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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Foreign tourist arrivals in India rose 3% in Jan-Nov 2019
- India is gaining popularity among overseas travellers as foreign tourist arrivals grew by 3.23 per cent to 96,69,633 during January-November 2019.
- As many as 93,66,478 overseas travellers had arrived in January-November 2018.
- India’s rank in Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum has moved to 34th rank in 2019 from 65th in 2013
Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah lays foundation stone of The Delhi Cycle Walk
- Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah laid foundation stone of The Delhi Cycle Walk at Tughlakabad, New Delhi . Present on the occasion were Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Shri Hardeep Singh Puri and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Shri Anil Baijal
- Referring about the benefits of the proposed Cycle Walk, That it would reduce air pollution of New Delhi by at least 20% and added that green commuting will now be possible in New Delhi. This move will usher in an era where green transportation like cycles will become fashionable and would be widely used. He added that the 200 km CycleWalk will also give an impetus to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Fit India’.
- Shri Shah noted that roughly 11 lakh people commute on bicycles in New Delhi at present, and efforts should be made to increase this number to 50 lakh cycle commuters, which would make a major difference in Delhi’s traffic and pollution levels. He suggested that DDA should establish cycle clubs and encourage the use of cycles by all citizens, especially college-going youngsters
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launches website on grant of permission for aerial photography and remote sensing survey
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched Ministry of Defence (MoD) No Objection Certificate (NOC) web portal modnoc.ncog.gov.in for undertaking aerial survey with the final permission of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Shri Rajnath Singh suggested that internal mechanism should be developed to monitor the time taken to give NOC.
- The portal will be used by various vendors engaged by State Governments,Public Sector Undertakings and Autonomous bodies in seeking NOC from MoD.
- Through this initiative, MoD will be able to considerably reduce the time usually taken in issuing NOC. Among other benefits, this initiative will help in speeding up developmental projects undertaken by various agencies. Further, this will also ensure expeditious disposal of applications for carrying out aerial survey, besides bringing in more transparency and accuracy.
- Defence Secretary also requested DGCA to issue suitable notification to all concerned so that the applicants/vendors could submit their applications online on the newly developed web portal of MoD. To facilitate the applicants of vendors, an e-book has also been uploaded on the above web portal AI & machine learning will contribute Usd 1 trillion to Indian economy by 2035; government committed to ensuring stable environment for investors and startups- Piyush Goyal
Centre releases Rs 5,908 cr to seven states as disaster relief
- The Centre has released 5,908 crore rupees of Central assistance to seven states which were affected by floods, landslides, cloudburst during the previous year.
- The decision was taken at a High-Level Committee meeting headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.
- The financial assistance has been given to Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh from the National Disaster Response Fund, NDRF.
- Out of 5,908 crore rupees, over 617 crore has been allocated to Assam, 285 crore rupees to Himachal Pradesh, 1,870 crore rupees to Karnataka, 1,750 crore rupees to Madhya Pradesh, 957 crore rupees to Maharashtra, 63 crore rupees to Tripura and 367 crore rupees to Uttar Pradesh. Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was present in the meeting.
- During this financial year, the Central Government has so far released 8,068 crore rupees to 27 states as Central share from State Disaster Response Fund.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
UAE Cabinet approves issuance of 5-Year multi-entry tourist visa
- The UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of a five-year multi-entry tourist visa for all nationalities visiting the country. The decision was made during the Cabinet’s first meeting of 2020.
- The move comes in a bid to support the UAE’s tourism economy, and affirm the country’s position as a global tourist destination.
- The country receives 21 million tourists annually and their aim is to establish the country as a major global tourist destination. The decision is also likely to benefit the near and dear ones of the lakhs of expat population staying in UAE.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Navigation facilities for visually impaired inaugurated at Chandigarh railway station
- Navigation facilities for visually impaired were inaugurated at Chandigarh railway station in Punjab.
- This facility has been introduced by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation through NGO ‘Anuprayaas’.
- Chandigarh is fifth Railway station in the country and first in North India to have this facility.
- This step will help visually impaired passengers to know about the passenger amenities at the Chandigarh Railway Station.
- In addition to Braille Tactile Map, signages are also installed for all the facilities and offices in the premise like Enquiry, Station Manager, waiting rooms, lifts, and toilets etc.
- Visually impaired people can identify these facilities independently. With this, the common challenges faced by the visually impaired people at railway stations like missing trains because of wrong guidance will be minimized and they will be empowered to travel independently.
Journalist Day Observed in Maharashtra on January 6
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray extended his greetings for the Journalists’ Day which is being celebrated on 6th of January every year in the state in the memory of late thespian journalist Balshashtri Jambhekar.
- The Chief Minister assured that the government will always take a positive role on various issues related to journalists.
Himachal Pradesh Govt launches Himachal MyGov portal to strengthen public participation
- The Himachal Pradesh Government has launched Himachal MyGov portal in Shimla with a view to strengthen public participation in the governance process.
- With this, Himachal Pradesh has become the 11th state in the country to have this facility.
- MyGov is an innovative platform to build a partnership between citizens and government with the help of technology for growth and development of India. This unique platform aims to enhance citizen partnership with the State Government and vice-versa.
- On this portal, the general public can also give their valuable suggestions for making the policies and programs more effective and result oriented. Chief Minister Thakur also launched CM App on the occasion. Through this App, people of the state would be able to write directly to the Chief Minister regarding their grievances.
West Bengal Govt to provide insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh to Ganga Sagar pilgrims
- The West Bengal Government will provide insurance coverage of five lakh rupees each to the Ganga Sagar pilgrims.
- The administration has done necessary arrangements for drinking water supply and accommodation facilities for the devotees.
- Thousands of pilgrims assemble at Sagar Island to take a holy dip at the confluence of the Hooghly River and the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and offer Pooja at the Kapil Muni temple.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
IRDAI gives big boost to affordable health cover with mandatory ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ Policy
- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has introduced a standard health cover policy that must be offered by all general and standalone health insurers.
The Arogya Sanjeevani policy is a first of its kind standard health insurance product
- As per the guidelines issued by the IRDAI, every general and standalone health insurer should offer a standard health product, the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, with a minimum sum insured of Rs 1 lakh, with a upper limit of Rs 5 lakh. The policy term will be for one year.
- The minimum entry age will be 18 years with lifelong renewability and there is no exit age.
- The policy covers 22 diseases and treatments with a varying waiting period of from 24 to 48 months. It will be offered on indemnity basis, and should not be combined with critical illness covers or benefit-based covers. The premium under this product will be the same across India, and no geographic location and pricing will be allowed.
- The insurers will now come up with product filing to the regulator and will have to offer it from April 1, 2020.
Piyush Goyal inaugurates NSE Knowledge Hub
- Union Minister for Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal has stated that Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will contribute one trillion dollars by the year
- Artificial intelligence-powered learning ecosystem will assist the banking, financial services and insurance sector.
- The Minister inaugurated the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Knowledge Hub in New Delhi.
- The NSE Knowledge Hub will enhance skills and help academic institutions in preparing future-ready talent for the financial service industry. It is also available on mobile and attempts to bring together world class content and learners through this state- of- the- art and future- ready platform
- This is a good beginning by NSE to tap the potential of artificial intelligence and use it as a tool to create a workforce in the financial sector.
Plans afoot to launch e-comm platform for MSMEs: Gadkari
- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stated the government plans to launch an e-commerce platform with an eye on garnering revenues of around ₹10-lakh crore over two-three years.
- The Bharatcraft portal, which will be on the lines of Alibaba and Amazon, will provide a platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products and, in turn, boost the sector Gadkari stated at the 200th listing of an MSME company, ‘Wonder Fibromats’, on the NSE Emerge SME platform.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
Wipro, HAL in pact to make 3D-printed aircraft parts
- Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Wipro 3D, the metal additive manufacturing business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, have partnered to develop 3D-printed components that could potentially be used on aircraft manufactured by state-run HAL.
- Wipro 3D is the first Indian company to locally develop an industry-grade metal-additive 3D-printing machine, jointly with the Indian Institution of Science.
- As part of the memorandum of understanding, HAL and Wipro 3D will jointly design, develop, prove out, manufacture and repair aerospace components using metal 3D- printing technology.
- This initiative between HAL and Wipro 3D will create a unique synergy of capabilities that can accelerate the adoption of metal additive manufacturing in aerospace in India.
- Metal 3D printing has the potential to play a significant role in the success of national aerospace and defence platforms including HAL’s own needs.
- Globally, the aerospace industry has been one of the foremost adopters of metal 3D printing.
Indian Bank sings MoU with Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association to provide credit
- Indian Bank has signed an MoU with the Women Entrepreneurs the Indian bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association (WEWA) of Tamil Nadu(TN) to provide training and credit linkage to its women entrepreneurs to establish business.
- The Indian bank will provide loans to the WEWA members at discounted rates. Training will be given to the WEWA members in the INDSETIs (Indian Bank Self Employment Training Institutes)
- The WEWA currently aims to add 1,000 members by
- Founder- Ramaswami Chettiar.
- Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- Chief Executive Officer(CEO) & Managing Director(MD)- Ms. Padmaja Chunduru
- Tagline- Your Own Bank; Taking Banking Technology to the Common Man; Your Tech Friendly Bank
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
8 states finalise action plan for agri export policy
- The government stated eight states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka, have finalised action plan for agriculture export policy which aims to double such exports.
- The Agri Export Policy was announced last year with an objective of doubling the export and ensuring doubling of farmers’ income.
- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab and Karnataka have finalised the State Action Plan and other states are at different stages of finalization of the action plan.
- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been adopting a focused approach for ensuring greater involvement of the state governments for effective implementation of Agri Export Policy (AEP).
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the National Cooperative Development Corporation to include co-operatives for active role in AEP.
- A Farmer Connect Portal has also been set up by APEDA on its website for providing a platform for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and Farmer Producer Companies to interact with exporter.
Uber teams up with Hyundai on electric air taxi
- US ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor have teamed up to develop electric air taxis, joining the global race to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion.
- Global players like Germany’s Daimler, China’s Geely Automobile and Japan’s Toyota have all unveiled investments in start-ups that aim to deploy electric flying cars capable of vertical takeoff and landing. But there are big technological and regulatory hurdles to the plans.
- Uber and Hyundai, for instance, gave widely different timelines for commercialisation, underlining these challenges.
- Hyundai is the first carmaker to join Uber’s air taxi project, which also counts Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences among its partner firms.
- Hyundai will produce and deploy the vehicles while Uber will provide aerial ride-share services.
- Uber, which has partnered with eight companies on its air taxi project, however, acknowledged it would be “unrealistic” to expect all its partners to go to market at the same time.
PayPal unveils Adoption Assistance Programme
- Digital payments player PayPal has unveiled a new adoption assistance programme aimed at enhancing the parental support benefits for employees.
- The new policy will offer financial support of upto Rs one lakh per adoption for adoptive parents. This covers reimbursement of adoption expenses such as CARA registration, child placement, foster care and establishment of legal guardianship
- PayPal stated that it offers paid adoption leave of 16 weeks for female employees and paternity leave of two weeks.
- The move is a part of the company’s endeavour to ensure a work-life balance for employees keeping in mind the evolving family dynamics and work culture
- Founded: December 1998, Palo Alto, California, United States
- Parent organization: eBay
- CEO: Daniel Schulman
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Dubai-based Indian girl who can sing in 120 languages wins Global Child Prodigy Award
- Dubai-based Indian girl, who can sing in 120 languages, has won in the ‘Global Child Prodigy Awards 2020’.
- The 13-year-old Sucheta Satish, known as the Dubai Indian High School’s nightingale, won in the singing category.
- The Global Child Prodigy Award is a platform to celebrate children’s talent and power in different categories such as dancing, music, arts, writing, acting, modelling, science, innovation, sports etc.
Singular ‘they’ voted word of the decade by US linguists
- US linguists have chosen “they” as their word of the decade, recognising the growing use of third-person plural pronouns as a singular form to refer to people who identify their gender as neither entirely male nor entirely female.
- The American Dialect Society also bestowed its word of the year honours on the increasingly common practice of introducing oneself in correspondence or socially by the set of pronouns one prefers to be called by – declaring in an email, for example, “pronouns: she/her”.
- The same trend was behind the selection of “they” as the word of the decade, recognising its growing use to refer to a person whose gender identity is non-binary. The singular use of “they” was previously designated as the 2015 word of the year.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Isro signs pact with astrophysics institute to set up optical telescopes
- The Indian Space Research Organization signed a pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics to establish an optical telescope under “Project NETRA”.
- The organisation also tied up with NIT-Karnataka to set up a regional academic centre for space to promote research and development.
- Project NETRA was launched by ISRO in September 2019. Under the Project, ISRO plans to set up observational facilities that will help in making early warnings to satellites about debris and hazards in their orbit. It includes radars, telescopes, control centres and data processing units.
- The aim is to make the facilities powerful enough to track even the smallest particle of 10 cm diameter up to a range of 3,400 km.
- Apart from ISRO, DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) operates NETRA (Network Traffic Analysis). It is a software network used to analyse internet traffic. It is used by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other intelligence agencies of Government of India.
App for visually challenged to read currency
- Retinuz, an Android mobile application using artificial intelligence, can rightly identify the denomination of the newly introduced currency notes for visually challenged at a single tap. It can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store.
- Retinuz comes alongside Reserve Bank’s MANI (Mobile Aided Note Identifier). Both apps scan currency notes, identify them and read out the information, but Retinuz can be used offline, unlike MANI. Retinuz works at night as well, as the app automatically switches on the torch on the mobile phone to scan the currency notes.
- The app scanner reads the colour pattern and width of the printed denomination for identification.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Lucknow to host Defence Expo 2020, inauguration by PM Modi on Feb 5
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that ‘Defence Expo-2020’ will be held in Lucknow in February this year.
- Uttar Pradesh will become a destination for defence manufacturing and aerospace manufacturing.
- This is only the second time that the biennial event will be held outside Bengaluru. In 2018, Chennai hosted the biennial show for the first time ever.
- Defence Expo 2020 will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5.
- The theme of the Defence Expo India – 2020 will be ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ and focus will be on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.
- A number of foreign defence firms will bring their top-tier products to the Def Expo. The event offers an opportunity for Indian firms to get engaged in Business-to-Business (B2B) interaction with foreign companies.
Army to sign MoU for AK-203 assault rifles
- The Army is likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a month for the procurement of over 5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles, which are to be manufactured locally by an India-Russia joint venture (JV).
- About 1 lakh rifles will come directly from Russia and the remaining will be manufactured by the JV in India.
- The rifles will be manufactured by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh. The facility is being set up between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) from the Indian side, and Rosoboron Exports and Kalashnikov on the Russian side.
- The OFB owns 50.5% equity and Russian side holds the remaining 49.5%. The JV was formed following the Inter-governmental Agreement between India and Russia in February 2019.
- In addition to the AK-203, the Army recently began inducting the first batch of 10,000 SIG-716 assault rifles.
- The Army has been looking to replace the indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles in use with a modern rifle. The entire quantity is expected to be delivered within 12 months from the date of signing the contract.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Khelo India Youth Games-2020 to advocate for elimination of single-use plastics
- The third edition of Khelo India Youth Games-2020, to be held in Guwahati from 10th of January, will be advocating for the elimination of single-use plastics this time.
- The Games will continue till 22nd of this month. The event will be held in 20 disciplines at 11 venues.
- The emphasis will be given to the responsible use of plastic material and proper collection and disposal of plastic waste.
Bhubaneswar to host 1st edition of Khelo India University Games from Feb 22 to March 1
- The first edition of Khelo India University Games is scheduled to be held at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar from February 22nd to March 1st.
- The launching ceremony of the event was held at Bhubaneswar . Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled the logo and jersey of Khelo India University Games.
- Mr Patnaik stated that he is delighted to announce the first edition of the Khelo India University Games at Bhubaneswar, a city which has gained the repute of being the Sports Capital of India.
P Magesh Chandran lifts 95th Hastings International Chess title
- India’s P Magesh Chandran lifted the title in the 95th edition of the prestigious Hastings International Chess Congress at Hastings in England.
- He remained unbeaten in all the nine rounds. The 36-year old Grand Master with a FIDE rating of 2479, finished in clear first place with 7.5 points from nine games after securing a 33-move draw in the final round yesterday against compatriot G A Stany, also a Grand Master. He beat fellow Indian GM Deep Sengupta in the eighth round.
