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PM Modi chairs 32nd PRAGATI meeting 2020 in New Delhi; 9 delayed projects worth Rs 24,000 crores discussed
On January 22, 2020, Prime Minister (PM) Shri Narendra Modi chaired 32nd PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) meeting 2020 and discussed progress of several projects in New Delhi.
Under PRAGATI, Prime Minister reviewed projects by talking to the officials and the accountable authority, as well as their progress and status.
- PM Modi reviews 9 delayed projects of three central ministries, costs Rs 24,000 crores
- Modi also reviewed the work related to insurance schemes – ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’ (PMJJBY) and ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana’(PMSBY).
- The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) project was also reviewed by Modi….Click here to Read More
Minister of steel launched SAIL SERVICE scheme and Portal for SAIL employees
On January 21,2020 Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched a scheme under Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), “SAIL Employee Rendering Voluntarism and Initiatives for Community Engagement (SAIL SERVICE)” to promote and facilitate Voluntary Philanthropist Activities (VPA) by the employees.
i.The Minister also launched a dedicated interactive “SAIL SERVICE” portal for the implementation of this Scheme. This portal acts as a platform for enabling faster interaction and communication amongst the various stakeholders.
ii.SAIL will undertake mass mobilisation programmes in its plants and units to spread awareness about this scheme and to encourage employees to participate in VPA.
iii.On SAIL Foundation Day, January 24, 2020 a pledge will be administered at all plants and units of SAIL for VPAs.
Founded- January 19, 1954
Headquarters- New Delhi
Chairman- Anil Kumar Chaudhary
Jharkhand’ Jharia is the most polluted Indian city & Lunglei, Mizoram least polluted: Greenpeace India report 2018
The Greenpeace India report for 2018 was released based on the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP), on January 21, 2020. Jharia in Jharkhand which is known for Coal-belching is the most polluted Indian city with 322 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) of PM10 (Particulate matter) pollutants in 2018, according to the report analysis of 287 cities across the country. Out of 287 cities 231 cities were severely polluted.
i.Dhanbad in Jharkhand which is known for its rich coal reserves and industries, is the second-most polluted Indian City with 264 un/m3 of PM10 pollutants.
ii.By taking marginal improvement in reducing air pollution, Delhi had jumped to the 10th position in the analysis . It was at the 8th position in the last report.
iii.Lunglei in Mizoram is the least polluted followed by Meghalaya’s Dowki.
iv.Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad and Firozabad are the six of the top-10 polluted cities in Uttar Pradesh.…Click here to Read More
Overview of Cabinet Approvals on January 22, 2020
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals on January 22, 2020. The approvals in detail are as follows:
- Amendments in acts related to GST, VAT: After the parliament passed a bill to merge two Union territories(UTs) Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli into a single UT, CCEA has now approved the proposed amendments/extension/repeal in the following Acts and Regulations dealing with Goods and Services Tax (GST), Value Added Tax (VAT) and State Excise, and for designation of Daman as Headquarter of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on January 26,2020.
- NIT campus revised cost estimates: CCEA has approved the revised cost estimates(RCE) for the establishment of permanent campuses of National Institutes of Technology (NITs), at a total cost of Rs.4371.90 crore for the period till 2021 – 2022.
- HFL closure: CCEA has given its approval to shut down the operation as well as closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Limited(HFL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals situated in Rudraram, District Sangareddy of Hyderabad, Telangana.
- Commission period extension: CCEA has approved extension of the term of commission under Article 340 to examine issues related to sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBC), by 6 months that is up to 31, July 2020….Click here to Read More
Overview of Cabinet Approval with Foreign Countries on Jan 22, 2020
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister(PM) Shri Narendra Modi approved the following proposals with the foreign countries on January 22, 2020.The approval in detail are as follows:
- The CCEA has approved the proposal of legislative Department in allowing the India’s electoral commission to enter into Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia (ISIE) and the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission(PNGEC) for elections for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
- The CCEA has approved the Model MoU for unilateral/bilateral recognition of Certificates. These certificates are for the competency of the seafarers and will be pursuant to Regulation 1/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978.
