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Latest Current Affairs - January 2020

Month Type

  1. Department of Heavy Industries sanctioned 2636 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations under FAME India scheme Phase II, to be set in 62 cities in 24 states and Union Territories. Aim is to make sure at least one Electric Vehicle charging station is available in a grid of 4 km × 4km area in the selected cities.
    1. FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles) phase II was launched in April 2019 with budget of Rs 10,000 crores.
  2. Election Commission launched an online system that will allow political parties to track their applications, called Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS). Status of the application shall be obtained through SMS or e-mail.
  3. RBI launched the MANI (Mobile Aided Note Identifier) application for visually challenged persons to identify new currency notes that were launched after demonetization. MANI application scans currency notes using camera and gives audio output in Hindi and English. However, the application does not detect genuine or counterfeit notes.
  4. To observe 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, World Health Organization designated 2020 as the “Year of Nurse and Midwife”. WHO will also launch World Nursing Report in 2020, as first of its kind.
    1. Florence Nightingale was an English Social reformer born in 1820. She organized camps for wounded soldiers and also served as a manager of nurses during the Crimean War. She was called “The Lady with the Lamp” for making rounds on wounded soldiers.
    2. Also, International Nurses Day is being celebrated in her honor, Every year on May 12.
  5. Pacific Island Nation Palau became first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals, banning common ingredients used in cosmetics including oxybenzone. The Rock Islands in the Palau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country has banned 10 ingredients that harm coral reefs.
  6. Ministry of External Affairs will set up a new division called NEST-New and Emerging Strategic Technologies, which will investment coordination among the states and also with the foreign countries. NEST will also help India spread emerging technologies among the states.
  7. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) inaugurated the first “Patola Saree” production unit in Gujarat, to help cut down cost of silk yarn production and also increase sale of raw material for Patola sarees.
    1. Patola is trademark saree of Gujarat. They are highly expensive and were once worn only by royal aristocratic families. With the new plant, the cost is expected to come down.
  8. Indian Railways integrated its helpline numbers into a single number - 139, for quick grievance redressal and enquiries by passengers during their train journeys. It will take over all the existing helpline numbers, available in 12 languages.
  9. Gross GST revenue collected in December 2019 is 103184 crores (CGST - 19962 crores, SGST 26792 crores, IGST 48099 crores and Cess 8331 crores).
  10. PM Narendra Modi dedicated 5 DRDO laboratories to country, for young scientists to boost their research capabilities. The labs will act as a platform to identify young scientists up to the age of 35 years.
  11. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released report of task force on National Infrastructure on Pipeline (NIP) 2019-2025. The task force was headed by Atanu Chakraborty (Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs).
    1. Report says that between 2020 and 2025, Govt has plans to invest 102 lakh crores rupees by 2025 and make India a 5 trillion-dollar economy. Out of expected  expenditure of 102 lakh crores, projects worth Rs 42.7 lakh crore (42%) are under implementation, projects worth Rs 32.7 lakh crore (32%) are in conceptualization stage and rest are under development.
    2. Total capacity of Indian Energy Sector is 356 GW, Out of this, thermal constitutes 66%, renewable energy constitutes 22%, hydro sector constitutes 13% and nuclear around 2%. Vision for 2025 is raise capacity to 619 GW of energy by decreasing thermal energy to 50%, increasing renewable to 39%, hydro to 9% and maintaining nuclear energy at same level.
    3. Transport -
      1. Current freight traffic of Indian Railways is at 33%. Govt will add 30% of net cargo by 2025 and will increase private trains to 500.
      2. There are 12 major ports in India, with capacity 2 billion tons, which is to be increased to 2.5 billion tons.
      3. India ranks 3rd in aviation sector, aiming to improve to 2nd position.
    4. Agriculture -
      1. Currently, Food Corporation of India has installed 7.25 lakh metric tons of silos, which is to be increased to 100 lakh MT.
      2. Area under irrigation is 68 million hectares, to be increased to 85 million hectares by 2025. Micro irrigation that covers 15% of irrigated area is to be increased to 28%.
    5. Digital Infrastructure -
      1. India ranks second in terms of mobile phones with 119 crore mobile subscribers, aimed at ranking one. Currently, internet penetration in the sector is 40% and the aim is to increase this to 80%.
      2. Around 25% of urban and 18 % rural households have drinking water in their premises, which Under Jal Jeevan Mission, is to be increased to 100% by 2024.
    6. Government also decided to remove Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) to promote digital payments, with all digital transactions using RuPay or UPI facing no additional charges from January 1, 2020.
  12. Government launched a new scheme National Animal Disease Control Programme for FMD and Brucellosis with outlay of 13343 crores for five years (2019-20 to 2023-24) by vaccinating 100% cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, and pig population for FMD and 100% bovine female calves of 4-8 months of age for brucellosis. It is touted to be as world's largest vaccination programme.
  13. Government will allocate spectrum to all telecom operators and equipment makers for upcoming 5G trials in country, also allowing Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei to conduct super-fast speed 5G network trials in India.
  14. Airports Authority of India (AAI) will set up 3 water aerodromes in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, as first-of-its-kind in country. AAI intends to develop water aerodromes in Long Island, Swaraj Island and Shaheed Island. These are part of 10 water aerodromes that Govt intends to develop.
  15. Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani has been killed by a US air strike in Iraq, at Baghdad airport. US Prez Donald Trump accused him of being responsible for deaths of millions of people.
  16. UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) launched ‘Damini’ helpline service considering the safety of women passengers. As the extension of ‘Nirbhaya Yojana’ the unique number “81142-77777” has been subscribed for this helpline.
  17. Lai Haraoba ritualistic festival observed by Manipuri meitei communities in Tripura.
  18. ISRO will establish a 2nd launch port in Thoothukodi district in Tamil Nadu, to be used exclusively to launch small satellite launch vehicles.
  19. Umaro Cissoko Embalo won presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa).
  20. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released its year-end report, which termed past decade as a ‘Deadly Decade’ for children in conflict with over 170000 grave violations against children since 2010. Report stated that attacks on children increased by almost three-fold since 2010. Syria, Mali and Yeman are at top among nations witnessing most attacks on children.
  21. PM Narendra Modi released 3rd installment of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) worth 12000 crores, benefitting over 6 crore farmers.  Toll-free number - 155261 was also launched on the occasion, for beneficiaries of PM-Kisan yojana.
    1. PM Modi also distributed Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Awards for Progressive Farmers.
  22. India’s first Chief of the Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has proposed creation of an integrated Air Defence Command to boost the security of India’s skies. He has proposed June 30 as the deadline to submit proposal for same. He also suggested setting up of common 'logistics support pools' to enable jointness and synergy in tri-services.
  23. Telangana Govt declared to observe 2020 as state’s “Year of Artificial Intelligence”. State will launch it’s AI program in 2020, which will be implemented by NASSCOM and guided by AI framework document.
  24. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan launched K-RERA (Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority) to bring transparency in real estate sector, and boost customer confidence. As per Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, State governments needs to establish RERA for the effective regulations in real estate sectors.
  25. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been appointed as first female Chancellor of United Kingdom’s Queen’s University.
  26. Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded by 11th Dubai Globe Soccer Awards 2019 as best men’s player of year. England's Lucy Bronze was awarded the best women’s player of the year.
  27. As per data by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India rose 15% to $26 billion in first half of FY2020. Singapore was largest source of FDI in India during the period, with $8 billion investments.
    1. Singapore was followed by Mauritius ($6.36 billion), US ($2.15 billion), Netherlands ($2.32 billion), Japan ($1.78 billion).
  28. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis (Duke of Cambridge) announced Earthshot Prize, to honor visionaries working to solve environmental problems, from climate change to air pollution. Earthshot Prize will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. Prize is initially handled by Royal Foundation of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
  29. State Government of Odisha launched online platform called e-Gazette portal (http://egazetteodisha.nic.in), a first-of-its-kind initiative in country. With this, Gazette notifications are now available as error-free and paperless under one platform.
  30. Gujarat CM Vijay Ramniklal Rupani unveiled world’s 2nd largest statue of Sardar vallabhbhai Patel in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). This bronze statue is 50 feet tall, builting at cost of 3.25 crores.
    1. World’s tallest statue known as ‘statue of unity’, dedicated to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel was built at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat. Its height is 182 meters (597 ft), built at cost of Rs 3000 crores. It was opened on 31 October 2018 (Birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel).
  31. Indian Air Force formally inducted light utility aircraft Flight Inspection System (FIS) Dornier 228 into the No. 41 ‘Otters’ Squadron. Contract was signed by Indian Air Force for purchasing 14 Dornier aircraft in 2015, which are flight inspection system planes, for Rs 1,090 Crore from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  32. HDFC received approvals from Competition Commission of India (CCI), RBI and IRDAI to acquire 51.2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company. Apollo Munich will be merged with and into HDFC Ergo, subject to approval from National Company Law Tribunal. Value of deal is Rs. 1,347 crore in which HDFC will acquire 50.8%.
  33. Finance Ministry retained interest rates on its small savings schemes (SSS) of the post office for the fourth quarter of the financial year(FY)  2019-20 (January - March 2020). Rates arew -
    1. Scheme 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%
      Savings Deposit 4.0%
      Term Deposits (1-5 year maturity) 6.9 %-7.7 %
      5-year Recurring Deposit 7.2%
  34. According to an RBI Report, current account deficit (CAD) decreased to 0.9 % of gross domestic product (GDP) or $6.3 billion in July-September 2019 quarter due to economic slowdown that helped country improve its export and import balance sheet.
    1. It was 2.9 % of GDP or $19 billion in corresponding quarter of 2018-19. 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.
    2. In first half of FY 20, CAD was 1.5 % of GDP ($ 84.3 billion), compared to 2.6 % ($ 95.8 billion) in first half of last (2018-19).
  35. Malavath Poorna from Telangana scaled Mt Vinson Massif, highest mountain peak in Antarctica at 4,892 meters and became first and youngest tribal women in World to scale 6 mountain peaks in six continents.
    1. Poorna’,a biography of Poorna Malavath was written by Aparna Thota.
    2. Poorna now aims to scale Mt. Denali which is North America’s highest mountain peak in order to achieve goal of scaling seven mountain peaks in seven continents.
    3. At age of 13 years she became youngest Indian and world’s youngest girl to scale Mt. Everest, in 2014. She scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) in 2016, Mt. Elbrus (Russia) in 2017, Mt. Aconcagua (Argentina) in 2019, and Mt. Cartsnez (Indonesia) in 2019.
  36. Government formed a 7-member group of ministers (GoM) headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to review crop insurance scheme (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)), and make suggestions to improve it.
  37. Maharashtra government launched a ‘cyber safe women’ campaign, on birth anniversary of Indian social reformer, Savitribai Phule (Jan 3). it aims to spread awareness regarding atrocities committed against women and children.
    1. Savitribai is considered as first female teacher of India. She along with her husband Jyotirao Phule founded first India’s girls’ school in Pune in 1848.
  38. India will place stricter quality standards for importing of 371 items, from March 2020, to curb imports of non-essential items such as toys, plastic goods, sports items, and furniture, especially from China.
  39. Government Think Tank Niti Aayog released its Draft “Model Concession Agreement for Setting Up Medical Colleges under Public Private Partnership”, document. It suggests Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to link private medical colleges and district hospitals, to address issues of limited resources and finances in medical education.
  40. Jan 4 is observed as World Braille Day. It marks birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille, a written language for blind people.
  41. A turtle rehabilitation Centre will to be set up in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest, which will shelter more than 500 turtles. It will help in monitoring rescued turtles before releasing them into rivers. Bhagalpur was chosen as Flow of water in River Ganga in Bhagalpur is ample. There are number of sandbanks in region that act as ideal breeding ground for the turtles.
  42. As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), 8 states have finalised their action plan to boost agricultural exports. States are Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Karnataka.
    1. Agricultural Export Policy was introduced in December 2018, aiming at doubling agricultural exports from 30 billion USD to 60 billion USD by 2022.
    2. It was needed because India’s share in global agricultural exports is merely 2.2%.
  43. High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah approved additional central assistance 5908 crores to seven States from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) - for natural calamnities during south west monsoon 2019. States are Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
  44. As per Bureau of Energy Efficiency's notified energy performance standards for Room Air Conditioner (RACs), The 24 degree celsius default setting has been made mandatory from Jan 1, 2020 for all room air conditioners covered under ambit of BEE star-labelling program.
    1. Additionally, Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) as per new standards will range from (3.30 - 5.00) for split and (2.70 – 3.50) for window air conditioners, which will be applicable from 1st January 2021 onwards.
    2. BEE star labelling program for Room Air Conditioners now covers both fixed and inverter RAC up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 watts (2.97 TR).
  45. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released its report on sugar intake of India, as first of its kind report in India.
    1. Study says that intake of added sugar in metro cities was 19.5 grams per day, lower than level recommended by ICMR which is 30 gram per day. Sugar intake was highest in Mumbai (26.3 g/day), followed by Ahmedabad.
    2. Report also stated that overall intake of sugar by women was 20.2 g/day and that of men was 18.7 g/day.
  46. Iran announced complete withdrawl from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal, after US troops killed General Qassem Soleimani.
    1. In 2018, US had walked away from this nuclear deal. However, other participants such as Russia, China, European Union, France, Germany and UK tried to keep agreement alive. According to the deal, Iran curbed its nuclear programme in exchange to relief from sanctions.
  47. AI Powered National Stock Exchange (NSE) knowledge Hub inaugurated in New Delhi, to assist insurance, banking and financial services. Learning modules in the hub will help in understanding the stock exchange and its functioning better.
  48. Indian Army will sign MoU with Russia to procure AK-203 assault rifles. Under this, around 1 lakh rifles are to be received directly from Russia and 6.5 lakh will be manufactured in India. Rifles will be manufactured at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh by a joint Venture (JV) called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL). Of the JV, 50.5% is to be owned by India and 49.5% by Russia.
  49. On January 5 2020, Govt's Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and LED Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) marked their 5th anniversary. These schemes are implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited.
    1. Under SLNP, around 1.03 crore smart LED street lights were installed, reducing Green House Gas emission by 4.8 million tonnes annually.
    2. Under UJALA, 36.13 crore LED bubs have been distributed so far, helping in reducing green house gas emission by 38 million tonnes annually.
  50. India's P Magesh Chandran won the title at 95th edition of Hastings International Chess Congress at  Hastings in England. He remained unbeaten in all the nine rounds.
  51. Indian Space Research Organization's proposed astronaut hub will be established at Challakere, in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. It is expected to start functioning in 3 years. ISRO has prepared a proposal of Rs 2700 crore for the development of this center.
  52. Insurance Regulator IRDAI mandated all general and health insurance companies to offer a Standard Health Insurance Product (SHIP), aimed at taking care of basic health needs, carrying similar policy wordings and enabling seamless portability among the insurers. SHIP of each insurer will have nomenclature of Arogya Sanjeevani Policy followed by the insurer’s name.
  53. Securities and Exchange Board of India tightened noose around corporates, stating to issue INC (Issuer not cooperating) ratings if companies are not cooperating with credit rating agencies (CRAs) on disclosure of loan defaults.
    1. Last year in November, Sebi had mandated listed companies to make public disclosure on stock exchanges about default in payment of interest obligations on loans, including revolving facilities like cash credit from banks or financial institutions beyond 30 days.
    2. Companies are also required to disclose default in case of unlisted debt securities such as non convertible debentures within 24 hours.
  54. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) will buy 75% stake in Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd (KPCL) at an enterprise value of 13500 crores. Krishnapatnam Port is located in southern Andhra Pradesh and is a multi-cargo facility.
  55. 'They’ has been chosen as Word of the Decade by linguists in USA, aiming to recognize growing use of third-person plural pronouns in a singular form to refer to those who do not identify with either male or female gender.
  56. Indian Table Tennis Player Manav Thakkar has been ranked world no.1 in latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings in the Under-21 men’s singles category. He achieved this after winning title at ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham (Canada).
    1. Thakkar is 4th Indian to achieve this, after Harmeet Desai, G Sathiyan and Soumyajit Ghosh.
  57. Astronomers found farthest galaxy group identified as “EGS77“.
    1. This Trio of galaxies dates to when universe was only 680 million years old, or less than 5% of its current age of 13.8 billion years.
    2. EGS77 is farthest group of galaxies to have ever been sighted, discovered as part of the Cosmic Deep And Wide Narrowband (Cosmic DAWN) survey.
    3. The team was led by an Indian-origin Goa-born scientist, Vithal Tilvi.
  58. Kolkata Police began 3rd edition of its 'Sukanya' project, to provide girls with self-defence training. Girl students of VIII, IX, XI and girls studying in the first year at educational institutions in this area will be part of it.
  59. India extended line of credit of USD 75 million to Cuba for financing solar parks, as per an agreement signed between Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Banco Exterior De Cuba in July 2019.
  60. Jan 6 is observed as Journalists’ Day in Maharashtra, in memory of Noted journalist Balshastri Jambhekar, who is also known as ‘The Father of Marathi Journalism’.
  61. 63rd National Shooting Championship Competitions (NSCC) 2019 held at Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), organized by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) & MP State Shooting Academy.
  62. Uttar Pradesh will become first state to start shortlisting migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, eligible for citizenship under new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
  63. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed MoU with Wipro 3D (metal additive manufacturing (AM) business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering), to jointly develop aerospace components using metal additive technology (Three Dimensional (3D) printing).
    1. 3D printing is a modern manufacturing technique, which uses solid material such as plastic or metal as ink to print or manufacture the desired object layer by layer, also called additive printing.
