Current Affairs 3rd January 2020

1. Japan to join ‘Five Eyes’

The Japanese government is set to join the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance. Five Eyes is a network of five nations — Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the US who collaborated to better respond to increasing threats by North Korea and China. Japan had provided intelligence to the US and the UK in 2019 on China’s forceful detainment of Muslim Uyghur minority people.

2. Telangana to join Ayushman Bharat Scheme

The Telangana govt has agreed to join the Ayushman Bharat Scheme launched by the Union Govt 2 yrs ago. Ayushman Bharat, which is aimed at offering Universal Health Coverage (UHC), has 2 components of health centres and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which offers a health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family. This includes tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 cr poor and vulnerable families.

3. Ministry of Railways releases a booklet

Ministry of Railways has released a booklet of achievements of Ministry of Railways in the year 2020 with the title “Building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. The booklet contains significant achievements and initiatives of Indian Railways in the year 2020. The Hindi and English version of the booklet is available in Ministry of Railways’ website https://indianrailways.gov.in.

4. Dabholkar Memorial Award for DK chief

The Dr Narendra Dabholkar Memorial Award for 2020 has been conferred upon Dravidar Kazhagam President K. Veeramani. The award was instituted in the memory of the Maharashtra-based rationalist Dabholkar, who was killed some years ago. It includes Rs. 1 lakh and a citation. Mr Veeramani has dedicated his whole life to propagate rationalism and served for the cause of social justice in society.

5. SPPU signs MoU with ICAI

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has signed an MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to impart job skills to their students. Besides providing students with internship opportunities, the MoU aims at providing skill-oriented education to students, conducting faculty development programs for staff and enhancing skill sets of students through webinars.

6. Karnataka govt to send 1,000 nurses to Britain

In an effort to create hope among job seekers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka govt is all set to send 1,000 professionally trained nurses to Britain. All the nurses who will be going in the first batch will be trained in all aspects of their profession including communication skills through Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation (KVTSDC).

7. Dagmara Baskova banned for match-fixing

Slovakian tennis player Dagmara Baskova has been banned for a period of 12 years after an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) uncovered five incidents of match-fixing by the player in 2017. Baskova, who had the highest WTA ranking of 1117 in singles and 777 in doubles, has also been fined $40,000. The majority of the fine is suspended, with $1,000 payable within 90 days.

8. Gujarat BJP MP Mansukh Vasava quits party

Gujarat BJP MP and former Union Minister Mansukh Vasava has quit the party and announced that he would resign from Lok Sabha in the budget session of Parliament. He has been vocal on tribal issues and had written a letter to PM Narendra Modi seeking withdrawal of a Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notification declaring 121 villages of Narmada district as eco-sensitive zone.

9. River cruise Brahmaputra’r Mukuta

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated river cruise Brahmaputra’r Mukuta at the bank of the Brahmaputra near Bogibeel bridge in Dibrugarh on 31 Dec 2020. The cruise built-in one-and-half-year is an ABCD Exploration Company project with the initiative of two local youths, Dhiraj Bikas Gogoi and Uday Shankar Mohan.

10. Bhima-Koregaon anniversary celebration

The programme to mark the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima at the “Jaystambh” in Perne village was held peacefully on 01 January 2020. Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and some other leaders paid tributes at the “Jay Stambh”. “The battle (Koregaon Bhima Battle) was a fight against untouchability that was being followed during the Peshwa rule and it received success”.

11. Covishield gets approval from DCGI’s panel

Covishield, the vaccine candidate from Pune-based Serum Institute of India, was approved by a Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on 1 Jan 2020. The SEC gives its recommendation to the DCGI which is the approving authority for drugs and vaccines. Bharat Biotech has been asked to furnish more data demonstrating the efficacy of its candidate, Covaxin.

12. Tamil film producer K Balu passes away

Renowned Tamil film producer K Balu has passed away in January 2021. He was known for bankrolling films like Prabhu and Kushboo starring Chinna Thambi under his banner KP Films. Balu has contested Tamil Film Producers Council election and emerged the winner as an executive committee member.

13. S Banerjee: New Chief Justice for Madras HC

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice Sanjib Banerjee as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. He would be succeeding Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, who retired from service on 31 December 2020. He was elevated as a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court on June 22, 2006, and was now the seniormost puisne judge there.

14. Tata Sons largest promoter of listed companies

Tata Sons has emerged as the largest promoter of listed companies at the end of 2020. The company replaced central government as the largest promoter at the end of a tumultuous year for the equity market which saw benchmark indices hit record lows and highs. ‘Tata Sons’ stake in the listed companies of the conglomerate rose 34.4% on annual basis to Rs 9.28 lakh crore.

15. IDBI Bank sells 23% stake in life insurance JV

IDBI Bank has sold 23 per cent stake in IDBI Federal Life Insurance Company Ltd (IFLI) to Ageas Insurance International NV for 350710 crores. Following this transaction, the joint venture has been rebranded as Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company Ltd. IFLI is a three-way joint venture of IDBI Bank, Belgium’s Ageas and Federal Bank.

16. 03 January: Savitribai Phule birth anniversary

January 3 marks the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule. She is known for her contribution in the field of women’s education. She was born on January 3, 1831, in Maharashtra’s Satara district in a country ruled by the Britishers, where women rights were non-existent. She is widely regarded as a woman teacher who campaigned to create awareness on the need for education for women.

17. India delivers relief materials to Fiji

India has sent over six tons of relief material to Fiji for its cyclone-affected people, reflecting its close ties with the island nation in the South Pacific. The relief material sent in the wake of tropical cyclone Yasa highlighted India’s commitment to providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support to friendly foreign countries as a first responder.

18. 01 January: Global Family Day

Global Family Day is celebrated annually on January 1 in different parts of the world, especially in the United States, as a global day of peace and sharing. It was first observed in the year 2000 on January 1. Since then, the first day of the New Year is celebrated as Global Family Day every year. The day considers the entire world as one family.

19. Hollywood director Joan Micklin Silver dies

Hollywood filmmaker Joan Micklin Silver, who directed films like ‘Hester Street’ and ‘Crossing Delancey’, passed awayin January 2021. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska to Russian Jewish parents, Silver left home to attend Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Silver made her film debut in 1967, and Silver began writing scripts for educational films for children.

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