- A total of 4 agreements/MoUs were between India and the Federative Republic of Brazil were approved by the CCEA. The MoUs were on legal assistance in criminal matters, cooperation in oil and natural gas sector, cooperation in the field of early childhood and cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources….Click here to Read More
EIU’s 12th edition of Democracy Index 2019: India slips 10 ranks to 51st position, Norway tops
On January 22, 2020, According to the 12th edition of the ‘Democracy Index 2019: A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest’, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), India has slipped 10 ranks to 51st spot with the score of 6.90 in this index, which provides a blueprint for the current state of democracy in 167 nations.
Top & bottom: Norway tops the list with a score of 9.87 while North Korea is at the bottom with 167th place with 1.08 points.
- India’s score in the year 2018 were 7.23, which has come down to 6.90, the lowest level in 13 years. As per the report, India’s democracy scores have declined due to lack of civil liberties, especially the removal of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and the enforcement of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.
- While considering Asia and Australasia region, India ranks 8th behind Taiwan and Timor-Leste.
Top 3 & Bottom 3 countries in the Index:
|165||Central African Republic||1.32|
|166||Democratic Republic of the Congo||1.13|
Switzerland tops the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020, India ranks 72nd
On January 22, 2020 the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020 (GTCI) report was launched by Institut Europeen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), a partner and sponsor of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Tent in Davos, Switzerland. India has moved up eight places to the 72nd position from 80th position in GTCI 2019. In list of 132 countries Switzerland tops the list.
i.According to the report the United States (USA) is at the 2nd position followed Singapore.
ii.Top10 list includes Sweden at 4th, Denmark at 5th, the Netherlands at 6th, Finland at 7th, Luxembourg at 8th, Norway at 9th and Australia at the 10th position.
iii.China was ranked at the 42nd place, Russia at 48th position, South Africa at 70th position and Brazil at 80th position….Click here to Read More
UNWTO: 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019; arrivals grew by 4% from 2018
On January 20, 2020 The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released a report titled ‘World Tourism Barometer’. As per the report the international tourist arrivals in 2019 increased by over 4% (3.8% exact value) in 2019 and reached 1.5 billion, which is 54 million more than 2018, based on the data collected from reports around the world. The report which the 1st in this decade, in detail are as follows:
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report:
- Increase in arrivals: The middle east region (+8%) led growth in arrivals, followed by Asia and Pacific region (+5%). Europe had a growth of 4% in international tourist arrivals and had 743 million visitors.2019 is the 10th consecutive year of international tourist growth.
- Tourist arrivals in 2020: The no. of international tourist arrivals worldwide is forecasted for a growth of 3%-4% according to the UNWTO Confidence Index.
- Tourism expenditure: Based on data from main source markets, France had the strongest increase in international tourism expenditure among top 10 markets while the United States (US) led growth in absolute terms.
- There was a 4% increase in international air passenger traffic….Click here to Read More
India Opens 1st Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Niger
On January 21,2020 India’s Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Shri Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufau inaugurated the first convention centre in Africa namely “Mahatma Gandhi convention centre”(MGICC) established at the state of Niger in Western Africa by India to honour the memory of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.This is the 1st centre established in Africa by India under grant assistance.
Mr.S.Jaishankar was the first Indian-foreign Minister to visit the West-African country during his national trip visit to Niger (West Africa) and Tunisia (North Africa).
i.The Convention centre has been designed with modern and eco-friendly facility including a 2000 capacity of Plenary hall (wide participation from African Union Member states).
ii.It is likely to host the forthcoming African Union AU Summit in the new convention center which will further contribute towards enhancing of bilateral ties.
iii.The establishment of the center is a landmark for India-Niger friendship and the 4th edition of India-Africa Summit will be held in Delhi this year.
iv.Contribution to Niger: India has provided Lines of Credit(LoC) worth $96.54 million to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water.
Prime Minister (PM)- Brigi Rafini.
Currency- West African CFA (African Financial Community) Franc.
Swiss bank Julius Baer report 2020: Mumbai among cheapest cities in the world for luxury goods, Hong Kong most expensive
On January 16, 2020, According to the 1st ‘Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020, released by Swiss private bank Julius Baer, India’s financial capital Mumbai was ranked last (28th ) in a list of the world’s 28 most expensive cities for luxury living.
Top 5: Hong Kong was the world’s most expensive city in the list followed by Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan), New York (US) and Singapore.
- Asian region: As per the report. Asian region home to 5 of the 10 most priciest cities globally- after Hong Kong, this included Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei- and it is the most expensive region for price tags for property, cars, a business class flight, fine dining, a wedding banquet and beauty services.
8 of the 10 most expensive region to buy a luxury car were in Asia, which the report attributed to high import taxes.
- Cheapest Mumbai (Maharashtra) is also in Asia. Here, high-end men’s suits, wedding banquets and personal trainers are all cheapest. India’s luxury goods market to grow 6 % annually valuing around $8.3 billion per annum….Click here to Read More
23rd CEO survey: India 4th best market for global companies looking for growth abroad;US tops
On January 20, 2020 The 23rd edition of the PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey was launched on the 1st day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As per the survey based on the confidence of CEOs over worldwide economic growth, India ranked 4th while it was topped by United States(US). China and Germany ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively. The survey report in detail are as follows:
- Only 9% in the global survey favour India for their companies’ growth prospects.
- Confidence level: Indian chief executive officers (CEOs) showed 2nd highest level of confidence standing at 40% rate in overall revenue growth prospects on their own company. The country that ranked 1st in highest level of confidence was China with rate 45%.
- The US with 36%, Canada at 27%, the UK (United Kingdom) at 26 %, Germany at 20%, France 18% stood 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th place respectively.
- Only 11% of India CEOs believe that their organisation has made significant progress in establishing an upskilling programme.
- Top market CEOs: The US remains as lead in top market CEOs over the next 12 months at 30%, just one point ahead of China as China was at 29%….Click here to Read More
BANKING & FINANCE
Exim Bank extends $35.80 mn LoC to Suriname for rural electrification
On January 22, 2020 the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM bank) has extended $35.80 million (nearly Rs 250 crore) million Line of Credit (LoC) to South American country Suriname to fund its rural electrification programme through solar Diesel Generator (DG) hybrid Photo-Voltaic(PV) systems in Suriname’s 50 remote villages.
i.Under the LoC, the projects covered include power, water supply, purchase of helicopters, and rehabilitation and upgradation of milk processing plant
ii.Till date, India has extended 9 LoC to Suriname with total value of $124.98 million (nearly Rs.890 crores).
iii.Exim bank LoC coverage: Exim bank’s total LoC counts to 258 covering 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), with credit commitments of around $25.48 billion available for financing exports from India.
About EXIM bank:
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Founded- 1 January 1982.
Managing Director- David Rasquinha.
Act- Export-Import Bank of India Act, 1981.
Currency- Surinamese dollar.
ICICI Lombard gets IRDAI approval to pilot 5 projects under Regulatory Sandbox
On January 22, 2020, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited,one of the leading private sector general insurance companies in India,has received Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) approval for 5 innovative applications and programs in its health and motor portfolio under the Sandbox Project. This is the largest approval by IRDAI in terms of numbers given to a company under the project.
i.ICICI Lombard has got the approval for APP Monitored Diabetes Mellitus Wellness Program, APP Monitored Dyslipidaemia Management Program under the health insurance portfolio, Pay As You Use (PAYU) policies for Private Car, Pay How You Use (PHYU) policies for Private Car and Single owner multiple vehicle (Motor floater policy).
ii.ICICI Lombard will forward these proposals from 1 February 2020 – 31 July 2020 on pilot basis.
iii.Under the regulatory sandbox project of IRDAI, the insurance industry has been given the flexibility to explore new products and services in today’s technology and data-based world.
About Regulatory Sandbox (RS):
It refers to live testing of new products/services in a secure &controlled regulatory environment, where the regulators can allow certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing. It also permits the innovators, regulators, financial providers, and the customers to carry out field tests so that they can verify the benefits and risks of new emerging financial innovations and their implications.
Chairman– Dr. Subhash C. Khuntia
About ICICI Lombard:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD&CEO– Bhargav Dasgupta
It is a joint venture between ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank & Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited- a financial services company based in Toronto, Canada.
Bajaj Finserv partners with Apollo Hospitals to launch health EMI cards to patients
On January 22, 2020 the Apollo Hospitals Group in collaboration with Bajaj Finserv has launched digitized “Health EMI Card” which will be provided to patients and will be offered a credit limit of Rs.4 Lakhs. Nearly 600 procedures for patients will be covered. This partnership between Apollo and Bajaj Finserv has been done to enable EMI (Equated monthly installments) financing for healthcare.
i.Health EMI Card features: The card will be accepted in all the Apollo hospitals through India. It provides personal accident insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh. The cards which are digitised can be downloaded from wallet app of Bajaj Finserv.
ii.Entire family will be covered in the card and EMIs can be repaid over a period of 12 months.
About Bajaj Finserv:
Founder- Rahul Bajaj.
Headquarters- Pune, Maharashtra.
Managing Director(MD)- Sanjiv Bajaj.
Chairman- Rahul Bajaj, Nanoo Gobindram Pamnani.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Ind-Ra predicts India’s GDP to grow at 5.5% for FY21
On January 22, 2020, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra),the Indian subsidiary of Fitch group, has estimated the Indian economy to grow at a 5.5% rate in fiscal year-FY 21 (2020-21), which is slightly higher than the 5% GDP(Gross Domestic Product) growth rate estimate for FY20 (2019-20).
i.It is to be noted that earlier in November 2019, Ind-Ra had estimated India’s GDP to grow by 5.6 % for FY20.As per the agency , earlier it believes that there would be some improvement in the next financial year, but the Indian economy seems to be stuck in a period of low consumption and low investment demand.
ii.Financial loss will exceed target: With the Union Budget coming up for 2020-21, the rating agency has estimated that the fiscal deficit could come down to 3.6% (3.3% in the budget) in FY21 due to the fall in tax and non-tax revenue.
iii.Recently,the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its World Economic Outlook 2020, has reduced India’s economic growth forecast for 2019 to 4.8 % from 6.1% citing pressure from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and weak income growth in rural India.
About India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.
It is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group.
MD & CEO– Rohit karan Sawhney(Since 2017)
Principal Economist & Director Public Finance– Sunil Kumar Sinha
Indian oil signs MOU with NPA Ghana for assistance in LPG programme
On January 22, 2020 Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) of Ghana Oil Regulator, for the implementation of Ghana’s National LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) Promotion Policy.The MoU was signed in New Delhi in the presence of Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) & Steel Shri Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan and Micheal Aaron, High Commissioner of Ghana.
Mr.Alhassan Sulemna Tampuli, Chief Executive, NPA, Ghana and Mr. L.K.S Chauhan, Chief General Manager (LPG), Indian Oil signed MoU.
MoU purpose: The purpose of this MoU is to strengthen cooperation between the Parties in the petroleum field specifically LPG. The Indian Oil will support the NPA on successful implementation of the Re-circulation Model (CRM) of LPG.
i.Target by Ghana in 2030:Ghana aims to increase cooking gas access at least 50% of its household from the current 23%.
ii.Indian Oil will provide support to NPA in several areas such as development of Healthy, Safe, Security and Environment (HSSE) Standards, development of licensing, permit and legal framework and also development of economics for LPG bottling point, pricing structure & communication strategy.
iii.India as a Leader:India is recognized as a leader in providing clean energy access though million of Indians through the Pradhan Mandhiri Ujjawala Yojana successfully implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
About Pradhan Mandhiri Ujjawala Yojana:
Pradhan Mandhiri Ujjawala Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 1 May 2016 to distribute LPG connections to women of BPL (Below Poverty Line) families.
