Current Affairs 5th January 2020

Table of Contents

1. Pankaj Mithal: New CJ of J&K and Ladakh HC

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha administered the oath of office to Justice Pankaj Mithal as the new Chief Justice of the Common High Court for the UTs of J&K and Ladakh at a swearing-in ceremony in Jammu on 4 January 2021. Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal has been appointed to head the High Court for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in view of the retirement of Chief Justice Gita Mittal recently.

2. Vineet Kothari takes oath as Gujarat HC Judge

Justice Vineet Kothari took oath as a Judge in Gujarat High Court on 4 Jan 2021. He was previously an Acting Chief Justice in Madras High Court. He was transferred to Gujarat High Court on the recommendation of a five Judge collegium led by the Chief Justice of India. He was elevated as a judge of the Rajasthan High Court in 2005 and was transferred to Karnataka in 2016.

3. Joymalya Bagchi: New judge of AP High Court

Justice Joymalya Bagchi was sworn in as a judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court by Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari on January 4 2021. Justice Bagchi was transferred from the Calcutta High Court, where he was appointed as a permanent judge in June 2011. He began his career as an advocate in November 1991 and commenced his practice in the same year at the Calcutta High Court.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo Surpasses Pele’s record

Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Brazilian legend Pele in the list of all-time leading goalscorers by netting twice for Juventus in a Serie A match against Udinese on January 3, 2021. Ronaldo scored his 757th and 758th goal in either half of a 4-1 win as he became the second-highest goalscorer pushing Pele (757) down to the third spot. Ronaldo has now scored 758 goals for club and country.

5. Global Ayurveda festival from March 12-19

Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan announced that the fourth Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF 2021) will be held from March 12 to 19 in Kerala as a virtual meet. Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan is the chairman of this Ayurveda festival. The fest would feature 12 seminars per day at five venues. The festival which was scheduled in May 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic.

6. Indian flag installed at UNSC

The Indian national flag was installed at the United National Security Council (UNSC) stakeout on 04 Jan 2021, as India has started its tenure at the UN body for the eighth time as a non-permanent member. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti installed the flag. India’s previous tenure in UNSC was in 2011-2012.

7. Ronaldo becomes 1st to get 25 cr followers

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first person ever to reach 250 million followers on image-and video-sharing platform Instagram. He is also the most followed person on Facebook and the most followed sportsperson on Twitter The only account which has more followers than Ronaldo on the platform is Instagram’s official account, which has 382 million followers.

8. Twitter to acquire podcast app Breaker

Breaker, a popular podcast app, would be acquired by Twitter Inc. It will shut down its app and website by 15 January 2021. It has asked people to transfer their subscriptions to other podcast-listening apps like those offered by Apple Inc and Spotify. Breaker’s team would also be joining Twitter.

9. Finance Ministry releases Rs 6,000 crore

The Ministry of Finance has released the 10th weekly installment of 6,000 cr rupees to the states to meet the GST compensation shortfall. Out of this, an amount of over 5,516 crores and 60 lakh rupees has been released to 23 states. The remaining five states- Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation.

10. Central Vista Project gets approval

The Supreme Court has approved the Central Government’s plan for construction of the Central Vista project. It has also approved the government’s proposal to construct a new Parliament in Lutyen’s Delhi. The Central Vista revamp envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity of 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August 2022.

11. Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak-2020

Ministry of Home Affairs has announced Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak-2020 for seven officers of J&K Police for displaying exceptional courage and skills. The officers who have been honored include Senior Superintendent of Police, Rajouri Chandan Kohli, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Budgam Amit Verma, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Akhnoor Ajay Sharma, Inspector Dilraj Singh, etc.

12. Permanent office of Secretariat in Nagpur

Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly Speaker Nana Patole inaugurated the permanent office of the Secretariat of the State Legislature in Nagpur on 4 Jan 2021. Each year after the conclusion of the winter session of the Legislature in Nagpur, the office of Secretariat used to close down. But, with the inauguration of the office, it will be operational for the whole year.

13. Tamil Nadu govt delivering Pongal bonanza

The Tamil Nadu govt began delivering the Pongal bonanza to more than two crore ration card holders, from 4 Jan 2021. The state government’s bonanza for Pongal the harvest festival, includes ingredients to make chakkarai Pongal. One kilogram of raw rice, sugar, 20 grams of cashew and raisins, eight grams of cardamom besides sugarcane will be given to the cardholders.

14. J&K admin signs MoU with NBCC

In the J&K, an MoU was signed on 4 Jan 2021, between NBCC and J&K IT Infrastructure Development Company for establishing IT Towers in both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar. These IT Towers would be established at cost of 50 crore rupees each. The administration is also undertaking the development of 20 rural BPOs with plug and play infrastructure, one each in every district.

15. Madhya Pradesh rolls out ‘Launch Pad Scheme’

In MP, ‘Launch Pad Scheme’ is being started for boys and girls coming out of child care institutions and having completed 18 years of age. The objective is to provide such a platform to these youth, through which they will be able to become self-reliant by continuing their education and training. 5 divisional headquarters are being started in Indore, Sagar, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Bhopal.

16. Migrant worker cell inaugurated in Surat

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has inaugurated a migrant worker cell of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) at Udhna based iLab in Surat. The migrant worker cell with linkage with the city livelihood center will help extend all kinds of assistance and government-led benefits to them. It has been created for the first time in the country under the ‘National Urban Livelihood Mission Scheme!

17. Assam Rifles Public School launched

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju launched the Assam Rifles Public School in Shillong as Khelo India Sports School, on 4 Jan 21. At present, 9 sports schools have been approved across the country, out of which 5 are managed by Defence and Paramilitary forces. In the north-east region, Assam Rifles school is the 1st sports school announced under the Khelo India scheme.

18. Bangladesh prepares a project

The government of Bangladesh has prepared an ambitious plan covering the entire country to ramp up disaster management work in the country. The Tk 2276 crore plan has been prepared to procure modern equipment for quick response during emergencies arising out of natural disasters. The project is expected to be completed by October 2023.

19. Bangladesh approves AstraZeneca vaccine

Bangladesh has granted approval for the emergency use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The approval to import the vaccine has been granted by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) of Bangladesh to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BPL). BPL signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for importing 30 million shots of the vaccine for Bangladesh on 13 December 2020.

20. ‘Another Round’ to be opening movie at IFFI

The 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will open on 16 Jan 21, with the Indian premiere of the movie ‘Another Round’ by Thomas Vinterberg. The movie is also Denmark’s official entry to the Oscars. The festival will also witness the world premiere of ‘Mehrunisa! The festival will close on 24 Jan 21 with the premiere of the historical drama ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

21. 40th Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

India launched the 40th Scientific Expedition to Antarctica on 4 Jan 2021. This Indian expedition marks four decades of the country’s scientific endeavor to Antarctica. The 40th expedition journey was flagged off from Goa on 5 Jan 2021 with 43 members on board. The chartered ice-class vessel MV Vasiliy Golovnin will make this journey and will reach Antarctica in 30 days.

22. NCC Republic Day Camp 2021 inaugurated

Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC) Lieutenant General Tarun Kumar Aich formally inaugurated NCC Republic Day Camp (RDC) – 2021 on 4 Jan 2021 in Delhi Cantt. The inauguration ceremony started with ‘Sarv Dharam Pooja’. Around 1,000 cadets, including 380 girl cadets with 500 support staff are participating in this camp. It will culminate with the PM’s Rally on 28 Jan 2021.

23. PM Modi dedicates a gas pipeline to nation

PM Modi dedicated the Kochi – Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation on 5 January 2021. The 450-kilometer long pipeline has been built by GAIL (India) Limited. It has a transportation capacity of 12 million metric standard cubic meters per day. The total cost of the project was about 3,000 crore rupees and its construction created over 12 lakh man-days of employment.

24. International jury for IFFI announced

The International jury for the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India has been announced. Pablo Cesar of Argentina has been named as the Chairman of the jury. The other jury members are, Prasanna Vithanage of Sri Lanka, Abu Bakr Shawky of Austria, Priyadarshan of India, and Rubaiyat Hossain of Bangladesh.

25. EAM S Jaishankar on 3-day visit to Sri Lanka

External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar is on a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka from 5 January 2021. The visit is being arranged through the air-bubble. During his visit, which will conclude on 7 January 2021, Minister Jaishankar is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

26. Former MH Minister Vilas Patil Undalkar dies

Former Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and seven-time Congress MLA Vilas Patil Undalkar passed away in January 2021. He was elected seven times till 2014 from Karad-South Assembly seat. Undalkar served as minister in the Law and Justice and Cooperative Departments during the Congress-led state governments.

27. UP govt plans ‘new Noida’ on 20,000 hectares

The Uttar Pradesh government has asked the Noida authority to work out a plan to develop a new Noida area on 20,000 hectares of land. This 20,000 hectares of land is located between Greater Noida and Bulandshahr, and was notified by the UP State Industrial Development Authority about 10 years ago. At present, Noida is spread on 20,000 hectares of land surrounded by Yamuna and Hindon rivers.

28. Greece appoints its first openly gay minister

Greece’s centre-right government has made history by naming the country’s first openly gay minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in Jan 2021. Nicholas Yatromanolakis, 44, was named as the new Deputy Minister of Culture after being promoted from the position of General Secretary at the Ministry. He was also the first openly gay man to be appointed as General Secretary in July 2020.

