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Current Affairs January 15, 16 & 17 2020

We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 15, 16 & 17 January 2020, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2020 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

National draft policy on Rare Disease: Govt to provide Rs 15 lakh under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi scheme
On January 14, 2020 the govt has released the National draft policy on Rare Disease in which financial support of Rs. 15 lakh will be provided under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi scheme for one-time treatment of rare diseases.

  • Beneficiaries: The scheme benefit is limited to people below Poverty Line (BPL) and also 40% of the population eligible as per Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) norms for treatment in government tertiary hospitals only.
  • National Registry for Rare Diseases: Govt plans to set up National Registry for Rare Diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to create a database of various rare diseases.
  • Certain medical institutes will also be notified by the Union Ministry of Health (MoH) as Centers of Excellence for Rare Diseases.
  • Recently on January 16, 2020 the Delhi High Court(HC) has issued notice to Health ministry to release pending payment of upto Rs 80 lakh to AIIMS accrued over 13 months for rare disease treatment for the patients….Click here to Read More

Union Minister for culture and tourism launched “Indian Heritage in Digital Space” exhibition in New DelhiOn January 15, 2020 Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) Shri Prahalad Singh Patel launched the first International Heritage Symposium and Exhibition (IHSE). The exhibition will be held until February 15, 2020 on “Indian Heritage in Digital Space “ and the first international heritage symposium will be held for two days  in the National Museum in New Delhi.
Key Points:

i.The exhibition was organized along with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),Delhi.
ii.The exhibition is developed under the Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in the cultural heritage domain of the country
iii.The exhibition demonstrate the outcome of two flagship projects namely a digital mini-spectacle to showcase the glory of Hampi and Augmented reality based interactions with physical models of monuments; that are completed under the DST mentored initiative Indian Heritage in Digital Space (IHDS).
iv.Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, National Institute of Design Bengaluru, CSIR-CBRI Roorkee, Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, and a women-led, IDH start-up Vizara Technologies, New Delhi are multi-disciplinary teams which are responsible for  these flagship project.
v.The project aims to create digital installations using 3D laser scan data, AR, holographic projections and 3D fabrication, to provide interactive and immersive experiences showcasing the glory of Hampi and five Indian monuments namely KashiVishwanath Temple, Varanasi; TajMahal, Agra; Sun Temple,Konark; Ramachandra Temple, Hampi ; and RaniKiVav, Patan.
vi.Installation of ‘ViRaasat’ which consists of a scaled down 3D printed replica using laser-scanning, 3D modelling and rendering, 3D printing, computer vision and spatial AR provides a mixed reality experience to visitors in selected monuments.
vii.Participants: Shri Ashutosh Sharmawas, Secretary of the Department of Science & technology
AboutNewDelhi:
Chief Minister– Arvind Kejriwal
Deputy Chief Minister– Manish Sisodia

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Saksham’ Campaign in New DelhiOn January 16, 2020 Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Saksham’ a month long People-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in New Delhi.
i.
Under this campaign PCRA and Gas companies will conduct various workshops, seminars, cyclothons to adapt the measure of using less fuels. This campaign programs will be also broadcast in social media to create awareness among the people in conservation of fuels.
ii.PCRA along with the National Council of Educational Research and Training   (NCERT) has prepared a comic book on the theme ‘Fuel Conservation’ aimed at younger generation especially the school children which is available on E-Pathshala on NCERT website.
iii.PCRA in association with the Institute of Petroleum-Dehradun has developed high energy efficient Piped Natural Gas (PNG) burner for household which will save gas as compared to modified Liquefied petroleum gas  (LPG) stove for PNG….Click here to Read More

HM Amit Shah signs historic Bru-Reang refugee agreement in New Delhi; around 34,000  refugees to be settled in TripuraOn January, 16 ,2020, Union Minister for Home Affairs (HM), Shri Amit Shah has presided over the signing of a quadripartite agreement between the central government and state Governments of Tripura ,Mizoram and representatives of the Bru tribe in New Delhi to end 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis.