About Indian Oil Corporation (IOC):
HeadQuarters- New Delhi.
Chairman- Sanjiv Singh.
Founded- 30 June 1959.
Airtel joins hands with Google cloud to bring G Suite to Indian SMBs
On January 20,2020, Bharti Airtel Limited (also known as Airtel), an Indian global telecommunications services company, has entered into the partnership with cloud computing services provider Google Cloud, under which Airtel will offer services provided by Google’s G Suite to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India, which are already clients of Airtel’s information and communications technology (ICT) services.
i.The G Suite consists of Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and more – apps designed with real-time collaboration & machine intelligence to enhance productivity.
ii.Airtel has a subscriber base of 325 Million in India, serves to over 2500 large businesses and over 500,000 SMBs.
iii.Microsoft also partnered with Reliance Jio to target small and medium businesses in India.
About Bharti Airtel Ltd:
Founded– 7 July 1995
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Sunil Bharti Mittal
MD & CEO (India and South Asia)- Gopal Vittal
About Google Cloud:
Launched– April 7, 2008
CEO– Thomas Kurian
Reliance Jio becomes 1st telecom operator to launch UPI payments feature
On January 20, 2020 telecom operator Reliance Jio of the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has become the 1st Indian telecom operator to launch UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments space. Thus Reliance Jio will now compete with other private UPI payment providers such as Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe.
i.As of now, Reliance Jio is India’s largest telecom operator.
ii.As per reports, users cannot use their existing UPI ids to avail this service. Instead, they will have to create a new JIO UPI Id.
About Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL):
Founded- 8 May 1973.
Founder- Dhirubhai Hirachand Ambani.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani.
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Department of Telecommunication approves 100% FDI in Bharti Airtel
On January 21, 2020 the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved raising of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bharti Airtel to 100 percent from 49 percent.
i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also given the approval to Bharti Airtel for allowing foreign investors to hold up to 74 per cent stake in the company.
ii.The company has to clear statutory liabilities of up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904.01 crore is spectrum dues excluding the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices before the approval.
About Bharti Airtel:
Founder- Sunil Bharti Mittal
CEO- Gopal Vittal
About Department of Telecommunications:
Minister- Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Minister of State (independent charge)
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Gujarat secures top spot the SKOCH State of Governance 2019 ranking
On January 22, 2020,According to the ‘SKOCH State of Governance 2019’ report, Gujarat gained the top spot on the back of better performance in Health, Education, Power and e-Governance segments.
Gujarat, which was ranked 5th in 2018 replaces 2018 leader West Bengal.
- The projects undertaken by the states, have performed the best in terms of rankings across 22 different parameters have been listed as STARS.
Top 3 Star states include:
|3||West Bengal||20 projects|
Here’s the list of category-wise state Ranking,….Click here to Read More
President Kovind conferred 2020 Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awards in New DelhiOn January 22, 2020 the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind conferred the 2020 annual Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar to 49 children in the age group of 5-18 in New Delhi. The award is given to children having exceptional achievements in various fields such as innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts and culture, sports and bravery.
Yash-1st Motorsports personality awarded:
Yash Aradhya (17 years) of Bengaluru, Karnataka created history by becoming the 1st motorsports personality to be awarded the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar. Click here to know more about other awardees.
i.The award carries a medal, a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a certificate and a citation.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
SoftBank appoints Manoj Kohli as India headOn January 22, 2020 SoftBank group has appointed Manoj Kohli as its India’s head. He has served as the Chairman of SB(SoftBank) energy, the Japanese telecom and investment renewable energy business.
