1. World Leprosy Day: 31 January 2021
World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January every year all over the world to increase knowledge about it and propagate the need and importance of eradicating the disease. It is being observed on 31 January for 2021. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s, is an infectious disease caused by a bacillus Mycobacterium leprae and is named after Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen.
2. Jay Shah appointed as president of ACC
The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah was appointed on 30 Jan 2021, as the President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). He has become the youngest to take charge of the post, taking over the reins from Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) chief Nazmul Hussain. The ACC is Asia’s regional administrative body and it consists of 24 member associations.
3. India ranks 10th in Personalised Health Index
India ranked 10th out of 11 Asia Pacific countries in a newly launched health index to measure the progress towards personalised healthcare. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report “Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index” measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the region. Taiwan, Japan, and Australia ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively.
4. No Ranji Trophy for first time in 87 years
The BCCI will not be conducting Ranji Trophy for the first time in 87 years as it has opted for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The BCCI will also host the U-19 National One Day tournament for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy and the Women’s national 50-over tournament. The Ranji Trophy is a domestic cricket championship played in India. The competition currently consists of 38 teams.
5. Pujara rises to 6th place in Test rankings
Virat Kohli remained the highest-placed Indian batsman at the fourth position in the latest ICC Test rankings issued on 30 Jan 2021. Cheteshwar Pujara moved up one place to 6th. Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is the other Indian batsman in the top-10 on the eighth spot. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson continued to lead the batting charts.
6. Pakistan gets GI tag for its Basmati rice
Pakistan has received the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati rice. A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess origin-based qualities and reputation in the region. Pakistan exported 500,000-700,000 tonnes of rice annually to different parts of the world out of which 200,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes is being shipped to EU countries.
7. ORF ranked 8th non-US think tank worldwide
India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has been ranked 20th among 174 top think tanks worldwide, and 8th among non-US bodies. The 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has been released by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. It is topped by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace of US.
8. Cell for migrant labourers set up in Goa
A dedicated cell has been set up in Goa to resolve the issues being faced by migrants labourers in the state as part of a central government initiative. The state is the first one in the country to set up a dedicated migration cell to address the issues of migrant workers. It will provide legal support, job linkages, access to public services, health, insurance and financial inclusion.
9. Rama Mohan Rao: MD and CEO of SBI Card
SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBI Card) has appointed Rama Mohan Rao Amara as the new MD and CEO of the company, His appointment is with effect from 30 Jan 21 for a period of 2 years subject to all the requisite approvals. Amara takes over from Ashwini Kumar Tewari. Prior to this, Mr Rao was the Chief General Manager, SBI Bhopal Circle, where he managed two key states MP and Chhattisgarh.
10. StashFin partners with SBM Bank India
Singapore-based startup StashFin and SBM Bank India have announced the launch of their co-branded contactless prepaid cards. Designed through collaboration, these cards will boost access to credit for underbanked consumers. The Visa powered card comes with a contactless EMV chip, offering the cardholders 24×7 access to funds. The card allows the customer to take loans up to Rs 5 lakh.
11. Taiwan’s Pegatron to invest in Tamil Nadu
Taiwan’s Pegatron Corporation and Tata Electronics will invest separately in Tamil Nadu to make mobile phones and parts. Tata Electronics will invest Rs. 5,763 crores for making mobile phone components and Pegatron will invest Rs. 1,100 crores to make mobile phones as part of its phase I investment. The other companies to invest in Tamil Nadu include Sun Edison and Ola Electric.
12. UAE to offer citizenship to some foreigners
The United Arab Emirates plans to offer citizenship to a select group of foreigners. It is the first Gulf Arab nation to formalize the process which is aimed at giving expatriates a bigger stake in the economy. The major policy shift is aimed at attracting talent to the UAE in a way that will boost growth. Foreign residents make up more than 80% of the U.A.E’s population.
13. Happiest Minds acquires Pimcore
Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd will acquire US-based Pimcore Global Services for USD 8.25 million. Houston-based Pimcore Global Services is a digital e-commerce and data management solutions company. The acquisition will further strengthen Happiest Minds’ offerings and leadership in the digital transformation space. It will also help create greater digital capital for customers.
14. CSS Corp wins 2021 BIG Innovation Award
CSS Corp has been named the winner in the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards in the best products category by the Business Intelligence Group (BIG) for their homegrown platform, Contelli. Contelli is a one-of-its-kind advanced AIOps platform that harmonizes, automates, and modernizes every aspect of infrastructure operation. It is highly modular to be tailored to suit any client environment.
15. IFFCO bags highest tax payer award
IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd) has bagged the highest taxpayer award which was given by the Customs Department at Deendayal Port Trust Kandla, Gujarat. IFFCO is the world’s leading fertilizer cooperative. It has a global group turnover of Rs 57,778 crore. The award was given on the occasion of International Customs Day celebrated on Jan 27, 2021, at Gandhidham, Gujarat.
16. Priyanka Chopra announces her haircare line
Priyanka Chopra Jonas has announced ‘Anomaly’, her own hair care line, which is completely vegan and eco-friendly. The products will be launched on 31 January 2021 in the United States and will start expanding to global markets later. The bottles are made from 100 pc plastic trash from oceans and landfills.