  64. Home minister Amit Shah will head Group of Ministers (GOM) to discuss and examine the proposed National Tariff Policy 2016. The policy, if implemented, will bring a major reform in stressed power sector. It is being opposed by state govts and discoms (Distribution Companies) due to clauses like penalties for load shedding.
  65. Scientists from University of Oxford in England (UK) shown that a starfish-like species called “red brittle star (Ophiocoma wendtii)” living in coral reefs of Caribbean Sea, can see even though it does not have eyes (ability to exhibit extraocular vision). It has become only the 2nd creature, after a sea urchin species, known to have this ability.
    1. In both species, extraocular vision is said to be facilitated by photoreceptor cells found on their bodies.
    2. While this creature is deep red during the day, it changes its colour to beige at night.
  66. Sports Ministry approved holdihng Commonwealth Games shooting and archery events in India, to be held under aegis of Commonwealth Games (CWG) Friendship Program in March 2022.
  67. Malayali novelist A Sethumadhavan’s first novel in English, titled ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’, has been published.
  68. Madhya Pradesh (MP)  Govt approved Mukhya Mantri Karmchari Swasthya Bima Yojana, to be implemented from April 2020, for welfare of 12.55 lakh employees of state govt.
    1. Under this, Rs 5 lakh for general illness and 10 lakh for critical illness & Cashless treatment facility up to Rs 10,000 per annum in OPD (Outpatient Department) will be provided / free medicines will be distributed.
  69. ISRO signed pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics to establish an optical telescope under “Project NETRA”.
    1. Project NETRA was launched by ISRO in September 2019, to set up observational facilities that will help in making early warnings to satellites about debris and hazards in their orbit. Aim is to make facilities powerful enough to track even smallest particle of 10 cm diameter up to a range of 3400 km. This will help India detect threats to Indian satellites from debris.
    2. ISRO has also set up its 4th Regional Academic Centre for Space (RAC-S) at National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NIT-K) at Surathkal. RAC-S encourages institutions to take part in advanced research technologies related to space technology. Othr ISRO RAC-S are in Jaipur, Guwahati and Kurukshetra.
  70. China declared that its giant paddlefish often called as ‘Panda of the Yangtze river’ or ‘Chinese swordfish’ has become extinct, due to decades of overfishing. The last confirmed sighting of the paddlefish was in 2003.
  71. To provide free medical treatment to the poor, Andhra Pradesh Govt Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy launched “YSR Aarogyasri scheme” at Eluru in West Godavari district. It will be extended to each district by April 2020.
    1. It is aimed at providing free medical treatment to people having an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh. Eligible people will be given Aarogyasri cards.
    2. Eligible patient will also be provided with pension ranging from Rs 3,000 – Rs 10,000 based on the disease.
  72. 77th Golden Globe Awards (Hosted in California (US)) -
    1. Best Motion Picture - 1917 (Drama), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Musical or Comedy)
    2. Best Performance in a Motion Picture (Drama) -
      1. Actor - Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
      2. Actress - Renée Zellweger for Judy
    3. Best Performance in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) -
      1. Actor - Taron Egerton for Rocketman
      2. Actress - Awkwafina for The Farewell
    4. Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture -
      1. Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
      2. Supporting Actress - Laura Dern for Marriage Story
    5. Best Director - Sam Mendes for 1917
    6. Best Foreign Language Film - Parasite (South Korea)
    7. Best Animated Feature Film - Missing Link
    8. Best Television Series -
      1. Drama - Succession
      2. Musical or Comedy - Fleabag
  73. 107th Indian Science Congress Held at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) Bengaluru (Karnataka), with theme Science and Technology: Rural Development.
    1. Farmers Science Congress, Children Science Congress and Women Science Congress were held alongside. For the first time, Farmers Science Congress was held on sidelines of Indian Science Congress.
    2. PM Modi launched I-Stem portal during the inauguration. I-STEM is Indian Science, Technology Engineering Facilities Map. It will act as a gateway for the researchers and users to locate facilities that are required for their research and development work.
    3. Nobel Laureates who participated in event include German Physicist Stefan Hell and Ada E. Yonath from Israel.
  74. Mizoram Government organised Zo Kutpui festival. It will move to states having Mizo population, trying to unify the Mizo population across world.
  75. International Meteorological Organisation released State of Climate Report for 2019.
    1. As per report, climate change claimed 1659 lives in India in 2019. Bihar reported highest deaths due to extreme weather events.
    2. 2019 is 7th warmest year since 1901.
  76. World Bank released its study on how FDI flows are affected in world due to automation, concluding that automation will disrupt flow of capital from rich to poor countries. Poor countries can gain from automation if adopted at right time.
    1. It reports that during 2004-2015, High Income Countries (HIC) saw highest FDI outflows. Later, it reached saturation and began to decline.
    2. Study found that FDI flows from a HIC to a LIC (Low Income Countries) reduced as automation increased.
  77. LIGO (Laser Inferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) detected gravitational waves due to collision of two neutron stars, as 2nd time the gravitational waves are being detected.
    1. Mass of the neutron stars detected is expected to be 3.3 - 3.7 times that of sun. Scientists believe that the neutron stars were formed separately and drifted together to form a star pair.
    2. Currently LIGO operates 3 gravitational wave detectors at Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford. They are located 3,000 km apart in the shape of ‘L’. LIGO India is to come up in Maharashtra. It will aim at locating gravitational waves and their new sources.
    3. Gravitational waves are caused by exploding stars, black holes, merging neutron stars. LIGO helps to detect these waves and analyze information that they carry.
  78. Competition Commission of India (CCI) released its report on “Market Study on E-Commerce in India. According to report -
    1. Number of internet users have increased from 45 crores in 2017 to 66 crore in 2019. This is primary reason for the fast growth of E-Commerce sector. Revenue from the E-Commerce sector is growing at the rate of 51%.
    2. In July 2018, number of online transactions in E-Commerce sector was 1 to 1.2 million per day.
    3. E-Commerce Sector was established in 2009. There are around 5000 E-commerce start-ups as of now.
  79. World Bank released its Global Economic Prospect report. According to it -
    1. World is expected to grow economically at the rate of 2.5%, as lowest prediction since 2008-09.
    2. Advanced economies are to slip their growth by 1.4% as manufacturing sector continues to soften. US is expected to grow at 1.8% and European Union at 1% in 2020.
    3. Predominantly, growing economies are located in South and South East Asia.
    4. Growth in South Asia is expected to rise by 5.5% in 2020.
    5. Report predicts India’s growth rate at 5% and 5.5% in next year (2020-21).
  80. Indian Railways will source 1000 MW (1 GW) of solar power and 200 MW of wind power to zonal railways by 2021-22.
    1. South-Central Railways is the first to actively work on solar based projects. Nandyal – Yerraguntla section in Guntakal Division has been declared as first solar section in South Central Railway.
    2. Also, Kashmir is to be linked with the rest of India through railway network by December 2021, with a 111-km stretch of railway link project between Katra and Banihal in Kashmir.
      1. Konkan Railways is implementing agency of the project. The bridge across Chenab river, a part of this project, will be highest bridge in world at 359 metres above river bed.
  81. Home Minister Amit Shah released book 'Karmyodha Granth', written on life of PM Narendra Modi.
  82. Agricultural Scientist M S Swaminathan and social worker Gutta Muniratnam are chosen as first recipients of ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence’ and ‘Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service’’.
    1. National Award for Excellence was instituted by Muppavarapu Foundation, while one for Social Service was launched by Swarna Bharat Trust. Each award carries a cash prize of Rupees Five Lakh and citation.
  83. CSO (Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation) released first advance estimates of GDP numbers for FY 2019-20 -
    1. GDP growth is estimated at 5% for 2019-20 as against 6.8% in 2018-19, decelerating due to decline in the growth of manufacturing sector.
    2. Manufacturing sector grew at 2% in 2019-20, compared to 6.9% in 2018-19.
    3. Core and industrial sectors showed 11-year drop in GDP growth. 8 core industries in India include crude oil, electricity, refineries, coal, cement, natural gas, electricity and fertilizers.
    4. Estimates are based on growth in first two quarters.
  84. India and Oman Navies will hold joint exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr (Means Sea Breeze), being conducted since 1993.
    1. Also, Al Najah (Means Success) is name of Joint army exercise conducted between India - Oman. Ex Eastern Bridge is joint Air Force exercise.
  85. Cabinet Approvals (Jan 08, 2020) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Mongolia - Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful and Civilian Purposes
      2. France - Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement
      3. Sweden - Polar Science
      4. United Kingdom - Enabling Energy Self Sufficiency for Indian Railways
      5. Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on cooperation in field of Health.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved to confer status of Institution of National Importance to Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus (Jamnagar), namely -
        1. Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and to subsume Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga & Naturopathy Education & Research into Department of Swasthvritta of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
        2. Bill to this effect is to be introduced in ensuing Session of Parliament to declare Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar as Institution of National Importance.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved North East Gas Pipeline Grid, to be constructed for around 1656 km in eight states of the North East Region (Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura).
        1. Project is a joint venture of 5 Public sector units (ONGC, IOCL, OIL, GAIL and NRL), and is named IGGL (Indra Dhanush Gas Grid Limited).
        2. Government approved 5559 crores funding for the construction of the grid. Total expenditure is estimated at 9256 crores.
      2. Approved strategic disinvestment of 4 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) & 2 Odisha State PSUs in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL). NINL is a Joint Venture company in which 4 CPSEs & 2 State PSUs have equity shareholding.
        1. CPSEs include Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation, MECON, Bharat Heavy Electricals and National Mineral Development Corporation .
        2. 2 Odisha State PSUs include Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha and Odisha Mining Corporation.
  86. SBI announced ‘residential builder finance with buyer guarantee’ (RBBG) scheme, to push residential sales and improve homebuyers’ confidence. SBI will issue a guarantee for completion of select residential projects to customers who have availed home loans from it, with focus on affordable housing projects priced up to 2.50 crore rupees in 10 cities initially.
    1. Under RBBG, guarantee would be given by bank till project gets occupation certificate (OC).
  87. Former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic won Croatia’s presidential elections.
  88. Indian Writer Jasbinder Bilan won UK based Costa Children’s Award 2019, for her debut novel ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’. It Includes 5,000 pounds as prize money. Costa Children’s Award is awarded annually in 5 categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.
  89. Germany Based Financial Firm Deutsche Bank projected that Indian economy will reach $7 trillion by 2030, in its report “Imagine 2030”. According to report, India will grow with Nominal GDP growth rate of just over 10% in next decade, with economy presently valued at $3 trillion.
  90. India has been listed as 5th biggest Geo-political Risk of 2020, as per a Eurasia Group report. The report states ‘Top 10 Risks’ of the -
    1. RIGGED!: WHO GOVERNS THE US?
    2. THE GREAT DECOUPLING
    3. US/CHINA
    4. MNCS NOT TO THE RESCUE
    5. INDIA GETS MODI-FIED
    6. GEOPOLITICAL EUROPE
    7. POLITICS VS. ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
    8. SHIA CRESCENDO
    9. DISCONTENT IN LATIN AMERICA
    10. TURKEY
  91. UAE validated Multi-entry Tourist Visa which would be valid for 5 years, available for all nationalities visiting UAE. It aims to boost UAE’s tourism economy.
  92. 4th edition of ‘Buxa Bird Festival’ held at Buxa National Park in West Bengal’s, district Alipurduar.
  93. Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) will be set up in Gujarat, to nurture innovative abilities of children in state. It was announced during Children’s Innovation Festival (CIF) in Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
  94. 2 Indian private sector Banks Axis Bank and ICICI Bank will close their operations in Sri Lanka, after Central Bank of Sri Lanka permitted to do so.
  95. RBI enabled selected banks in India to offer round-the-clock (24×7) trading in Indian rupee to allow Indians to safeguard their foreign exchange (Forex) risks at any time (changed from current window of 9 AM - 5 PM). This will also make offshore currency markets in countries like Dubai & Singapore less attractive for Indian investors.
  96. 1st edition of Khelo India University Games will be held at KIIT University in Bhubaneswar (Odisha) between February 22nd - March 1st 2020. 
  97. 2nd phase of Mission Indradhanush 2.0 rolled out at block level in 35 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The program was launched by central government in 2017 to achieve 90% vaccination coverage in children of less than 2 years in state. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 will be conducted till March 2020.
  98. RBI revised its supervisory framework for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), aiming to expedite resolution of UCBs experiencing financial stress. UCBs may be placed under supervisory action framework under following conditions -
    1. Net Non-Performing Asset (NPA) exceeds 6% of its net advances.
    2. Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio (CRAR) falls below 9%.
    3. Incurs losses for two consecutive financial years.
  99. RBI approved Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank's transition into a Small Finance Bank (SFB), under “Scheme on voluntary transition of Urban Co-operative Bank into a Small Finance Bank” issued in September 2018.
    1. On being satisfied that applicant has complied with requisite conditions (within 18 months), RBI would consider granting it a licence for commencement of banking business under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as a SFB.
  100. Uber Technologies and automaker Hyundai Motor teamed up to develop electric air taxis, aiming to launch Uber Air by 2023 and urban air mobility service in 2028. Hyundai is first carmaker to join Uber’s air taxi project.
  101. Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change notified new Wetland Conservation Rules, that prohibit expansion or setting up of colonies or industries and disposal of demolition waste within wetland areas.
    1. Also, Each state and UT has to establish an authority to define strategies for wetland conservation and to the wise use of these wetlands within their jurisdiction.
    2. Wetland authority will publish list of all wetlands in States / UTs within 3 months.
  102. Iran’s parliament passed a bill designating all US forces as terrorists, after US forces killed top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Iraq. Qasem Soleimani was head of Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. The incident has escalated tensions between US and Iran. 
  103. Forbes' India 20 in 2020s List Includes names 2o people to watch for in 2020s. Some Prominent names in list -
    1. Prashant Kishor (JD(U) Politician)
    2. Kanhaiya Kumar (Former JNU Students’ Union president)
    3. Dushyant Chautala (deputy CM of Haryana)
    4. Mahua Moitra (Lok Sabha member of TMC)
    5. Adi Godrej
    6. Garima Arora (chef and first Indian woman to receive a Michelin star)
    7. US-born Hasan Minhaj (comedian, political commentator)
    8. Aditya Mittal (Group CFO and CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe)
  104. To provide communication support for Astronauts under Gaganyaan mission, ISRO will launch a new satellite constellation named ‘Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS)’, similar to American Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, European Data Relay and Luch Satellite Data Relay Network of Russia.
    1. ISRO will send 2 IDRSS satellites in Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit(GEO), first in 2020 and 2nd in 2021. It will track Indian satellittes in low earth orbits.
    2. India’s first manned space mission, Ganganyaan in 2022 will be the first beneficiary of the IDRSS satellites.
  105. Jan 9 is observed as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, established in 2003. It marks contribution of overseas Indian community in development of India. It also commemorates return of M K Gandhi from South Africa to India on 9 January 1915.
  106. Financial Firm Paytm launched all-in-one QR (Quick Response) for merchants across India, to enable traders to get unlimited payments across country at zero percent fees through Paytm wallet, Rupay Cards & all UPI (Unified Payments Interface ) based apps directly.
    1. Paytm also unveiled a new service ‘Paytm Business Khata’, which promotes Paytm merchant partners to maintain digital ledgers of all their customer transactions including cash and credit.
  107. Andhra Pradesh government signed loan for INR 711 crores with Kfw (Germany Development bank) for expanding climate-resilient Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in state. ZBNF already covers about 1.28 lakh hectares in 3011 villages of Andhra Pradesh, and assistance from KFw will help cover 2 lakh hectares in addition. Helpline number “1800 599 3366” was also launched for enquiries related to insurance scheme.
  108. Henley passport Index 2020 -
    1. Indian passport ranked at 84th spot in world’s most powerful passports list, a drop by 2 places as it ranked 82nd in 2019.
    2. Top 4 - Japan (1), Singapore (2), Germany and South Korea (3), Finland & Italy (4).
  109. As a First, HDFC Bank launched myApps, a suite of white-label apps that will enable urban local bodies including Smart cities and municipalities, housing societies, clubs or gymkhanas and religious institutions to completely digitise their ecosystem. Bank will offer a customised app as a value-added service in addition to its complete suite of banking products.
  110. China launched a new communication technology experiment satellite Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing -5 (TJSW-5) by its Long March-3B carrier rocket. Satellite will be used in communication, radio, television and data transmission, as well as high throughput technology test.
  111. India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant will be commissioned in early 2021. Vikrant is currently under phase three of construction, by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
  112. Pedro Sánchez has been re-elected as prime minister of Spain.
  113. Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by  Home Minister Amit Shah has approved Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Share Purchase Agreement for privatization of Air India. GoM also approved a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) & also a debt restructuring plan for Air India.
  114. Harshvardhan Sadgir defeated Shailesh Shelke to win 63rd Maharashtra Kesari Wrestling Championship.
  115. Harvard University Researchers discovered a titanic wave of star-forming gases in Our galaxy Milky Way. scientists reported that this massive structure has been hiding out in Milky Way galaxy’s spiral arm closest to Earth.
    1. It’s an 50 quadrillion miles long and it’s home to tens of thousands of baby stars, with potential for countless more stellar births.
    2. The sun is just 500 light years away from the wave at its closest point.
    3. The structure dubbed Radcliffe Wave contains stellar nurseries once thought to belong in a ring-shaped band around the sun. The wave contains gases equivalent to 3 million times the mass of the sun.
  116. As per a survey published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) -
    1. 3 of world’s 10 fastest-growing urban areas are in Kerala, While Malappuram tops the list, Kozhikode ranks fourth and Kollam 10th.
    2. Malappuram recorded 44.1% rise in population between 2015-2020, while Can Tho (Vietnam) saw its population increase by 36.7%. Suqian (China), ranks 3rd with 36.6 % growth in population.
    3. Kerala’s cultural capital Thrissur features at number 13.
  117. NASA 's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) discovered an Earth-sized world within the habitable range of its star, which could allow presence of liquid water. Planet is named "TOI 700 d", which is 100 light-years away from earth.
    1. Star TOI 700 is small, about 40 per cent of our Sun's size and only about half as hot. TESS discovered three planets in orbit, named TOI 700 b, c and d. Only "d" is in the so-called habitable zone, not too far from and not too close to the star, called Goldilocks zone. It is about 20 % larger than Earth and orbits its star in 37 days.
    2. TESS also discovered an exoplanet orbiting 2 stars instead of one, identified by a high school intern Wolf Cukier. Planet's size alone is 6.9 times larger than Earth, making it unlikely to be livable. Named TOI 1338 b, it is the only planet in TOI 1338 system, which is 1300 light-years away in constellation Pictor.
