Current Affairs 28th January 2021

1. Lala Lajpat Rai’s birth anniversary: 28 Jan

28 January is observed as the birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai every year. Born in a small village named Dhudike in Punjab’s Ferozepur district on January 28 in 1865. Lala Lajpat Rai went on to become one of the greatest freedom fighters of India. He led a silent protest march against the Simon Commission in 1928. He founded Punjab National Bank and Laxmi Insurance company in 1894.

2. ICC announces Player of the Month awards

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the introduction of the ICC Player of the Month awards. It will recognize and celebrate the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket. An independent ICC Voting Academy comprising former players, broadcasters, and journalists from around the world, will team up with fans to vote.

3. Hindustan Unilever: Ritesh Tiwari as CFO

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has announced the appointment of Ritesh Tiwari as Executive Director, Finance, CFO, and a member of the board, HUL, with effect from 1 May 2021. Tiwari succeeds Srinivas Phatak who is set to move to the company’s headquarter in London as EVP, financial control, and risk management. He will also take over as the Vice President, Finance, South Asia.

4. Haryana: to provide free books to SC students

The Haryana government will provide free books to Scheduled Castes students studying in state-run colleges. To purchase books money will be transferred to student’s accounts directly only if the details are found authenticated. The ERP-portal has been designed to cater to the requirements of the colleges for a robust database.

5. South Africa approves AstraZeneca vaccine

South Africa has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and is reviewing applications by rival manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. South Africa will pay $5.25 per dose for 1.5 million shots of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII). The vaccine is expected to arrive in January end and February to protect frontline workers.

6. Lt-Gen CP Mohanty to take over as next Army VC

Lieutenant General Chandi Prasad Mohanty will take over as the new vice-chief of Army Staff on 1 February 2021. He is presently the Southern Army Commander and will be succeeding Lt General SK Saini on his superannuation. An alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) Dehradun and National Defence Academy, Lt Gen Mohanty is a June 1982 batch Infantry Officer from the Rajput Regiment.

7. ABFRL buys 51% stake in Sabyasachi

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) has signed a definitive agreement to buy 51% stake in designer brand Sabyasachi for Rs 398 crore. Incorporated in 1990, Sabyasachi is India’s largest luxury designer brand. The fashion brand reported Rs. 274 crore revenue in the financial year 2019-20. The deal is expected to be closed in late-February or mid-March.

8. MH CM releases a new Marathi book

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has released a book Maharashtra-Karnataka Seemavad: Sangharsh Aani Sankalp. The new 530-page book gives an account of the boundary dispute between the two states. Maharashtra government officer on special duty Deepak Pawar has edited this book.

9. Former India goalkeeper P Dora passes away

Former India and Mohun Bagan, East Bengal goalkeeper Prasanta Dora passed away in January 2021. He made his national debut in 1999 against Thailand in the Olympic qualifiers. Prasanta also represented Bengal in the Santosh Trophy. After turning out for clubs like Tollygunge Agragami and Calcutta Port Trust, the big break came in 1999 when he joined East Bengal.

10. ‘Gender Park’ to come up in Kerala

The Kerala government’s three-tower Gender Park in Kozhikode will become functional from 11 Feb 2021. The launch will coincide with the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality on February 11. CM Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the Feb 11-13 IGCE-II and the Gender Park. He will also lay the foundation of the International Women’s Trade and Research Centre (IWTRC).

11. GNIDA to build 10,000 flats under PMAY

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has decided to build 10,000 affordable homes for the economically weaker sections and low-income groups under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). These houses would measure between 245 sqft and 323 sqft and would be built in sectors 1, 2, and 3 of Greater Noida. A survey to select beneficiaries would be conducted from Feb 1, 2021.

12. Assam MLA Jamal Uddin Ahmed passes away

Jamal Uddin Ahmed, Congress leader, and MLA from Badarpur constituency in Assam passed away in January 2021. He had won thrice from the Badarpur seat–first in 2001 on a Trinamool Congress ticket and in 2011 and 2016 as a Congress candidate.

13. MI & Sood join hands for ‘Shiksha Har Haath’

MI India has announced a new initiative – #ShikshaHarHaath, in collaboration with the popular actor and real-life hero, Sonu Sood. This partnership is in continuation with the brand’s efforts of enabling the student community from underprivileged sections to pursue their education without any roadblocks. Mi India has pledged to empower thousands of students by donating Redmi smartphones.

14. PM Modi chaired a meeting of PRAGATI

PM Narendra Modi chaired the meeting of the 35th edition of PRAGATI on 27 Jan 2021. PRAGATI is a multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, involving central and state governments. In the meeting, ten agenda items were taken for review including nine projects and one program, These nine projects have a cumulative cost of 54,675 cr rupees concerning 15 states.

15. 5 lakh vaccine doses delivered to Sri Lanka

A consignment containing 5 lakh doses of COVISHIELD vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India reached Colombo, Sri Lanka on 28 Jan 2021. This gift of Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a part of India’s Vaccine Maitri initiative under which India has gifted vaccines to seven other countries in the region. Sri Lanka had approved emergency use of the vaccine on 23 Jan 2021.