29. GMR Hyderabad, Dubai Airports sign MoU

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited and GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo have signed an MoU with Dubai Airports for building an exclusive Vaccine Air Freight Corridor Product called HYDXB-VAXCOR(Hyderabad to Dubai Global Vaccine Corridor). This agreement will lead to the rollout of customised and simplified processes and infrastructural support to streamline the journey of Covid-19 vaccine.

30. 15 air quality monitoring systems set up

Uttar Pradesh government has set up hi-tech ambient air quality monitoring stations (AAQMSs) at 15 places across Varanasi under the Smart City project. The AAQMS have six types of state-of-the-art sensors. The sensors keep sending air quality index information every ten minutes. They provide real-time information about the standards (level) of pollution in the air.

31. Pune Metro completes 2nd trial run of 6-km

Pune Metro successfully conducted a six-kilometre trial run between Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Phugewadi in Jan 2021. It is a priority stretch of Pune Metro and services are expected to start commercial operation on this stretch soon. In 2020, Pune Metro completed a successful trial run on the same route in one kilometre stretch from PCMC to Sant Tukaramnagar station.

32. Women start MH’s first rural home kitchen

A group of women farmers in Ahmednagar’s Shrirampur town have started Maharashtra’s first rural home kitchen. The women cook and pack traditional Maharashtrian snacks and finger foods at the kitchens for customers from Mumbai and Pune, with whom they are connected through a digital marketplace called KisanKonnect(KK). Kisankonnect makes up to 100kg of snacks per day.

33. British diplomat Brian Urquhart passes away

Sir Brian Urquhart, the British diplomat who played a role in the establishment of the United Nations, passed away in January 2021. Urquhart was the second staff member hired by the UN following its founding in 1945 and worked as a principal adviser to five UN secretaries-general in his 41-year career. He published an autobiography in 1987 titled “A Life in Peace and War”.

34. PM inaugurates National Atomic Timescale

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya Pranali to the nation on 4 Jan 2021. He also laid the foundation stone of the National Environmental Standards Laboratory through video conference. The National Atomic Timescale generates Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds.

35. Bill to terminate Pak as major non-NATO ally

On January 4th, 2021, a lawmaker introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to terminate the designation of Pakistan as a Major non-NATO Ally. This designation allows for various benefits such as access to excess US defence supplies and participation in cooperative defence research and development projects. The bill was introduced by Congressman Andy Biggs.

36. IIT-B: Al model to identify malaria parasites

Researchers from IIT-Bombay have created an Al-based model using proteomics technology that can help differentiate between two major species of malaria parasites, P falciparum and P vivax. The artificial intelligence-based models can be used for the diagnosis and prognosis of the two species of malaria parasite based on the changing trend of proteins in human blood.

37. Nancy Pelosi re-elected as US House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as Speaker of the US House of Representatives as a new Congress took office amid political uncertainty on January 3, 2021. The House voted 216-209 to reinstate Pelosi after Democrats lost 11 seats in the November elections to command a narrower 222-212 majority. Pelosi, the only woman to have ever served as a speaker, has led the House Democrats for 17 years.

38. Chennai tops the world in CCTV surveillance

According to a recent report published in South Asia Journal, Chennai has the maximum CCTV coverage per square kilometre and per 1,000 population among the 130 cities studied worldwide. China and India are the countries with the highest densities of CCTV surveillance cameras in urban areas. According to the report, the world’s first CCTV camera was installed in Germany in 1942.

39. ADB signs $100-mn loan with Indian gov

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian government signed a $100-million dollar loan on 31 December 2020. This loan will be used to enhance the power distribution system of Bengaluru in Karnataka with an aim to modernise and upgrade the power distribution system. This loan will help to enhance the quality and reliability of electricity supply in Bengaluru city.

40. Bank of Baroda launches WhatsApp banking

Bank of Baroda has announced the launch of banking services on WhatsApp for customers and non-customers of the bank. The services offered by the bank via WhatsApp will be balance inquiry, mini statement, cheque status enquiry, cheque book request, blocking of a debit card, information on Bank’s product and services, etc. The service is available for customers and non-customers of the bank.

41. UP gov to set up warehouse unit in Lucknow

The Uttar Pradesh Government has approved the first investment proposal under the State Warehousing and Logistics Policy-2018 for the establishment of a warehousing unit in Lucknow. The warehousing unit is spread over an area of 86,000 square meters at Bhukapur village of Sarojini Nagar in Lucknow. It is proposed to be set up with a proposed investment of Rs 85 crores.

42. Delhi Gov sets up Tamil Academy

An academy has been set up by the Delhi government to promote the Tamil language and culture in Delhi. The academy has been notified under the Department of Art, Culture, and Language of the Delhi government on January 3rd, 2021. The Delhi government has appointed the current member of Delhi Tamil Sangam N Raja as the vice-chairman of the academy.

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