  118. 3rd international symposium of Marine Ecosystems-Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS) held in Kochi (Kerala), conducted by Marine Biological association of India. It act as a platform for experts to discuss on climate crisis, unusual warming of Arabian Sea, ocean acidification, etc.
  119. As per Ministry of New and Renewable Energy year end review, over 150 GW of renewable energy has been installed so far in India.
    1. Under KUSUM initiative, around 17 lakh solar powered agricultural pumps were installed.
    2. Under Phase II of Grid Connected Roof top Solar Programme, 40000 MW of Roof Top solar power target was set.
    3. Under Wind-Solar hybrid policy, 1440 MW of capacity was installed.
    4. In 2015, Govt had set a target to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. It includes 60 GW from wind, 100 GW from solar, 5 GW from small hydro power and 10 GW from solar. To achieve this, Govt had set up Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPP) under Solar Park Scheme.
  120. Supreme Court stated that Right of access to internet is a fundamental right, asking administration of Jammu and Kashmir to review curbs on internet.
    1. In 2016, UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) released a resolution that condemned disruption of internet access by government.
  121. International Energy Agency (IEA) launched India’s Energy Policy Report (1st edition), in collaboration with NITI Aayog.
    1. Oil demand of India will overtake China by mid-2020, making India more vulnerable to supply disruption in middle east.
    2. Oil demand will reach 6 million barrels per day by 2024. India is third largest consumer of oil after China and US. India imports 80% of its oil needs. Of this, 65% are from middle east through Strait of Hormuz.
    3. India is 4th largest oil refiner, and plans to increase refining capacity to 8 million barrels per day by 2025.
    4. India's strategic petroleum reserves maintain emergency fuel store of 5.33 metric tonnoes, which can fulfil demand of country for 10 days. 3 such oil storage reserves are located at Padur, Mangalore and Vizag. 2 more are to be built at Chandikhole and Bikaner.
  122. Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Amma Vodi Scheme in Chittoor, as one of 9 flagship programmes of Andhra Government, called Navratanalu.
    1. The scheme is first of its kind in country, aiming at benefitting school students studying in classes I to XII (both public and private).
    2. Under this, students belonging to Below Poverty Line will get Rs 15,000 per annum, on ensuring 75% attendance of child.
    3. State Government has allocated Rs 6318 crores under the scheme.
  123. Jan 10 is observed as World Hindi day, being celebrated world wide since 2006. The language is spoken by ovrer 43 core people globally.
    1. Note that National Hindi Day is different from World Hindi Day. It is celebrated on September 14 every year.
    2. September 14 was selected as National Hindi Day as it was the birth date of Beohar Rajendra Simha, an Indian schola.
  124. Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation (GAIC) will import water-soluble fertilizers from China, named AGRO. These fertilizers are best suited for precision agriculture. Gujarat has maximum land under drip irrigation among all states.
  125. Ministry of Steel launched Purvodaya, as a world class steel hub, aiming to accelerate development programme of eastern states. Ministry will implement the same along with CII (Confederation of India Industries).
    1. The steel hub will create 2.5 million jobs in the region, helping achieve India’s steel policy target of 300 MT by 2030.
    2. 5 Eastern states (West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Northern Andhra Pradesh) are rich in coking coal, bauxite and dolomite reserves. The region also has major ports such as Haldia, Paradip, Kolkata and Vizag. Setting up a steel hub hre will help India achieve its 5 trillion-dollar economy target fast.
  126. India will erect non-cut steel fence in sensitive areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh borders, after security agencies detected Afghan fighters along India-Pakistan border.
    1. First steel fence is to be erected across 7-km stretch in Assam’s Silchar, the border across Bangladesh. After erection, the border is to be analysed by Border Security Force. Apart from steel fences, there are plans to implement LASER fences across the two borders.
  127. Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) in New Delhi, and a National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.
    1. I4C centre was approved in October 2018 at a cost of 416 crores. It has 7 major components.
    2. National Cyber Crime reporting portal will enable the citizens to report cyber crimes online.
  128. Home Minister Amit Shah launched country’s first Cyber Crime Prevention Unit called the “Cyber AASHVAST” in Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
    1. Video Integration and State Wide Advance Security project called VISWAS was also launched.
    2. AASHVAST unit will prevent cyber crimes with help of VISWAS and NETRANG.
  129. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas successfully landed on INS Vikramaditya, becoming the first indogenously made aircraft to make an arrested landing on a naval ship. Other countries with this capability are US, China, UK, Russia and France.
  130. Government promulgated an ordinance to amend coal mining laws, to ease auction of coal mines.
    1. Ordinance amends MMDR act (Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation act) 1957 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) act 2015.
    2. It will enhance ease of doing business by democratizing coal sector, opening coal sector for anyone to invest. It will promote FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
    3. The amendment will remove eligibility criteria and restrictions in order to achieve this. This also allows 100% FDI participation.
    4. CMSP act had clauses that allowed only companies that are engaged in specific end use of coal to participate in auction. These clauses are now removed.
  131. India deployed INS Vikramaditya in North Arabian Sea where China and Pakistan are holding a naval drill in North Arabian Sea called Sea Guardians.
    1. Earlier In September 2019, Indian Navy drove out a Chinese PLA in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone and warned that such activities will be dealt sternly.
  132. Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq al Said has been named as New Ruler of Oman, after earlier ruler Qaboos bin Said Al Said passed away.
  133. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) launched State Energy Efficiency Index 2019, in association with Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy, tracking progress of Energy Efficiency initiatives in 36 states / UTs.
    1. Karnataka, HP, Haryana and Puducherry are best performers.
    2. Manipur, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir are at bottom.
    3. This year, BEE has included Energy Conservation Building Code as one of its indicators, developed by BEE under guidance of United States Agency for International Development.
    4. First such Index in country was released in August 2018.
  134. Visits to India (Jan 1- 10, 2020) -
    1. Tharman Shanmugaratnam - Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies (Singapore)
  135. Indian Railways enhanced security in major railway hubs by installing IP based video surveillance system, which is to be installed in 983 stations at a budget of Rs 250 crores. The budget is being allocated from Nirbhaya funds.
    1. Nirbhaya fund was announced in Budget 2013, with corpus of 1000 crores. Earlier -
      1. Govt sanctioned 1000 crores from fund to implement women help desks in police stations. Also, anti-trafficking units are to be set up in all districts with the funds.
      2. A “Safe City Programme” was implemented at a cost of Rs 194.44 crores.
      3. Govt anounced 1023 Fast track Courts to be made, for speedy disposal of cases under POCSO act and rapes.
  136. General Conferences / Events (Jan 1 - 10, 2020) -
    1. CISF announced observing 2020 as “Year of Mobility” for the welfare of its troops.
    2. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting conferred Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman to 30 media houses, being presented for the first time. International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year on 21 June.
    3. Navigation facilities for visually impaired inaugurated at Chandigarh railway station in Mohali (Punjab), as fifth in country. Mysuru Railway Station in Karnataka was India’s first visually impaired-friendly railway station inaugurated in Nov 2015.
    4. 5th Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference held at Pune (Maharashtra).
    5. Home Minister Amit Shah laid foundation stone of 200 KM Long Delhi CycleWalk, aiming to reduce air pollution of New Delhi by least 20% by increasing number of cyckle commuters from 11 lakh to 50 Lakh.
    6. Delhi Government renamed Pragati Maidan metro station as Supreme Court metro station, as per demand made by Supreme court in September 2019.
    7. Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) developed a viable scientific method to cultivate Indian Pompano fish in ponds, as a good alternative to shrimp. Pompanos are marine fishes. This is first scientific experiment on cultivation of Pompano fish in India.
    8. Indian Army began work on GOCO (Government Owned Contractor Operated) Model, extended to base workshops and ordnance depots. Though, GOCO model in army workshops helps reducing government expenditure on armed forces and increase combat capability of army, there are certain issues associated with it, which includes Assets owned by government being operated by private industries.
    9. Ministry of Agriculture stated that sowing area of rabi crops has increased by 36 lakh hectares, due to improvement in soil moisture in Rabi growing states. Total area under Rabi crops is now 571 hectares.
    10. 5th Pulses Conclave 2020 held in Lonavala (Maharashtra), held biennially.
    11. Andhra Pradesh Government will deliver sand at customers’ door steps, under a new initiative. Demand for sand in the state is 80,000 tonnes a day. It will help address issues of sand scarcity and sand mafia.
    12. Jammu and Kashmir registered highest Inpatient Department (IPD) care in country, as per National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC). As per report, 96 percent IPD care in rural areas of J&K is provided by Public Health Facilities which is highest against country’s average of 85 %.
    13. Himachal Pradesh Government introduced a portal “Himachal MyGov” and become 11th state in India to have this facility. State also launched “CM App”, as a platform through which people of can write directly to Chief Minister regarding their complaints.
    14. India participated in Tehran Dialogue Forum, 23rd Persian Gulf International Conference held in Tehran (Iran). During the forum, India supported the Hormuz Peace initiative 2020, which seek stability in one of world’s busiest shipping lanes i.e, Strait of Hormuz.
    15. 31st International Kite Festival held at Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
    16. Indian Navy's 1st Maha-Navy Connect 2020 Tri-Dimensional Expedition held in Mumbai (Maharashtra), to promote the maritime heritage of India and spread awareness about Coastal Security amongst coastal communities in Maharashtra.
    17. Indian High Commission organized “Art Exhibition” in Dhaka (Bangladesh), to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of M K Gandhi.
    18. 2nd National GST Conference and Central and State Commissioners held in New Delhi, to streamline Goods and Services Tax.
    19. Delhi's first smog tower has been installed in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market, inaugurated by cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir. The 20-ft tall air purifier will purify air within vicinity of almost 500 - 750 meters, expected to purify around 250000 to 600000 cubic meter air per day.
  137. Fintech Firm PayU acquired majority equity stake in digital credit platform PaySense, for an equity value of $185 million.
  138. Insurance regulator IRDAI imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on Cholamandalam MS General Insurance, for violating health insurance regulations related to payment of commission.
  139. Flipkart former CEO Sachin Bansal acquired DHFL General Insurance, for Rs 100 crores, from Wadhawan Group Capital (WGC). WGC is parent of crisis-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), which has been recently admitted for bankruptcy.
  140. Tsai Ing-wen won Taiwan presidential elections, winning her second term as Taiwan president.
  141. To promote Ease of Doing Business, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) launched paperless licensing process through Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for road tankers for transportation of petroleum, under Petroleum Rules 2002. 
    1. It will provide simpler mechanism, ease of living and business to the petroleum road tanker owners It will include filing applications online, online payment of fees. Applicants will be intimated via SMS and email.
  142. RBI revised Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for banks and other lending institutions, allowing banks / lending institutions to use “Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP). V-CIP is a consent based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity and for customer onboarding from remote areas while leveraging the digital technology.
  143. Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved 234 crores for construction of a zoological garden named after Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan in Gorakhpur. Freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan was sentenced to death along with Ram Prasad Bismil for the Kakori train robbery, commonly known as Kakori conspiracy of 1925.
  144. Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced that 4 airports in India have received international recognition for reducing carbon emission. These are Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata, Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport Varanasi AND Trivandrum International Airport.
    1. The airports had adopted grading system in 2018 and successfully implemented the carbon emission plan.
  145. UK Parliament approved Brexit deal, paving way for Britain’s smooth exit from 28-member European Union on January 31, 2020. The deal was stuck in British Parliament for over a year.
    1. Brexit bill was approved by British MPs after PM Boris Johnson's Conservatives won majority in elections. Bill was rejected multiple times previously despite several efforts from Johnson and former British PM Theresa May.
  146. Supreme Court ordered a stay on NCLAT's order reinstating Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman of Tata Sons, while hearing a petition by Tata Sons challenging National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's (NCLAT) decision of reinstating Cyrus Mistry as group's chairman. 
    1. NCLAT had reinstated Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman of Tata Sons on December 18, 2019. It came 3 years after Mistry was ousted as Tata Son’s Chairman.
    2. Cyrus Mistry was restored as executive chairman of Tata Sons by NCLAT, pointing out that actions of former Tata Chairman Ratan Tata against Cyrus Mistry were oppressive.
  147. Iran accepted that it had ‘accidentally’ and ‘unintentionally’ shot down a Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 aircraft, killing all onboard. Iran called it a ‘human-error’ because of aircraft’s unexpected and sharp turn towards a sensitive area and a military base.
  148. Citizenship Amendment Act came into effect as central government issued a notification for revised citizenship act on January 10, 2020.
    1. Under to this, minorities of Hindu, Jain, Parsi, Sikh, Christian, and Buddhist communities who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, will not be considered as illegal migrants. Instead, they will be given Indian citizenship.
    2. The new citizenship act was passed in Parliament in Winter session in December 2019.
    3. CAA will not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, as these areas are included in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
    4. This law will also not be applicable in the areas of Inner Line Permit (ILP) notified under Bengal Eastern Border Regulation, 1873.
      ILP is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
  149. 27th edition of South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo (SATTE) 2020 held in New Delhi.
  150. 28th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair 2020 held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
    1. Fair is organized jointly by National Book Trust and India Trade Promotion Organization.
    2. 2020 theme is Gandhi, the Writers’ Writer.
  151. January 12 is observed as National youth Day in india, to commemorate birth anniversary of Legendary Philiosopher Swami Vivekananda.
    1. Govt will also organize National Youth Festival between January 12 - 16, 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, being organized since 1995.
    2. National Youth day is being celebrated since 1985.
    3. Indian Embassy in Kathmandu(Nepal) launched 4 books including Nepali translation of Swami Vivekananda’s ‘Karma Yoga‘ (Publisher -Advaita Ashrama).
  152. Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Irani launched Yashaswini Scheme for Women entrepreneurship in Goa. Under this, women self-help groups will be  given interest free loans of upto Rs Five lakh for business.
    1. Other 2 welfare schemes are Swasthya Sahayak Project and breast cancer screening initiative.
  153. RBI curbed Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank, a private bank in Bengaluru (Karnataka) from doing business, after finding alleged irregularities in transactions. Bank’ customers can withdraw cash up to 35000 only, till further notice.
  154. Stock market regulator SEBI extended deadline for separation of posts of Chairman and MD (Managing Director) or chief executive officer (CEO) for 500 listed companies by 2 years. Now this rule has to be followed by April 1, 2022. It’s aim is to separate board and management of top companies.
    1. Rules to separate post of Chairman-MD are part of recommendations of Uday Kotak (MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank) Committee appointed by SEBI on Corporate Governance.
  155. Robert Abela has been appointed new prime minister of Malta (Southern European island country).
  156. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Annual Awards  presented in 25 different categories for 2018-19  -
    1. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah  received highest prize of Indian cricket – Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer (2018-19) in men’s category. It carries cheque for 15 lakh. Poonam Yadav clinched the top prize in women’s category and was awarded the best international cricketer.
    2. Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra were awarded Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively.
    3. Other Notable Winners -
      Award Winner
      Dilip Sardesai Award for highest run getter in Test cricket (2018-2019) Cheteshwar Pujara
      Dilip Sardesai Award for highest wicket-taker in Tests (2018-19) Jasprit Bumrah
      Best International Debut – Men Mayank Agarwal
      Best International Debut- Women  Shafali Verma
      Best Performance In Bcci Domestic Tournaments Of 2018-19 Vidarbha C A
  157. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal of Spain to make Serbia champion of 1st edition of ATP Cup 2020 held at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney (Australia).
  158. 2 Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) namely Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur have been commissioned into service, as second and third in series of five Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs).
  159. Book comprising selected writings by former finance minister Arun Jaitley, namely “New India:Selected Writings 2014-19” has been released.
  160. Book titled PAX SINICA:Implications for the Indian Dawn, authored by Samir Saran and Akhil Deo has bee releaed. It presents a comprehensive view of how China will implicate the world order in 21st century.
  161. Govt raised Indian Overseas Bank's authorised capital from 15000 crores to 25000 crores.
  162. Female Hockey Player Rani Rampal has been nominated for “World Games Athlete of the Year”award 2019, by International Hockey Federation (FIH). 2019 will be the 6th edition of the IWGA.
  163. India's Bipul Bihari Saha has been elected as a bureau member of the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) for 2020-23. Saha is second Indian after Bharat Ratna Professor CNR Rao, to be elected (1979) for this position in largest global organization of Chemistry professionals.
  164. Yuvraj Malik has been appointed as Director of National Book Trust (NBT).
  165. Government has set a new deadline for completion of world’s highest railway bridge - Chenab bridge. It is now to be completed by December 2021. Konkan railway is the implementing agency of this project.
    1. Chenab bridge will be 35m taller than Eiffel Tower in Paris (France), and will surpass Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China, being 359 meters above chenab river bed.
    2. It is designed to withstand the wind’s speeds of up to 260km per hour. It will be 1.315-km-long and will connect Bakkal (katra) and Kauri (Srinagar) in Kashmir.
    3. Bridge forms a crucial link in 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal, as part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
  166. Harvest festival of Lohri celebrated on January 13 in North India. Lohri marks Sun beginning its journey to Northern Hemisphere and days start to get longer.
  167. Dispute settlement body of World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) has set up a panel to examine complaints of United States(US) against India for hiking customs duties of 28 American goods in July 2019.
    1. US alleged India's move of increasing custom duties for being inconsistent with 2 global trade norms of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) 1994 agreement.
  168. To promote digital payments, RBI permitted processing of e-mandate for recurring payments through UPI (Unified Payments Interface).
    1. This will allow UPI users to bypass additional factor authentication (AFA), a security measure put in place for card payments that requires OTP – one-time password verification) during registration and 1st transaction.
