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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
National Voters’ Day
- The 10th National Voters’ Day (NVD) will be celebrated on 25th January every year since 2011.
- The theme for NVD-2020 is Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy.
- The theme sets the tone for year-long activities with focus on voter education and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process.
- President Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the 10th National Voters’ Day function which is being organized by the Election Commission of India at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Switzerland mints world’s smallest gold coin
- Switzerland state-owned Swissmint has mintedWorld’s smallest gold coin of 2.96 millimeter (0.12 inches). The coin will feature face of scientist Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue.
- It weighs 0.063 grams and has a nominal value of 1/4 Swiss francs (USD United States Dollar- 0.26).
- Swissmint has minted 999 coins which will be sold for 199 francs with a special magnifying glass to see Einstein’s face.
- Capital- Bern
- Currency- Swiss franc
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
East Coast Railway commissions waste to energy plant in Bhubaneswar
- The East Coast Railway commissioned Indian Railways’ first waste-to-energy plant at Carriage Repair Workshop in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agarwal inaugurated the facility, first in Government sector.
- The plant will use polycrack technology to process the scrap and convert waste into energy to produce light diesel oil in 24 hours.
- A large amount of non-ferrous scrap generated daily from the Mancheswar workshop was being sent to landfill in the absence of a proper disposal method. However, with the use of polycrack technology ECoR can now use the scrap to generate energy.
- Polycrack technology, the first patented heterogenous catalytic process, converts non-ferrous scraps into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water and doesn’t require pre-segregation of waste for their processing. Drying of waste is also not required due to its high tolerance to moisture.
- Waste in the polycrack plant is processed and converted into energy within 24 hours. The fully automated system does not emit any hazardous pollutants.
- The plant would require Rs 10.4 lakh per annum for its maintenance. However, having a capacity to process 500 kg waste per batch, the plant will also provide an annual income of Rs 17.5 lakh by selling the diesel oil.
- This is the first Government plant and fourth in the country. The first plant was a small one with a capacity of 50 kg a day set up by Infosys at Bangalore in 2011. The second came up at Moti Bagh in Delhi in 2014 and the third one was set up at Hindalco in 2019 with 50 kg capacity per batch.
- Chief Minister- Naveen Patnaik
- Governor- Ganeshi Lal
- Capital City- Bhubaneswar
India’s First War Memorial for Animals to Come up in Meerut
- Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh will be host to India’s first war memorial for service animals including dogs, horses and mules.
- This place will dedicate itself to the contributions and heroics of animals who have helped the army in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and in the battlefield during the Kargil War.
- The memorial is to be similar to the National Warn Memorial in Delhi, will come up at the army’s specialized breeding, rearing and training centre for animals in the Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College, Meerut.
- Granite tablets with names and service numbers of more than 300 dogs, 350 handlers and a few horses’ mules will be inscribed at the memorial. The preliminary design of the memorial and the land has already been identified.
- Mansi, a Labrador, who was awarded army’s highest honour for dogs due to her role in the counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir in 2016, tops the list of animals to be remembered.
- The army has more than 100 dogs, 5000 mules and 1500 horses.
Srinagar declared Open Defecation Free
- Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattu announced that Srinagar has joined the list of ‘Open Defecation Free’
- Srinagar receives its Swachhata Certificate from Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Central Government and joins the list of cities that are now “OPEN DEFECATION FREE”. Another achievement after Srinagar gets 45th Rank in Cleanest Cities in the country.
About Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUa)
- Minister- Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS (Minister of State) independent charge
- Constituency: Uttar Pradesh
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
New India Co-op Bank to convert into SFB
- New India Co-operative Bank (NICB) has been decided to be converted into a Small Finance Bank (SFB) after being agreed by its shareholders under Voluntary Transition of Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) into SFB.
- NICB will now approach the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and Central Registrar of Societies for further action.
- With two multi-state Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) initiating steps to convert into a SFB, larger UCBs such as Saraswat Co-operative Bank, SVC Co-operative Bank, Bharat Co-operative Bank, Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank and Thane Janata Sahakari Bank, are also expected to weigh the possibility of converting into an SFB.
- Recently Uttar Pradesh-based Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank taking the lead among urban co-operative banks to convert into a Small Finance Bank
- The bank is currently operating in Maharashtra and Gujarat and has networth of Rs. 230 crores.
- A minimum of Rs.200 crore is needed to set up an SFB.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020 announced
- In order to recognise the excellent work done by individuals and institutions in India in the field of disaster management, Government of India has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. The award is announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- The award scheme for the year 2020 was given wide publicity. Nominations for the award were solicited from 1st August, 2019 onwards.
- For the year 2020, Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre, Uttarakhand (in the institution category) and Kumar Munnan Singh (Individual category) have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar for their commendable work in Disaster Management.
- In case the winner being an institution, it shall receive a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakhs. This cash prize shall be utilized by the winning institution for Disaster Management related activities only. In case of the winner being an individual, winner shall receive a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs.
