Current Affairs 12th January 2021

Table of Contents

1. National Youth Day: 12 January

National Youth Day is celebrated every year on 12 January to honour the ideals and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda. The day marks the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. He was born on 12 January 1863 in Kolkata. The Indian government declared to celebrate the day in 1984 and it is being observed since 1985. The objective is to propagate the philosophy and the ideals of Swami Vivekanand.

2. BSF organized a cycle rally

BSF is organizing a cycle rally to commemorate the birth centenary of Sheikh Majibur Rehman from 10 Jan 2021. The Sheikh Majibur Rehman Maitri cycle rally will cover 4,097 kms and will end on 17 Mar 2021, at Border out Post Silkor, 60 Battalion, and Mizoram Frontier. In a span of 66 days, the 13 BSF personnel would be passing along the Indo-Bangladesh border covering a distance of 4,097kms.

3. Tamil Nadu govt announces free 2 GB data

In order to enable students to attend online classes, the Tamil Nadu government has announced a data scheme for students. Free 2GB data per day would be provided to 9,69,047 students enrolled in govt and government-aided arts and science colleges, polytechnic, engineering colleges and scholarship-funded private colleges. It will be provided for 4 months from January-April 2021.

4. Kotak NASDAQ 100 Fund of Fund

Kotak Mutual Fund has announced the launch of Kotak NASDAQ 100 Fund of Fund. The new fund offer is open for subscription from 11 January 2021 to 25 January 2021. It will invest in funds like iShares NASDAQ 100 ETF, Lyxor NASDAQ 100 ETF and USA NASDAQ 100 Index fund (as per Scheme Information Document), which in turn invest in shares listed on the NASDAQ-100, currently worth 15 trillion USD.

5. Flipkart, Niti Aayog collaborate

Walmart-owned Flipkart has partnered with Niti Aayog to launch the revamped Women Entrepreneurship Platform. The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is a first of its kind, unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations. The revamped version will also include an additional feature to offer mentorship.

6. Star Air launches new flight under UDAN scheme

Star Air, on 11 Jan 2021, launched flights between Kalaburagi in Karnataka and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN. The airline will be operating three weekly flights on the route and will deploy its 50-seater Embraer-145 luxury aircraft. Inaugurated under the UDAN scheme, Kalaburagi airport recently completed a successful 1 year of service.

7. Sterlite Power raises Rs. 200 crore

Sterlite Power has raised Rs. 200 crores in debt financing from Allianz Global Investors (Allianz GI), a global investment manager focussing on sustainable investments. The transaction is among the first infrastructure sector financing deals for Allianz GI in India. Sterlite Power raised the funds through a three-year non-convertible debenture.

8. India’s online video market to touch $4.5 bn

India’s online video market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% between 2020 and 2025 to $4.5 billion. According to a report, India Online Video and Broadband Distribution 2021, by Media Partners Asia (MPA), India’s online video industry generated an estimated $1.4 billion in 2020 with advertising contributing 64% and subscription 36% to overall revenue.

9. Infosys completes 8 years of NYSE listing

Infosys will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 15 January 2021 to commemorate its eighth anniversary of listing on the exchange. Infosys has also announced the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Vision for 2030, under which the company has outlined ambitious goals for hiring and retaining talent as well as creating an inclusive workplace.

10. SoftBank sells $2 billion of Uber stake

SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund has sold about $2 billion in Uber Technologies Inc. stock. An affiliate of the investment fund called SB Cayman 2 sold 38 million shares on Jan. 7, 2021, at an average price of $53.46. SoftBank still holds about 184.2 million shares, worth about $10 billion at current prices.

11. Martin HP Söderström joins Oyo Europe

Hospitality firm Oyo Hotels and Homes has appointed Martin HP Söderström, the chairman of DIG Investment, as a non-executive Director at its European arm, Oyo Vacation Homes. Oyo launched its European business in May 2019, focusing on vacation rentals. In recent months, 3,400 homeowners from across Europe have joined the platform.

12. Malaysia declares state of emergency

Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah declared a state of emergency across the country on 12 Jan 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19. An emergency would give the Prime Minister and his cabinet extraordinary powers, including allowing the government to introduce laws without the approval of parliament. The emergency will last until August 1, 2021.

13. Delhi Covid centre starts admitting foreigners

Sardar Patel COVID center, the world’s largest COVID-19 care facility run by the ITBP in Delhi, has started treating foreigners and people coming from abroad. The decision has been taken as the center is witnessing a very low turnout of COVID-19 patients. Around 60 patients have been admitted here with a staff of almost 600 including paramedics.

14. Mumbai coastal road tunnel boring work

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray launched Mumbai coastal road tunnel boring work in Mumbai on 11 Jan 2021 while operating the giant tunnel boring machine ‘Mawla’. This machine will go on boring two longest tunnels in Mumbai. The 12.1 meter wide tunnels are considered to be the widest tunnels in the country. The two tunnels in this project are expected to be completed by June 2022.

15. Gujarat govt announces SOPs for Karuna Abhiyan

In the wake of bird flu cases in parts of Gujarat, the state government has announced the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be adopted for the upcoming Karuna Abhiyan. Every year, the state government undertakes the Karuna Abhiyan, a campaign to save and treat birds that get injured during the kite festival. It is compulsory for all workers to wear disposable PPE kits and hand gloves.

16. Khelo India Zanskar Festival 2021 from Jan 18

A 13-day Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sport & Youth Festival 2021 will begin from 18th January 2021 in Ladakh. It will go on till 30 January 2021. Various events like meditation, yoga, ice skating, hockey, snow skiing, climbing, traditional archery, snow scooter, biking, Yak and horse riding, snow sculpturing, etc. would be a part of the festival.

17. Vaccination in Bangladesh to start in February

The COVID 19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh will start in the first week of February 2021. The vaccine from India will arrive in Bangladesh between January 21-25, 2021. The vaccine will be sent to different districts of the country as per the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) list. The online registration for vaccination will start on January 26 2021.

18. Investment in Urban transformation up by 627%

Union government has informed that the overall investment in Urban transformation is up by 627 percent during the last six years as compared to the period between 2004 to 2014. The amount spent on creating and upgrading urban infrastructure and ensuring ease of living for the citizens is around 12 lakh crore rupees compared to a mere one lakh 50 thousand crore rupees from 2004 to 14.

19. India has lowest per capita emission

India has one of the lowest per capita emissions and per capita energy consumption. Minister of Power R. K. Singh informed this while presenting the 30th National Energy Conservation Awards. India has a target to reduce the emission intensity to 33 from 35 percent by 2030 compared to the 2005 level, as part of commitments made during COP-21.

20. Management Effectiveness Evaluation released

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar have released the Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country. The Minister also announced that from 2021 onwards ten best National Parks, five Coastal and Marine parks, and the top five zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.

21. Indian Navy conducting Sea Vigil-21

Indian Navy is conducting the second edition of largest coastal defense exercise Sea Vigil-21 starting 12 Jan 2021. The inaugural edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2019. The two-day biennial pan-India coastal defense exercise will be undertaken along the entire 7,516-km-long coastline. It will involve all the 13 coastal states and UTs along with other maritime stakeholders.

22. Two doses of COVID vaccine 28 days apart

The government has informed that two doses of the COVID vaccine, 28 days apart, need to be taken by an individual to complete the vaccination schedule. The Health Ministry has come out with a series of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in various aspects. Protective levels of antibodies generally developed two weeks after receiving the 2nd dose of the Covid 19 vaccine.

23. Distribution of Covishield vaccine begins

The distribution of the Covishield vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune began on 12 Jan 2021. The vaccine is being sent to 13 cities which include Aurangabad, Delhi, Chennai, Banglore, Karnal, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar. The govt has signed a contract with Sil for the supply of 11 million doses of Covishield.

24. ISRO to adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Labs

ISRO will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Labs across the country to promote education in the field of Space Education and Space Technology related innovations for school students. The lab provides a makerspace where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands-on do-it-yourself mode and learn innovation skills. NITI Aayog has established over 7000 Atal Tinkering Labs across the country.

25. Moderna to develop 3 new mRNA-based vaccine

Moderna will pursue development programs around three new mRNA-based vaccine candidates in 2021. These include potential vaccines for HIV, seasonal flu and the Nipah virus. An mRNA vaccine differs from typical, historical vaccines because it involves providing a person with just a set of instructions on how to build specific proteins that will trigger a body’s natural defences.

26. Snap acquires location data startup StreetCred

Snapchat’s parent company Snap has acquired StreetCred, a New York City startup building a platform for location data. As per the deal, four StreetCred employees will join Snap to work on location products, including co-founders Randy Meech and Diana Shkolnikov. StreetCred had raised $1 million in seed funding from Bowery Capital and Notation Capital.

27. Astrophysicist Shashikumar Chitre passes away

Renowned astrophysicist Professor Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre passed away in January 2021. He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan, and a stalwart of the Indian astronomy community, particularly solar physics. He retired as a senior Professor from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, in 2001.

28. SP announces youth circle campaign Yuva Ghera

Samajwadi Party national President Akhilesh Yadav announced a statewide Yuva Ghera campaign on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2021. The Yuva Ghera is a youth connect campaign, which means that Samajwadi Party leaders and workers will engage youths in discussions and dialogue by sitting with them in a ring. Yuva Ghera will be held in schools and colleges in UP.

29. Biden nominates William Burns as CIA Director

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on January 11, 2021, nominated former Career Diplomat and former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns as CIA Director. Burns retired from the US Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career. He is currently President of the international affairs think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

30. TCS hits Rs. 12 trillion market capitalisation

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) on January 11, 2021, became the second Indian company to hit Rs. 12 trillion in market capitalisation after the information technology (IT) services major posted its strongest December quarter growth in nine years. Reliance Industries Ltd, led by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is the only company to have hit Rs. 12 trillion in market cap.

31. Pune Metro to get aluminium coaches

Pune Metro is to get light-weight and energy-saving coaches with advanced features. In 2020, Titagarh Firema had won an international bid for supply of 102 ultra-modern aluminium bodied metro rail coaches for the Pune metro. Kolkata-based Titagarh Firema Company will conduct its first trial run on the factory premises in May 2021. The total cost of train coaches is around Rs. 1,100 crore.

32. Saudi launches a city with no cars & no roads

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unveiled his latest vision for Saudi Arabia’s future beyond oil: a city with no cars, roads or carbon emissions. The 170 kilometre-long (106 mile-long) development called “The Line” will be part of the $500 billion projects called “Neom”. The city would have 1 million residents and create 380,000 jobs by 2030.

33. Panicker defeats world’s strongest bodybuilder

Kochi-based arm wrestler Rahul Panicker defeated ‘world’s strongest bodybuilder’ Larry Wheels in Jan 2021. The super match took place in Dubai. Rahul, the current 70kg National Arm Wrestling champion, has already earned six national medals in the last ten years. Rahul’s father PT Panicker was a powerlifter and had won the title of Powerman of India.

34. Ronaldo becomes joint-highest goalscorer

Ronaldo has become the joint-highest goalscorer of all time in the history of football. Ronaldo now has 759 goals and he is tied at the first spot along with Josef Bican. The Portuguese striker achieved the feat on 10 Jan 2021 after scoring a goal against Sassuolo in Serie A. He also became the only player to score at least 15 goals in each of the last 15 seasons in the top five leagues.

35. Govt creates a special unit

Special units have been created by the government in the countrywide investigation wings of the Income Tax department. They have been created for focussed probe in cases of undisclosed assets held by Indians abroad and possession of black money in foreign shores. These would be known as Foreign Asset Investigation Units (FAIUS).

36. BHEL secures Rs. 450 cr order for power plant

BHEL has bagged an order worth Rs. 450 crores for a steam and power plant from National Aluminium Corporation Limited (NALCO). The Rs. 450 crore order has been placed by NALCO for its 5th Stream Alumina Refinery Expansion Project at Damanjodi, Odisha. BHEL’s scope in the contract includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of Coal Fired Boiler, etc.

37. Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award given

30 NRIs and Indian-origin people and organisations were conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by President Ram Nath Kovind on 9 Jan 2021. Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, New Zealand Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan were among those awarded. Four organisations were also awarded for community service and their work for promoting cultural ties.

38. CM Yogi inaugurates the Arogya Mela

UP CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurated Arogya Mela at Sankisa Primary Health Centre in Farrukhabad on 11 Jan 21. The Arogya Melas are aimed to make people aware of the government’s health schemes like Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Mukhyamantri Jan Arogya Yojana. 32 lakh people got treatment as well as 2.14 lakh people got Ayushman cards made in the seven Arogya Melas organised before the pandemic.

39. Kerala announces entertainment tax waiver

Kerala government has decided to waive entertainment tax and reduce the fixed charges on electricity during the post-COVID-19 outbreak period when the theatres had remained closed. The state govt had in 2019, issued an order allowing civic bodies to collect entertainment tax of up to 8.5% on the sale of cinema tickets, to make up for the revenue losses after the implementation of the GST.

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