    2. This was earlier available for card / wallet payments. The limit on such recurring transactions has been set at Rs 2000.
  169. Tech Firm Merck announced winners of first Merck Young Scientist Award, recognizing contributions of young Indian scientists in innovative research. Winners -
    1. Debojyoti Chakraborty (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology Delhi)
    2. Dipyaman Ganguly (CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology Kolkata)
    3. Siddhesh S Kamat (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune
    4. Mahendran K .R (Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology Thiruvananthapuram)
    5. Sakya S. Sen (CSIR - National Chemical Laboratory Pune)
    6. Basker Sundararaju (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)
    7. About -
      1. Winners receive INR 200000 & Travel Award of INR 150000 each and runners receive INR 100000.
      2. Merck Young Scientist Award is presented to a Researcher or Scientist with less than 10 years of research experience (post PhD).
  170. Fouaad Mirza became 1st Indian equestrian (Horse rider) since 2000, to qualify for Olympics. He will be particpating in 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (Japan).
    1. Earlier, Imtiaz Anees participated in Sydney Olympics in 2000.
    2. Fouaad Mirza was conferred with Arjuna Award in 2019.
  171. Tamil Nadu Assembly renamed a fisheries university and a music university after Former CM J Jayalalithaa.
  172. Arunachal Pradesh Assembly adopted a new logo, which reflects distinct identity and culture of state. Logo consists of National Emblem to signify federal system of India and flower foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) which represents the state. Pictorial Representation -
  173. Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), which considers diversion of forest land for non-forest uses, has approved Green Credit Scheme that would allow forests to be traded as a commodity.
    1. It allows agencies like private companies, village forest communities etc to identify lands for forest cultivation and ensures plantations are grown.
    2. After 3 years, these identified lands would be considered as compensatory forest land after meeting forest department’s criteria. Currently, industry should find appropriate non forest land equal to that which would be razed for industrial purposes.
    3. Previously in 2015, a ‘Green Credit Scheme’ for degraded forest land with public-private participation was recommended. But it wasn’t approved by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC).
  174. RBI released a report National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI): 2019-2024, formulated by RBI under aegis of Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee (FIAC). As per report, 6 pillars as part of strategic objectives to achieve financial inclusion -
    1. Universal Access to Financial Services
    2. Providing basic bouquet of financial services
    3. Access to livelihood and Skill Development
    4. Financial Literacy and Education
    5. Customer Protection and Grievance Redressal
    6. Effective Co-ordination
  175. PM Modi dedicated 4 renovated Ancient Buldings in Kolkata - Old Currency Building, Metcalfe House, Belvedere House and Victoria Memorial Hall.
    1. About Buildings -
      1. Currency Building was built in 1833. RBI operated it till 1937 after which it was abandoned.
      2. Metacalfe Hall was named after Lord Metacalfe, Governor General of India between March 1835 and March 1836. It is famous for its 30 Corinthian pillars.
      3. Belvedere House was Mir Jafar’s palace.
    2. PM Modi Also attended 150th year celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust, launching a commemorative stamps of the port trust on this occasion. The port was also renamed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port on this occasion.
  176. IT Firm NIIT is selected as one of EdTech companies for NEAT initiative. NIIT will work with AICTE to implement vision of Ministry of HRD on NEAT. MHRD will institute 5 awards of Rs 50000 for faculties and 10 awards of Rs 10000 for students.
    1. NEAT (National Educational Alliance for Technology) was launched to customize learning process using Artificial Intelligence.
  177. Ministry of Defence announced new fuel upgradation for Indian Navy with revised technical specifications, launching High Flash High Speed Diesel (HFHSD) - IN 512, developed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Aim of new fuel introduction is to reduce carbon footprint.
    1. This will help in reducing carbon footprint, equipment reliability, increased performance and will help Navy achieve its Mission based deployment.
  178. South-Central Railways and SBI signed MoU to implement door step banking in 585 railway stations. It will enable direct pick up of cash from all stations included in MoU.
  179. Govt announced that jewellers shall be allowed to sell hallmarked gold artifacts that are made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold alone. Also, it is mandatory for all jewellers to get compulsory hallmark, which is currently voluntary. Mandatory ruling is to be implemented from January 15, 2021. Violations of hall marking will result in one-year imprisonment and fine.
  180. World Health Organization releasesd list of Global Health Challenges of forthcoming year, including 13 potential threats.
    1. Foremost threat is Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and climate crisis. These 2 threats were on the top in 2019 as well.
    2. New entrant to nter top 13 potential threats is Lack of Access. The report says that around a third of world population lack access to vaccines, diagnostic tools, medicines and other essential health products.
  181. Indian Railways signed MoU with Railways PSU RailTel, to implement Phase II of e-office programme. Railways will also provide content on demand services in premium, suburban, express and mail trains. E-Office system is an integrated file management system that will help employees manage data, content electronically.
  182. India's Statue of Unity has been included in 8 wonders of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization).
    1. It is World’s tallest statue, dedicated to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel was built at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat. Its height is 182 meters (597 ft), built at cost of Rs 3000 crores. It was opened on 31 October 2018 (Birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel).
    2. Eight Wonders of SCO include -
      1. Statue of Unity in India
      2. Daming Palace in China
      3. Navruz Palace in Tajikistan
      4. Mughals Heritage in Pakistan
      5. Tamgaly Gorge in Kazakhstan
      6. Po-i-Kalan Complex in Uzbekistan
      7. The Golden Ring of Russia
      8. Lahore, the Mughals heritage in Pakistan
    3. Also, India will hold SCO Meet For the first time, later in 20220. Heads of 8 SCO countries (India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) will attend the meeting. India will also invite Pakistan PM Imran Khan for the meet.
  183. China operationalised telescope with a diameter of 500 Meters, called Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). It is a single-dish telescope, located in southwest China’s Guiyang city. It has receiving area of around 30 football fields. It is expected to pave way for major discoveries in due course.
    1. Dubbed as “China Sky Eye”, FAST is world's largest telescope and capable of receiving maximum of 38 gigabytes of information per second.
    2. It is world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope, and second-largest single-dish aperture after sparsely-filled RATAN-600 (Russia).
  184. US Based Payments Tech Firm Visa accquired software startup Plaid in a $5.3 billion deal, aimed at boosting Visa's access to financial technology space.
  185. IndianOil and Oil India Ltd (OIL) signed agreement to collaborate on a CO2-assisted Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project in Assam. Plan is to transfer CO2 captured from flue-gas stacks of Hydrogen Generation Unit & Gas Turbine power plant at Digboi Refinery to OIL’s Nahorkatiya & Dikom oil fields in Assam.
  186. Parshuram Kund Mela held in Arunachal Pradesh, on eve of Makar Sankranti. Devotees visit the sacred place to take a holy dip in the Kund on the occasion of Makar Sankranti every year.
  187. Anand Prakash Maheshwari has been appointed as new director general of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). CRPF is world's largest paramilitary force.
  188. Dubai-based Indian girl Sucheta Satish, has won in 'Global Child Prodigy Awards 2020', in singing category. She is known to be able to sing in 120 languages. Global Child Prodigy Award is a platform to celebrate children's talent and power in different categories.
    1. 10 year old Ishwar Sharma from UK has also been honoured with Global Child Prodigy Award 2020,  for his achievements in spiritual discipline yoga. Sharma is originally from Mysore has participated in over 100 yoga events worldwide.
  189. Income-Tax Department launched a 24x7 control room to monitor black money and illegal inducements in poll-bound Delhi. The facility will also host a toll-free number- 1800117574 - where people can inform the department about any suspicious activity.
  190. IT Firm Infosys signed 5 years deal with France based Logistics Firm GEFCO to digitally transform its worldwide operations. It will help GEFCO to transfrom GEFCO’s next-generation business application management services.
  191. US rolled back designation of China as a currency manipulator. Instead, it placed China along with nine other trading partners like Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Vietnam on a monitoring list.
    1. In Aug 2019, US had designated China a “currency manipulator”, after China’s central bank allowed Yuan (Chinese Currency) to fall against USD.
    2. US accused China of manipulating its currency to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade and that China still targets on continuing to receive hundreds of billions of dollars which it have been taking from US with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.
  192. 2020 Malaysia Masters Badminton -
    1. Men's Singles - Kento Momota (Japan)
    2. Women's Singles - Chen Yufei (China)
    3. Men's Doubles - South Korea's Kim Gi-jung AND Lee Yong-dae
    4. Women's Doubles - China's Li Wenmei AND Zheng Yu
    5. Mixed Doubles - China's Zheng Siwei AND Huang Yaqiong
  193. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked people possessing drones to register their gadgets by January 31, 2020.
    1. Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued this notice soon after a missile attack place through a drone on Iran.
    2. A Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) will be issued when registration will be completed.
  194. Jan 14 is observed as Armed Forces Veterans Day, celebrated since 2017. It was initially called Armistice Day.
  195. Kerala government invoked Article 131 to file a petition against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Supreme Court, becing first state to move to Supreme court for challenging CAA.
    1. Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides Indian citizenship to religious minorities belonging to six non-Muslim religions, who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
    2. Kerala become first state to challenge CAA, stating that it violates Article 14, 21 and 25 of constitution, which guarantees basic principles such as equality before law, protection of life and personal liberty and freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.
    3. Article 131 vests SC with original jurisdiction over any dispute arising between states or between centre and state. It gives Supreme Court the power to take up such cases straight instead of going through a lower court or reviewing a lower court’s judgement.
    4. Earlier, Article 131 was invoked by state of Madhya Pradesh in 2011 challenging certain aspects of its reorganization following bifurcation and formation of Chhattisgarh.
  196. Govt accepted recommendations of a special investigation team (SIT), headed by retired Delhi HC judge Justice S N Dhingra which has probed 186 cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and Govt will take appropriate action as per the laws.
  197. Government appointed Michael Debabrata Patra as Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
    1. He is 4th RBI deputy governor, other 3 being NS Vishwanathan, BP Kanungo and MK Jain.
    2. Shaktikanta Das is Governor of RBI.
  198. ICC Awards 2019 Winners -
    1. Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy - Ben Stokes (Eng)
    2. ODI Cricketer of the Year – Rohit Sharma
    3. Test Cricketer of the Year- Pat Cummins (Aus)
    4. Spirit of Cricket Award- Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli also named captain of both ICC Test and ODI teams of 2019.
    5. Associate Cricketer of the Year- Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)
    6. ICC Men's Emerging Cricketer- Marnus Labuschagne (Aus)
    7. T20I Performance of the Year- Deepak Chahar
  199. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released National Draft Policy on rare diseases, which proposes one-time fund of Rs 15 lakhs to treat rare diseases under Ayushman Bharat.
    1. For certain rare diseases with high annual treatment expenses, a digital platform will to be set up to raise donations / corporate funding.
    2. An inter-ministerial consultative committee will to be set up at national level.
    3. There are 7,000 to 8,000 rare diseases. However, therapies are available only to less than 5% diseases. So far, 450 rare diseases have been recorded in India.
  200. Jan 15 is observed as Indian Army Day.
    1. On January 15 in 1949, first General of Indian Army General K M Cariappa took charge from last British General Bucher.
    2. General Cariappa retired on January 14, 1953. His retirement day is being celebrated as Armed Forces Veterans Day every year since 2017.
    3. Also, Tania Sher Gill became first woman Army Officer to lead the parade.
  201. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been honored by 31st Palm Springs International Film Festival as recipient of Sonny Bono Visionary Award for film ‘The Irishman’, in California (US).
  202. Switzerland based International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) Football Observatory released list of the most valuable football players -
    1. France's Kylian Mbappe topped list with €265 million, followed by Raheem Sterling (England) with €223.7 million and Mohammed Salah (Egypt) with €175.1 million.
    2. Lionel Messi raked 8th with €125.5 million.
  203. As per National Statistical Office under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Retail inflation rose to a 5-year high of 7.35% in December 2019. Earlier, in July 2014, it was 7.39 %.
    1. Retail inflation has crossed the upper limit set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is 2-6%.
    2. Retail inflation is increase in the price of goods sold at retail market, measured by consumer price index (CPI).
  204. Govt launched Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD) developed by Indian Institute of Technology Madras, that will help in proper monitoring and accurate analysis of road accidents. Initially, it is being implemented in 6 states - Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (TN) and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  205. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's lap around Wankhede Stadium after World Cup 2011 win has been nominated in Laureas's list for most inspiring sporting event in last twenty years.
    1. Apart from Tendulkar, England's Andrew Flintoff is other cricketer to feature in list. In 2005, England defeated Australia in an Ashes Test, but Flintoff chose to first shake hands with Brett Lee rather than celebrate with his side.
    2. Campaign has shortlisted 20 sporting stories from last 20 years that have left their mark on world. Winner will be decided on public vote.
  206. Indian-American Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari is among 11 new NASA graduates to have completed over two years' of basic astronaut training and are set to be a part of NASA's future missions.
  207. Govt formed a 11-member panel including mines secretaries from various states, to examine issues pertaining to the revision of rates of royalty for minerals. It will be headed by Mines Additional Secretary (K. Rajeswara Rao currently).
  208. Non-Profit Organization Pratham released its annual report Annual Status of Education Report 2019, based on survey covering 36,000 children in age group of 4 to 8 years.
    1. Around 56.8% of girls and 50.4% of boys are enrolled in government schools. Also, 4 out of every 10 children entering Class I are less than 5 years old, which should be 6 years.
    2. Report suggests that network of Anganwadi Centres should be strengthened.
  209. Petroleum Conservation Research Association (Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas) launched fuel conservation campaign Saksham, aimed at creating awareness among public about fuel conservation. In collaboration with NCERT, PCRA has prepared a comic book on the theme, “Fuel Conservation”.
  210. Raisina Dialogue Held in New Delhi, with ministerial deligations from 13 nations participating.
    1. Since its inception in 2016, Raisina Dialogue has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, hosted by Observer Research Foundation.
    2. During the meet, Russia questioned idea of “Indo-Pacific”, saying that it is divisive and isolates China.
    3. India-Finland signed a Defence MoU.
  211. World Future Energy Summit Held at Abu Dhabi (UAE), with theme Rethinking Global Consumption, Production and Investment. 5 main pillars os summit are energy, water, solar, waste and smart cities. It is being conducted at Abu Dhabi since 2011.
  212. 19th edition of India - Japan Annual Joint Coast guard Exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’ began in Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  213. Ministry of Earth Science launched Seismic Hazard Microzonation project in major cities of India, aiming at reducing hazards of seismic activities by putting in adequate measures. It is process of dividing earth quake prone areas based on certain factors. Based on division, mitigation measures are prepared.
    1. So far, mapping has been done in State of Sikkim and in 8 cities - Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Dehra Dun, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham.
  214. India renamed its National TB Control Programme to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme. Also, WHO (World Health Organization) recently endorsed on technology developed by Indian scientists to detect disease, called TrueNat MTB. India plans to eliminate TB by 2025, which is 5 years ahead of goal of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals target.
  215. Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda launched APNA UREA - Sona Ugle brand of Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited (HURL).
    1. HURL is Joint Venture Company promoted by Coal India, NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation. 
    2. Earlier in 2016,  Government had approved revival of 3 sick Urea plants located at Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni, which have been undertaken by HURL.  Other 2 plants at Ramagundam and Talcher will also commence production soon. After commissioning of these 5 units, production of Urea will increase by over 63 Lakh Metric Tonne per annum.
  216. Russia announced that production of S-400 air defence missile system for India has begun, which are to be delivered by 2025. Also, foreign Ministerial meet of Russia, India and China will be held in March 2020. S500 is a surface to missile defence system with a range of 600 km.
  217. Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurted Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru (Karnataka), set up by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
    1. It will facilitate Government Departments in building proof of concepts for use of Blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance.
  218. NITI Aayog and UT of Ladakh signed MOU, under which NITI Aayog will support Ladakh through its initiative “Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects” (DSSS). NITI Aayog will will expedite project implementations, create unique models of development and will identify high-impact priority projects.
  219. Indian Army conducted its biggest airborne exercise called the Winged Raider, comprising over 500 special forces troops in North-Eastern theatre.
  220. India signed 88 million USD Loan agreement with World Bank, to modernize Assam’s Ferry transport service on Brahmaputra river. Aim of Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) is to help Assam improve its ferry infrastructure and strengthen institutions operating inland water transport.
  221. Central Government, Bru-Reang representatives, Government of Tripura and Mizoram signed an agreement to end refugee crisis of Bru-Reang community. Under it, 34000 Bru Refugees are to be settled in Tripura, with rehabilitation budget of 600 crores.
    1. Displaced families are to be provided with land of 40 by 30 square feet, along with aid of Rs 1.5 lakhs to build their houses. Centre will also provide fixed deposit of 4 lakhs and 5000 cash aid per month and free ration for 2 years.
    2. Due to ethnic tension in 1997, around 5000 families of 30000 Bru-Reang tribes were forced out of Mizoram to seek shelter in Tripura. In 2010, Govt began efforts to rehabilitate them in Tripura.
  222. International Conclave on “Globalizing Indian Thought” held at IIM Kozhikode (Kerala).
  223. World Economic Forum released its Global Risks Report 2020, identifying global risks. Report has listed 5 top risks in terms of Likelihood and in terms of Impact.
    1. Risks in terms of likelihood includes extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity losses and human-made environmental disasters.
    2. For the first time, all 5 risks of likelihood are climate-related.
    3. Global Risks in terms of impacts include climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity losses, extreme weather and water crisis.
  224. A Concession Agreement signed completing 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel in UT of J&K, which includes construction and maintenance of tunnel with approaches on NH-1 at Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road from 61 km to 89.30 km on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) Annuity basis.
    1. The 2-lane bi-directional tunnel with parallel escape tunnel will be completed in 3.5 years at a cost of Rs 2378 Crores.
    2. Tunnel is capable of allowing 1000 vehicles an hour at a speed of 80 km per hour.
  225. ISRO Launched India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-30, from Spaceport in French Guiana, onboard launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-251, from Kourou Launch Base (French Guiana). It carried India’s GSAT-30 and EUTELSAT KONNECT for Eutelsat.
    1. With a lift-off mass of 3357 kg, GSAT-30 will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites. GSAT-30 derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series and will replace INSAT-4A in orbit. Mission life of GSAT-30 is 15 years.
  226. Noted Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi will be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman, for his short stories collection - Chequebook. Saraswati Samman carries cash award of 15 lakh rupees. Mr Mohi has authored 25 books of poetry, stories and translations, and also has received Sahitya Akademi Award.
  227. CSIR collaborated with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to produce an indigenous engine for the Saras light passenger aircraft being developed.
  228. 5th edition of Science Film Festival of India, SCI-FFI 2020, held in Goa.
  229. Indian Institute of Management Indore partnered with video-sharing application TikTok to produce short video modules on management courses for students and trained professionals.
    1. IIM Indore also tied up with Uttar Pradesh Police, under which it will provide effective communication and crowd management training to UP Police personnel.
  230. Arunachal Pradesh became first State to initiate International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s ‘red listing’ at the state level, after it inked MoU with IUCN. State will collaborate with IUCN to prepare IUCN’s Red List Assessment for all orchids in State.
  231. Tech Firm Microsoft announced to become carbon negative by 2030. It also aims that by 2050, it will remove from environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.
  232. Indian Advocate Harish Salve has been appointed as Queen's Counsel (QC) for courts of England and Wales. The title is conferred upon those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the legal field.
    1. Mr Salve has represented India in several important matters, including Kulbhushan Jadhav case in 2019, at International Court of Justice.
  233. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off 51st unit of K-9 Vraj-T cannon, at Hazira (Surat). Ministry of Defence had signed an agreement of Rs 4500 crore with L&T company in 2017 to supply 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155mm/52 caliber guns to Indian Army.
  234. Scientists discovered oldest material on earth, as a 7 billion years old grains inside meteorite that crashed in a fireball in 1969 into town of Murchison in Victoria State (Australia). Dust analyzed in research came from before solar system’s formation known as ‘presolar grains’, measuring 2 to 30 micrometers in size.
    1. Presolar grains are solid matter coming from dying stars with stardust flung into interstellar space ready to be used again to form new stars.
    2. Scientists previously had found a presolar grain in Murchison meteorite was about 5.5 billion years old, oldest known solid material on earth.
  235. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has launched an employment-oriented mobile app,‘Rojgar Sangi’ developed by Chhattisgarh State Skill Development Authority (CSSDA). It will provide employment to trained youths under their skill development programme.
  236. US-based consumer credit reporting firm Equifax will buy stake held by State Bank of India and its other local joint venture partners in Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd.
    1. SBI will sell its 7.41% stake, Bank of Baroda and Sundaram Finance 10% each, Bank of India 3.5%, Union Bank of India 4.17% and Kotak Mahindra 5.56%.
  237. Supreme Court appointed A M Sapre as chairman of its committee on road safety.
  238. National Payments Corporation of India launched blockchain technology based “Vajra Platform” to make payments fast & secure. Vajra is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), designed to offer automatic clearing and settlement of payments on NPCI products such as unified payments interface (UPI) and Rupay card. Vajra can be accessed by payment companies for providing secured transactions on their platforms / applications.
  239. Indian singer Suman Kalyanpur has been chosen for 2017 National Lata Mangeshkar Award of state govt. of Madhya Pradesh, and composer Kuldeep Singh chosen for same award for 2018. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
  240. Legendary Indian footballer Chuni Goswami has been honoured with a postal stamp, by Indian Postal Department. He is 3rd Indian footballer after Gostho Paul (1998) and Talimeren Ao (2018), on whose name a commemorative stamp has been issued by postal department.
  241. Kerala Govt announced sports awards 2020 -
    1. Sprinter Muhammad Anas won GV Raja award (Male) for athletics. In female category, PC Thulasi adjudged winner.
    2. TP Ouseph, athletics coach will be conferred with Olympian Suresh Babu lifetime achievement award.
    3. Award for best sports trainer won by football coach Satheevan Balan.
  242. Three new species of tiny frogs discovered in Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Subansiri district by scientists of Zoological Survey of India. New species have been named as 'Liurana himalayana', 'Liurana indica' and 'Liurana minuta'.
  243. ICICI bank 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 to sign up on it and create applications.
  244. 17th edition of Crossword Book Awards Winners -
    1. Category   Winners
      Fiction Twinkle Khanna for ‘Pyjamas Are Forgiving’.
      Non Fiction Gaur Gopal Das for ‘Life’s Amazing Secrets’.
      Health & Fitness Dr Jaishree Sharad for ‘Skin Rules’.
      Children’s books Sudha Murty for ‘The Upside Down King’.
      Biography Krishna Trilok for ‘Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of A.R. Rahman’.
      Business & Management Anju Sharma for ‘Corporate Monk’.
  245. Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin is appointed as new Prime Minister of Russia, after Dmitri Medvedev resigned as PM.
  246. Mihir Shah has been appointed as chairman of 11-member committee to draft  National Water Policy (NWP).
  247. World Archery appointed Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol as observer for elections of Archery Association of India (AAI), to be held in January 2020. Observer will submit report on his observations and based on report, World Archery will consider 'conditional lifting' of suspension on Indian Archery Federation, which was put in July 2019.
  248. Mizoram Govt will celebrate ‘Chapchar Kut’, the biggest festival of Mizos, on March 6, 2020. Theme will be Promotion of Mizos’ culture and moral code.
  249. Indian wrestlers won 7 medals (4 gold, 2 silver, and a bronze) at 1st UWW (United World Wrestling) Matteo Pellicone Rome Ranking Series 2020 held in Rome (Italy) -
    1. 2020 ranking series consists of two events - 1st, which already held in Rome, Italy and 2nd will held i June 2020 in Warsaw (Poland). Indian Medalists -
    2. Bajrang Punia 65kg freestyle Gold
      Ravi Kumar Dahiya 61kg freestyle Gold
      Vinesh Phogat 53kg Gold
      Gurpreet Singh 82kg -Greco-roman Gold
      Anshu Malik 57kg Silver
      Sunil Kumar 97kg Silver
      Sajan Bhanwal 77 kg Bronze
  250. National Real Estate Development Council launched India’s first e-commerce housing portal ‘HousingForAll.Com’, to give a boost to the ‘Housing for all’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives.
  251. 2020 Hobart International Women's Tennis (Australia) -
    1. Singles - Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
    2. Doubles - Nadiia Kichenok (Ukraine) AND Sania Mirza (India)
  252. US signed first phase of a trade deal with China, trying to conclude over an year of tough negotiations and suspension of talks between two countries. China pledged to purchase at least an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. farm products and other goods and services over two years.
  253. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issued new guidelines for establishing petrol pumps, because of their impact on environment.
    1. Any petrol pump can’t be established in 50 meters radius of a school, hospital or residential area.
    2. Oil companies must install Vapor Recovery System (VRS) at stations where about 300-kilo liters of oil is sold every month.
    3. State Pollution Regulatory Board will impose an environmental penalty equal to the price of VRS in case of non-installation of VRS.
  254. Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules to get Blue Flag certification. These rules restrict construction work around sea beaches.
    1. CRZ rules do not allow any infrastructure on sea beaches and islands. In 2019, MoEF selected 13 beaches of India for Blue Flag certification. Blue Flag certification asks to create some fundamental infrastructures at beaches like solar water plants, portable toilets, CCTV, etc.
    2. Blue Flag is an international certification of environmental properties and cleanliness on beaches, run by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).  A Blue Flag beach provides hygienic and clean bathing water, basic infrastructure to tourists and sustainable development in the area.
    3. Concept started in France in 1985. South Africa was first outside European country that joined the program in 2001.
    4. Spain has largest number of 566 Blue Flag beaches, while Greece and France have 515 and 395 such blue flag beaches respectively.
    5. Chandrabhaga beach located on Konark coast of Odisha is first beach in India to receive 'Blue Flag Certification'.
  255. Govt will not allow imports without HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) code (in Others category), stating that there must be zero tolerance for substandard products and services from industry and consumers.
  256. Jagat Prakash Nadda has been elected as new (11th) National President of Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), succeeding Amit Shah.
  257. Arjun Munda has been elected as new President of Archery Association of India (AAI), to serve term of 4 years.
    1. World Archery had appointed Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol as observer for elections of Archery Association of India (AAI), to be held in January 2020. Observer will submit report on his observations and based on report, World Archery will consider 'conditional lifting' of suspension on Indian Archery Federation, which was put in July 2019.
  258. International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook reduced growth forecasts for India to 4.8 % for 2019-21, down from 5.8 %.
    1. Also, IMF has projected global growth to rise from 2.9 % in 2019 to 3.3 % in 2020 and 3.4 % in 2021.
    2. Indian economy growth is expected to rise to 5.8 percent in 2020-21 and 6.5 percent in 2021-22.
  259. One Nation One Ration Card Scheme will be implemented across India from June 1, 2020, preponing from original date of 30th Jun.
    1. Currently, it is operational in 12 states. Under this, a beneficiary will be able to avail benefits across country using same ration card.
    2. Until now, migrants had to get a new ration card issued, to buy food grains at subsidized prices through Public Distribution System.
    3. Beneficiary will be verified through Aadhaar authentication at Fair Price Ships on electronic point of sale (e-POS) devices.
  260. Indian Air Force inducted its first squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft which are capable of carrying BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, called 222 'Tigersharks' fighter squadron, at thanjavur airbase. New squadron is armed with 2.5-ton air-launched BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile which is capable of striking targets at a distance of over 300 KM with pinpoint precision.
  261. India ranked 5th in annual Carbon Disclosure Project 2019 report  published by Global Reporting Initiative, aimed at measuring carbon reduction activities undertaken by firms operating across globe. 
    1. Report surveys corporate commitments to science-based targets (SBT) and evaluates climate change risk that they are exposed to.
    2. India India is first developing economy with maximum number of companies committing to science-based targets. India had 38 companies committing to science-based targets, up from 25 companies committing to SBTs in 2018. 
    3. Top 5 - US (1), Japan (2), United Kindom (3), France (5), India (5).
  262. World Gold Council (WGC) report World Gold Outlook 2020 -
    1. It stated that gold trade increased by 18.4% in 2019, as compared to 2010.
    2. RBI holds 625.2 tonnes of gold, 6.6% of country’s foreign exchange. India ranks sixth in the world among other central banks.
    3. Other 5 countries that have bought more gold than India include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Poland.
    4. In 2019, the largest gold sellers were Uzbekistan and Venezuela, selling 16.6 tonnes and 30.3 tonnes respectively.
  263. China and Myanmar signed 33 new deals under BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) to implement China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. Also, a concession agreement was signed to implement deep seaport project called Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone.
    1. Controversial Myitsone dam project that is backed by China was not discussed, which allows China to easy access to Indian Ocean, as this route bypasses Strait of Malacca through which China imports most of its oil requirements.
    2. Strait of Malacca connects Andaman Sea and South China Sea. This route is on the international boundary and is far from India’s territories as compared to Myanmar route.
  264. India conducted successful underwater firing of K4 nuclear capable misile, with 3,500 km range. It is meant for Arihant-class submarines, the first indigenously manufactured nuclear submarine.
    1. India operates Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile K-15, with range 750 km.
    2. Other under water missile being developed by India is BO-5, with range 700-km.
    3. K-series missiles are named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam. They are much faster than Agni missiles.
    4. K 15 Missiles are also called Sagarika missiles, as a replica to land-based Shaurya missiles.
  265. National Immunization Day observed across India as part of Pulse Polio Programme 2020, with over 17 crore children under 5 years age were administered polio drops.
    1. India has eradicated polio completely in 2012. In order to sustain the eradication, govt organizes Pulse Polio immunization campaigns on the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO).
    2. Next round of National Immunization Day is to be held in March 10.
    3. According to WHO, NID has to be conducted twice a year at a gap of 2 to 4 weeks.
  266. Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal granted Delhi Police Commissioner the power to detain under National Security Act 1980, for next three months. Delhi Police will get emergency detention power between January 19 till April 18, 2020.
    1. National Security Act allows preventive detention of an individual, who are seen as threat to national security. The detained person is not charged by Police.
    2. National Security Act was promulgated on September 23, 1980, to provide preventive detention of a person if authorities are convinced that he / she hampers law and order.
    3. Under NSA, a person can be detained for up to 12 months without a charge.
  267. University College London’s Energy Institute stated that to achieve UN target of reducing carbon emissions from shipping industry by 50% by 2050, world has to spend 1 trillion USD (50 to 70 billion USD annually).
    1. Emissions from shipping account to 2.2% of world CO2 emissions, with 90% of world trade happening at sea.
  268. Delhi Government released guarantee card that consisted of 10 guarantees for residents of Delhi.
    1. Card guarantees uninterrupted power supply throughout year, also including free electricity for residents up to 200 units.
    2. Government also assured to replace overhead electrical wires with underground cables.
    3. It also assures supply of clean drinking water to every household by 2025.
    4. It also promises to build pucca houses under “Jahan Jhuggi Wahin Makan” scheme for those living in slums.
  269. Visits to India (Jan 11 - 20, 2020) -
    1. Foreign Minister of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod visited India.
    2. Bangladesh  Information Minister Muhammad H Mahmud Visited India. India and Bangladesh signed MOU for content exchange programme between All India Radio and Bangladesh Betar.
      1. Also, co-production agreement was signed  on biopic of “BangaBandhu”, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, which will be released during birth centenary year of Bangabandhu.
      2. Bangladesh is celebrating ‘Mujib Year’ from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021 to mark centenary year of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, first President of Bangladesh.
    3. Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Defence of Finland, Jukka Juusti Visited India. India and Finland signed MOU to further defence cooperation.
  270. Visits from India (Jan 11 - 20, 2020) -
    1. India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Visited Sri Lanka. He discussed setting up of maritime research coordination centre in Sri Lanka. India also extended military assistance of 50 million USD to Sri Lanka.
  271. General Conferences (Jan 11 - 20, 2020) -
    1. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) added 135 laboratories to existing 51 recognized laboratories, with maximum number of laboratories being increased in Maharashtra (35).
    2. ELECRAMA 2020 Held at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), as flagship showcase of Indian electrical industry.
    3. 2nd edition of ‘NIC TechConclave 2020’ held at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi, with theme Technologies for NextGen Governance.
    4. 1st Session of India-Norway Dialogue on Trade & Investment (DTI) held in New Delhi.
    5. After successful run of Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express, 2nd premium Tejas train flagged off between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. To be operated by IRCTC, it shall be equipped with modern facilities on board for ensuring a high level of comfort to passengers.
    6. 7th annual meeting of Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure held in New Delhi.
    7. NITI Aayog 's Atal Innovation Mission and UN Development Programme (UNDP) hosted Youth Co:Lab -national innovation challenge in Delhi. It aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.
      1. Under 1st phase of Youth Co: Lab’s national innovation challenge, series of innovation challenges were held in four cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Indore and Varanasi.
      2. Following this, UNDP and Atal Innovation Mission now hosted Youth Co: Lab National Innovation Challenge in New Delhi.
    8. Ministry of Earth Science launched Seismic Hazard Microzonation project in major cities, to reduce hazards of seismic activities by putting in adequate measures.
      1. Seismic Hazard Microzonation is dividing earth quake prone areas based on certain factors.
      2. So far, mapping is done in State of Sikkim and other 8 cities - Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Dehra Dun, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham.
    9. Govt organised 1st-ever Food Processing Summit in UT of Ladakh.
    10. 7th Conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association India Region held in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
    11. 6th Island Development Agency meeting Held in New Delhi, focused on “Green Development in Islands to reach new heights”.
      1. Island Development Agency (IDA) taken up scientifically assessed sustainable development goals in order to improve growth of Islands, as first time such an initiative is being implemented.
      2. Also, city of Port Blair and other 7 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are to be digitally connected through submarine optical fibre cable by June 2020.
      3. Total 26 islands(16 from Andaman & Nicobar Islands and 10 from Lakshadweep islands) are identified for promoting tourism.
    12. 31st Road Safety Week Observed between 11th-17th Jan, 2020.
    13. Month long special exhibition titled Indian Heritage in Digital Space, launched in New Delhi.
    14. Chariot festival of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple held in Tamilnadu.
    15. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani has launched 7th Economic Census process in state.
      1. 7th Economic Census (EC), conducted by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) commenced from Tripura. It is held after a gap of 5 years. As per previous Economic Census conducted in 2013, there were 58.5 million establishments employing around 131 million workers.
      2. Implementing Agency is Common Services Centers (CSC) e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY).
      3. Results at national level will be available by March 2020.
    16. Uttar Pradesh's Bahadurpur and Kheri Viran are to become India’s first ‘Model Sports Villages’ as part of IMT Ghaziabad’s Adarsh Khel Gram’ program, in associaton with and NGO ‘Sports: A Way of Life’.
    17. India's first case of Avian influenza / Bird flu caused by a rare variety of H9N2 virus reported in a 17-month-old boy of Maharashtra. The viruses are found in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in some countries.
    18. First phase of Bishwa Ijtema commenced in Dhaka (Bangladesh), as 2nd largest congregation of Muslim community after Hajj.
    19. In Gujarat, first edition of Krishi Manthan- largest Food, Agri-business and Rural Development Summit of Asia organized by Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad).
    20. 4 districts - Dibrugarh (Assam), Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Puri (Odisha) awarded for innovations and initiatives in plastic waste management, during 2020 Swachhata Darpan plastic management awards conferred by actor Aamir Khan in New Delhi.
  272. 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (US) Winners -
    Category Award Winner
    Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Sam Rockwell, (Fosse/Verdon)
    Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Michelle Williams, (Fosse/Verdon)
    Male Actor in a Drama Series

    Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

    Female Actor in a Drama Series  Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show)
    Male Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel)
    Female Actor in a Comedy Series Phoebe Waller-Bridg (Fleabag)
    Male Actor in a Leading Role Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) 
    Female Actor in a Leading Role Renee Zellweger (Judy)
    Male Actor in a Supporting Role Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood)
    Female Actor in a Supporting Role Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
  273. Govt appointed Chiefs (MD and CEO) of 3 PSU Banks -
    1. L V Prabhakar - Canara Bank.
    2. Atanu Kumar Das - Bank of India
    3. Sanjiv Chadha - Bank of Baroda
    4. Government Also appointed Challa Sreenivasulu Setty as managing director of State Bank of India for 3 years.
  274. Andhra Pradesh cabinet approved proposal to have 3 capitals for Andhra Pradesh, amid protests by farmers. Government proposed to retain Amaravati as legislative capital, while making Visakhapatnam home for executive and Kurnool the judicial capital.
  275. Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been conferred with Australia's highest civilian honour, the Order of Australia honour, for her significant service to advancing Australia's bilateral relationship with India.
  276. 9th International Children's Film Festival began in Kolkata (WB), with About 250 films from 45 countries to be screened in week-long festival.
  277. Government appointed Nripendra Misra as chairperson of executive council of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), with A Surya Prakash as vice-chairperson.
  278. Gurgaon-based Food delivery aggregator Zomato acquired Uber Eats business in India, in an all-stock deal. It provides Uber with 9.99% ownership in Zomato after acquisition. Deal is estimated to be pegged at $300-350 million.
  279. 2020 Indonesia Masters Badminton -
    1. Men's Singles - Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia)
    2. Women's Singles - Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand)
    3. Men's Doubles - Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon AND Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo
    4. Women's Doubles - Indonesia's Greysia Polii AND Apriyani Rahayu
    5. Mixed Doubles - China's Zheng Siwei AND Huang Yaqiong
  280. Indian PM Narendra Modi and Nepali PM KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated 2nd second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar, built with Indian assistance to facilitate trade and people's movement.
  281. Jan 21 is statehood day of Northeastern States of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya (Formed in 1972).
  282. Hyderabad topped list of world's most dynamic cities, as per 7th edition of City Momentum Index by global real estate services firm JLL, while Bengaluru ranks second. Chennai is at fifth and Delhi is at sixth place.
    1. JLL City Momentum Index identifies a number of key growth drivers, including talent attraction, expansion of innovation hubs and better urban planning, that cities can employ to meet challenges faced by rapid momentum.
  283. 12th National Tribal Youth Exchange Programme Held in UT of Puducherry, jointly organized by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Puducherry Government.
  284. As per a Jal Shakti Ministry Report, Gujarat is named most water-efficient state, with Rajasthan third and Delhi among worst states.
    1. Among 7 Central departments reviewed, Survey of India is ranked at top, followed by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and Central Pollution Control Board got lowest (7th) rank.
    2. In 2018’s ranking, Telangana was at top and Gujarat was ranked 7th last. Delhi improved its position by getting 35th rank as compared to the bottom 41 in 2018.
  285. Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) launched paperless licensing process for petroleum service stations, under Petroleum Rules 2002. Implementing agency to be Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO). .
    1. Paperless licensing for petroleum service stations will benefit over 70000 pumps and oil marketing companies. It will benefit in decreasing transit time of fuel as a greater number of vehicles can easily be employed in process.
  286. Indian Navy signed MoU with Geological Survey of India (GSI), for Sharing of seabed sediments data, products and expertise for Naval Application in Meteorology and Oceanography.
    1. Data collected using GSI’s oceanic research vessels Samudra Manthan, Samudra Kaustubh, Samudra Shaudhikama and Samudra Ratnakar will now be used by Navy’s growing blue water fleet for reliable oceanographic modeling.
  287. International arbitration tribunal Bilateral International Treaty organization dismissed all claims against India, that were brought by private firms in Cyprus and Russia.
    1. BIT allows countries to set up rules for investments between each other, as successor of 19th century friendship, commerce and navigation treaty. First BIT was signed between Pakistan and Germany.
    2. BIT ensures that foreign investors are treated equally as that of domestic investors, as nations tend to restrict foreign investments to promote domestic entrepreneurs.
    3. While most of treaties in world focus on ‘most favored Nation’ treatment, BIT treats foreign countries equally.
    4. India has so far signed BIT with 75 nations, Out of these 66 are already in force.
  288. Government notified structure of National Startup Advisory Council, to advise Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in country.
    1. National Startup Advisory Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry. It will consist of non-official members, to be nominated by Government. Term of non-official members will be 2 years.
  289. United Nation Conference on Trade and Development report on Global Investment Trend Monitor Report for 2019 -
    1. Global FDI of 2019 was 1.39 trillion USD, declining by 1% as compared to 2018.
    2. FDI to European Union (EU) fell by 15 % to USD 305 billion. US remained topmost FDI recipient in world (251 Billion USD), followed by China (140 Billion) and Singapore (110 Billion).
    3. FDI in South Asia increased by 10% in 2019, mainly due to India. In 2019, India’s FDI was 49 billion USD, up 16 % from 42 billion in 2018. India ranked 8th among top FDI receivers in 2019.
  290. Supreme Court has set up a panel to firm up a draft legislation to give legal sanctity to disputes settled through mediation, which would then be sent to government as a suggestion from Supreme court. Panel will be headed by mediator Niranjan Bhat.
  291. Rights group Oxfam International released report titled Time to Care: Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis -
    1. India’s richest 1% of the population has more than 4 times of wealth held by 953 million people making up for bottom 70% of population.
    2. Inequality will be reduced if the richest 1% pay 0.5% etc wealth tax in the next 10 years. This would generate 117 million jobs in elderly, childcare, education and health sectors.
  292. RBI cancelled Certificate of Authorisation of Vodafone m-pesa, on account of voluntary surrender of authorisation. Customers having a valid claim on company as a PSO, can approach the company for settlement of claims within 3 years.
  293. HealthSetGo Founder Priya Prakash won Global citizen prize - Cisco Youth Leadership award for 2019, for her school health program that provides healthcare support to children. It honours individuals aged 18-30 years who solve some global challenges. It includes Cash prize of $250,000.
  294. Book The Gateway: A Social Commentary on Safety of Senior Citizens, authored by Hariharan Balagopal has been released.
  295. Book Human Dignity – A purpose in perpetuity, authored by Ashwani Kumar (Former Minister of Law and Justice) has been released.
  296. Book Essays & Reminiscences: A Festschrift in Honour of Nani A Palkhivala, released to mark birth centenary of Indian Jurist and Economist Nanaboy Nani Ardeshir Palkhivala.
  297. Former Indian Cricketer WV Raman’s book The Winning Sixer has been released.
  298. Satinder Kumar Saini has been appointed as new Vice Chief of Indian Army.
  299. Security app Very Good Morning (VGM) has been launched at IIT-BHU, as an attempt to check crime against women. It will send location to police emergency number by pressing mobile's power button thrice.
  300. Cabinet Approvals (Jan 22, 2020) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Approved MoUs among India, Tunisia and Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission for elections for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
      2. Approved Model MoU for unilateral/bilateral recognition of Certificates, pursuant to Regulation 1/10 of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers 1978, as amended to be signed between Directorate General of Shipping (India) and its counterparts in foreign countries.
        1. It would facilitate unilateral recognition by another country of certificates issued by Directorate General of Shipping to Indian seafarers, without seeking similar recognition by India of certificates issued by that country.
      3. Brazil - Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Oil and natural gas sector, Early childhood, Geology and Mineral Resources.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved extension of term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes, by six months, up to 31-7-2020.
        1. Commission was constituted under article 340 of Constitution, in October 2017, headed by G. Rohini. Commission has sought extension of its term by six months, and also addition in its existing Terms of Reference.
      2. Approved Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) for establishment of permanent campuses of new National Institutes of Technology (NITs), at total cost of 4372 crores for period till 2021 - 2022. These NITs were established in the year 2009 and started functioning from 2010-2011 in their respective temporary campus with limited infrastructure. Student capacity in these campuses will be 6320.
      3. Approved amendments in concrerned Acts / Regulations dealing with Goods and Services Tax (GST), Value Added Tax (VAT) and State Excise, and for designation of Daman as Headquarters for UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved Closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Limited (HFL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals. It also approved interest free loan of 77.20 crores by Govt. to HFL, for expenditures during closure proocess.
        1. HFL has only 1 plant/unit located at Rudraram (District Sangareddy) in Telangana. 
  301. 3rd edition of Khelo India Youth Games held in Guwahati (Assam). Maharashtra adjudged as champion with 256 medals, including 78 gold. Medal Tally -
    1. Rank State Gold Silver Bronze Total
      1 Maharashtra 78 77 101 256
      2 Haryana 68 60 72 200
      3 Delhi 39 36 47 122
      4 Karnataka 32 26 22 80
      5 Uttar Pradesh 29 28 30 87
  302. Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth (CCIG) reduced wasteful expenditure on items such as travel, food and conferences by 20%.
    1. It move aims to avoid fiscal slippage by comprising non-development expenditure and controlling fiscal deficit within level of budgeted target of 3.3% for FY 2019-20.
    2. Earlier In October 2014, Department of Expenditure directed to cut non-essential expenses by up to 10%.
  303. Cyclone Tino has hit oneanic island nation Fiji, causing devastation.
  304. India has achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbons (HCFC), under Montreal Protocol.
    1. Ministry of EFoCC had prohibited import of HCFC-141b, under Ozone Depleting substances (Regulation and Control) amendment rules 2019.
    2. Use of HCFC-141b by foam manufacturing industries have been come to an end with the stoppage of import of HCFC-141b.
    3. It will have great impact on ozone layer, as 50% of ozone depleting chemicals being used in country attribute to HCFC-141b.
  305. International Labour Organization released The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 -
    1. Global unemployment has been stable for last 9 years . But amoid slowing economic growth, no new jobs are being created.
    2. Unemployment is to increase by 2.5 million in 2020, up from 188 million currently.
    3. Gender gap in wages of the labours is more in South Asian countries. While it stands at 15% in developed nations, in south asia it is 40%.
  306. Economic Intelligence Unit released Democracy Index 2019 -
    1. Top 3 - Norway (1), Iceland (2) and Sweden (3).
    2. India ranked 51st, slipping 10 positions as compared to its previous ranking.
  307. Indian Oil signed MoU with National Petroleum Authority (NPA) of Ghana, for providing assistance and technical expertise in the implementation of Ghana’s National LPG Promotion Policy. It also provides for administrative assistance to Indian Oil in case it decides to participate as a commercial participant in Ghana’s downstream petroleum sector.
  308. Ministry of Rural Development signed MoU with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), for furthering their mutual objectives of strengthening grassroots institutions of rural poor.
  309. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways assigned a new motor vehicle Registration Mark “DD” to ‘Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu’ for registration of vehicles. Note that a New UT was recently formed after merger of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
  310. NITI Aayog released its vision for National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP), aiming to democratize access to publicly available government data. It will host latest datasets from various government websites, present them coherently, and provide tools for analytics and visualization.
    1. NDAP will spearhead the standardization of formats in which data is presented across sectors and will cater to a wide audience of policymakers, researchers, innovators, data scientists, journalists and citizens.
  311. India signed USD 210 million loan agreement with World bank, to support small holder farmers participate in competitive agriculture value chains, facilitate agri-business investments, increase market access and productivity in focus commodities, and build resilience of crops to recurrent floods or droughts in the state of Maharashtra.
  312. Defence Acquisition Council approved Procurement of defence equipment worth 5100 crores, to be purchased from indigenous sources. Council also approved the inclusion of iDEX (Innovations Defence Exellence) in Defence Procurement Procedure.
    1. iDEX was launched in April 2018 to foster technology development in Defence and Aerospace.
  313. ISRO will to send a half-humanoid robot called Vyom Mitra as an experimental mission to Gaganyaan. The robot is to fly in two unmanned mission that are planned in December 2020 and in June 2021.
    1. Under Gaganyaan, ISRO's largely autonomous 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit Earth at 400 km altitude for up to seven days with a two or three-person crew on board.
    2. Rs 10000 crore project is expected to be launched in 2022, year of 75th anniversary of India's Independence.
    3. Russia will train Potential Gaganyaan astronauts. Also, France will train Indian flight surgeons to enable them to monitor the health of astronauts selected for Gaganyaan Mission.
  314. Indian shooters at Meyton Cup in Innsbruck (Austria) -
    1. Divyansh Singh Pawar and Apurvi Chandela won gold, in men's 10m air rifle and 10m air rifle women's category.
    2. Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil won bronze in same events respectively.
  315. Jan 23 is Birth Anniversary of Great Freedom Fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Born 1897).
    1. On this occasion, to commemorate Netaji’s birth anniversary, Govt inaugurated a temple at Varanasi in name of the leader with a Dalit woman as a chief priest. The prayers are to be performed to Bharat Mata at the temple.
    2. Govt also announced winners of Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020 -
      1. Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre, Uttarakhand (in institution category) and Kumar Munnan Singh (Individual category) have been selected for for their commendable work in Disaster Management.
      2. Winner institution receives cash prize of 51 lakhs and Winner individual receives cash prize of 5 lakhs.