  • As per the new agreement, about 34,000 Bru refugees will be inhabited in Tripura and assisted by central government with its allocated budget of Rs 600 crores to help in their resettlement.

Each family of the Bru community will be allotted individual land blocks & the individual terrain will be 2,500 sq ft. In addition, each family will be provided a one-time assistance of Rs. 4 lakh as fixed deposit (FD), Rs 1.5 lakh to build houses,financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per month for livelihood and free ration for the next 2 years….Click here to Read More

Overview of 5th edition of Raisina Dialogue 2020 held in New DelhiThe 5th edition of the Raisina Dialogue 2020 which is India’s annual global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics was held in New Delhi from January 14-16, 2020. The dialogue was jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Prime Minister(PM) Shri Narendra Modi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (MEA) attended the inaugural session of the dialogue. The highlights of the dialogue in brief are as follows:

  • On January 15, 2020 India & Finland signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in order to enhance cooperation in the field of production, procurement, research and development in defence sector.
  • The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between India and the Russian Federation. Modi also marked 2020 as the year of implementation of key decisions between India and Russia.
  • 12 ministerial level delegates called on PM Modi: Ministerial level delegates from 12 countries called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at his residence on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue.
  • 7 former heads of international govts with rich experience in governance engaged in discussion on the important challenges in the world like limate change and counter-terrorism etc….Click here to Read More

Mizoram sets to celebrate ‘Chapchar Kut’ festival on March 6, 2020
On January 14, 2020 Government of Mizoram along with the organizing committee  under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Zoramthanga  has decided to celebrate the ‘Chapchar Kut’, the biggest and most important festival of the Mizos, on March 6, 2020. The two- days festival is celebrated under the theme “Promotion of Mizos’ culture and moral code”.
Key Points:
i.March 5,2020 will be celebrated as pre-festival, which will be attended by state’s Art and Culture Minister R Lalzirliana as “Kut Pa” or the “father of the festival”.
ii.On March 6, 2020 the festival will be celebrated with cultural fervour and gaiety in all parts of the state and the grand celebration will be held at the Assam Rifles ground in the state.
iii.Chapchar Kut is a spring festival celebrated usually in March after completion of the Jhum cultivation.
iv.Diplomats from the United States (USA), Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Korea, Japan, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Israel will be  invited  along with the  leaders of different tribes of Mizo from different parts of the world.
v.Exhibition of paintings, photos, handloom and handicrafts will be held in different places around the state’s capital, Aizawl.
About Mizoram:
Chief Minister- Zoramthanga
Governor- P. S. Sreedharan Pillai
State Capital City- Aizawl
State Animal- Sumatran serow
State Bird- Vavu
State Tree- Mesua ferrea
State Flower- Renanthera imschootiana

India and Bangladesh signs MoU in the field of Information and Broadcasting sector in New Delhi
On January 14, 2020 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Bangladesh in the field of Information and Broadcasting at Information and Broadcasting Ministers meet 2020, in New Delhi. A MoU was also signed for content exchange programme between All India Radio (AIR) and Bangladesh Radio Betar.
Key Points:
i.India and Bangladesh is co-producing the biopic of “BangaBandhu” , Sheikh Mujibur Rehman who was the first President of Bangladesh and it will be released during his birth centenary year, March 17,2020.
ii.To mark the centenary year of Bangabandhu, Bangladesh has decided to celebrate the “Mujib Year” from March 17, 2020 to March 17 2021.
iii.From the content exchange programme AIR service has started airing in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka and Bangladesh Radio Betar started airing on AIR in Kolkata, West Bengal.
iv.Participants: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Bangladesh Information Minister Muhammad H Mahmud.
About Bangladesh:
Capital- Dhaka
Currency- Bangladeshi taka
President- Mohammad Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister- Sheikh Hasina Wazed

Arunachal pradesh becomes the 1st state in India to initiate IUCN’s red-listing of orchids
On January 17, 2020, Arunachal Pradesh (AR) has became the 1st  State in India to initiate the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s ‘red listing’ of orchids at the state level after it has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Itanagar, AR.
Features of the agreement:
i.According to the MoU, the state government of Arunachal Pradesh will cooperate with IUCN and conduct a red-list evaluation of orchids in the state.
Within 12 months, this project will spread across the state & various workshops on Red List Evaluation will be conducted by IUCN experts.
ii.The MoU was signed between the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Forces (HoFF), Manmohan Singh Negi and Country Representative, IUCN India, Dr Vivek Saxena.
About IUCN:
Formation– on 5 October 1948
Headquarters– Gland, Switzerland
Director General- Grethel Aguilar
It aims to conserve nature and work for sustainable use of natural resources. It collects data and conducts research, analysis, field projects, advocacy and education.
IUCN Red List: IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species is an important indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. This list is serving as a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change. The IUCN has estimated that these are complications for protecting natural resources.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
Capital
– Itanagar
Chief minister– Pema Khandu
Governor– B. D. Mishra.
Bird– Hornbill

23rd National Youth Festival 2020 held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
The 23rd edition of the National Youth Festival (NYF) 2020 was held at Indira Pratishthan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from January 12-16, 2020. It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) and State Government of Uttar Pradesh. The theme of the 2020 NYF was “Fit Youth, Fit India
Inauguration: It was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State (MoS- independent charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju on 12th January that marked the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Indian-Hindu monk.
Key points:
i.The NYF has been organised by the govt since 1995 with an objective to give an opportunity to the youth of the country to showcase their talent.
ii.Over 6000 participants from each state of the country participated in the NYF. some of the competitions that were held include Folk Dance, Hindustani Vocal Solo, Carnatic Vocal Solo, Elocution, harmonium Light, Tabla, Mridangam, Veena, Flute, Sitar, Guitar, Dances Manipuri, Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Non Competitive Events like young artist Camp, Yuva Kriti, food festival, Adventure Camp, Suvichar, Youth Convention etc.

Centre accepts SIT recommendations in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases headed by Justice SN Dhingra
On January 15,2020 The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing of the 1984 anti-sikh riots cases was headed by retired Delhi High Court judge Justice  SN Dhingra. The Government has accepted the guidance of the special investigation team that had investigated 186 cases of the 1984 anti-sikh riots and appropriate actions will be taken under law.
Key Points:
i.Solicitor General Tushor Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Centre comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant accepted the SIT recommendations and take appropriate action.
ii.The SIT report reveals the involvement of police officials in the anti-sikh riots and to take necessary action among them.
iii.Senior Advocate RS Suri ,appearing on-behalf of petitioner mentioned that police officials can’t go scot-free for the things which had happened.
iv.The bench directed that the records to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
v.The SIT also comprising retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular,was set up by the apex court on January 11,2018 to supervise the investigation of 186 cases.
1984 anti-sikh riots:
The 1984 anti-sikh riots was series of organized violence in India against Sikhs in India in response to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her sikh bodyguards.
The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WHO released Global health challenges for 2020; 13 health challenges for the decade identified
On January 14, 2020, the World Health Organisation(WHO) released the Global challenges for 2020. 13 health challenges in this decade were also identified.  The release in detail are as follows:
Global health challenges for 2020:
i.Top global challenges: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), climate crisis, eventuality of an influenza epidemic and spread of infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) and tuberculosis (TB) were listed as the top global health challenges for 2020.

  • It is also the second straight year that these challenges have topped the WHO list.

ii.13 challenges: The 13 global challenges are addressing climate crisis; delivering health amid conflict; fighting health care inequality; expanding access to medicines; stopping infectious diseases; preparing for epidemics; guarding against dangerous products; investing in health workers; Protecting the world’s youth; gaining public trust; harnessing new technologies; Protecting lifesaving medicines and finally keeping health care clean.

  • Lack of access: The main reason for these 13 potential threats were lack of medical access. Nearly 1/3rd of the people globally lack access to medicines, vaccines, and various other health products
  • Need of health workers: The world will be in need of 18 million additional health workers by 2030 that also includes 9 million nurses and midwives.
  • HAIs: Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) also prevails globally. 1 in 4 health facilities globally lack basic water services like lack of water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • The WHO in 2020 will issue new guidelines for policy makers, health practitioners and educators, called Helping Adolescents Thrive….Click here to Read More

World Economic Forum released 15th Global Risk Report 2020 
On January 15, 2020 the World Economic Forum(WEF) released the 15th edition of the “Global Risk Report 2020: An Unsettled World”.  This report is a part of WEF’s Global Risks initiative and presents about the major risk the world is expected to face in the future. It is also to be noted that the year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, with the 2020 theme being “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”The report in detail are as follows:

  • Climate accounts for Top5 crisis: As per the report for the 1st time in the survey’s 10-year outlook, severe threats to the climate account for the top 5 long term risks with extreme weather events, human-made environmental damage and disasters and major biodiversity loss and natural disasters from earthquakes to tsunamis.
  • Over 78 % of the 750 global experts expect rise in “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarization” in 2020.
  • The survey rated “information infrastructure breakdown”will be  the 6th most impactful risk in the years until 2030.

Debt across G20 economies: Across G20(group of 20) economies, public debt was expected to reach 90% of GDP in 2019, which is the highest level on record. The debt is also expected to grow even more to 95% in 2024.Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

ICICI bank unveils India’s largest API banking portal called ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’ with nearly 250 APIs
On January 14, 2020, ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) bank,an Indian multinational banking and financial services company has launched India’s largest API (application programming interfaces) Banking portal called ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’(https://developer.icicibank.com/), which consists of 250 APIs & allows bank’s partner companies across the globe to sign up on it, create an application, select the application, test it out and get the sample code.

  • With this, the portal reduces the time span to a few weeks and even days for partners to integrate the APIs to their business solutions. Usually, technical integration with the banks takes a lot of time. In addition to technical complexity, the multi-layer approval process delay the whole development cycle by months….Click here to Read More

WB & India signed $88 million loan pact for Assam Inland Water Transport Project
On January 16, 2020, the Government of India, the Govt. of Assam and the World Bank(WB) signed a loan agreement of $88 million for implementation of the Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) to modernize passenger ferry sector of Assam which runs on rivers including the Brahmaputra river in Assam.

  • Loan signing: The loan agreement from the Indian side was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and by Mr Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director (India), World Bank on behalf of the WB.
  • Project agreement signing: The Project Agreement was signed by Shri Adil Rashid, Commissioner (Assam Transport) and State Project Director on behalf of Government of Assam and Mr Kamal Ahmad on behalf of the World Bank.

Key Points:
i.The govt ferries will be operated by Assam Shipping Company (ASC) while the terminal services will be provided by Assam Ports Company (APC).
ii.It is also to be noted that a loan of $88 million from WB’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of 5 years.
About World Bank(WB):
Founded- 1944.
Headquarters- Washington, D.C., United States(US).
Motto- Working for a World Free of Poverty.
President- David Malpass.
Managing Director(MD)- Anshula Khant.

South central zone of Indian railways & SBI ink pact for doorstep banking in 585 stations
On January 14, 2020, South Central Railway (SCR) Zone of Indian Railways has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding ) with State Bank of India (SBI) for ‘doorstep banking’ under which the bank will collect earnings generated from all 585 stations of the zone.
Key benefits of the MoU:

i.Equal remittance mechanism will be developed in all railway stations.
ii.Real-time information will be available about the cash being deposited by various stations, which will facilitate accountability.
iii.Avoidance of unwanted accumulation of cash at railway stations.
iv.Smart way of remittance of station earnings….Click here to Read More

