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Swachh Survekshan League 2020: Indore tops ranking among cities having 10lac+ populationOn December 31, 2019 the union minister of State (MoS- Independent Charge) Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) Shri Hardeep Singh Puri,has announced the results of Swachh Survekshan (SS) League 2020 (Quarter 1 and Quarter 2) at an event in New Delhi. During the event, the 5th edition of the Swachh Survekshan (urban cleanliness survey), which is to commence from 4 January 2020 by MoHUA was also rolled out.
- The SS League 2020 is conducted in 3 quarters i.e., April-June, July-September and October-December 2019 with 2000 marks for each quarter.
- >10lakh population: Among the cities with more than 10 lakh population category, Indore ranked 1st in both quarter 1 and quarter 2.
- 1-10 lakh population: Among cities with 1-10 lakh population, Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) ranked 1st in both quarter 1 and quarter 2.
- Quarter1: Among the cantonment board rankings in quarter 1, Tamil Nadu (St.Thomas Mount Cantt.) ranked 1st which was followed by Uttar Pradesh (Jhansi Cantt.)and New Delhi(Delhi Cantt).
- Quarter2: in Quarter 2, Delhi ranked 1st, followed by Uttar Pradesh (Jhansi Cantt.) and Punjab (Jalandhar Cantt.)….Click here to Read More
2019-2025 National Infrastructure Pipeline report: Rs 102 lakh crore infrastructure plan unveiledOn December 31, 2019 the Union Minister of Finance Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman released a report of the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-2025 (NIP 2019-25) inorder to achieve the $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 . Based on the information compiled by the task force headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, Rs 102 lakh crores has been projected on the capital expenditure in infrastructure sectors in India during the fiscals 2020 to 2025. The capital expenditure will be shared by the Centre, States and the private sector in the ratio 39:39:22 respectively. The report in detail are as follows:
- 102 lakh crore project: Out of the Rs 102 lakh crore project, Rs 42.7 lakh crore (42%) worth projects are under implementation while projects worth Rs 32.7 lakh crore (32%) are in conceptualization stage and rest are under development.
- NIP 2025 visions: During the fiscals 2020 to 2025, sectors such as Energy (24%), Roads (19%), Urban (16%), and Railways (13%) amount to around 70% of the projected capital expenditure in infrastructure in India….Click here to Read More
Kerala became 1st State to pass resolution against citizenship Amendment Act
On December 31, 2019, the state govt. of Kerala became the 1st state in the country to pass a resolution scrapping the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The resolution was moved by Kerala’s Chief Minister Shri Pinarayee Vijayan and was seconded by the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
i.It was also stated in the assembly that when the Citizenship Act was passed in 1955, it followed all international conventions. But the present act passed by the central govt was claimed to have not followed the international conventions.
ii.Several other chief ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi have also announced for not implementing CAA in their states. Click here to learn more about the act.
Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.
Rivers- Cheruthoni river, Bharathapuzha river, Pamba river, Chalakudy river, Parambikulam river.
Government creates new Department of military affairs headed by Bipin RawatOn December 30, 2019, the government has created a new ‘Department of Military affairs (DMA)’ in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to be headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat. The new department works for the unity of the three forces Army, Navy and Air Force and will also monitor the services except for capital acquisitions according to prevalent rules and procedures. The DMA is the 5th department in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and was created after a change in Government of India (Allocation of Business), Rules 1961.
i.The other existing 4 departments under MoD are the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defence Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.
Chief of Army Staff- Manoj Mukund Naravane.
Chief of the Naval Staff- Admiral Karambir Singh.