      3. In 2019, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Ghaziabad was selected for the award.
  316. RBI raised investment limit for FPIs in government and corporate bonds, to bring in more foreign funds into market. Currently, short-term investments by a foreign portfolio investors (FPI) should not exceed 20 % of total investment of that FPI in either central government securities or state development loans or corporate bonds. It is now increased to 30 per cent in both cases.
    1. RBI also made a relaxation in voluntary retention route (VRR) for FPI investments in debt. The investment cap through VRR has been doubled to 1.5 lakh crores.
  317. Teleco Reliance Jio launched UPI-powered payments service, becoming first telecom operator to enter UPI payments space.
  318. Uttarakhand become first state to make a policy to lease agricultural land. In lieu of giving land on a 30-year lease, concerned farmer will get the rent for the land. Now any institution can take farm land on lease in villages, leasing a maximum of 30 acres of land on lease for 30 years.
  319. Coal-belching town of Jharia in Jharkhand named most polluted city in India, as per a Greenpeace India report.
    1. Delhi is 10th-most polluted city in India, making marginal improvement in its air pollution level.
    2. Average annual levels of PM10 particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter that can enter lungs and bloodstream, in Jharia was 322 micrograms per cubic metre in 2018.
    3. Jharkhand's Dhanbad is second-most polluted city in India.
    4. Lunglei in Mizoram is the least polluted followed by Meghalaya's Dowki.
  320. Uttar Pradesh Government launched Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana, which will provide financial assistance of INR 5 Lakhs to family of farmers who die or become handicapped while working in fields. Scheme will also include the Bataidars, who work in field of other persons and share the crop after it is harvested. It will cover farmers in age group of 18-70 years.
  321. Adani Capital acquired Essel Finance’s MSME loan business. Through the acquisition, Adani Capital secured a loan book of around 145 crores, operating out of 10 cities wit 1100 customers.
  322. Department of Telecom (DoT) approved raising of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bharti Airtel to 100 % from 49 % allowed earlier.
  323. Greece’s parliament elected Katerina Sakellaropoulou as Greece's first female president.
  324. Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik are among new inductees in government's All India Council of Sports (AICS), from which Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and chess player Viswanathan Anand have been omitted for not being "active" enough.
    1. Tenure of AICS (formed in 2015) is extended by 3 years and it will continue to be led by sports administrator V K Malhotra.
    2. Other Noted new entrants in Council are former shooter Anjali Bhagwat, footballer Renedy Singh, mountaineer Bachendri Pal and Cricketer Harbhajan Singh.
  325. International Court of Justice announced its verdict in Rohingya genocide case, directing Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect Muslim community from persecution. Ruling came on a petition filed by Gambia at ICJ against Myanmar, alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya community.
  326. World Archery conditionally lifted suspension on India, after elections were held for India’s controversy-ridden Archery Association and Arjun Munda was elected as new President.
    1. World Archery had appointed Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol as observer for elections of Archery Association of India (AAI).
    2. Observer submitted his report and based on that, World Archery considered 'conditional lifting' of suspension on Indian Archery Federation, which was put in July 2019.
  327. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh launched an e-passport facility for its citizens, which will have an electronic chip with biometric data of passport holder.
    1. Bangladesh is first country in South-Asia (and 119th globally), to provide an e-passport facility to its citizens.
  328. US announced new visa rules to restrict ‘birth tourism, by no longer issuing temporary visitor visas to foreigners seeking to enter the nation for birth tourism.
    1. Birth tourism is a practice of travelling to US and giving birth on American soil, thereby securing automatic and permanent American citizenship for their children.
    2. By restricting birth tourism, US aims to close this immigration loophole to combat endemic abuses and protect the nation from the national security risks created by this practice.
  329. Corruption Perception Index 2019 by Transparency International (180 Nations) -
    1. India ranked 80th, compared to 78th last year. Other Nations with same rank as India - Benin, China, Ghana and Morocco.
    2. Bottom 3 - Syria (178), South Sudan (179) and Somalia (180).
    3. Top 5 - Denmark and New Zealand (1), Finland (3), Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore (4).
    4. Neighbors - China (80), Pakistan (120), Bangladesh (146), Sri Lanka (93)
  330. Jan 24 is observed globally as International Day of Education, with 2020 theme ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace’. It was celebrated for first time in 2019.
  331. Jan 24 is observed as National Girl Child Day in India, initiated in 2008.
    1. Women and Child Development announced an initiative called “Establishment of Chairs in the Universities in the name of eminent women” which encourages women to carry out research activities. 10 chairs will be set up by UGC for five years.
    2. Each chair will be given Rs 50 lakh each for a year.
  332. Scientists of University of Vermont and Tufts University (US) created world’s first living and self-healing robots Xenobots, using stem cells from frogs. It is named after the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.
    1. Xenobots are new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism, which don’t look like traditional robots. These are marchines which are less than a millimeter (0.04 inches), small enough to travel inside human bodies.
  333. Govt-owned insurer National Insurance Company approved its merger with Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. The same was apprpoved in 2019.
  334. Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index Q3 (Quarter) 2019 -
    1. Hyderabad ranked 14th among 150 cities in World. New Delhi ranks 73rd and Bengaluru 94th rank.
    2. Budapest (Hungary) is at top, followed by Xi’an and Wuhan in China.
  335. South American Nation Guyana took over chairmanship of the Group of 77 for 2020 from Palestine.
    1. G77 was established in 1964 in Geneva, as largest inter-governmental organization of developing countries in United Nations.
  336. Ministry of Law and Justice declared United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a “reciprocating territory” under Section 44A of Civil Procedure Code 1908. It means that Indian expatriates if convicted in a civil case in the UAE would no longer be able to seek safe heaven back in India.
    1. It also declared several courts in UAE to be ‘Superior Courts’, meaning that orders passed by these courts from a ‘reciprocating territory’ can be implemented in India, as if they were passed in India.
    2. It is believed to help bring down the time required for executing verdicts between the two countries.
    3. Apart from UAE,  other countries declared to be “reciprocating territories” are United Kingdom, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, New Zealand, Cook Islands (including Niue) and Trust Territories of Western Samoa, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Aden.
  337. Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) signed agreement with German firm KUNZ GmbH, to supply aircraft recovery equipment, to jointly establish a centre for disabled aircraft recovery training and manufacture the equipment necessary. Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is first airport in India with the capability effect recovery of disabled aircraft up to Code F category.
  338. Book The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World, written by Scottish cultural historian Alistair Shearer has been released.
  339. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports de-recognised Rowing Federation of India (RFI) because of violating the Sports Code of 2011 in four areas during RFI elections.
  340. Indian Army will induct 1st batch of 18 indigenously upgraded ‘Sharang’ artillery guns by end of March 2020. Artillery gun barrel upgraded from 130mm to 155mm has a strike range of 39 kilometers.
  341. Lebanon President Michel Naim Aoun announced formation of new Government due to anti-government protests. New Government will be headed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
  342. United Nations World Tourism Organisation World Tourism Barometer report -
    1. International tourist arrivals in 2019 increased by 3.8%, reaching 1.5 billion. Middle east region (8%) led growth in arrivals, followed by Asia and Pacific region (5%).
    2. France had strongest increase in international tourism expenditure, while United States (US) led growth in absolute terms.
  343. As per 1st Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020 by Swiss private bank Julius Baer -
    1. Mumbai ranked last (28th ) in list of the world’s 28 most expensive cities for luxury living.
    2. Top 5 - Hong Kong (1), Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan), New York (US) and Singapore.
  344. Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) extended USD 35.80 million line of credit to Suriname, to fund country's rural electrification programme. With this, Exim Bank has in place 258 LOCs covering 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and CIS, with credit commitments of around USD 25.48 billion from India.
  345. World’s oldest mushroom has been discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo and dates back to around 810 million years ago. Preserved in rock, the fossil fungi were found near the city of Mbuji-Mayi, smashing previous age record by 350 million years.
  346. Kerala Tourism's Barrier-Free Tourism Project won global mention with United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), as an ‘Emerging Global Destination’ in Accessible Destination Awards 2019.
    1. In 2019, Kerala announced to make entire state, especially tourist destinations, disabled-friendly by 2021.
    2. Kerala has also been the first state to work as per the guidelines of UNWTO to make tourist destinations disabled-friendly.
  347. Indian government announced to reward travellers who explore 15 domestic travel destinations in a year, out of their state. Government will sponsor their travel expenses as an incentive, under campaign Dekho Apna Desh.
  348. New India Co-operative Bank will convert it into a small finance bank, under Voluntary Transition of Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) into Small Finance Banks (SFBs) dated September 27, 2018, Minimum net worth required for transition is 200 crores, along with other conditons.
  349. As per a survey by World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) 2020, Sri Lanka ranked 1st out of 97 surveyed countries in supporting breastfeeding women and achieved status of being first-ever green nation in supporting them. India ranked 78th in list.
  350. Switzerland minted smallest gold coin in world, measuring 2.96-millimeter (0.12-inches) and weighing 0.063 grams. Its nominal value is 1/4 Swiss francs ($0.26).
  351. India’s first global Mega Science Exhibition “Vigyan Samagam” held at National Science Centre in New Delhi.
  352. India and Bangladesh signed agreement to upgrade 50.58-kilometre long road between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway.
  353. Padma Awards 2020 Announced -
    1. This year, President approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards -
      1. It includes 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one)
      2. List comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards.
      3. 33 awardees are women, 18 are persons from category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 Posthumous awardees.
    2. Padma Vibhushan (7) -
      1. SN Name Field State/Country

        1.

        George Fernandes

        (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Bihar

        2.

        Arun Jaitley

        (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Delhi

        3.

        Sir Anerood Jugnauth Public Affairs Mauritius

        4.

        M. C. Mary Kom Sports (Boxing) Manipur

        5.

        Chhannulal Mishra Art Uttar Pradesh

        6.

        Sushma Swaraj

        (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Delhi

        7.

        Sri Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri

        Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (Posthumous)

        Others-Spiritualism Karnataka
    3. Padma Bhushan (16) -
      1. SN

        Name Field State/Country

        8.

        M. Mumtaz Ali (Sri M) Others-Spiritualism Kerala

        9.

        Syed Muazzem Ali

        (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Bangladesh
                 10. Muzaffar Hussain Baig Public Affairs

        Jammu and

        Kashmir

        11.

        Ajoy Chakravorty Art West Bengal

        12.

        Manoj Das

        Literature and

        Education

        Puducherry

        13.

        Balkrishna Doshi Others-Architecture Gujarat

        14.

        Krishnammal Jagannathan Social Work Tamil Nadu

        15.

        S. C. Jamir Public Affairs Nagaland

        16.

        Anil Prakash Joshi Social Work Uttarakhand

        17.

        Dr. Tsering Landol Medicine Ladakh

        18.

        Anand Mahindra Trade and Industry Maharashtra

        19.

        Neelakanta Ramakrishna

        Madhava Menon (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Kerala

        20.

        Manohar Parrikar (Posthumous)

        Public Affairs Goa

        21.

        Prof. Jagdish Sheth

        Literature and

        Education

        USA

        22.

        P. V. Sindhu Sports (Badminton) Telangana

        23.

        Venu Srinivasan Trade and Industry Tamil Nadu
    4. Padma Shri (118) -
      1. SN

        Name Field State/Country

        24.

        Guru Shashadhar Acharya Art Jharkhand

        25.

        Dr. Yogi Aeron Medicine Uttarakhand

        26.

        Jai Prakash Agarwal Trade and Industry Delhi

        27.

        Jagdish Lal Ahuja Social Work Punjab

        28.

        Kazi Masum Akhtar Literature and Education West Bengal

        29.

        Ms. Gloria Arieira Literature and Education Brazil

        30.

        Zaheer khan Sports (Cricket) Maharashtra

        31.

        Dr. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay Medicine Uttar Pradesh

        32.

        Dr. Sushovan Banerjee Medicine West Bengal

        33.

        Dr. Digambar Behera Medicine Chandigarh

        34.

        Dr. Damayanti Beshra Literature and Education Odisha

        35.

        Pawar Popatrao Bhaguji Social Work Maharashtra

        36.

        Himmata Ram Bhambhu Social Work Rajasthan

        37.

        Sanjeev Bikhchandani Trade and Industry Uttar Pradesh

        38.

        Gafurbhai M. Bilakhia Trade and Industry Gujarat

        39.

        Bob Blackman Public Affairs United Kingdom

        40.

        Indira P. P. Bora Art Assam

        41.

        Madan Singh Chauhan Art Chhattisgarh

        42.

        Usha Chaumar Social Work Rajasthan

        43.

        Lil Bahadur Chettri Literature and Education Assam

        44.

        Lalitha & Ms. Saroja

        Chidambaram (Duo)*

        Art Tamil Nadu

        45.

        Dr. Vajira Chitrasena Art Sri Lanka

        46.

        Dr. Purushottam Dadheech Art Madhya Pradesh

        47.

        Utsav Charan Das Art Odisha

        48.

        Prof. Indra Dassanayake

        (Posthumous)

        Literature and Education Sri Lanka

        49.

        H. M. Desai Literature and Education Gujarat

        50.

        Manohar Devadoss Art Tamil Nadu

        51.

        Oinam Bembem Devi Sports (Football) Manipur

        52.

        Lia Diskin Social Work Brazil

        53.

        M. P. Ganesh Sports (Hockey) Karnataka

        54.

        Dr. Bangalore Gangadhar Medicine Karnataka

        55.

        Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar Science and Engineering Maharashtra

        56.

        Barry Gardiner Public Affairs United Kingdom

        57.

