Current Affairs 12th & 13th January 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS 

National Road Safety Month 2021: From 18 January To 17 February

  • Road Safety Week is observed from 11 January to 17th January every year.
  • Aim : For making the roads and streets in India safer.
  • The Ministry of Transport and Highways, the ministry has decided to observe Road Safety Month from 18 January to 17 February 2021 instead of National Road Safety Week. 
  • During this period, various nation-wide activities have been planned to be conducted throughout the country in association with the state governments/ UT administrations, OEMs and other stakeholders.
  • The month-long event will see awards being given to best performance in road safety to a state as well as Swachata Award, road safety activities by NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited), HOAI (Highway Operator Association of India), NHAI among others.
  • The various activities that are slated to take place during National Road Safety Month 2021 include advocacy of road safety, road safety awards, launch of digital road safety calendar 2021, selection of best performing states and UTS for road safety 2021, awards and certificates for road safety, good samaritans etc, and National Highways Excellence Awards.

National Youth Day 2021: Jan 12

  • The National Youth Day is observed all over India  on 12 January.
  • Theme for National Youth Day 2021 is ‘Channelizing Youth Power for Nation Building
  • Since 1984, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda (January 12) is celebrated as National Youth Day across the country.
  • The day was chosen to honour one of India’s greatest spiritual and social leaders, Swami Vivekananda.
  • It is also commonly known as Yuva Diwas.
  • One of the main objectives of National Youth Day is to promote rational thinking among the youth, who are the future of the country.
  • National Youth Day which aims to discuss the lectures, thoughts and writings of Swami Vivekananda. Several competitions on essay writing, debates and poetry also mark the day.
  • In 2021, we are observing the 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand (12 January 1863).

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

Preeti Pant Panel to Study NFHS-5 Findings

  • The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has set up a technical expert group to examine the adverse findings from the National Family Health Survey-5.
  • The Union Ministry has set up the technical committee of medicine and nutrition experts under the leadership of Joint Secretary Preeti Pant.
  • The expert group also includes State programme officers from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • The technical committee will examine the findings of the National Family Health Survey-5 as well as suggest policies and courses of action to improve on indicators related to anemia, malnutrition, C-section, and stunting.
  • The newly formed technical expert group will conduct meetings regularly and will provide its recommendations soon.
  • As of now, no meeting has been held and no date has been finalized for the first meeting.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare :
  • Founded : 1976
  • Headquarters : New Delhi
  • Minister : Harsh Vardhan
  • Minister of State : Faggan Singh Kulaste

Japan Commits Rs 2113 Crore Support for COVID relief efforts 

  • Japan has committed Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of an amount of JPY 30 billion (about 2,113 crore) to support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable across the country against the severe impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • India and Japan have had a long history of bilateral development cooperation since 1958.
  • In the last few years, the economic cooperation between India and Japan has grown into strategic partnership.
About Japan :
  • Capital : Tokyo
  • Currency : Japanese Yen
  • Prime Minister : Yoshihide Suga

Home Minister Amit Shah launches ‘Single Window Clearance System’ for coal mines

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the ‘Single Window Clearance System’, an online platform to obtain clearances for smooth operationalisation of coal mines.
  • It will be an online platform to obtain clearances for smooth operationalisation of coal mines.
  • The Coal Sector has the potential to be the biggest contributor towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024.
  • This will give the states an estimated revenue of about Rs 6500 crore per year and will also create more than 70,000 Jobs.

RS Sharma, former Trai chief, to head empowered panel for Covid-19 vaccine

  • The Union government has appointed RS Sharma, former Trai chief, as the chairperson of an empowered committee for administration of Covid-19 vaccine.
  • This has come days ahead of the mega vaccination drive to start in India.
  • A ten member team has been constituted to be headed by Sharma.
  • The panel can invite eminent persons as and when required to ensure delivery of the vaccine through the Co-Win technology platform
  • It must be noted that Sharma is also a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 that was formed in August 2020 and is headed by Niti Aayog member, VK Paul.
  • Sharma was the first person to officially initiate a discussion on vaccination delivery in the government in the summer of 2020 when Covid-19 cases peaked.
About TRAI:
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
  • Founded : 20 Feb 1997
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Chairperson :  Ram Sewak Sharma
  • Secretary : Sunil K. Gupta

Two-day coastal defence drill ‘Sea Vigil-21’ kicks off

  • The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on 12-13 January 2021.
  • It will involve all the 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders.
  • And That will cover the country’s 7,516 km coastline and exclusive economic zone.
  • The exercise is being coordinated by the Indian Navy.
  • The entire coastal security set up was reorganised after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai which was launched via the sea route.
  • SEA VIGIL 21’ will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.
  • The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
About Indian Navy :
  • Founded : 26 January, 1950
  • Vice Chief of the Naval Staff : Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar
  • Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff : Vice Admiral M.S. Pawar
  • Chief of the Naval Staff : Admiral Karambir Singh
  • Commander in Chief : Ram Nath Kovind