Chief of the Air Staff – Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
Centre sets up 7-member GoM led by Rajnath singh to review crop insurance scheme-PMFBY
On December 28, 2019, The central Government has formed a 7-member group of ministers (GoM) headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to review the crop insurance scheme ,“Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)” & make suggestions to improve it according to the needs of the farmers.
i.The group also includes Home Minister (HM) Amit Shah and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Agriculture, Finance, Tribal Affairs and Animal Husbandry.
ii.This move comes after the concerns over growing dissent among farmers about the Scheme, dropping out of 4 insurance companies (ICICI Lombard, Tata AIG, Cholamandalam MS, and Shriram General Insurance). States like Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh (AP) have also distanced themselves from the scheme….Click here to Read More
Pragati Maidan metro station renamed as Supreme Court metro station in New Delhi
On 31st December 2019, The Delhi Government’s renaming committee has renamed Pragati Maidan metro station as Supreme Court metro station. The demand was made by the Supreme court in September 2019.
i.The committee has also decided to rename Mukarba Chowk and its flyover after Kargil war martyr Captain Vikram Batra, MB Road as Acharya Sri Mahapragya Marg and The Lajpat Nagar flyover to Jhulelal Setu.
ii.The committee has been constituted in 2017 based on the approval of Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, and the committee was headed by the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. It comprises 34 members, The Union home secretary, The Union HRD secretary, the DDA vice-chairman, the Delhi PWD secretary and the Delhi Principal secretary (Home).
About Vikram Batra:
Captain Vikram Batra was an officer of The Indian Army who died while fighting Pakistani troops kargil war in 1999, was awarded India’s highest and most prestigious award “Param Vir Chakra”, for his actions during the war.
Chief Minister– Arivind Kejiriwal (AAP)
Deputy Chief Minister– Manish Sisodia
Lt. Governor– Anil Baijal, IAS
For the 1st time, Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) to host 14th Global healthcare summit in 2021
On December 31, 2019, The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), a professional association for Indian American physicians, is set to organize a 3-days long 14th Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in Visakhapatnam,Andhra Pradesh(AP) from January 3, 2021 for the 1st time.
i.Around 500 doctors from the United States of America (USA), Australia, Britain and other countries expected to participate in the summit, which will focus on various communicable and non-communicable diseases, public health hazards, eradication of tuberculosis(TB), preventing maternal mortality, control of Hepatitis B etc.
ii.Over the past few years, AAPI has been collaborating with several professional medical associations & made key role in addressing diabetes with the launch of Sevak programme and CPR-AED(Proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation-automated external defibrillator) training
About American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI):
Headquarters– Oak Brook, Illinois,US
President– Sudhakar Jonnalagadda (for 2020-21)
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI governor launched MANI app for visually challenged to identify currency notes
On January 1, 2020 the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shri Shaktikanta Das launched a mobile app named “MANI” (Mobile Aided Note Identifier) that would help visually impaired people to identify denomination of currency notes correctly.
- The currency notes will be scanned using a mobile phone’s camera.
- The most interesting feature of the app is that it can also be used offline after installation.
- The audio output is available in both Hindi and English languages.
- 4 printing presses: The dept. of currency management of RBI receives currency notes from 4 printing presses in which 2 are owned by Govt. of India(GOI) and remaining 2 are owned by RBI through its subsidiary Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt.Ltd (BRBNMPL).
- Printing press locations: The govt owned currency printing presses are at Nasik (Maharashtra) and Dewas (Madhya Pradesh). The other two presses are at Mysore (Karnataka) and Salboni (West Bengal)….Click here to Read More
Small savings schemes interest rates unchanged for Jan-Mar quarter of FY 2019-20:Fin Min
On December 31, 2019,The Union Finance Ministry, Government of India (GoI), has not made any changes in the interest rates on its small savings schemes (SSS) of the post office for the fourth quarter of the financial year(FY) 2019-20 starting from January 1, 2020- March 31, 2020 due to softening in the bank deposit rate.
Current Interest Rates of Small Savings Schemes:
|Small Savings Scheme||Annual Interest Rate|
|Public Provident Fund (PPF)||7.9%|
|National Savings Certificate (NSC)||7.9%|
|Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)||7.6% (113 months maturity)|
|Sukanya Samriddhi Account||8.4%|
|5-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme||8.6%|
|Term Deposits (1-5 year maturity)||6.9 %-7.7 %|
|5-year Recurring Deposit||7.2%|
CAD slips to 0.9% of GDP in July-Sept 2019 from 2.9% :RBI
On December 31, 2019, According to the report “Developments in India’s Balance of Payments during the Second Quarter (July-September) of 2019-20” released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s current account deficit (CAD) decreased to 0.9 % of gross domestic product (GDP) or $6.3 billion in July-September 2019 quarter due to the economic slowdown that helped the country improve its export and import balance sheet.
