Current Affairs 22nd January 2021

Table of Contents

1. NSE: World’s largest derivatives exchange

National Stock Exchange of India Ltd.(NSE) has emerged as the world’s largest derivatives exchange in 2020 in terms of the number of contracts traded based on the statistics maintained by the Futures Industry Association (FIA). NSE is ranked 4th in the world in the cash equities by the number of trades as per the statistics maintained by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for the calendar year 2020.

2. India 4th in Global Firepower defense review

India has been ranked 4th in the Global Firepower defense review. The US came first followed by Russia and China and 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. Each country is evaluated on a multitude of factors related to a prolonged offensive or defensive military campaign. The finalized Global Firepower ranking utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation’s Powerlndex score.

3. ISRO to launch space theme-based merchandise

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will develop space theme-based merchandise. The merchandise will revolve around several missions the Indian space agency has made possible from the time it was set up in 1969. The merchandise will range from customised t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, key chains, and posters, etc.

4. First-ever scientific training for players

The Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) along with Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) have introduced a revolutionary High-Performance Assessment and Scientific Analysis & Evaluation Programme -“Rise in Sports Excellence” for the very first time. During a rigorous camp of almost a month, scheduled from January 18 to February 16, 2021, 138 players, including 18 women players, will be monitored by experts.

5. Air Force Academy celebrates golden jubilee

The Air Force Academy (AFA) at Hyderabad, commemorated 50 years of its existence on 19 January 2021. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria unveiled a statue of the “Eternal Pilot” presented to the Academy by pioneers of 107 Pilots Course – the first course to undergo flying training at AFA. The Air Force Academy conducts training for all Flying and Ground Duty branches of IAF.

6. Infosys gets Google Cloud Partner status

Infosys has been accredited with the Google Cloud Partner Specialization in the data and analytics space. It achieved this recognition by successfully demonstrating end-to-end capabilities on Google Cloud including data ingestion, streaming, querying, exploration, analysis, storage, etc. Infosys is among the top global system integrators (SI) to be accredited with this specialization.

7. MoU signed between MORTH and IIT Roorkee

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) and IIT Roorkee have signed an MoU. It is for the continuation of the MORTH Professorial Chair to focus on research and development, teaching, and training in the area of Development of Highway Infrastructure. This collaboration will strengthen R&D activities in the road sector.

8. Tripartite agreement b/w MECL, RSMML, and DMG

A tripartite agreement was signed between Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), Rajasthan State Mines & Minerals Limited (RSMML), and the Dept of Mines & Geology (DMG), Govt. of Rajasthan. It has been signed for taking up feasibility studies of solution mining of potash in Rajasthan. Rajasthan has huge Potash and Halite resources spread across 50,000 sq. km.

9. Government launches a campaign

The center has launched an Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign. It has been launched in a bid to tackle the emerging issue of hesitancy and misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines. The center is also enhancing the Co-WIN platform app and portal and has launched a digital media package with impactful messages.

10. Mihir Dalal’s book wins a book prize

Mihir Dalal has won the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2020 for his debut book, Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story. He was chosen from a shortlist of six books. Established by the equity firm Gaja Capital in 2020, the Gaja Business Book Prize seeks to recognize business writing. With prize money of Rs. 15 lakh for the winner, it is the biggest business book prize in the country.

11. SEBI fines HDFC Bank

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a fine of 1 crore on HDFC Bank. It has been fined for violation of SEBI’s interim orders. The bank had extended a loan facility of Rs. 87.75 cr against shares to BRH and BRH Commodities. However, it invoked securities pledged to the extent of Rs. 158.68 cr without giving any notice.

12. IL&FS to launch InvIT

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) will launch its infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) soon. It will convert the outstanding debt owed to banks in 10 road projects into units of the trust. It has received all approvals for the launch. It has also completed the green channel filing with the Competition Commission of India and obtained final registration from SEBI.

13. New buildings of KVs inaugurated

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank’ inaugurated two newly constructed buildings of Kendriya Vidyalayas through video conferencing on 21 Jan 2021. The new buildings of Kendriya Vidyalaya are Bettiah in Bihar and Kendriya Vidyalaya No.4 Korba in Chhattisgarh. At present, there are a total of 53 Kendriya Vidyalayas in Bihar, with 4 Kendriya Vidyalayas operating in two shifts.

14. ‘National Girl Child Week’: 21 to 26 Jan 2021

The National Girl Child Week is being observed from 21 to 26 January 2021. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is organizing a series of webinars on the issues relating to the girl child, adolescent girls, and women. National Girl Child Day is celebrated in India every year on 24 Jan to promote awareness of issues faced by girl children in India, such as education and nutrition.

