Daily Current Affairs | 25th January 2020
India, Bangladesh signed agreement to upgrade Ashuganj-Akhaura road into 4-lane highway
India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement to upgrade the 50.58 kilometer long Ashuganj-Akhaura road into a 4-lane highway. The road runs between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh. The road project is part of the $2 billion second Line of Credit(LoC) extended by India to Bangladesh in 2016.
‘Vigyan Samagam’, India’s 1st global Mega Science Exhibition inaugurated at National Science Centre in New Delhi by Dr. Jitendra Singh
On January 21, 2020, the Union Minister of State Independent Charge (I/C) Ministry of Development Of North Eastern Region, Minister of State (Mos) Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pension, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated India’s first global Mega Science Exhibition “Vigyan Samagam” at National Science Centre, New Delhi. The exhibition will be held from January 21, 2020, to March 20, 2020.
IR sets up govt’s 1st Waste to energy plant at Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop in Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agarwal inaugurated the East Coast Railway’s (ECoR) waste to energy plant at Carriage Repair Workshop, Mancheswar (CRW/MCS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is the fourth waste to energy plant in the country and first plant manufactured by Government sector and Indian Railways (IR).
Chief Minister- Naveen Patnaik
Governor- Ganeshi Lal
Capital City- Bhubaneswar
State Tree- Sacred fig
State Flower- Ashoka
State Bird- Indian roller
State Animal- Sambar deer
India’s 1st War Memorial for Animals to be set up in Meerut, UP
The govt has announced to set up country’s 1st war memorial for service animals such as dogs, horses, mules in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh(UP). This war memorial will come at army’s specialized breeding, rearing training centre for animals in the Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College in Meerut.
13th Jaipur Literature Festival began in Jaipur, Rajasthan
The 13th edition of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) began at Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan on January 23, 2020, and will be conducted till January 27, 2020. The 5-day long festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot. Author Ashwin Sanghi launched his book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’ through Sonali Bendre Behl at the fest. The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems edited by poet-diplomat Abhay K was also launched. It includes 200 poems.
Arvind Krishna awarded Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award:
Renowned poet and literary critic Arvind Krishna Mehrotra was awarded 5th edition of the Mahakavi Sethia Award for poetry during JLF 2020. The award is given in memory of Rajasthani and Hindi poet Kanhaiyalal Sethia and carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh.
Govt sets up 3 high-level steering committees to dispose of enemy properties
The Union government has decided to form 3 high-level steering committees to handle the disposal of enemy properties present in the country and to raise money from them. The 3- committees in detail are as follows:
About Enemy property:
This property is left by those who have taken citizenship of Pakistan or China.
There are 9,280 properties of citizens of Pakistan and 126 properties of citizens of China. The highest numbers of 4,991 properties of Pakistan’s citizen are in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It is followed by West Bengal, which has 2735 such properties &487 in Delhi. Meghalaya has the highest number of properties (57) left by Chinese citizens. Apart from these, there are 29 in West Bengal and 7 in Assam.
Govt think-tank NITI Aayog releases its vision for National Data and Analytics Platform
NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, a policy think tank of the Government of India (GoI), has released the vision document for the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP), which contain the latest datasets from several government departments and will also provide tools for analytics and visualisation of data to stakeholders in a user-friendly manner.
About NITI Aayog:
Formed– 1 January 2015
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Chairperson– Narendra Modi.
MoRD inks MoU with BMGF under DAY-NRLM to strengthen grassroots institutions of the rural poor
The Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). The MoU is to further strengthen grassroots of institutions for rural poor.
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya attends the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland
The Union Minister of State for Shipping Independent Charge (I/C) and Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya participated in the High- level roundtable of the joint United Nations Programme on HIV//AIDS (UNAIDS) on his four-day official visit to attend the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) held at Davos, Switzerland. The theme of the programme was “Access for all Leveraging Innovations, Investments, and Partnership for Health”.
Corruption Perception Index 2019: India ranks 80th; Denmark and New Zealand top the list
The Corruption Perception Index 2019 was released by Transparency International. As per the Index India ranks 80 out of 180 countries with a score of 41 out of 100. Last year India’s rank was 78 with the same score. The list was topped by Denmark and New Zealand.
World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative 2020: Srilanka tops in supporting breastfeeding women; India at 78th
As per a survey conducted by World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) 2020, Sri Lanka ranked 1st out of 97 surveyed countries in supporting breastfeeding women and achieved the status of being the first-ever green nation in supporting them. On the other hand, India ranked 78th with a score of 45.0 and got yellow colour code and Libya ranked last (97th) with red colour code. The status has been awarded based on its performance on 10 indicators which WBTi uses to color-code the countries. The survey report in brief are as follows:
WEF’s 1st Nature Risk Rising report: $44trillion of global GDP depend on nature
The World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with PwC released a report titled “Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy”. The report is the 1st in a series for the New Nature Economy(NNE). As per the report, global businesses are more than dependent on nature with an estimated exposure of $44 trillion which is half of world GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Global unemployment to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020: UN’s ILO report
On January 20, 2020,According to the ‘World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO)’ report released by the United Nations (UN)’ International Labour Organisation (ILO), the global unemployment figure is projected to increase by about 2.5 million in 2020.
The report noted that nearly half a billion people around the world are not getting enough paid work.
WEF to conserve 1 trillion trees by 2030 to combat climate change through 1t.org
The World Economic Forum(WEF) and its partners have launched 1t.org which is a multistakeholder effort to support efforts to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world inorder to restore the biodiversity and help combat climate change.