It was 2.9 % of GDP or $19 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19.
i.Low trade deficit is the reason: The reduction in CAD is primarily due to low trade deficit of $ 38.1 billion as against the trade deficit at a high of $ 50 billion in 2018.
ii.FDI:The Net Foreign direct investment (FDI) stood at $ 7.4 billion in the second quarter of 2019. It is around the same level of the period 2018-19….Click here to Read More
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Piyuus jaiswal wins Global Bihar excellence award 2019On December 31, 2019, Piyuus Jaiswal has been awarded the Global Bihar Excellence Award 2019 by Rajya Sabha MP (member of parliament) and Padma Shri Awardee Dr CP Thakur & Bihar Women Commission president Dilmani Devi in Patna, Bihar for his invaluable and outstanding contribution towards social welfare, women empowerment and introducing new talent in the field of arts and culture.
i.Previously he was honoured with humanitarian award with the Global Peace Excellence Humanitarian Award 2019 & Page 3 Award in 2018.
ii.Jaiswal,a social worker, is associated with various NGOs(Non-governmental organizations). He also organized the Indian Achiever’s Award in Surat, Gujarat, which graced the popular celebrities from the field of fashion and films.
Telangana’s mountaineer Malavath Poorna: 1st and youngest tribal women in the World to scale 6 mountain peaks in 6 continents
18-years-old Malavath Poorna from Telangana scaled Mt Vinson Massif, the highest mountain peak in Antarctica at 4,892 meters and becomes the first and youngest tribal women in the World to scale six mountain peaks in six continents.
i.She is the daughter of agriculturist of Pakala tribal hamlet of Nizamabad district in Telangana.
ii.Sekhar Babu Bachinepally is her coach.
iii.’Poorna’,a biography of Poorna Malavath was written by Aparna Thota.
iv.Poorna aims to scale Mt. Denali which is North America’s highest mountain peak in order to achieve her goal of scaling seven mountain peaks in seven continents.
v.At the age of 13 years she became the world’s youngest girl who scaled Mt. Everest.
vi.She scaled Mt. Everest in 2014, Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) in 2016, Mt. Elbrus (Russia) in 2017, Mt. Aconcagua (Argentina) in 2019, and Mt. Cartsnez (Indonesia) in 2019.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATION
VK Yadav to continue as Railway board chairman for one more year On December 31, 2019, Vinod Kumar Yadav has been given a one-year extension as the Chairman of the Railway Board by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He succeeded Ashwani Lohani as the chairman of the railway board (retired in December 2018). Priorly, VK Yadav held the post of the General Manager (GM) of South Central Railway (SCR).
i.Yadav is an Electrical Engineer and belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers.
About Railway Ministry:
Union minister- Piyush Goyal.
Ministers of State(MoS)- Suresh Angadi.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Founded- 16 April 1853.
Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha gets 1 year extensionThe Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has notified that Mr.Umesh Sinha has been re-employed as the Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) after the approval by the Appointments Committe of the cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on a contract basis for one year with effect from January 1, 2020 up to December 31, 2020.
i.He is an IAS (Indian Administrative Officer) of Uttar Pradesh cadre.
ii.Mr.Sinha served as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and higher Education Secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
About Election Commission(EC):
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)- Sunil Arora .
First Executive- Sukumar Sen.
Preceding Executive- Om Prakash Rawat.
Formed- 25 January 1950.