15. TRAI releases a report

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released the “Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report” on 21 January 2021. This report provides a broad perspective of telecom services in India. It presents the key parameters and growth trends of the telecom services as well as Cable TV, DTH & Radio Broadcasting services in India for the period covering 1 Jul to 30 September 2020.

16. Aquatic Quarantine facility to come up

Union Minister for Fisheries Dr. Giriraj Singh laid the foundation stone for the Aquatic Quarantine facility at Aquatic Animal Quarantine Centre at Padappai, Chennai, on 21 Jan 2021. It will have a disease diagnosing laboratory, exclusively for freshwater organisms. The facility will be ready by January 2022. The state fisheries department has allocated 3 acres of land for the facility.

17. SCR commissions 106 km of electric traction

In Andhra Pradesh, South Central Railway has completed and commissioned 106 km of electric traction of the railway line between Vijayawada-Uppaluru-Bhimavaram sections of Vijayawada Division. The total length of electric traction in terms of track kilometers in the section is 226 km. The newly commissioned Electrification project is being executed at a cost of Rs. 3,000 crore.

18. Coal Minister’s Award presented to 3 companies

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi presented Coal Minister’s Award to three coal companies of Coal India Ltd on 21 Jan 2021. The companies are Northern Coalfields Limited, Central Coalfields Limited, and Western Coalfields Limited. Mr. Joshi also launched ‘Project Passion the Enterprise Resource Planning of Coal India Ltd which will help improve the business performance and growth of the company.

19. India sends 1 mn doses of vaccine to Nepal

India has sent 1 million doses of COVID vaccine COVISHIELD to Nepal as a gift under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ Initiative. The vaccine gifted by India will be given to health workers and other front-line personnel within a week to 10 days. Supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius will also commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.

20. 1.5 mn doses of COVISHIELD to reach Myanmar

A consignment containing 1.5 mn doses of COVISHIELD vaccines from India will reach Myanmar on 22 Jan’21. Myanmar is a vital component of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies. India has also provided a training course in administering the vaccine to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bahrain, Brazil, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.

21. 1st small-scale LNG supply infrastructure

Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the first small-scale LNG supply infrastructure of Shell Energy India on 20 January 21. It was inaugurated at Hazira in Gujarat. This will augment Shell’s natural gas supply offerings in India to include the supply of LNG via trucks. It will also support the development of LNG as a clean transportation fuel.

22. PM Modi to visit Assam, West Bengal on Jan 23

PM Narendra Modi will visit Assam and West Bengal on 23 January 2021. He will address the Parakram Diwas celebrations to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. A permanent exhibition and a Projection Mapping Show on Netaji will be inaugurated on the occasion. A commemorative coin and postage stamp will also be released by the Prime Minister.

23. Seychelles to receive COVISHIELD

A consignment of 50,000 doses of COVISHIELD vaccine is reached Seychelles on 22 Jan 2021 as part of India’s vaccine donation program Vaccine Maitri. Seychelles is only among the four Indian Ocean countries to receive Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, as New Delhi grant assistance. The doses will be able to cover nearly 25% of the total Seychelles population.

24. NSE acquires financial data provider Cogencis

India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) has acquired Indian financial data provider Cogencis Information Services Ltd from Samara Capital for an undisclosed sum. Cogencis provides real-time market data and financial news in India to trading clients through its Cogencis WorkStation. Cogencis started operations in 2001 as CRISIL MarketWire, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the rating agency CRISIL.

25. Lucknow: Al-enabled cameras to catch stalkers

The Uttar Pradesh government has given a nod for the installation of Artificial Intelligence-enabled smart cameras at places prone to stalking and eve-teasing of girls and women for their safety. The project will be launched first in the state capital Lucknow, which is the only city in Uttar Pradesh selected by the Centre to be developed as the “Safe City for Women”.

26. Telangana to implement 10% quota for EWS

Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced to implement 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and employment on January 21, 2021. The quota will be implemented for EWS, without any change in the reservation already enjoyed by other sections. The quota for EWS will take the reservations for various downtrodden sections in the State up to 60%.

27. Google sign deal with French publishers

Google has signed a deal with publishers in France to pay for content used for preview snippets in its news section. As part of the deal, French newspapers will gain access to Google’s News Showcase. They will also be able to publish full or partial articles and experiment with bulleted or other formats.

28. India to conduct military drills in ANC

A large-scale joint military exercise ‘Excercise Kavach’ will be conducted in the last week of Jan 2021, under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only Joint Forces Command of India. The exercise involves assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The tri-services exercise aims to fine-tune joint war-fighting capabilities and SOPs towards enhancing operational synergy

29. Delhi govt gets farmers’ consent to set up SPP

The Delhi government has got consent from farmers across 9 villages in the north-western peripheries to set up solar power plants (SPP) in 225 acres of agricultural land under a government scheme. In July 2018, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi had announced the Mukhyamantri Kisan Aay Badhotri Yojana. The lands are located at villages in areas such as Alipur, Lampur, and Narela.

30. AP govt starts doorstep ration delivery

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched door delivery of rice to ration card holders along with a fleet of 2,500 Mobile Dispensing Units from Vijayawada on 21 Jan 2021. Every bag of rice is sealed and tagged with a unique code, leaving zero scope for adulteration. The government will bear an additional cost of Rs. 830 crores per annum on the new system.

31. Hungary 1st in EU nation to approve Sputnik V

Hungary has become the first country in the European Union to give preliminary approval to the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V. On 21 Jan 2021, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Chief of Staff confirmed both the Russian jab and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been given the green light by the health authorities,

32. Karnataka CM allocates portfolios to 7 Ministers

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa allocated portfolios to the 7 new inductees and also effected a reshuffle of the departments of some ministers on 21 Jan 2021. Umesh Katti got the Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs while S Angara has been given Fisheries, Ports, and Inland Transport. Murugesh Nirani will be the Mines and Geology Minister and Arvind Limbavali gets Forest Department.

33. SpaceX to build floating launchpads

SpaceX bought 2 deepwater oil rigs in 2020 and is converting them into floating launchpads, to support the enormous Starship rockets that the company is developing. The rigs are in the Port of Brownsville, near SpaceX’s Starship development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The rigs have been renamed Deimos and Phobos, presumably in homage to the Martian moons.

34. Indian Army signs MoU with SIDM

An MoU between the Indian Army & the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) was signed on 21 January 2021. It will provide further impetus to indigenization and to achieve strategic independence by reducing dependence on foreign origin equipment. This MoU was signed on the occasion of 25 years of Army-Industry Partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

35. 7th edition of MASCRADE 2021 inaugurated

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the 7th Edition of “MASCRADE 2021”- Movement against Smuggled & Counterfeit Trade, on 21 Jan 2021. It was organized by FICCI Cascade. The MASCRADE deliberated and discussed actionable, innovative policy solutions that can reverse the rising tide of counterfeit, smuggled, and spurious products.

36. Juventus wins Italian Super Cup

Juventus won the Italian Super Cup by beating Napoli 2-0 on 20 January 2021. It was Juventus’ ninth Super Cup title, taking it two above AC Milan, which is the team with the second-most victories in the competition. Andrea Pirlo won his first trophy as a coach after the team won the match.

37. Hockey India inducts 5 academies as members

Hockey India has announced Khalsa Hockey Academy (Amritsar), RoundGlass Punjab Hockey Club, Adyar Hockey Academy, Surjit Hockey Academy Jalandhar, and S.G.P.C Hockey Academy, as new members. With the inclusion of new members, Hockey India currently has 22 permanent members, 36 associate members, 39 academy members, and 2 hockey members.

38. Joynagar Moa being exported for the first time

Joynagar Moa, a Gl-tagged winter delicacy of West Bengal, was on 20 Jan 2021 exported abroad for the first time in over a century. It was exported to Bahrain and talks are also being finalised to export the product to Italy and Canada. It obtained the GI tag in 2014. Kanakchur Khoi, nolen gur, ghee, khoya kheer, cardamom, raisins, and cashew nuts, etc., are used to prepare the delicacy.

39. Gujarat govt to develop Shivrajpur beach

Gujarat government would spend a total of Rs 100 crore in two phases to turn Shivrajpur beach in Devbhumi-Dwarka district into an international level beach. Shivrajpur is the only beach in Gujarat to have the prestigious ‘Blue Flag’ certification. Under phase-1, it would get a bicycle track, parking area, drinking water facility, toilet blocks, arrival plaza, and tourist facility centre.

40. India Digital Summit 2021 held

Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) hosted its flagship two-day annual summit- the India Digital Summit 2021, virtually on January 19-20, 2021. ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat – Start of a New Decade’ was its central theme. Over 150 speakers across more than 50 sessions spoke at the two-day event. The event also hosted the Startup Innovation Showcase on the first day.

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