Current Affairs 23rd January 2021

1. Parakram Diwas: 23 January

The birth anniversary of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is observed on 23 January every year. He was born on this day in 1897, in Cuttack, Odisha. The government has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji as ‘Parakram Diwas’ on 23rd January every year. The year-long celebrations to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji have also started.

2. Popular bhajan singer Narendra Chanchal dies

Narendra Chanchal, a well-known bhajan singer, passed away in January 2021. Besides several bhajans, Narendra Chanchal had also sung in Hindi films as well. He had won an award in 1973 for the song Beshak Mandir Masjid in the film Bobby. Some of the popular devotional songs sung by him include Chalo Bulawa Aaya Hai, Hanuman Chalisa, Sankat Mochan Naam Tiharo, Ram Se Bada Ram Ka Naam, etc.

3. Gita Mittal appointed new Chairperson of BCCC

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has appointed Justice Gita Mittal as the new chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). Justice Mittal succeeds former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Vikramajit Sen, whose tenure as BCCC chairperson has ended. Having served as the 1st woman Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, she is also the first woman chairperson of BCCC.

4.Shyam Srinivasan: Banker of the Year

Shyam Srinivasan, MD, and CEO of Federal Bank is the Business Standard Banker of the Year for 2019-20. This decision was taken by a high-profile jury of five, chaired by former RBI deputy governor S S Mundra. Other members were Keki Mistry, vice-chairman, and CEO of Housing Development Finance Corporation; Rashesh Shah, chairman, and CEO of Edelweiss Group, etc.

5. Yes Bank board approves fundraising

Yes Bank has approved raising funds of up to Rs. 10,000 crores. The bank had floated a follow-on public offer (FPO) of Rs. 15,000 crores in July 2020 to shore up its buffers that have fallen below the regulatory thresholds. However, it was subscribed 95% on the final day so it raised Rs. 14,267 crores through its FPO.

6. NTPC to raise Rs. 2,500 crore via bonds

NTPC will raise Rs. 2,500 crores through the issuance of non-convertible bonds on January 27, 2021. It will do it through a private placement at a coupon of 6.43 percent per annum with a door to door maturity of 10 years on January 27, 2031. The proceeds will be utilized for funding capital expenditure, refinancing of existing loans, and other general corporate purposes, among others.

7. Grasim set to enter paints business

The Aditya Birla group’s flagship company Grasim has approved an initial infusion of Rs. 5,000 crores over three years to enter the paints segment. The paints sector registered a compound annual growth rate of around 11% in revenue during FY14-FY19, facilitating value migration from unorganized to organized markets.

8. Adani Total Gas acquires 5% in IGX

Adani Total Gas and Torrent Gas have acquired a 5% stake each in the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), an arm of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The companies have spent around 4 crores for their respective 5% share each. IGX launched in June 2020, is an online trading platform for the physical delivery of natural gas and provides a neutral and transparent marketplace to multiple buyers and sellers.

9. UBS sells Induslnd Bank shares worth Rs. 366 cr

UBS Principal Capital Asia Ltd has sold nearly 40 lakh shares of IndusInd Bank Ltd worth over Rs. 366 crore through an open market transaction. UBS Principal Capital Asia offloaded 39.50 lakh shares of the bank at an average price of Rs. 928 apiece, valuing the transaction at Rs. 366.56 crore. The shares of IndusInd Bank were purchased by BofA Securities Europe SA at the same price.

10. Archery competition under Khelo India

Ladakh Administration organized the opening ceremony of the Archery Competition at Leh. Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the competition on 22 Jan 2021. The Archery Competition was held under First Khelo India Ladakh Winter Games at NDS Sports Stadium in Leh.

11. WIPRO group: Knowledge partner of MP

WIPRO group is all set to act as a knowledge partner of the Madhya Pradesh government. The company has taken an initiative for the establishment of a university in the state. The Wipro Group will also set up a Software Development Centre in Bhopal. Azim Premji Foundation has been allotted 50 acres of land for the proposed university in Bhopal.

12. New industrial estates to be set up in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has announced to set up new industrial estates under the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation-GIDC. It will be set up over 987 hectares of land across eight districts. Among these new estates, Jalotra in Banaskantha district will cover the marble cutting and polishing industry. Shekhpat in the Jamnagar district will house brass and ceramic units.

13. Largest logistic park to come up in Gujarat

India’s largest multi-modal logistic park will come up at Virochan Nagar near Sanand in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. An MoU was signed on 22 Jan 2021 between the Gujarat Government and Adani Port and SEZ Ltd. regarding the same. The proposed 1,450-acre park will also have a dedicated air cargo complex with a 4.6-kilometer-long runway to handle even large-sized cargo aircraft.

14. J&K PWD Engineering Manual, 2020 approved

J&K Administrative Council has approved the adoption of the J&K PWD Engineering Manual, 2020 by the Public Works Department (PWD). The Engineering Manual has standardized the engineering practices with an aim to provide a uniform code of practice for bringing more transparency and accountability in the operations of PWD. Spanning over 29 chapters, the manual has codified various activities.