S Sundar appointed as interim MD&CEO and additional director of Lakshmi Vilas Bank
On January 2, 2020, The Board of directors of Lakshmi Vilas Bank has appointed S Sundar as interim Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with effect from January 1, 2020. The bank’s MD and CEO, Parthasarathi Mukherjee resigned from his post on August, 2019 and the post was left vacant. He has also appointed as the additional director of the bank.
i.He will be in charge until April 30, 2020 or until new MD assumes the charge.
ii.He was serving the bank as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from 27.04.2018 till 31.12.2019.
iii.He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and is a Chartered Accountant and has an experience of 41 years.
Non-Executive Chairman- B K Manjunath
Headquarters- Chennai; Tagline– The changing face of prosperity
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
HDFC gets requisite approval to hold a 51.2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company
On January 1, 2020 HDFC (Housing Development Financial Corporation) has received its requisite approvals from Competition Commission of India (CCI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to acquire 51.2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company from Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (AHEL) and other shareholders. After the acquisition, Apollo Munich will be merged with and into HDFC Ergo, subject to approval from the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal. IRDAI granted approval under Section 6A of the Insurance Act, 1938.
i.The total value of the deal is Rs. 1,347 crore in which HDFC will acquire 50.8% from the Apollo Hospitals group for Rs 1,336 crore and remaining will be paid to the employees of Apollo group to purchase their stake of 0.4% in the company.
ii.The entities involved in this context are: AHEL, HDFC, HDEC Ergo, Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited (AMHI), Apollo Energy Company Limited (AECL), Munich Health Holdings AG and other shareholders of AMHI.
iii.Apollo Munich Health Insurance is a joint venture between Apollo Hospitals and German reinsurer Munich Re Group while HDFC runs HDFC Ergo General Insurance Co, a joint venture with Ergo International AG, the primary insurance entity of Munich Re.
CEO- Aditya Puri
About Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company:
CEO- Antony Jacob
About Competition Commission of India:
Chairman- Ashok Kumar Gupta
Headquarters- New Delhi
Governor- Shaktikanta Das
Chairperson- Subhash Chandra Khuntia
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IAF chief formally inducted Dornier 228 aircraft into No. 41 Squadron in New Delhi On 31st December 2019, Indian Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria formally inducted the light utility aircraft Flight Inspection System (FIS) Dornier 228 into the No. 41 ‘Otters’ Squadron at a ceremony at the Palam Air Force Station in New Delhi.
i.A contract has been signed by Indian Air Force (IAF) for purchasing 14 Dornier aircraft in 2015, which are flight inspection system planes, for Rs 1,090 Crore from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
ii.The first aircraft was delivered in November 2019, whereas the second one is likely to be delivered in early 2020.
About Dornier-228 aircraft:
The Do-228 is a twin-engine, multirole light transport aircraft, capable of transporting up to 19 passengers or various cargoes, jointly designed and developed by Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and RUAG Aerospace, Germany. It is derived from a Dornier Do-28 aircraft and can climb at the rate of 9.5m/s.
The Do-228 has six variant models – Do-228-100, Do-228-101, Do-228-200, Do-228-201, Do-228-202 and Do-228-212. Around 270 Do-228s were built and 127 of them are in service worldwide, including the Indian Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
India women’s hockey player Sunita Lakra announces her retirement due to knee injury breakdownOn January 2, 2020, Indian women’s hockey team defender Sunita Lakra from Odisha aged 28, who was part of the 2018 Asian Games silver-winning side, announced her international retirement, citing a knee injury. However, she will continue to represent domestic hockey and NALCO (National Aluminium Company Limited), Odisha.
i.Sunita has so far played 139 matches for India that also included the 2014 Asian Games bronze medal.
About sports ministry:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Minister of State(MoS-Independent charge)- Kiren Rijiju.
Former Rajya Sabha member Alajangi Viswanath Swamy from Odisha passed away at 91On December 31, 2019, Social activist and former Rajya Sabha member, Alajangi Viswanath Swamy popularly known as AV Swamy passed away in Nuapada district, Odisha.
i.He was born on July 18, 1929 in Nawarangpur, Odisha and graduated in B.tech Chemical Engineering.
ii.On April 4, 2012, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha from Odisha as an independent candidate and remained in office till April 3, 2018.
iii.He was a member of ‘Vanar Sena’ during India’s freedom struggle and a follower of Vinobe Bhave.
iv.He was also one of the most important social reformers of Odisha.
v.He was the President of Utkal Sammilani, Nuapada district branch.