Switzerland mints world’s smallest gold coin values ¼ Swiss francs
Switzerland state-owned Swissmint has minted World’s smallest gold coin of 2.96 millimeter (0.12 inches). The coin features a face of scientist Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue. It weighs 0.063 grams (1/500 th of an ounce) and has a nominal value of 1/4 Swiss francs (USD United States Dollar- 0.26).
Currency- Swiss franc.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI hikes short-term debt investments limit for FPI to 30% from 20%
With the aim to boost foreign inflows, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the short-term investments by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to 30 % from 20 % of the total FPI investment in Central government securities including Treasury Bills(T-bills) / state development loans. This rule also applies in corporate bonds.
In a 1st , City Union Bank launches multilingual voice based ‘All-In-One’ app
For the 1st time India, the City Union Bank (CUB) Limited , one of the leading Indian banks in India, has launched a multilingual voice-enabled mobile banking application. Now the CUB customers can converse with the chat–bot ‘Ask Lakshmi’ of the app in Tamil, English, Hindi / Telugu language for their general banking queries including transactions like Balance enquiry, mini statement, fund transfer over voice/text instructions.
About City Union Bank (CUB):
Headquarters– Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
MD & CEO– Dr. N. Kamakodi
New India Co-operative Bank(NICB) to be converted as Small Finance Bank
The New India Co-operative Bank (NICB) has been decided to be converted into a Small Finance Bank (SFB) after being agreed by its shareholders under Voluntary Transition of Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) into SFB. NICB will now approach the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and Central Registrar of Societies for further action.
i.The decision for conversion comes after RBI made regulatory changes following the Rs 4500 crore PMC (Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank) bank scam and to ensure enhanced regulations to lenders.
ii.The bank is currently operating in Maharashtra and Gujarat and has networth of Rs. 230 crores.
iii.A minimum of Rs.200 crore is needed to set up an SFB.
About New India Co-operative Bank(NICB):
Formation- 1968 as Bombay Labour Cooperative Bank Ltd & renamed in 1977.
Chairman- Ranjit Bhanu.
Australia to host 11th Indoor Cricket World Cup in October, 2020
11th Edition of the Indoor Cricket World Cup is to be hosted by Australia from October 10 to 17, 2020. The World Indoor Cricket Federation(WICF) announced the tournament will be held at indoor cricket venues in Melbourne, Australia in Casey Stadium and CityPower Centre.
Currency- Australian Dollar (AUD).
Prime Minister(PM)- Scott John Morrison.
6 cities across New Zealand to host the ICC Women’s cricket world cup 2021; Hagley oval in Christchurch to host final
According to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson, 6 cities namely Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin and Christchurch of New Zealand will host matches of the 2021 edition of the Women’s cricket World Cup. The final of this tournament will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
2021 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup:
It will be the 12th edition of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Organizer– International Cricket Council (ICC)
Format– One-Day International
World Archery lifts suspension on AAI
World Archery (WA) removed suspension imposed on the Archery Association of India (AAI). Indian archers have now been allowed to compete in World Archery Events from 23 January 2020 onwards. The decision to remove suspension was taken by World Archer’s executive Board postal vote.
About World Archery:
Founded- 4 September 1931.
Headquarters- Lausanne, Switzerland.
President- Ugur Erdener; Secretary General– Tom Dielen
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
22 children from 12 States selected for ICCW National bravery awards 2019
Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), which selects children for the National Bravery Awards every year, has picked 22 children including 10 girls & 12 boys from 12 States for the ICCW National Bravery Awards-2019.
They will receive the award from President of India Shri, Ram Nath Kovind on 26th January 2020 (Republic Day).
2nd Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020:DMMC & Kumar Singh awarded
The govt of India announced the 2nd edition of the 2020 Subash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar on January 23, 2020, marking the 123rd birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The award is given annually and 2020 award selection & the nominations were scrutinized by two high-level Committees. Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC) of Uttarakhand and Kumar Munnan Singh were honoured with the award.
Kerala Tourism’s disabled-friendly project won UNWTO’s Accessible Destination Awards 2019
Kerala Tourism’s Barrier-Free Project has won global recognition with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as an “Emerging Global Destination” in the Accessible Destination Awards 2019 for South-Indian state category. The recognition is for the implementation of the project in the central Kerala district of Thrissur (India’ s only destination to win the honour). Kerala is also the 1st Indian state to work as per the UNWTO guidelines on making tourist destinations disabled-friendly.
Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran IAS (Indian Administrative Service) received the award from UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili at 40th FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, Spain.
Chief Minister(CM)- Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Former IOB Executive Director A.D.M. Chavali appointed as CVC panel member
The Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) has appointed former Indian Overseas Bank(IOB) Executive Director as A.D.M Chavali as its new panel member of the Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) and will serve the board till August 20, 2021.
Board aim: The board headed by T.M Bhasin former Vigilance Commissioner and former Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Indian Bank(IB), was formed in 2019 and aims to conduct examination of allegations against officials in General Managers (GM) ranking involved in fraud cases of worth above Rs.50 crores.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
1st unmanned mission will be launched in December 2020 as a preparation for ‘Gaganyaan’: ISRO
According to the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), chairman Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan, ISRO would launch 2 unmanned missions in December 2020 and June 2021 in view of the launch of India’s first manned spacecraft “Gaganyaan” in December 2021.
The ISRO has prepared women robot ‘Vyom Mitra’(means a friend in Sky) for sending into space under the 1st unmanned Gaganyaan mission.
World’s oldest ever mushroom fossil discovered in Congo, Africa
The researchers from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in France, led by led by Professor Steeve Bonneville, have discovered the world’s oldest ever mushroom fossil in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in Africa. The detail of fossilised remains of microscopic mushroom called mycelium in rocks dates between 715 and 810 million years ago and is published in the journal ‘Science Advances’.