15. J&K Industrial Land Allotment Policy, 2021-30

J&K Administrative Council has approved the adoption of the Jammu & Kashmir Industrial Land Allotment Policy, 2021-30. The policy provides for the constitution of divisional-level project appraisal and evaluation committees to scrutinize applications received for allotment of industrial land within 30 days. The land will be allotted to the investors on lease for an initial period of 40 years.

16. Indian Railways finalises a tender

Indian Railways has finalised the tender for Vande Bharat type train sets for 44 rakes of 16 Cars each. The procurement includes a five-year comprehensive annual maintenance contract with the supplier. The tender was finalised on Medha Servo Drives Ltd for the cost of Rs. 2,211 crore. For the first time, the tender required a minimum of 75 per cent local content requirement of the total value.

17. Amit Shah chairs Plenary session in Shillong

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the 69th Plenary Meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong on 23 Jan 2021. He launched the Ayushman Bharat programme for central armed police forces at Guwahati in Assam. He will the opening ceremony of the first anniversary of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Accord at Kokrajhar on 24 Jan 2021.

18. Decision Support System being set up

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and adjoining areas has begun the process of setting up a Decision Support System (DSS). It will have a web, Geographical Information System, GIS, and multi-model based operational and planning decision support tool. It will help immensely in capturing the static and dynamic features of the emissions from various sources.

19. Shramshakti Digital Data Solution launched

The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda launched “Shram Shakti” in Goa on 22 Jan 2021. It is a national migration support portal. It would effectively help in the smooth formulation of state and national level programs for migrant workers. He also launched a tribal migration cell, a tribal museum at Goa, and “ShramSaathi”, a training manual for migrant workers.

20. ‘Vasuki’ sets a new record

South Eastern Central Railway(SECR) zone has created another record when it operated the longest freight train on the Indian Railways network. SECR Raipur division for the 1st time amalgamated 5 rakes of freight coaches from Bhilai D Cabin till Korba. The total length of the freight train was around 3.5 km after joining the five rakes, and it was named ‘Vasuki’.

21. India Africa Trade Council In India

India Africa Trade Council was inaugurated in Chennai on 22 Jan 2021 for building up business relations between both the countries of India and the African Region. India Africa Trade council will open 13 trade offices in major metro cities of India to facilitate Indian businessmen wanting to do trade in African countries. These offices are expected to work directly with embassies in Delhi.

22. Smart Anti Airfield Weapon test fired

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on 21 Jan 2021, successfully test-fired a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Hawk-i aircraft off the coast of Odisha. The indigenous stand-off weapon, developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), is the first smart weapon fired from an Indian Hawk-Mk132. HAWK-i provides secured voice communication and data link capability.

23. Telangana launches mini hubs

To provide basic diagnostic facilities free of cost to the poor, the Telangana government has launched pathology labs called mini hubs across Hyderabad. Key diagnostic services like ultrasonography (USG) will be provided in the mini hubs. 8 such mini hubs have been inaugurated. These mini-hubs are connected to 50 Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHCs) and 36 Basthi Dawakhanas across Hyderabad.

24. IFFCO tops list of world’s top cooperatives

The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) is at the top spot among 300 leading cooperatives in the world, as per a report. The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) launched the 2020 edition of the World Cooperative Monitor on 21 January 2021.

25. West Bengal Forest Minister resigns

West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has quit the cabinet. He is the third minister to resign from the state government in one month. In December 2020, another West Bengal Cabinet Minister Suvendu Adhikari quit the government and the Trinamool Congress. On January 5, 2021, the Minister of State for Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned. He, however, has not quit as MLA or from the party.

26. Rajasthan Police Academy: Best in country

The Centre has ranked Jaipur-based Rajasthan Police Academy as the best institution for training gazetted officers in the country for the year 2019-20. Similarly, the state’s Police Training Centre in Kishangarh has been rated as the best in the country for training constables. The awards have been conferred by the Police Research and Development Bureau of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

27. ITBP wins national ice hockey championship

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police has won the 10th National Ice Hockey Championship held in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gulmarg. The team defeated Ladakh 5-1 at the Gulmarg ice rink located at a height of 8,694 feet. The national championship was organized by the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) from January 16-22, 2021 in which eight teams participated.

28. Book on the law of emergency to be released

A book titled “The Law of Emergency Powers: Comparative Common Law Perspectives”, was released on January 23, 2021. It has been authored by Dr. Abhishek Singhvi and Prof. Khagesh Gautam. It aims to provide a comprehensive legal and constitutional study of emergency powers from a comparative common law perspective. It was released by Supreme Court judges including Justice NV Ramana.

29. Assam government launches SVAYEM scheme

For local industries and rural economy, the Assam government has launched a scheme ‘Swami Vivekananda Assam Youth Empowerment’ (SVAYEM) at Amingaon, Guwahati. It will provide over 2 lakh skilled and talented youths in the state with the financial assistance of 50,000 each as seed money to start business ventures. The scheme would help the youth to become self-employed.

30. Aadi Mahotsav being held

TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has resumed the Aadi Mahotsav. The first Aadi Mahotsav post the pandemic is taking place between January 20-30, 2021 in New Delhi. It is showcasing the tribal traditions, craft, arts, and culture of tribes across the country. This is a trial run for the mega Aadi Mahotsav that will take place at Dilli Haat in New Delhi from 1 to 15 February 2021.

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