Current Affairs 19th January 2021

Table of Contents

1. India has the largest diaspora in the world: UN

The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world, with 18 million people from the country living outside their homeland in 2020, according to a UN report. The United Arab Emirates, the US, and Saudi Arabia host the largest numbers of migrants from India. The report titled ‘International Migration 2020 Highlights, is by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

2. Bihar’s first state bird festival ‘Kalrav’

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar inaugurated Bihar’s first state bird festival ‘Kalrav’ on 16 Jan 2021. It was held at the Nagi bird sanctuary in the Jamui district, about 200 km south-east from Patna. Spread in an area of 2.1 square kilometers, Nagi bird sanctuary is home to over 133 bird species. The festival was organized to create awareness among people about migratory birds.

3. India’s first Labour Movement Museum

The country’s first Labour Movement Museum would be launched in Alappuzha. The museum will feature a huge repository of documents and exhibits that shaped the labour movements across the continents and impacted Alappuzha. The New Model Cooperative Society Limited, previously run by the Bombay Company, has been converted into the Labour Movement Museum.

4. Telangana and Gujarat join hands

Telangana govt’s WE Hub has partnered with the Gujarat government’s l-Hub, to support women entrepreneurs in Gujarat and Telangana. This is the first time that two state governments have joined hands to facilitate the growth of women-led start-ups in various focus sectors. Around 240 women entrepreneurs will be selected for the pre-incubation programme and 20 for the co-incubation programme.

5. Ramachandra Guha’s new book

Historian and cricket fan Ramachandra Guha has come up with his new book- ‘The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind’. The book not only talks about cricket in India but is about cricket in other countries too. It has been co-published by HarperCollins India and William Collins UK.

6. Telghani Board to be formed

Telghani Board will be formed in Chhattisgarh to provide employment opportunities to the people of rural areas. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has announced Rs 20 lakhs for the construction of social buildings in five districts of the Raipur division- Raipur, Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Gariaband, Balodabazar. The people of rural areas will get employment opportunities with the help of this board.

7. Odisha approves Rs 903 cr annual action plan

Odisha’s Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has approved the annual action plan of 2021-22 with a total outlay of around Rs 903.39 crore. The major activities include block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, regeneration of the bamboo forest, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder, and fruit-bearing plantation, etc.

8. CRPF gets 21 DRDO-developed bike ambulances

21 ‘bike ambulances’ developed by the DRDO have been inducted into the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). These will be used for casualty evacuation tasks in remote Naxal violence and insurgency-affected areas. The customized ‘Rakshita’ ambulances have been created on 350cc Royal Enfield Classic bikes by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).

9. Three UK partners with TCS

TCS has been selected by Three UK, one of the UK’s leading mobile network carriers, to help it configure its mobile network for its ongoing rollout of 5G services. Three UK is in the process of deploying a new 5G radio access network which is already live in 175 cities of the UK. TCS’ software will speed-up configuration checking and reduce manual errors, ensuring the right network configuration.

10. Second edition of ‘Eco Retreat’

The Odisha government is organizing the second edition of the festival ‘Eco Retreat’. In comparison to 2020, Odisha has added 5 more destinations to highlight the diversity in tourism and hospitality in the state for the year 2021. Odisha’s 3-month long event will be held at 5 locations including Konark, Harikund, Bhitarkanika, Darungabadi, and Satkosia.

11. Poush Parban Fair concludes in Tripura

The 3-day Poush Parban fair concluded in Lankamura village of West Tripura district on 17 Jan 2021. The fair, held for the first time, aimed at reviving the traditional arts, crafts, and cuisine of the state, besides promoting tourism. The Sanskar Bharti worked jointly with the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) and Information and Cultural Affairs (ICA) to organize this festival.

12. India Innovation Index to be released

NITI Aayog will release the second edition of the India Innovation Index in a virtual event on 20 Jan 2021. The India Innovation Index-2020 seeks to rank the states and UTs based on their relative performance of supporting innovation and to empower them to improve their innovation policies. They will be ranked on 2 broad categories: outcome and governance.

13. PM Modi: Next Chairman of Shree Somnath Trust

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been chosen as the next Chairman of Shree Somnath Trust. The trust manages the world-famous Somnath Temple at Prabhas Patan town in the Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat. After former PM Morarji Desai, Narendra Modi is the second Prime Minister who has been appointed the chairman of the temple trust.

14. TRIFED and IFFDC enter into an MoU

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) and Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Ltd (IFFDC) have entered into an MoU. They will work together for tribal livelihood generation. Both organizations will organize training programs for tribal artisans in the area of entrepreneurship skills and business development.

15. Burns and Plastic Surgery Block inaugurated

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the newly constructed Burns and Plastic Surgery Block of AIIMS, New Delhi, and dedicated it to Sushruta, the Father of Plastic Surgery, on 18 Jan 2021. The Block is equipped to deal with approximately 15,000 burn emergencies and 5000 burn admissions a year. He informed that India has as many as 70 lakh burn injuries annually.

16. Swachhata Pakhwada organized by NCC

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar inaugurated Swachhata Pakhwada organized by National Cadet Corps, NCC at India Gate, on 18 Jan 2021. The theme of this Swachhata Pakhwada is ‘Clean India, Green India, Yeh Hai Mera Dream India’. During the Swachhata Pakhwada, the NCC cadets will keep Rajpath clean for the Republic Day Parade – 2021 by spreading awareness through displaying banners, etc.

17. 148th session of Executive Board of WHO

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan digitally chaired the 148th session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization on 18 Jan 2021. This platform of the World Health Organization Executive Board enables member states to set the directions and agenda to continue striving for the objective of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

18. India and Japan signs MoC

India and Japan have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, MoC on a basic framework for the partnership for proper operation of the system pertaining to specified skilled workers. It was signed by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Ambassador of Japan to India Suzuki Satoshi. It will help promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan.