Manoj Kohli will be responsible for SoftBank Vision Fund, their portfolio companies and look after government relations and public policy efforts. Kohli succeeds Sumer Janeja as the Softbank India head.
i.Manoj Kohli has also been as an Executive of Bharti Airtel and also as a head of Airtel’s international operations and also worked in companies like DCM Shriram and Escotel.
ii.SB Energy Global will be headed by Raman Nanda who has been with Softbank since 2011.
iii.Vikas Agnihotri, Google’s India’s interim country head has been appointed as the first operating partner in India for SoftBank’s Vision fund.
iv.Sumer Juneja, former Northwest Venture Partners executive hired to head India investments with SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
v.Softbank has invested over $10 billion in top Indian startups including OYO, Paytm, Ola etc.,
Founded- 3 September 1981.
Headquarters- Tokyo, Japan.
Founder and CEO(Chief Executive Officer)- Masayoshi Son.
Katerina Sakellaropoulou becomes Greece’s first woman presidentOn January 22, 2020 independent candidate Katerina Sakellaropoulou(63 years), became the1st Woman President of Greece elected by the Greece’s Parliament for a period of 5 years. She will be officially sworn in as Greece’s 13th President in April, 2020. She will succeed Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the current president.
About Katerina Sakellaropoulou:
i.Katerina is the Council of State (Supreme Administrative court of Greece) studied law in Athens(Greece) and completed her postgraduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris,France.
ii.She was born on 30 May 1956 in Thessaloniki, Greece and the daughter of Supreme Court Judge.
iii.She is an expertise in constitutional and environmental law and defender of human rights.
i.Current President: Prokopis Pavlopoulos, 69 year old-conservative politician, lawyer and academic is the Current President of Greece whose 5 year term will be an end in March,2020.
ii.Katerina was nominated for the post of President by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who belongs to the New Democracy Party (NDP).
iii.Role of President:The President will be the Commander-in-Chief of the Greek Armed Forces and head of the Nation.
Lebanon announces formation of new govt headed by Hassan DiabOn January 22,2020 Lebanon President Micheal Naim Aoun announced formation of new Government due to anti-government protests for the last several months. The new Government (govt) will be headed by Prime Minister (PM) Hassan Diab, 60 year old professor at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
i.The New Government consists of 20 member technocrats.
ii.Formation of the new government was announced after Hezbollah party & its allies made a deal to tackle the country’s worst economic crisis in decade.
iii.The country has been hit by protests since October, 2019 against the ruling party.
Fact- Lebanon is a Middle eastern country located in the Western portion of the Continent of Asia.
Currency- Lebanese Pound.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Adani group’s NBFC Adani Capital acquired Essel Finance’s MSME loan business
On January 22, 2020 the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) of the Adani group, Adani Capital Pvt. Ltd has acquired Essel Finance’s MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) loan business. The business has loan book of Rs 145 crore approximately. As on December 31, 2019, the overall lending book of Adani capital and the housing finance business was ₹1,100 crore where the contributed ₹150 crore.
i.Adani Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Finserve, the holding company of Adani Group’s financial services business.
ii.MGB Business Advisors Pvt. Ltd acted as a financial adviser to the transaction and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was the legal adviser to the transaction.
About Essel Group:
Essel finance is promoted by the Essel Group.
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Chairman- Dr. Subash Chandra.
Managing Director (Essel finance)- Amitabh Chaturvedi.
About Adani Capital:
Founded- 20 July 1988.
Chairman- Gautam Adani.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Gaurav Gupta.
Headquarters- Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
POLNET 2.0 was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai
On January 20, 2020 Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (MHA) Nityanand Rai inaugurated revamped police communication services POLNET 2.0. It is armed with robust multi-media facility. POLNET 2.0 is a captive satellite-based network which provides video, audio and data connectivity across the country, especially in times of disasters when regular communication either gets jammed or crashes.
i.POLNET 2.0 provides video-conferencing facility to four entities sitting at different locations across the country with Internet-enabled multimedia services.
ii.Phone calling facility for personnel of police and paramilitary forces are deployed in remote areas to talk to their families in POLNET 2.0 and it also connects nearly 260 remote police stations with the CCTNS (crime and criminal tracking network and systems).
iii.In India POLNET and police network services are operated by the Directorate of Coordination Police Wireless (DCPW). It has brought out an enhanced communication platform for police and security forces to communicate better during law and order problems and disasters, including linkup from remote border and coastal areas.