16. PM Modi addressed WEF’s Davos Dialogue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue on 28 Jan 2021 through video conferencing. He spoke on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than 400 top industry leaders from across the globe attended the session. The Davos Dialogues agenda marks the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative in the post-COVID world.

17. Prime Minister addresses NCC rally in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the rally of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) at Cariappa Ground in Delhi on 28 Jan 2021. He inspected the Guard of Honour, reviewed March Past by NCC contingents, and witnessed cultural performance during the event. The NCC was formed under the National Cadet Corps Act of 1948 and is currently headed by Lt General Tarun Kumar Aich.

18. 3 more Rafale fighter jets join IAF

India’s Rafale squadron added the third batch of three fighter jets which arrived from France on 27 Jan 2021. Indian Air Force’s only Rafale squadron is based in Ambala. India ordered 36 warplanes from France in September 2016 for 59,000 crore rupees under a government-to-government deal. With the new jets, the number of Rafales in the IAF’s inventory has increased to 11.

19. Textiles Committee signs MoU with NQEC Japan

The Textiles Committee of the Ministry of Textiles has signed an MoU with Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan. It has been signed to boost the export of textile and apparel to the Japanese market. The main objective of the MoU is to provide the required support to the textile trade and industry for ensuring quality as per the requirement of Japanese buyers.

20. Finance Ministry releases over Rs. 12,000 crore

The Dept of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance has released an amount of over Rs. 12,351 cr to 18 States for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies. It has been released to states which have provided the Utilisation Certificate for the first installment. The states are required to transfer the grants to the Rural Local Bodies within 10 working days of receipt from the Central govt.

21. Home Ministry issues new COVID-19 guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment, and Caution of COVID-19. The guidelines will be effective from the 1st of February and will remain in force up to the 28th of February 2021. As per the order, all activities have been permitted outside containment zones, except those which will be subject to strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

22. Virtual Intelligence tool Tejas launched

IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the virtual intelligence tool Tejas and Work from Anywhere portal on 28 Jan 2021. Tejas is a virtual intelligence tool that extracts critical information from data to make meaningful information for policy decisions and improving efficiency in government services and citizen delivery.

23. Agriculture Pump Power Connection Policy

In Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray formally launched the Agriculture Pump Power Connection Policy. The government has decided to provide immediate electricity connections to farmers through this policy. He also inaugurated Krishi Urja Abhiyan Policy Web Portal, Solar Energy Land Bank Portal, Maha Krishi Abhiyan App, and ACF App prepared by the power discom Mahavitaran.

24. Next phase of Covid vaccination begins in UP

The next phase of Covid vaccination started on 28 Jan 2021 in UP. The health workers will get the vaccine on 28-29 Jan 2021 and also in the next phase on 4-5 Feb 2021. The state govt has fixed 2 days Thursday and Friday in the week for the vaccination. Till date state has conducted 2.74 crore covid tests and more than 15 crore people have been contacted regarding the coronavirus infection.

25. UP CM transferred installments of PMAY

UP CM Yogi Adityanath transferred Rs 2409 cr as 2nd and 3rd installments of PM Awas Yojana. Urban to over 3.42 lakh beneficiaries of the state, on 27 Jan 21. He also visited the Chauri Chaura martyrium to oversee the preparations for the centenary celebration of the historical event that took place in 1922. The state-wide celebration will begin from 4 Feb 21 and will go on for a year.

26. Jayalalithaa Memorial inaugurated in Chennai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy inaugurated Jayalalithaa Memorial at Chennai on 27 Jan 2021. The 79 crores worth grand memorial is built on a nine-acre land situated on the shores of the Marina Beach. The phoenix shaped memorial has a statue of Jayalalithaa and MGR with an artificial waterfall. The building was completed within a record period of 30 months.

27. Cabinet approves MSP of copra at Rs 10,335

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of copra at Rs 10,335 per quintal for the 2021 season which is an increase of Rs 375 over 2020 rates. This will benefit millions of farmers engaged in copra farming and impact the farmers of 12 coastal states. This is one of the many decisions taken by the Centre for the benefit of the farmers.

28. Brookfield to launch Rs. 3,800 crore REIT IPO

Brookfield India Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), backed by Canadian asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc, will raise Rs. 3800 cr through an initial public offering (IPO). The issue will open on 3 Feb and close on 5 February 2021. The issue price will be between Rs. 274-275 per unit of the REIT. Currently, BPG Holdings Group Inc, a Brookfield entity, holds a 99% stake in the REIT.

29. Shapoorji Pallonji to invest on a new project

Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate will invest around Rs. 4,000 cr to develop a large mixed-use project in Pune as part of its expansion plan. Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, which is the realty arm of business conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji, has launched a 148-acre project VANAHA near Bavdhan, West Pune. It will be executed in phases and will have more than 6,000 apartments on completion.

30. Govt to launch CES survey

The government is planning to launch the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) with a revised methodology for FY22. The previous survey in FY18 was discarded due to data quality issues. The CES data is used to calculate poverty and inflation levels, as well as to track economic progress in rural and urban India.

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