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi to be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman 2019On January 17,2020 Sindhi (Indo-Aryan language) Writer Vasdev Mohi has been selected for the Saraswati Samman 2019, a literary recognition given annually by the KK (Krishna Kumar) Birla Foundation. The literary award is given for his short stories collection- ‘Chequebook’. The short story talks about the sufferings of the marginalized sections in society. The work was selected by a committee headed by the former secretary-general of the Lok sabha, Subash C Kashyap.
Key Points:

i.Saraswati Samman carries a cash award of 15 lakh rupees, a citation, and a plaque.
ii.In the past, he also received the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sindhi Sahitya Academy Award, Gangadhar Mehar National Award and Lifetime Achievement  Award of Sindhi Academy.
iii.Born in 1944 in Mirpur Khas, Pakistan (undivided India), Vasudev Mohi has authored 25 books of poetry, stories, and translations.
iv.Besides Saraswathi Samman, two other awards- the Vyas Samman (for Hindi works by Indian citizens) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi/Rajasthani works by Rajasthani writers) have been given by the KK Birla Foundation, a literary and cultural organization.
v.K K Birla foundation was established in 1991, New Delhi, India
Saraswati Samman Award:
i.The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the constitution of India.

16th edition of ICC awards 2019 announced ; Rohit sharma named ODI cricket of the year
On January 15, 2020, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the list of ICC award winners for the year 2019 to recognize and honor the best international cricket players of the previous 12 months. Indian opener Rohit Gurunath Sharma became ODI (One Day International) Cricketer of the Year for the first time. At the same time, Virat Kohli bagged Spirit of Cricket award.

  • England’s World Cup winning all-rounder Ben Stokes won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for the Cricketer of the Year, While Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins became the best Test cricketer of the year, taking 59 wickets in 2019.
  • The women’s awards were announced on 17 December 2019, with Indian women’s cricket player Smriti Mandana named in both ICC women’s ODI  and T20 (twenty twenty) teams of the year.

Here’s the full list of winners,…Click here to Read More

17th edition of Crossword Books Awards held in Mumbai, Maharashtra
On January 14, 2020, the 17th edition of Crossword Book Awards was held in Mumbai.
i.Twinkle Khanna won the Popular Best Fiction Award for her novel ‘Pyjamas Are Forgiving’.
ii.Krishna Trilok won the Popular award in the Biography category for Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman.
iii.The jury of Crossword Book Awards contains twelve-member team that included author Janice Pariat, literary critic Somak Ghoshal, culture editor Vivek Tejuja, writer and blogger Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan and Rohan Narayana Murty, founder of Murty Classical Library……Click here to Read More

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS       

Mikhail Mishustin becomes the new Prime Minister of Russia On January 16, 2020 the Russian lawmakers have approved Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposed candidate Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin (53), the head of the Federal Tax Service, as the next prime minister of the country. He replaced Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev who resigned from his post.

  • Mass resignation: Putin proposed major changes in the constitution of Russia that would spread political power more evenly. Shorty after the proposed changes by Putin, Dmitri Medvedev resigned as Prime Minister (PM). Along with Medvedev the Russian cabinet also made a mass resignation.
  • Medvedev as deputy head of security council: Soon after the resignation of Medvedev as the prime minister of Russia, Putin has appointed as the deputy head of the country’s Security Council. The council acts as an advisory board to the president.
  • Annual address: The 2020 address was delivered at Moscow’s Manezh exhibition hall, Russia. It was Putin’s 16th annual address.
  • GDP growth: The annual investment growth should be at least 5% and its share in the country’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) and should be increased from the current 21% to 25% in 2024.
  • Population building: Putin ensured for sustainable natural population growth by the middle of the coming decade. He proposed that in 2024, the birth rate should be 7 children per woman….Click here to Read More

Dr Mihir Shah appointed as Chairman of 11 member Committee to draft the National Water Policy
On January 14, 2020 Dr Mihir Shah, professor at the Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh has been appointed as the chairman of the 11-member committee to draft the National Water Policy(NWP) and will have to submit the report within 6 months from the date of constitution. The committee was established by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation of govt. of India.
Some of the members of the committee are

  • Shashi Shekhar, former Secretary, Water Resources, Govt of India.
  • Dr Ramesh Chandra Panda, former secretary.
  • Ashwin B Pandya, former chairman of the Centre Water Commission (CWC).
  • Prof Tushaar Shah, International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
  • Prof Anamika Barua of Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati(IIT-G) etc….Click here to Read More

 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ariane 5 rocket launches communications satellites for India, Eutelsat into GTO from French Guiana, SAOn January 17, 2020, Arianespace, French Company launched a pair of communication satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) as its first launch in 2020 through Ariane 5 rocket, consisting of ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) communication satellite GSAT-30(Geosynchronous Satellites) and EUTELSAT KONNECT for the European satellite operator Eutelsat (European Organization of Telecommunication by Satellite S.A) from Guiana space center, French Guiana, South America (SA).
About GSAT-30:

i.AIM:To provide high quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services.
ii.The 3,357 Kg GSAT-30 derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT (Indian National Satellites/Geosynchronous Satellites) satellite series and will replace INSAT-4A in orbit equipped with 12 C(covers Gulf countries, Asian and Australian countries) and 12 Ku band(covers Indian mainland and island) transponders.
iii.The mission life of GSAT-30 is more than 15 years specifically designed to maximize the number of transponders (to transmit and receive signals).
iv.The satellite supports VSAT(Very Small Aperture Terminal) for ATMs, Stock Exchange, television uplinking and teleport services, Digital Satellite News Gathering(DSNG), DTH (Direct-to-Home) television services, cellular backhaul connectivity etc.,
About EUTELSAT KONNECT:
i.The satellite is expected to offer broadband data and internet services at speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for 40 countries in Africa and 15 countries in Europe.
ii.The satellite also provides public Wi-fi to share the internet access between several users in Africa.
ISRO:
Founded- 15 August 1969.
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Chairman- Kailasavadivoo Sivan.
ArianeSpace:
Founded- 1980.
Headquarters- Courcouronnes, France.
Chief Executive Officer- Stephan Israel.

India’s 1st Sukhoi-30 squadron to be stationed in Thanjavur, TN: IAF chief RKS Bhadauria
On 12 January 2020,As per the Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh (RKS) Bhadauria,the induction ceremony of a Sukhoi-30 MKIs (Su-30 MKI) squadron in the southern skies will take place in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu (TN) on January 20,2020.

  • The range of this will be in the Indian ocean region (IOR) up to Suez Canal.
    It will be the IAF ‘s 2nd frontline fighter squadron based in South India, with the most potent platform capable to perform predominantly maritime role and certainly a secondary to all other defensive mechanism.
  • The Indian Air Force ‘s 222 Squadron, ‘The Tigersharks’ has been resurrected with state-of-the-art Sukhoi-30 MKI multirole fighter aircraft.

222 squadron to be operationalised with Brahmos equipped Sukhoi-30
India has equipped Sukhoi-30 MKI with BrahMos, one of the world’s super missiles. The ‘Tigersharks’, equipped with modern air superiority fighter aircraft, which are armed with 2.5 ton air-launched BrahMos missile of 300 km range,have the capability of carrying out a variety of missions such as ground attack, sea attack….Click here to Read More

Rajnath Singh dedicated 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to nation; $26 billion turnover by 2025 in Defence Production
On January 16,2020 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicated  51st K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer gun made by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) private sector Limited at Hazira in Gujarat to the Nation. The Government has set a target to achieve a $26 billion turnover in the aerospace and defence industry by 2025 which provides employment to 2- 3 million people. K9 Vajra guns is the best example of ‘Make in India’ in Defence.
Key Points:
i.The guns weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47-kilogram bombs at targets up to a distance of 43 kilometers distance target.
ii.It can turn around zero radii and specially designed for operation in the desert conditions such as auxiliary power pack,air-conditioning systems, fire fighting systems,NBC (Nuclear,Biological,Chemical)  protection systems to the requirements of the Army.
iii.More than 75% of K9 Vajra have been manufactured in India.
iv.In April 2017 L&T and Hanwa Techwin of South Korea signed a contract to manufacture 100 k9 Vajra-T guns worth Rs.4500 crore.
v.These future-ready combat vehicles meet the requirements of the 21st-century warfare including deep fire support to the longer firing range.