19. V. Muraleedharan on 3-day visit to UAE

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates from 19 Jan 2021. During the three-day visit, he will be meeting with UAE dignitaries and a broad cross-section of the Indian community in UAE. He will hold talks with the UAE side on various bilateral and international issues of mutual interest

20. India supplies 2 Mobile Harbour Cranes

India has supplied a consignment of two Mobile Harbour Cranes, MHCs to Iran’s Chabahar port, with a total contract value of over 25 million dollars. This has been done under a contract agreement. The consignment of cranes that arrived from Marghera port, Italy has been unloaded successfully on 18 Jan 2021 at Chabahar port,

21. 1st Zanskar Winter Sports Festival begins

In Ladakh, Khelo India 1st Zanskar Winter Sports Festival began on 18 Jan 2021. Engaging the youth and opening new vistas of tourism in Zanskar are the main aims of the festival. A series of snow-based activities are scheduled for the next 13 days in Zanskar. Chadar Trek was also inaugurated as part of the festival.

22. Thursday and Friday for COVID vaccination: UP

The Uttar Pradesh government has fixed two days of the week for the COVID-19 vaccination drive. The vaccination in the state will be conducted on Thursday and Friday every week. A total of 200 health care workers were vaccinated on 18 Jan 2021 with no adverse events. A total of 1,500 health care workers in Lucknow Military Station are planned to be vaccinated under the drive.

23. Ganouri-Tanta village get electricity

In the UT of J&K, Ganouri-Tanta village in the mountainous Doda district has got electricity for the first time. The task of electrifying the remote village was completed in a record time of 15 days. The district administration, in coordination with the Jammu Power Development Corporation Limited (JPDCL) and Shalaka officials, undertook the work of electrifying the village.

24. Maharashtra govt. to convene Gram Sabhas

The Maharashtra govt has given its nod to convene the Gram Sabhas in all the Gram Panchayats. As per the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act, it is mandatory to convene a minimum of 4 Gram Sabhas in a financial year. If the Gram Sabha as mandated by the Act is not convened then the Sarpanch, Deputy Sarpanch, and Gram Sevak are held accountable and subsequent action can be initiated against them.

25. Air exercise Ex Desert Knight-21 from 20 Jan

Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise Ex Desert Knight-21 at Jodhpur Air Force Station between January 20 and 24, 2021. About 175 airforce personnel from the French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, etc. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force will participate with Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, etc.

26. Parakram Diwas to be observed on 23 Jan

The Indian government will celebrate Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday on January 23 as ‘Parakram Diwas’ every year. Born to advocate Janakinath Bose in Odisha’s Cuttack on January 23, 1897, Netaji played a crucial role in India’s freedom movement. He died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945.

27. Adani group signs agreement with AAI

Adani Group has signed a concession agreement with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram airports. The concession period is 50 years from the commercial operation date. Adani Group had emerged as the highest bidder for six AAT airports namely Lucknow, Mangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram in February 2019.

28. Upstox launches digital gold platform

Upstox (also known as RKSV Securities India Pvt Ltd), has launched a digital gold investment platform. Apart from investing in the stock market and mutual funds, Upstox customers can now also invest in gold – online and from the app. The Upstox Digital Gold platform enables customers to buy 24-karat digital gold of 99.9% purity at live market rates, updated in real-time on the platform.

29. Dunzo raises Rs. 293 crore in funding

Dunzo has raised USD 40 million (about Rs. 292.7 crores) in capital from investors. The funding round saw participation from new and existing investors, including Google, Lightbox, Evolvence, Hana Financial Investment, LGT Lightstone Aspada, and Alteria, among others. With a gross merchandise value (GMV) growth of 2X in 2020, Dunzo is now about USD 100 million annualized GMV business.

30. Welspun One Logistics Parks launches AIF

Welspun One Logistics Parks launched its first Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) product Welspun One Logistics Parks Fund-I on 19 January 2021. The fund is a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-registered Category II AIF. It is India’s first warehousing fund that provides domestic institutions, family offices, an opportunity to invest in the warehousing and industrial real estate sector.

31. Man Industries bags orders worth Rs. 250 cr

Pipe manufacturer Man Industries (India) Ltd has bagged orders worth Rs. 250 crores. These will be executed over the next 5 months. Man Industries is the flagship company of Man Group and is one of the largest players in longitudinal submerged arc welding (LSAW) pipes, spirally welded pipes, and coating systems.

32. PPBL in partnership with Suryoday Bank

Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) has announced its partnership with Suryoday Small Finance Bank to facilitate fixed deposit services to its account holders. With this new partnership, PPBL has become the first payments bank in the country to launch the multi-partner FD service where an account holder can select the partnered bank as per their preference.

33. Pakistan approves Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has approved Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This is the second vaccine to be given approval for use in the country. Earlier, on 15 January 2021, Drap had authorized the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan.

34. Odisha seeks Rs. 7.2k crores for railway infra

The Odisha govt has sought Rs. 7,200 crores for railway infrastructure and Rs. 5,650 crores for the development of the telecom sector in the state, in the forthcoming 2021-22 Union Budget. A provision for sufficient funds towards the development and maintenance of the national highways and adequate allocation for piped drinking water was also sought.

35. IDFC First Bank to offer interest-free cash

IDFC First Bank Ltd has launched two unique offerings, which are interest-free cash advances for 48 days and dynamic interest rates on revolving credit. The interest-free cash scheme is a first for the industry. Another key feature that will attract customers is dynamic interest rates, from 9% to 36% per annum, compared to the fixed rates of 36-40% charged by other card-issuing banks.

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