17. Chitkara University announces NOVATE 2021
Chitkara University has launched the 4th edition of its flagship-event NOVATE 2021. This edition aims to empower and help MSME’s to collaborate with universities for technical problem-solving. Through this competition, funding of Rs 25 lakhs will be awarded to up to 10 project proposals. The last date for submitting project proposals is January 31, 2021.
18. Telangana gets additional Rs.179 crore
The Dept of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has approved capital projects of an additional amount of Rs.179 cr in Telangana. This is in addition to the capital projects of Rs. 179 crore approved in the state earlier. Telangana has become the second state to get additional funds under the Scheme. Earlier, Madhya Pradesh was sanctioned additional capital projects of Rs. 660 crore.
19. Govt extends tenure of CERC Chief and members
The govt has extended the tenure of Pradeep Kumar Pujari as Chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) till mid-2022. Pujari is the 1st chairman of CERC to get tenure extension even as the Electricity Act, 2003 forbids it. The extension is also likely to apply to the other members – IS Jha and Arun Goyal, giving them 5 years of service or till they attain 65 years.
20. Dr Shaibal Gupta passes away
Bihar’s noted social scientist and founder secretary of Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) Dr Shaibal Gupta passed away in January 2021. He was the man who had prepared the draft in favour of Special status to Bihar. He was also the director of the Centre for Economic Policy and Public Finance (CEPPF). He was also credited with starting the economic survey of Bihar.
21. ISRO Chief inaugurates a satellite
ISRO Chief K Sivan has inaugurated a private satellite, developed by a group of 12 students of Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore. The academic satellite will be launched on February 28, 2021 from Sriharikota Range by PSLV C-15. This is the first time that a satellite has been developed by a private institute.
22. UP govt sanctions land acquisition for NIA
The Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned Rs. 4,000 cr for land acquisition for the 2nd phase of the Noida International Airport(NIA) scheduled to come up at Jewar. The Yeida had sought permission from the UP Govt to start work on the 2nd project in November 2020. A total of 1,365 hec will be required for phase 2, 1,318 hec for phase 3 and phase 4 will witness land acquisition of 735 hec.
23. Temple for MGR and J Jayalalithaa opens in TN
A temple dedicated to AIADMK icons, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, was unveiled on 30 Jan 2021, by CM K Palaniswami and DCM O Panneerselvam. The statues of both Jayalalithaa and MGR feature statues of a lion and the shrine was thrown open for the public. The temple has been built on a 12-acre plot at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh.
24. Chandigarh to get North India’s 1st ‘Dog park’
North India’s 1st Dog park to come up in Chandigarh’s Sector 42. The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the MC has approved the creation of the park within the Mango Park in Sector 42. It will cost Rs. 49-lakh and project will come up on 1.5-acre land. Depending on the success of the first dog park, the MC will plan more in other sectors of the city.
25. SPPU, PMC to provide free tuition to students
The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) social welfare department, together, will provide free tuition to 100 schedule caste, and 50 open category students, for competitive exams. Students can apply online on the official portal – sdd.punecorporation.org till 20 Feb 2021. Selected students will get the benefit for 1 year under this scheme.
26. Grammy-nominated musician Sophie Xeon dies
Grammy-nominated musician Sophie Xeon passed away in January 2021. She was also known as SOPHIE and had worked with stars including Madonna and Charlie XCX. The singer was born in Glasgow and started out as a DJ before releasing her debut single in 2013.
27. MP CM transfers Rs. 400cr to 20L farmers
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan transferred an amount of Rs 400 crore to the accounts of 20 lakh farmers of the state under CM Kisan Kalyan Yojana on 30 Jan 2021. In February and March Rs 400 crore will again be transferred to farmers’ accounts. Madhya Pradesh CM further stated now every farmer of the state gets Rs 10,000 per year.
28. Veteran Bengali actor Indrajit Deb dies
Veteran Bengali actor Indrajit Deb passed away in January 2021. Deb had started his career in popular TV serial Tero Parbon, and played an important role in Karuanamoyee Rani Rasmoni and web series The Adventures of Gogol.
29. Biden appoints Rob Malley as envoy for Iran
The new US government, under President Joe Biden, has named Rob Malley as its special envoy to Iran. He is known as the architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. He has been serving as head of the International Crisis Group, an independent non-governmental organisation focussed on conflict resolution.
30. Mexico to import over 8 lakh COVID-19 vaccine
Mexico plans to import about 8,70,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine from India in February 2021, as well as producing it locally. Mexico and Argentina have a deal with AstraZeneca to produce its vaccine for distribution in Latin America, with financial support from the foundation of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Mexico was expecting about 1.5 million doses from Pfizer.
31. Rare snowy owl spotted in NY’s Central Park
A rare snowy owl was spotted in New York’s Central Park. This is the first time that a snowy owl has been spotted in Central Park in 130 years. Paul Sweet, the collection manager of the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History, said that the last recorded sighting of a snowy owl in Central Park dates back to 1890.
32. MP CM launches ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ for Girl Child
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme in order to aid in empowerment and growth of the girl child on National Girl Child Day. He also announced scholarships worth Rs 6.47 cr for 26,099 girls under Ladli Laxmi Yojana. The Abhiyan will go on for a year.