e-commerce platform was launched by the Ministry of Housing in real estate sector
On January 15,2020 the Ministry of Housing launched an e-commerce platform to facilitate home buyers in identifying genuine properties. The objective of e-commerce platform is to bring transparency in the sector and offer only certified projects. The portal ‘HousingForAll.com’ was developed by National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
Key Points:
i.The portal will be open for one month only for the real estate developers to register their projects and it will be opened for home buyers with a 45-day sale period starting February 14, 2020.
ii.The online platform is for the projects that have received occupancy certificate (OCs).
iii.The portal will help buyers in accessing the best price and view the complete plan of the building and able to book or reserve the unit with a refundable amount.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs:
Founded- 1952
Headquarters- New Delhi
Minister- Hardeep Singh Puri

ENVIRONMENT

Three new frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
On January 15,2020 The scientists of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had discovered three new species of tiny frogs in Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh (AR). The three new species of tiny frogs had been named as ‘Liurana himalayana’, ’Liurana indica’ and ‘Liurana minuta’.
Key Points:
i.The frogs are so small in size that one can sit on a coin.
ii.Bhaskar Saika and Bikramjit Sinha are the ZSI Scientists, who discovered these frog species.
iii.A study,co-authored by the scientist Saika and Sinha has been published in a science journal, the Records of the Zoological Survey of India.
iv.Earlier, Saika and Sinha also found a rare frog species, ‘Megophrys pachyproctus’, from Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, AR.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
Capital- Itanagar
Chief Minister- Pema Khandu
Governor- B. D. Mishra
About Zoological Survey of India:
Headquarters- Kolkata
Director- Dr. Kailash Chandra

OBITUARY

WWE legend Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne Johnson, passes away at 75On January 16,2020 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend Rocky Johnson, passed away at 75 in Lutz, Florida, United States. He was the father of Hollywood actor and retired wrestler Dwayne Johnson (The Rock).
Key Points:

i.Rocky Johnson birth name (Wayde Douglas Bowles) was born on 24 August 1944 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada.
ii.Rocky Johnson’s sports career began in the mid 1960’s and he joined the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s.
iii.He formed a tag team with Atlas known as ‘Soul Patrol’.
iv.Rocky had retired from wrestling in 1991 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
About WWE:
Headquarters- United States.
Founded- January 7,1952.
CEO- Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

China’s 1st and oldest female tractor driver Liang jun dies at 90On 14 January 2020, Liang Jun, a woman who became China’s 1st  female tractor driver, and eventually, a national icon, has passed away after a brief illness. She was 90.
i.
Born in 1930 in Mingshui County, Heilongjiang Province of China, Liang enrolled in a training class for tractor drivers in 1948 and became the only female in China to take up the job at the age of 18.
ii.Liang’s image was featured on China’s one-yuan Renminbi currency notes, which featured a smiling Liang holding a steering wheel with her hair flowing in the wind. In October 1949, she joined the Communist Party of China.
iii.Her story was also printed in textbooks & is believed to have inspired other women in China to become tractor drivers.
iv.Elected national lawmaker for 4 times, Liang retired as chief engineer of the Harbin municipal bureau of agricultural machines in 1990.

Noted chess administrator Ummer Koya of Kerala dies at 69On 14 January 2020, P.T. Ummer Koya, the former vice-president of world chess governing body FIDE (International Chess Federation) from 1996 to 2006, has passed away at his residence at Panniyankara in Kozhikode, Kerala after a protracted illness.He was 69.
i.
Born on July 1, 1951 in Calicut, Kerala, Koya served as Joint Secretary and General Secretary of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) from 1985-89 and 1989-2005 respectively for a total of 20 years. He was also the treasurer of the Commonwealth Chess Association, England from 1994 to 2000.
ii.He has played a key role in establishing the Indian chess world by bringing major international tournaments including the World Championship to India.

IMPORTANT DAYS

72nd Army Day 2020 observed on January 15On January 15,2020 India celebrated its 72nd Army Day in New Delhi. Every year Army Day is observed on January 15 in India to honour soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the country. The date marks the day on which First Indian General Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa took charge as the first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949 from General Francis Butcher, the last British Chief.
Captain Tania Shergill from Punjab,became the first woman parade adjutant in the history of the Indian Army who led all the men-contingents during the 2020 Army Day parade in New Delhi, India. She will also be the first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade, 2020.
Key Points:
i.The Army Day parade was held at Cariappa Parade Ground in New Delhi. Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane,Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat were present on this occasion.
ii.The Cariappa Parade ground, the largest one in Delhi, is named after the first Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa of India as a tribute.
iii.Army Chief distributed gallantry awards to soldiers and unit citations to different battalions for their performance during operations and Param Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra awardees will also attend the Army Day parade every year.
iv.The parade also includes a combat display and military hardware display.

AC BYTES

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen sets world record of  longest unbeaten streak in chess history
Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen set a world record of 111 unbeaten classical games after getting out of trouble against local Jorden van Foreest during their 45-move draw in the fourth round of 82nd Tata Steel Masters 2020 held in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.

5 years old Aashman Taneja sets Guinness world record in Taekwondo
A five-year-old boy named Aashman Taneja from Hyderabad, Telangana has made the Guinness Book of World Records for the most full contact knee strikes in one-hour non-stop in Taekwondo, who successfully achieved more than 1,200 knee strikes.

Current Affairs Headlines: 15, 16 & 17 January 2020 

  1. National draft policy on Rare Disease: Govt to provide Rs 15 lakh under Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi scheme
  2. Dr Mihir Shah appointed as Chairman of 11 member Committee to draft the National Water Policy
  3. Union Minister for culture and tourism launched “Indian Heritage in Digital Space” exhibition in New Delhi
  4. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Saksham’ Campaign in New Delhi
  5. HM Amit Shah signs historic Bru-Reang refugee agreement in New Delhi; around 34,000  refugees to be settled in Tripura
  6. Overview of 5th edition of Raisina Dialogue 2020 held in New Delhi
  7. Mizoram sets to celebrate ‘Chapchar Kut’ festival on March 6, 2020
  8. India’s 1st Sukhoi-30 squadron to be stationed in Thanjavur, TN: IAF chief RKS Bhadauria
  9. e-commerce platform was launched by the Ministry of Housing in real estate sector
  10. India and Bangladesh signs MoU in the field of Information and Broadcasting sector in New Delhi
  11. Arunachal pradesh becomes the 1st state in India to initiate IUCN’s red-listing of orchids
  12. 23rd National Youth Festival 2020 held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  13. Centre accepts SIT recommendations in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases headed by Justice SN Dhingra
  14. WHO released Global health challenges for 2020; 13 health challenges for the decade identified
  15. World Economic Forum released 15th Global Risk Report 2020
  16. ICICI bank unveils India’s largest API banking portal called ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’ with nearly 250 APIs
  17. WB & India signed $88 million loan pact for Assam Inland Water Transport Project
  18. South central zone of Indian railways & SBI ink pact for doorstep banking in 585 stations
  19. Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi to be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman
  20. 16th edition of ICC awards 2019 announced ; Rohit sharma named ODI cricket of the year
  21. 17th edition of Crossword Books Awards held in Mumbai on January 14,2020
  22. Mikhail Mishustin becomes the next prime minister of Russia
  23. Ariane 5 rocket launches communications satellites for India, Eutelsat into geostationary orbit
  24. Rajnath Singh dedicated 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to nation–$26 billion turnover by 2025 in Defence Production
  25. Three new frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
  26. WWE legend Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne Johnson, passes away at 75
  27. China’s 1st and oldest female tractor driver Liang jun dies at 90
  28. Noted chess administrator Ummer Koya of Kerala dies at 69
  29. Army Day 2020 observed on January 15
  30. Magnus Carlsen sets world record of  longest unbeaten streak in chess history
  31. Aashman Taneja sets Guinness world record in Taekwondo

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