About Ministry of Home Affairs:
Founded- January 15, 1947
Headquarters- New Delhi
Minister- Amitabh Anilchandra Shah
Indian Army to induct Artillery gun ‘Sharang’ by March 31, 2020
On January 21, 2020 the Indian Army (IA) has announced to induct 1st batch of 18 indigenously upgraded ‘Sharang’ artillery guns by March 31, 2020. The announcement was made by the Programme Coordinator of Sharang Brigadier Jayant Kar.
i.Sharang: The artillery gun’s barrel upgraded from 130mm to 155mm has a strike range of 39 kilometres and has gone integrated firing range from 0-45 degrees in its trial at the Long Proof Range of Ordnance Factory Khamaria, 16 kilometers from Jabalpur district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh. Previously the strike range was 27 kilometers.
ii.Upgradation contract: The contract to upgrade the Sharang artillery gun was undertaken by Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) in Jabalpur with the help of state-owned ordnance factories, and teams from the Army and DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).
Ministry of Sports de-recognised the Rowing Federation of India for violating the Sports Code of 2011
On January 22, 2020 the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MOYAS) has de-recognised the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) because of violating the Sports Code of 2011 during the RFI election which was held on December 6, 2019 in Hyderabad in Telangana.
i.Rajlaxmi Singh Deo elected as president and MV Sriram as the secretary-General in the election 2019 but according to the Ministry of Sports, the elections were not held in accordance with the Sports Code of 2011.
ii.As per the reports, the RFI elections were not conducted under the Model Election Guidelines prescribed in the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
iii.In the elections there were also proxy voting and it also allowed three votes pre affiliation units instead of two votes which is prescribed by Sports Code.
iv.Secretary-General MV Sriram has held the post for two years till 2016 and he is eligible to contest the election only after 29.01.2020 according to the Sports Code 2011.
About the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Headquarters- New Delhi
Minister- Kiren Rijiju
Overview of 3rd khelo india youth games 2020 held in Guwahati,AssamThe 3rd edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2020 was held at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati, Assam with the participation of over 10,000 students. Vijay the Tiger and Jaya the Black buck were the mascots of the tournament.
Maharashtra clinched Khelo India Youth Games 2020 champions trophy with a collection of 256 medals (78 gold, 77 silver and 101 bronze).
Organized by Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports & conducted in partnership with the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and Assam State government, it was held from January 9-22, 2020.
|Rank||State||Gold Medal||Silver Medal||Bronze Medal||Medal Tally|
- Sprinter Hima Das was the torchbearer of opening ceremony of KIYG 2020
- Pugilist Harsh Bhagwan wins Daman and Diu’s first medal at KIYG 2020
- Tamil Nadu girls won the under-17 basketball title
- Maharashtra wins U-17 gold in Kho Kho
- UP secures gold in mix team event U-21 category in 10-m air pistol
- Assam wins 7 gold in new lawn bowls at Khelo India Youth Games…Click here to Read More
Monty Python star Terry Jones passed away at 77On January 22,2020 Terence Graham Parry Jones, a member of the Monty Python (Comedy group) passed at the age of 77 in London, England due to dementia.
He was a very famous actor and writer who played a variety of characters in the iconic comedy group’s flying circus TV series, and had also directed several of their films. An asteroid, 9622 Terryjones, is named in his honour.
i.Terry Jones was born on February 1,1942 in Colwyn Bay, Wales, United Kingdom (UK) and studied at Oxford University, UK, London.
ii.Jones directed the group’s film The Holy Grail in 1975 and also directed 1979 released Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life in 1983.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Book titled The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World by Alistair released
Book titled “first definitive history” of Yoga, “The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World” has been written by Scottish cultural historian Alistair Shearer, will be released by the end of January, 2020 and published by Penguin Random House.
About the Book:The book discusses about the practice of yoga since ancient time in India till now.
i.The book is divided into 2 parts,”Today” and “Yesterday”, with 9 chapters, including “The Age of invasions”, “Female fitness” and “Yoga Goes West”.
ii.According to the book in the US (United States) alone,the practice of yoga has reached ‘4 million’ in 2001 and ‘37 million’ in 2016.
iii.According to the surveys conducted by the yoga journal another 80 million people are interested in doing yoga practice.
iv.It has been endorsed by the likes of Philip Goldberg, author of “American Veda and the life of Yogananda” , John Zubrzycki, author of Empire of Enchantment: The Story of Indian Magic” and author-politician Shashi Tharoor.
Uttar Pradesh government implements ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana’ for the farmers in the state
On January 21, 2020 Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has implemented ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana’ for the farmers in the state. The assistance of Rs 5 lakh will be provided to the farmers’ family in case of farmer’s death or disabled due to the accident. The age limit of the scheme is between 18 to 70 years. This scheme is fully funded by the government of UP.
i.With in 45days, the beneficiaries will receive the amount under this scheme.
ii.UP government will launch a web portal for this scheme for its easy access.
iii.The amount will be adjusted for the person who are already receiving benefits from Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana or any other schemes which are provided by the government.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Capital city- Lucknow
Chief Minister- Yogi Adityanath
Governor- Anandiben Patel
State Animal- Swamp Deer
State Bird- Sarus Crane
State Tree- Ashoka tree
State Flower- Palash
Current Affairs Headlines: 23 January 2020
- PM Modi chairs 32nd PRAGATI meeting 2020 in New Delhi; 9 delayed projects worth Rs 24,000 crores discussed
- Minister of steel launched SAIL SERVICE scheme and Portal for SAIL employees
- Jharkhand’ Jharia is the most polluted Indian city & Lunglei, Mizoram least polluted: Greenpeace India report 2018
- Overview of Cabinet Approvals on January 22, 2020
- Overview of Cabinet Approval with Foreign Countries on Jan 22, 2020
- EIU’s 12th edition of Democracy Index 2019: India slips 10 ranks to 51st position, Norway tops
- Switzerland tops the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020, India ranks 72nd
- UNWTO: 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019; arrivals grew by 4% from 2018
- India Opens 1st Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Niger
- Swiss bank Julius Baer report 2020: Mumbai among cheapest cities in the world for luxury goods, Hong Kong most expensive
- 23rd CEO survey: India 4th best market for global companies looking for growth abroad;US tops
- Exim Bank extends $35.80 mn LoC to Suriname for rural electrification
- ICICI Lombard gets IRDAI approval to pilot 5 projects under Regulatory Sandbox
- Bajaj Finserv partners with Apollo Hospitals to launch health EMI cards to patients
- Ind-Ra predicts India’s GDP to grow at 5.5% for FY21
- Indian oil signs MOU with NPA Ghana for assistance in LPG programme
- Airtel joins hands with Google cloud to bring G Suite to Indian SMBs
- Reliance Jio becomes 1st telecom operator to launch UPI payments feature
- Department of Telecommunication approves 100% FDI in Bharti Airtel
- Gujarat secures top spot the SKOCH State of Governance 2019 ranking
- President Kovind conferred 2020 Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awards in New Delhi
- SoftBank appoints Manoj Kohli as India head
- Katerina Sakellaropoulou becomes Greece’s first woman president
- Lebanon announces formation of new govt headed by Hassan Diab
- Adani group’s NBFC Adani Capital acquired Essel Finance’s MSME loan business
- POLNET 2.0 was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai
- Indian Army to induct Artillery gun ‘Sharang’ by March 31, 2020
- Ministry of Sports de-recognised the Rowing Federation of India for violating the Sports Code of 2011
- Overview of 3rd khelo india youth games 2020 held in Guwahati,Assam
- Monty Python star Terry Jones passed away at 77
- Book titled The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World by Alistair released
- Uttar Pradesh government implements ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana’ for the farmers in the state