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US President-elect Joe Biden names two Indian Americans in National Security Council of White House

  • In the United States, the President-elect Joe Biden has appointed two Indian-Americans to the National Security Council of the White House.
  • Biden has named Indian-American Sumona Guha as senior director for South Asia and Tarun Chhabra as senior director for Technology and National Security.
  • Sumona Guha was co-chair of the South Asia foreign policy working group during the Biden-Harris campaign.
  • During the Obama-Biden administration, Chhabra had also served on the National Security Council staff as director for Strategic Planning and director for Human Rights and National Security Issues.
  • Biden has also named Shanthi Kalathil as Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights in his National Security Council. She is currently senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy.
About US :
  • Capital : Washington, D.C.

Bangladesh to be country of focus at 51st International Film Festival of India

  • Bangladesh has been chosen as the ‘Country in Focus’ for the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) starting at Goa on January 16.
  • The country of focus section will include Jibandhuli directed by Tanvir Mokammel, Meghmallar directed by Zahidur Rahman Anjan, Under Construction by Rubaiyat Hossain and Sincerely Yours, Dhaka by Nuhash Humanyun, Syed Ahmed Shawki and 9 other individual directors.
  • The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), founded in 1952, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia.
  • The festival aims at providing a common platform for the cinemas of the world to project the excellence of the film art, contributing to the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations in the context of their social and cultural ethos, and promoting friendship and cooperation among people of the world.
  • The festival is conducted jointly by the Directorate of Film Festivals (under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) and the state Government of Goa
  • The festival will conclude on 24th January.
About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting :
  • Minister : Prakash Javadekar
  • Headquarters : New Delhi

Twitter deletes new Donald Trump’s tweets on @POTUS handle, suspends campaign account

  • Twitter Inc. on January 8 deleted new tweets posted by US President Donald Trump on the official government account @POTUS and suspended the account of his presidential campaign, after booting his personal account off the platform permanently.
  • @POTUS government account, has 4 million followers.
  • Twitter had permanently suspended the president’s go-to megaphone, his @realDonaldTrump personal account.
  • Twitter shut down his @TeamTrump campaign account shortly after it sent out a tweet with a “statement from President Trump” accusing Twitter of “banning free speech” and coordinating with “the Democrats and the Radical Left” to silence him.
About Twitter :
  • CEO : Jack Dorsey
  • Founded : 21 March 2006
  • Headquarters : San Francisco, California, US

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

Mamata Inaugurates 26th Kolkata International Film Festival

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee virtually inaugurated the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
  • The inaugural ceremony was also virtually attended by Bollywood superstar and West Bengal’s brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan from Mumbai.
  • Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s classic ‘Apur Sansar’ will be the inaugural film of the festival in which 131 movies from 45 countries will be screened till January 13.
  • Films will be screened at Rabindra Sadan, Nandan, Sisir Mancha and Rabindra Okakura Bhavan in Salt Lake.
  • Six films by Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and movies on sitarist Ravi Shankar, singer Hemanta Mukherjee and flicks of comedian Bhanu Bandyopadhyay will be screened.
About West Bengal :
  • Governor : Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • Chief Minister : Mamata Banerjee
  • Capital : Kolkata

CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE NEWS

Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Coastal Research Vessel ‘Sagar Anveshika’

  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan on January 09 inaugurated Coastal Research Vessel (CRV) ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at Chennai Port Trust.
  • It will be used for research purposes by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and has been built by Titagarh Wagons, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • The vehicle will be used to carry out environment indexing and bathymetric (mapping underwater features) in both coastal and offshore waters.
  • NIOT already has 6 Research Vessels – Sagar Kanya, Sagar Sampada, Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manusha, & Sagar Tara.
About NIOT :
  • Director: Dr G A Ramadass
  • Headquarters : Chennai, Tamil Nadu

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING NEWS

Icra forecasts India’s real GDP to expand by 10.1% in FY22

  • India’s real GDP is projected to record a growth of 10.1 percent in 2021-22, according to Icra Ratings.
  • The rating agency ICRA had earlier projected a contraction of 7.8% for the ongoing fiscal 2020-21.

RBI cancels the licence of Vasantdada Nagari Sahakari Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Vasantdada Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd., Osmanabad, Maharashtra to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business on January 11.
  • The Bank has failed to comply with the requirements of Section 11(1) read with Section 56 of BR Act and thus would be unable to pay its present depositors in full in its current financial position.
  • The Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), Maharashtra has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank.
  • With the cancellation of licence and commencement of liquidation proceedings, the process of paying the depositors of Vasantdada Nagari Sahakari Bank as per the DICGC Act will be set in motion.
  • More than 99 percent of depositors of the bank will get full repayment of their deposits.
About Reserve Bank of India :
  • Governor : Shaktikanta Das
  • Repo Rate : 4.00%
  • Reverse Repo Rate : 3.35 %
  • Bank Rate : 4.65%
  • Established :  April 1, 1935

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS 

Jay Shah named BCCI’s representative on ICC Board

  • On Jan 10, 2021, Jay Shah was named as the official representative of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meetings.
  • BCCI secretary Jay Shah is all set to be named as India’s representative in the ICC Board.
  • He will replace BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, was the person going on behalf of India to any meetings or interactions of the ICC Board, but he had recently suffered a heart condition on January 2 and was subsequently admitted to a hospital in his home town in Kolkata where he underwent primary angioplasty.
About BCCI :
  • President : Sourav Ganguly
  • Secretary : Jay Shah
  • Headquarters : Mumbai
  • Founded : December 1928
About ICC :
  • Chairperson : Greg Barclay
  • CEO : Manu Sawhney
  • Headquarters : Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Founded : 15 June, 1909

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS & CONFERENCES

Defence Secretary co-chairs 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue with his Vietnamese counterpart

  • Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar co-chaired the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue along with his Vietnamese co-chair Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister  of Vietnam.
  • During virtual interaction, both of them expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries in spite of the limitations imposed by COVID 19.
  • During the interaction, the Defence Secretary and the Deputy Defence Minister exchanged views on the plan of action that has emanated from the recently concluded Virtual Summit between   Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Vietnam  Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December 2020.
About Vietnam :
  • Capital : Hanoi
  • Currency : Vietnamese dong

France hosts 4th One Planet Summit in cooperation with UN and World Bank

  • The Government of France, in cooperation with the UN and the World Bank, the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity on January 11 aims to advance the protection of nature.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President David Malpass are organising the fourth ‘One Planet Summit’ which will focus on biodiversity to mobilise commitments to protect ecosystems and make links to human health.
  • The theme of the Summit was “Let’s act together for nature!”
  • The summit programme will focus on
  1. Biodiversity preservation
  2. The protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems
  3. The promotion of agroecology,
  4. The mobilisation of funding for biodiversity
  5. The link between deforestation, species and human health.
  • The event will be in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders in person in Paris and via video-tele-conferencing. It will be live-streamed on webtv.un.org.
About France :
  • Capital : Paris
  • Presient : Emmanuel Macron
About UN :
  • Headquarters : New York
  • Founded : 24 October, 1945
  • Secretary General : Antonio Guterres
About World Bank :
  • President : David Malpass
  • Headquarters : Washington D.C., United States
  • Founded : July 1944

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING

World’s Most Powerful Passports 2021 List: India On No. 85

  • Henley and Partners Passport Index of 2021 has revealed the list of the world’s most powerful passports and India has been ranked 85th on it.
  • India’s passport got a visa-free score of 58, which means Indian passport holders can visit 58 countries without prior visa. India shares the no. 85 rank with Tajikistan.
  • Japan tops the list of being the most powerful passport in the world for the year 2021, according to the latest report by the Henley Passport Index released on January 5.
  • Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).
  • Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the countries with the ‘worst passports to hold’ at the bottom of the list with a passport score of 29, 28 and 26 respectively.

Most Powerful Passports in 2021 are:

  1. Japan (191 destinations)
  2. Singapore (190)
  3. South Korea, Germany (189)
  4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
  5. Denmark, Austria (187)
  6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)
  7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185)
  8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Australia (184)
  9. Canada (183)
  10. Hungary (181)
Worst Passports to Hold :

Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to fewer than 40 countries. These include the following.

  1. North Korea (39 destinations)
  2. Libya, Nepal (38)
  3. Palestinian territories (37)
  4. Somalia, Yemen (33)
  5. Pakistan (32)
  6. Syria (29)
  7. Iraq (28)
  8. Afghanistan (26)

 Daily CA on Jan 10th and 11th    

  • World Hindi Day is celebrated every year on January 10. Vishwa Hindi Divas commemorates the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference held in Nagpur on January 10, 1975. 
  • On Jan 09, 2021, A high-level committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was  formed to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • The Education Ministry has issued guidelines for identification, admission and continued education of migrant children.
  • Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that over 1,200 crore will be spent by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry to create infrastructure for safe movement of wildlife on the National Highway.
  • National Youth Parliament Festival, 2021 will be held in the Central Hall of Parliament.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification to facilitate the issuance of International Driving Permit (IDP) for Indian citizens whose IDP has expired while they are abroad.
  • Union Minister for textile and women and child development Smriti Irani has said that India has become the second largest manufacturer of PPE kits and suits in the world in record three months’ time during the corona virus induced lockdown in March 2020.
  • Indian Railways has started the New Year by achieving a landmark to enhance the maximum speed to 130 kmph for 1,280 km length out of 1,612 Km in Golden Quadrilateral – Golden Diagonal route.
  • Union Health Minister Dr.Harsh Vardhan dedicates coastal research vessels to the Nation at Chennai Port Trust and said that the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been creating milestones in every field.
  • Addressing the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention through virtual mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the youth to use technology to take forward India’s pride and culture across the globe.
  • A passenger plane of Indonesia’s Sriwijaya Air carrying more than 50 people on board crashed into waters off Jakarta.
  • The World’s largest Floating solar energy project is to be constructed at Omkareshwar dam on Narmada river and will be operational by 2023 and an estimated cost of INR30 billion ($409.8m).
  • The aerial ground survey for Delhi – Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor began from Greater Noida.
  • In a bid to help the women, residing in congested slums, during their menstruation days, a ‘period room’ has been set up for women at a public toilet in Maharashtra’s Thane city.
  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the government has reduced the age limit of the aspirants of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services Exam from 37 years to 32 years. 
  • Central Bank of India (CBoI) and NABFOUNDATION,entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), whereby working capital will be provided by the bank to all self-help groups (SHGs) which have an account with it and undertake the Nabard-sponsored ‘My Pad My Right’ project.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) launched a co-branded contactless RuPay debit card.
  • Union Minister for Coal & Mines Pralhad Joshi said, National Aluminium Company Limited, NALCO, will invest around 30,000 crore by financial year 2027-28 on the company’s expansion and diversification plans.
  • A coffee table book filled with over hundreds of photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his “107 overseas and bilateral visits” was released here on the eve of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
  • Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera has won a second term in office, according to provisional results announced by the electoral commission.
  • Bharti Airtel announced the appointment of Pradipt Kapoor as its Chief Information Officer (CIO). 
  • German-listed companies must include women on their executive boards as part of a landmark bill agreed by the country’s coalition government on Wednesday after voluntary efforts failed to close a gender gap.
  • Veteran Congress leader and former Gujarat Chief Minister Madahvsinh Solanki passed away. He was 93.
  • Veteran journalist, writer and Padma Shri awardee Turlapati Kutumba Rao passed away. He was 89-years old.
  • Neil Sheehan, a tireless chronicler of the Vietnam War who obtained the Pentagon Papers for the New York Times and later received the Pulitzer Prize for his book “A Bright Shining Lie,” a meticulously researched indictment of America’s role in that conflict, died. He was 84.

Daily CA on Jan 12th and 13th    

  • Road Safety Week is observed from 11 January to 17th January every year.Aim : For making the roads and streets in India safer.The Ministry of Transport and Highways, the ministry has decided to observe Road Safety Month from 18 January to 17 February 2021 instead of National Road Safety Week. 
  • The National Youth Day is observed all over India  on 12 January.Theme for National Youth Day 2021 is ‘Channelizing Youth Power for Nation Building
  • The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has set up a technical expert group to examine the adverse findings from the National Family Health Survey-5.
  • Japan has committed Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of an amount of JPY 30 billion (about 2,113 crore) to support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the ‘Single Window Clearance System’, an online platform to obtain clearances for smooth operationalisation of coal mines.
  • The Union government has appointed RS Sharma, former Trai chief, as the chairperson of an empowered committee for administration of Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on 12-13 January 2021.
  • In the United States, the President-elect Joe Biden has appointed two Indian-Americans to the National Security Council of the White House.
  • Bangladesh has been chosen as the ‘Country in Focus’ for the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) starting at Goa on January 16.
  • Twitter Inc. on January 8 deleted new tweets posted by US President Donald Trump on the official government account @POTUS and suspended the account of his presidential campaign, after booting his personal account off the platform permanently.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee virtually inaugurated the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan on January 09 inaugurated Coastal Research Vessel (CRV) ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at Chennai Port Trust.
  • India’s real GDP is projected to record a growth of 10.1 percent in 2021-22, according to Icra Ratings.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Vasantdada Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd., Osmanabad, Maharashtra to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business on January 11.
  • On Jan 10, 2021, Jay Shah was named as the official representative of  Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meetings.
  • Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar co-chaired the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue along with his Vietnamese co-chair Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister  of Vietnam.
  • The Government of France, in cooperation with the UN and the World Bank, the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity on January 11 aims to advance the protection of nature.
  • Henley and Partners Passport Index of 2021 has revealed the list of the world’s most powerful passports and India has been ranked 85th on it.

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