Kerala Tourism’s disabled-friendly project earns UNWTO special mention
- Kerala Tourism’s Barrier-Free Tourism Project has won global recognition with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) making a special mention of the south Indian state as an “Emerging Global Destination” in the Accessible Destination Awards 2019.
- Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran received the conferment from UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili at the awards ceremony in Madrid.
- It was in March last year that Kerala Tourism launched the barrier-free project in an effort at making 120 destinations across the state disabled-friendly.
- The disabled friendly project work has already been completed in the beaches of Azhikode & Snehatheeram, the hill destination of Vilangankunnu and the dams in Poomala and Vazhani in Thrissur district of Kerala.
- The work is also being implemented in Chavakkad Beach, Peechi and Thumboormoozhi in Kerala under the ongoing major development projects.
- Capital- Thiruvananthapuram
- Chief Minister(CM)- Pinarayi Vijayan
- Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Prem Chand Verma appointed India’s Deputy Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics
- Indian Olympic Association (IOA) appointed Prem Chand Verma as the Deputy Chef de Mission of India for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- Rakesh Sharma will not be accompanying the Indian Contingent to the Olympics due to personal reasons and IOA relieved him of his duties.
Ex-ED of Indian Overseas Bank appointed CVC board member on bank frauds
- Former executive director of Indian Overseas Bank A D M Chavali has been inducted into a five-member advisory board for banking and financial frauds created by the CVC to act as the “first-level of examination” in respect of general managers and above rank officers.
- The tenure of Chavali would be up to August 20, 2021.
- The board headed by T.M Bhasin former Vigilance Commissioner and former Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Indian Bank(IB), was formed in 2019 and aims to conduct examination of allegations against officials in General Managers (GM) ranking involved in fraud cases of worth above Rs.50 crores.
- Other members of the panel include former Urban Development Secretary Madhusudan Prasad; former Director General(DG) of the Border Security Force(BSF) Devendra Kumar Pathak; and former Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Andhra Bank Suresh N. Patel.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
Global unemployment to rise by around 2.5 million in 2020
- Global unemployment is estimated to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020, the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation report has revealed.
- The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO) report states that global unemployment has been stable for the last nine years but slowing global growth means not enough new jobs are being generated to absorb new entrants to the labour market.
- Currently, there are approximately 188 million unemployed people in the world in addition to the 165 million people who are underpaid.
- A further 120 million have either given up actively searching for work or otherwise lack access to the labour market.
- According to the report, around 470 million people are affected worldwide.
About International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
- Director-General– Guy Ryder
India ranked 80th in Corruption Perception Index
- India has been ranked at the 80th position among 180 countries and territories in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) prepared by Transparency International.
- The CPI, released at the WEF 2020, ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.
- Denmark and New Zealand have cornered the top spot, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland in the top ten.
Other countries in the top level are Norway (7th rank), the Netherlands (8th), Germany and Luxembourg (9th).
- With a score of 41, India is at the 80th spot. The rank is also shared by China, Benin, Ghana and Morocco. Neighbouring Pakistan is ranked at the 120th place.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Australia to host 11th Indoor Cricket WC in October
- Australia is set to host a third cricket World Cup this year with the World Indoor Cricket Federation announcing Melbourne as the host city for the eleventh Indoor Cricket World Cup from October 10-17.
- The tournament will be held at two state-of-the-art, elite indoor cricket venues in Melbourne: Casey Stadium and CitiPower Centre.
- Cricketers from up to 10 countries from around the world will compete at the tournament in four divisions: 21 and under men, 21 and under women, open men and open women.
- Australia are already hosting Women”s and Men”s T20 World Cups this year.
Hagley Oval to host 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup final
- Six New Zealand cities will host the tournament’s 31 One Day International matches, which runs from 6 February to 7 March. The cities are Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin and Christchurch.
- Hamilton and Tauranga will host the semifinals while Christchurch was awarded the final after consents were granted for the installation of lights at Hagley Oval last year.
- The entire program of this world will be announced in March, when the event will officially launch. The 50-over 2021 World Cup will provide a glimpse of the global development of women’s cricket and New Zealand is preparing vigorously for the successful event of the tournament.
- The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is scheduled to be held in Australia between 21 February and 8 March 2020.
DAILY CA – 25th JAN
- National Voters’ Day
- Switzerland mints world’s smallest gold coin
- East Coast Railway commissions waste to energy plant in Bhubaneswar
- India’s First War Memorial for Animals to Come up in Meerut
- New India Co-op Bank to convert into SFB
- Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020 announced
- Kerala Tourism’s disabled-friendly project earns UNWTO special mention
- Prem Chand Verma appointed India’s Deputy Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics
- Ex-ED of Indian Overseas Bank appointed CVC board member on bank frauds
- Global unemployment to rise by around 2.5 million in 2020
- India ranked 80th in Corruption Perception Index
- Australia to host 11th Indoor Cricket WC in October
- Hagley Oval to host 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup final