City, United States
CEO & Co-Founder- Kelly White
About Mastercard:
Founded- 1966 (as Interbank Card Association) &1979 (as Mastercard)
Headquarters- New York, U.S.
President and CEO– Ajaypal Singh Banga

Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed as 11th and 1st female Chancellor of UK’s Queen’s University

72-years-old Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed as the first female Chancellor of United Kingdom’s Queen’s University. She succeeds Tom Moran. Clinton is the 11th Chancellor of the University and will serve for a period of five years from January 1, 2020. She will act as an advisor to the vice-chancellor Prof Ian Greer and senior management.
About Hillary Clinton:
i.In 2018, she received an honorary doctorate from the Queen’s University.
ii.She was the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016 US election.
iii.In 2009 she was appointed as the United States Secretary of State by President Barack Obama.
About Queen’s University:
i.Queen’s University was opened in 1849 in Belfast, UK.
ii.It is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland with a distinguished heritage and history.
About UK:
i.Prime Minister- Boris Johnson
ii.Capital- London
iii.Currency- Pound Sterling

Prof Suresh Chandra Sharma was appointed as the 1st Chairman of NMC

Delhi AIIMS’ Professor Suresh Chandra sharma appointed as the 1st ever Chairman of NMC (National Medical commission). Sharma was the head of ENT(ears, nose,throat) head-surgery department of AIIMS(All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in New Delhi.The Committee also appointed Dr Rakesh Kumar Vats, Secretary General, Board Of Governors, Medical Council of India as Secretary of NMC.The Chairman and the Secretary of NMC will serve for a period of 3 years or till the age of 70 years.

On August 8, 2019 National Commission Bill 2019 was introduced which replaces Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

14 scientists conferred with Swarna jayanti fellowships for 2018-19

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India (GoI), have awarded Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for 2018-19 to 14 Scientists associated with innovative research projects and capable of impacting research and development (R&D) work in their respective fields.

Cristiano Ronaldo bags best men’s player title at Dubai Globe Soccer Awards

Famous Portuguese professional football player Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded by Globe Soccer Award as the best men’s player of the year in the international football function held in Dubai. Ronaldo has won the award six times out of its nine years of its existence and also marked 4th consecutive time.

About Globe Soccer Awards:
The Globe Soccer Awards are the annual awards given for excellence in football. EFAA (European Association of Player’s Agents) and the ECA (European Club Association) organize the Globe Soccer Awards.

Britain’s Prince William unveils prize for climate innovation

Prince William 37 has announced a multi-million-pound prize for “visionaries” working to solve “Earth’s greatest environmental problems,” from climate change to air pollution.
The Earthshot Prize will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. The initiative’s goal is to provide “at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”
About UK:
Capital– London
Currency– Pound Sterling
Prime Minister– Boris Johnson

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