AS Roma legend and World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi announces retirement
- Veteran former Italy international Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement from football , just six months after joining Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
- De Rossi played only seven matches for the Buenos Aires outfit, scoring once, but stated that he needed to return home for family reasons.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: ORBITUARY
Germany’s 1966 World Cup goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski dies at 84
- Hans Tilkowski, the West Germany goalkeeper in the 1966 World Cup final against England, has died. He was 84.
- Tilkowski was best known outside Germany for conceding England’s third goal in extra time in the 1966 final, with the score at 2-2, when Geoff Hurst’s shot hit the bar and bounced downward.
- The decision to award the goal started decades of debate and much-disputed video analysis. Tilkowski always said he was sure the ball did not fully cross the line.
DAILY CA-5TH JAN
- Yoga Science meet organised at Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru
- Rajnath Singh inaugurates 3-day National Traders Convention in Delhi
- CBIC uses data analytics to identify ‘risky’ exporters’
- Tamil Nadu government to strengthen single-window clearance system for easy biz
- USD 2.5 million fund for clean-tech start-ups
- Rs 5,000 per day penalty for firms failing to operationalise RuPay, BHIM options
- Rohit Sharma lays foundation stone for international cricket stadium and training centre in Hyderabad
- First-of-its kind turtle rehab centre comes up in Bihar
- Delhi gets first smog tower to combat air pollution
- Kolkata Police to start third edition of ‘Sukanya‘ project Kolkata Police to start third edition of ‘Sukanya’ project
- Women Science Congress begins in Bengaluru
- Kochi to host global meet on marine ecosystem
- India ranks 34th in Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index
- Ex-CRPF DG Bhatnagar appointed Advisor to Jammu-Kashmir Lt Governor
- Karur Vysya Bank CEO, MD P R Seshadri resigns
- PM Modi Launches Braille Version Of His Book ‘Exam Warriors’ On World Braille Day
- Chandigarh Group of Colleges Signs MOU with NASSCOM
- Javadekar to confer first ‘Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman’ to 30 media houses
- ISRO inks pact with NITK to set up Regional Academic Centre for Space
- Upgraded Version of Fighter Jet Developed Jointly by China and Pakistan Makes Maiden Flight
- Indian Blind Sports Association organizes sports events from Jan 6
- Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold in men’s 10 m air pistol at 63rd National Shooting C’ship
- Former Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker PH Pandian passes away
- Freedom fighter Bhim Chandra Jana Passes away
- Former Karnataka Governor T N Chaturvedi passes away
DAILY CA-7TH JAN
- Foreign tourist arrivals in India rose 3% in Jan-Nov 2019
- Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah lays foundation stone of The Delhi Cycle Walk
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launches website on grant of permission for aerial photography and remote sensing survey
- Centre releases Rs 5,908 cr to seven states as disaster relief
- UAE Cabinet approves issuance of 5-Year multi-entry tourist visa
- Navigation facilities for visually impaired inaugurated at Chandigarh railway station
- Journalist Day Observed in Maharashtra on January 6
- Himachal Pradesh Govt launches Himachal MyGov portal to strengthen public participation
- West Bengal Govt to provide insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh to Ganga Sagar pilgrims
- IRDAI gives big boost to affordable health cover with mandatory ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ Policy
- Piyush Goyal inaugurates NSE Knowledge Hub
- Plans afoot to launch e-comm platform for MSMEs: Gadkari
- Wipro, HAL in pact to make 3D-printed aircraft parts
- Indian Bank sings MoU with Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association to provide credit
- 8 states finalise action plan for agri export policy
- Uber teams up with Hyundai on electric air taxi
- PayPal unveils Adoption Assistance Programme
- Dubai-based Indian girl who can sing in 120 languages wins Global Child Prodigy Award
- Singular ‘they‘ voted word of the decade by US linguists
- Isro signs pact with astrophysics institute to set up optical telescopes
- App for visually challenged to read currency
- Lucknow to host Defence Expo 2020, inauguration by PM Modi on Feb 5
- Army to sign MoU for AK-203 assault rifles
- Khelo India Youth Games-2020 to advocate for elimination of single-use plastics
- Bhubaneswar to host 1st edition of Khelo India University Games from Feb 22 to March 1
- P Magesh Chandran lifts 95th Hastings International Chess title
- AS Roma legend and World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi announces retirement
- Germany’s 1966 World Cup goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski dies at 84