NCP leader Devi Prasad Tripathi passed away at 67On January 2, 2020, General Secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and former Member of Parliament (MP) Devi Prasad Tripathi passed away after battling with cancer in New Delhi. He was the former MP of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.
i.He was born on November 29, 1952, in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
ii.He was educated at Allahabad University and also was the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University student union and started his political career in 1999.
iii.He was one of the founders of NCP along with Sharad Pawar and P.A. Sangma. He was also the Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal Think India.
iv.He played an important role in the establishment of democracy in Nepal.
UPSRTC launched ‘Damini’ helpline service for women in Uttar Pradesh
On December 31, 2019 UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) has launched ‘Damini’ helpline service considering the safety of the women passengers in Uttar Pradesh (UP). As the extension of ‘Nirbhaya Yojana’ the unique number “81142-77777” has been subscribed for this helpline, which was launched by transport minister Ashok Kataria in Lucknow, UP.
i.Using these helpline women passengers can lodge their complaints by calling the helpline number and by using WhatsApp service.
ii.Women officers from UPSRTC will monitor this service from 9 a.m to 6 p.m everyday. After 6 p.m complaints can be lodged using general helpline number 1800-180-2877.
iii.On November 2019, web portal and e-Ganna app was launched for the sugarcane farmers by the Chief Minister of UP.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Chief Minister- Yogi Adityanath
Governor- Anandiben Patel
UPSRTC Managing Director- Raj Shekhar
Capital City- Lucknow
Natyasurya Awardee dramatist Ratna Ojha passed away at 88 in Assam On December 31, 2019, renowned Assamese dramatist, writer and social activist Ratna Ojha passed away in Guwahati, Assam. He was 88. He took part in an ongoing protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
i.He was born on December 5, 1931, in Barpeta district of Assam.
ii.In 1971 he introduced street plays in Assam.
iii.He also introduced Cartoon Theater in Northeast and produced and directed the documentary film ‘Naam-ghar’.
iv.For his contribution in the field of theater, he received the prestigious Natyasurya Award in 2005.
******Current Affairs 1 & 2 January 2020 Headlines******
- 5th Swachh Survekshan League 2020: Indore tops ranking among cities having 10lac+ population
- 2019-2025 National Infrastructure Pipeline report: ₹102 lakh crore infrastructure plan unveiled
- Kerala became 1st State to pass resolution against citizenship Amendment Act
- Government creates new Department of military affairs headed by Bipin Rawat
- Centre sets up 7-member GoM led by Rajnath singh to review crop insurance scheme-PMFBY
- Pragati Maidan metro station renamed as Supreme Court metro station
- For the 1st time, Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) to host 14th Global healthcare summit in 2021
- RBI governor launched MANI app for visually challenged to identify currency notes
- Small savings schemes interest rates unchanged for Jan-Mar quarter of FY 2019-20:Fin Min
- CAD slips to 0.9% of GDP in July-Sept 2019 from 2.9% :RBI
- Piyuus jaiswal wins Global Bihar excellence award 2019
- Telangana’s mountaineer Malavath Poorna scaled Antarctica’s highest peak Mt. Vinson Massif
- V K Yadav to continue as Railway board chairman for one more year
- Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha gets 1 year extension
- S Sundar appointed as interim MD and CEO of Lakshmi Vilas Bank
- HDFC gets requisite approval to hold a 51.2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company
- IAF chief formally inducted Dornier aircraft into No. 41 Squadron
- India women’s hockey player Sunita Lakra announces her retirement due to knee injury breakdown
- Former Rajya Sabha member Alajangi Viswanath Swamy from Odisha passed away at 91
- NCP leader Devi Prasad Tripathi passed away at 67
- UPSRTC launched ‘Damini’ helpline service for women
- Renowned Assamese dramatist Ratna Ojha passed away at 88
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