        Chewang Motup Goba Trade and Industry Ladakh

        58.

        Bharat Goenka Trade and Industry Karnataka

        59.

        Yadla Gopalarao Art Andhra Pradesh

        60.

        Mitrabhanu Gountia Art Odisha

        61.

        Tulasi Gowda Social Work Karnataka

        62.

        Sujoy K. Guha Science and Engineering Bihar

        63.

        Harekala Hajabba Social Work Karnataka

        64.

        Enamul Haque Others-Archaeology Bangladesh

        65.

        Madhu Mansuri Hasmukh Art Jharkhand

        66.

        Abdul Jabbar

        (Posthumous)

        Social Work Madhya Pradesh

        67.

        Bimal Kumar Jain Social Work Bihar

        68.

        Meenakshi Jain Literature and Education Delhi

        69.

        Nemnath Jain Trade and Industry Madhya Pradesh

        70.

        Shanti Jain Art Bihar

        71.

        Sudhir Jain Science and Engineering Gujarat

        72.

        Benichandra Jamatia Literature and Education Tripura

        73.

        K. V. Sampath Kumar & Ms. Vidushi Jayalakshmi K.S.

        (Duo)*

        Literature and Education-Journalism Karnataka

        74.

        Karan Johar Art Maharashtra

        75.

        Dr. Leela Joshi Medicine Madhya Pradesh

        76.

        Sarita Joshi Art Maharashtra

        77.

        C. Kamlova Literature and Education Mizoram

        78.

        Dr. Ravi Kannan R. Medicine Assam

        79.

        Ekta Kapoor Art Maharashtra

        80.

        Yazdi Naoshirwan Karanjia Art Gujarat

        81.

        Narayan J. Joshi Karayal Literature and Education Gujarat

        82.

        Dr. Narindar Nath Khanna Medicine Uttar Pradesh

        83.

        Naveen Khanna Science and Engineering Delhi

        84.

        S. P. Kothari Literature and Education USA

        85.

        V. K. Munusamy

        Krishnapakthar

        Art Puducherry

        86.

        M. K. Kunjol Social Work Kerala

        87.

        Manmohan Mahapatra

        (Posthumous)

        Art Odisha

        88.

        Ustad Anwar Khan Mangniyar Art Rajasthan

        89.

        Kattungal Subramaniam

        Manilal

        Science and Engineering Kerala

        90.

        Munna Master Art Rajasthan

        91.

        Prof. Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra Literature and Education Himachal Pradesh

        92.

        Binapani Mohanty Literature and Education Odisha

        93.

        Dr. Arunoday Mondal Medicine West Bengal

        94.

        Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee Literature and Education France

        95.

        Sathyanarayan Mundayoor Social Work Arunachal Pradesh

        96.

        Manilal Nag Art West Bengal

        97.

        N. Chandrasekharan Nair Literature and Education Kerala

        98.

        Dr. Tetsu Nakamura

        (Posthumous)

        Social Work Afghanistan

        99.

        Shiv Datt Nirmohi Literature and Education

        Jammu and

        Kashmir

        100.

        Pu Lalbiakthanga Pachuau

        Literature and

        Education-Journalism

        Mizoram

        101.

        Moozhikkal Pankajakshi Art Kerala

        102.

        Dr. Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik Literature and Education USA

        103.

        Jogendra Nath Phukan Literature and Education Assam

        104.

        Rahibai Soma Popere Others-Agriculture Maharashtra

        105.

        Yogesh Praveen Literature and Education Uttar Pradesh

        106.

        Jitu Rai Sports (Shooting) Uttar Pradesh

        107.

        Tarundeep Rai Sports (Archery) Sikkim

        108.

        S. Ramakrishnan Social Work Tamil Nadu

        109.

        Rani Rampal Sports (Hockey) Haryana

        110.

        Kangana Ranaut Art Maharashtra

        111.

        Dalavai Chalapathi Rao Art Andhra Pradesh

        112.

        Shahbuddin Rathod Literature and Education Gujarat

        113.

        Kalyan Singh Rawat Social Work Uttarakhand

        114.

        Chintala Venkat Reddy Others-Agriculture Telangana

        115.

        Dr. Shanti Roy Medicine Bihar

        116.

        Radhammohan & Ms.

        Sabarmatee (Duo)*

        Others-Agriculture Odisha

        117.

        Batakrushna Sahoo

        Others-Animal

        Husbandry

        Odisha

        118.

        Trinity Saioo Others-Agriculture Meghalaya

        119.

        Adnan Sami Art Maharashtra

        120.

        Vijay Sankeshwar Trade and Industry Karnataka

        121.

        Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma Medicine Assam

        122.

        Sayed Mehboob Shah Qadri

        alias Sayedbhai

        Social Work Maharashtra

        123.

        Mohammed Sharif Social Work Uttar Pradesh

        124.

        Shyam Sunder Sharma Art Bihar

        125.

        Dr. Gurdip Singh Medicine Gujarat

        126.

        Ramjee Singh Social Work Bihar

        127.

        Vashishtha Narayan Singh

        (Posthumous)

        Science and Engineering Bihar

        128.

        Daya Prakash Sinha Art Uttar Pradesh

        129.

        Dr. Sandra Desa Souza Medicine Maharashtra

        130.

        Vijayasarathi Sribhashyam Literature and Education Telangana

        131.

        Kalee Shabi Mahaboob & Sheik Mahaboob Subani

        (Duo)*

        Art Tamil Nadu

        132.

        Javed Ahmad Tak Social Work

        Jammu and

        Kashmir

        133.

        Pradeep Thalappil Science and Engineering Tamil Nadu

        134.

        Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi Literature and Education Arunachal Pradesh

        135.

        Robert Thurman Literature and Education USA

        136.

        Agus Indra Udayana Social Work Indonesia

        137.

        Harish Chandra Verma Science and Engineering Uttar Pradesh

        138.

        Sundaram Verma Social Work Rajasthan

        139.

        Dr. Romesh Tekchand

        Wadhwani

        Trade and Industry USA

        140.

        Suresh Wadkar Art Maharashtra

        141.

        Prem Watsa Trade and Industry Canada
  354. Jan 25 is observed as National Voters’ Day in India. 2020 Theme is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’. It is being observed since 2011, to mark Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on 25th January 1950.
    1. On this occasion, Election Commission awarded National Media Award for print to The Hindu Tamil, for its voter awareness and education campaign in 2019.
    2. Election Commission also instituted an Annual Lecture Series as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sukumar Sen.
    3. Jan 25 is also statehood day of Himachal Pradesh, formed in 1971.
    4. Jan 25 is also observed as National Tourism Day in India. World Tourism day is observed on Sep 27.
  355. Government eMarketplace (Ministry of Commerce & Industry) and Government of Uttar Pradesh signed MoU to set up a GeM Organizational Transformation Team (GOTT) Project Management Unit (PMU) in State, to expedite harmonization of procurement guidelines.
  356. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare released Final Estimates of 2018-19 and 1st Advance Estimates of 2019-20 of Area and Production of various Horticulture Crops -
    1.  

      2017-18

      2018-19

      (Final)

      2019-20

      (1st Advanced Estimate)

      Area  (Million Hectare)

      25.24

      25.43

      25.61

      Production

      (Million Tonne)

      310.67

      310.74

      313.35

  357. Election Commission of India hosted 10th annual meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) at New Delhi.  FEMBoSA was established at 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of SAARC Countries held at New Delhi, in 2012.
    1. India's Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora assumed chairmanship of FEMBOSA, for 2020.
  358. 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting held at Davos (Switzerland), with theme Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World-
    1. Minister of State for Shipping (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya attended on India's Behalf.
    2. Corruption Perception Index 2019 by Transparency International (180 Nations) -
      1. India ranked 80th, compared to 78th last year. Other Nations with same rank as India - Benin, China, Ghana and Morocco.
      2. Bottom 3 - Syria (178), South Sudan (179) and Somalia (180).
      3. Top 5 - Denmark and New Zealand (1), Finland (3), Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore (4).
      4. Neighbors - China (80), Pakistan (120), Bangladesh (146), Sri Lanka (93)
    3. 1st edition of Global Social Mobility Report titled  Equality, Opportunity and a New Economic Imperative released by World Economic Forum -
      1. India ranks 76th.
      2. Top 5 - Denmark (1), Norway (2), Finland (3), Sweden (4), Iceland (5)
      3. Neighbors - China (45), Bangladesh (78), Pakistan (79)
      4. Social Mobility is upward or downward movement of an individual in personal circumstances in relation to their parents.
    4. India joined Reskilling Revolution initiative as a founding member, launched at World Economic Forum. It aims to help economies to adopt changes being introduced by Fourth Industrial Revolution.
      1. Other founding members include US, UAE, Russia, Pakistan, France and Brazil.
      2. The initiative aims at providing better education, jobs and skills for more than 1 billion people in the world by 2030.
      3. Technological integration and automation will create large scale unemployment, affecting labour population greatly. Therefore, it is essential to shift labour population towards requirement of technology upgrade. In order to achieve this, Reskilling Revolution Platform has been launched.
      4. World Economic Forum also released report namely “Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy”, which maps 96 new emerging jobs in seven fastest growing professions based on new technologies.
    5. Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020 (GTCI) report was launched (132 Nations) -
      1. India ranked 72nd, improving by 8 places.
      2. Top 5 - Switzerland (1), US (2), Singapore (3), Sweden (4), Denmark (5)
      3. Neighbors - China (42), Pakistan (106), Bangladesh (124), Sri Lanka (83)
    6. World Economic Forum(WEF) launched 1t.org, as an effort to support efforts to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world inorder to restore the biodiversity and help combat climate change.
      1. Initiative is set up with initial support of Salesforce (CRM) Chairman Marc and his wife Lynne Benioff.
      2. Restoring 1 trillion trees will remove 12 Gigatonnes(Gt) of Carbon Dioxide(Co2) from atmosphere per annum with the same trees storing up to 205 Gt of CO2-equivalent once mature or grown up.
      3. Locking up carbon in world’s grasslands, forests and wetlands will help reduce about one-third of the emissions required to be cut by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets.
    7. World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with PwC released a report titled Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy”.
      1. Report is the 1st in a series for the New Nature Economy(NNE). As per the report, global businesses are more than dependent on nature with an estimated exposure of $44 trillion which is half of world GDP.
      2. Human activities have severely altered 75% of land and 66% of marine environments too.
    8. 23rd edition of the PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey  -
      1. As per survey based on confidence of CEOs over worldwide economic growth, India ranked 4th while it was topped by United States(US).
      2. China and Germany ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively.
    9. Indian Actress Deepika Padukone honoured with Crystal Award 2020 at 26th annual Crystal Award ceremony during 50th WEF meet -
      1. She was awarded for playing a leading role in raising mental health awareness and her foundation Live Love Laugh.
      2. Other Crystal Award awardees -
        1. Theaster Gates - US Artist.
        2. Jin Xing (China)
        3. Lynette Wallworth - Australian artist
      3. Crystal Awards are conferred to honour enduring contributions to society by exceptional artists.
    10. India participated at United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) programme at World Economic Forum (WEF), with theme Access for all: Leveraging Innovations, Investments and Partnerships for Health.
    11. Tata Steel's Kalinganagar Plant has been honoured at WEF 2020 meet, for its recent admittance into Global Lighthouse Network. The network is a small but growing group of global corporations that are showing leadership in applying fourth industrial revolution technologies to drive financial and operational impact.
    12. WEF appointed International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva and African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) founder Patrice Motsepe to its board of trustees.
    13. As per a New public opinion poll published during the meet, global public is losing trust level in climate sciences. Indians are most trusting people in this regard, with 86% Indians trusting scientists on climate science, followed by Bangladesh (78%), Pakistan (70%).
    14. The 1st edition of Positive Impact Rating 2020 was launched at WEF Meet.
      1. 2 Indian business schools - IIM Bangalore and XLRI  Jamshedpur have been included in the top 30 list.
      2. Business schools have been rated to measure how much they contribute to solve societal challenges by providing relevant research results etc.
  359. Jan 26, 2020 is observed as 71st Republic Day of India. It marks enactment of Indian constitution on Jan 26, 1950.
    1. Brazil’s President Jair Messias Bolsonaro was Chief Guest at 71st Republic Day Parade. This is the third time that a Brazilian President was chief guest at Republic Day. Last time a Brazilian President was chief guest was in 2004 when Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended.
    2. 54 Persons honored by Jeevan Raksha Padak Awards 2019.
    3. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2020 conferred to 49 children under various categories (age group 5-18 years).
    4. 22 Children named as winners of National Bravery Awards.
    5. 104 Fire Service Medals and 49 Home Guard & Civil Defence Medals have been announced.
    6. President approved 440 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel (Army - 312, Navy - 41, Air Force - 87). 
      1. No Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra Awardees This year.
      2. 6 Shaurya Chakras have been conferred - Lt Col Jyoti Lama, Maj Konjengbam Bijendra Singh, Nb Sub Narender Singh, Nb Sub Sombir, Nk Naresh Kumar, Sep Karmdeo Oraon.
        1. India's Top Peacetime Gallantary Awards are - Ashoka Chakra > Kirti Chakra > Shaurya Chakra.
        2. India's Top Wartime Gallantary Awards are - Param Vir Chakra > Maha Vir Chakra > Vir Chakra.
    7. Parade Highlights -
      1. DRDO displayed A-SAT weapon system, the Anti-Satellite Weapon System. India is one of the few countries in the world to own the technology. The other countries include US, China and Russia. DRDO launched “Mission Shakti”, the first A-SAT mission.
      2. Army Captain Tanya Shergil led an all-male marching contingent of the Indian Army Corps of Signals, as a first such event.
      3. Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) showcased tableau on Start Up India at Republic Day Parade, with Theme Reach for the sky. This is first time Start Up India is participating at Parade.
  360. Jan 26 - International Customs Day.
    1. Jan 26, 2020 is also observed as World Leprosy Day, observed on Last sunday of January.
  361. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh state Governments made reading of the Preamble of the Constitution mandatory for schools, to be done after prayer in all primary and secondary schools in these states.
  362. Siemens India acquired Delhi-based electrical and electronic equipment maker C&S Electric for cash consideration of Rs 2,100 crores. It will help Siemens strengthen position as a supplier of low-voltage power distribution and electrical installation technology in country.
  363. India’s first e-waste clinic opened in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), to enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.
  364. Chairman of The Hindu Group, N. Ram has been selected as outstanding media person in a national award instituted by Kerala Media Academy, carrying a cash prize of INR 1 lakh.
  365. West Bengal overtaken Uttar Pradesh as top State in vegetable production in 2018-19, as per Agriculture Ministry Data. West Bengal produced 29.55 million tonnes (mt) of vegetables last year, vompared to 27.71 mt in UP.
    1. Andhra Pradesh (AP) continued to hold top spot in fruits, with 17.61MT in 2018-19. It was followed by Maharashtra (10.82 mt) and UP (10.65 mt).
  366. India hosted International Summit on Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with theme, Visualizing the Future: New Skylines, in New Delhi.
  367. Tribal Affairs Ministry proposed 6th Schedule Area status to UT of Ladakh, sending proposal to Home Ministry for the same.
    1. 6th Schedule of Constitution makes separate arrangements for tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura. Article 244A was added to the constitution through 22nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1969.
    2. It provides power of enactment of autonomous district councils (ADCs) to protect rights of tribal populations.
    3. People of Ladakh want to get tribal status so that people from other parts of the country do not come and settle there. It will also protect their demographic recognition.
  368. Government announced its plan of selling its 100 % stake in Air India, inviting bids by March 17, 2020. This is government’s 2nd attempt to sell Air India, after 1st In 2018, which failed to get any bid. Bidder would have to agree to assume roughly $3.26 billion in debt.
  369. Maharashtra government launched Shiv Bhojan scheme, to provide a meal to the poor at subsidized rates of INR 10.
    1. At least one 'Shiv Bhojan' canteen will be opened at the district headquarters.
  370. Andhra Pradesh cabinet approved to abolish Legislative Council.
    1. Legislative Council had stalled two bills that were passed by assembly - AP Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill and Decentralization bill.
    2. Andhra Pradesh is one of the few states to have bicameral legislature, others being Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana. Article 169 of constitution defines Legislative Council in a state.
  371. Government signed historic agreement with 9 factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
    1. Bodoland Territorial Area District will hold special rights for locals. Outsiders will have to obtain “permit” to work in territory. It will provide political rights to Bodo Tribals living in Assam.
    2. It is 3rd agreement signed in 27 years, with first being signed with All Bodo Students Union in 1993 and second was signed with Bodo Liberation Tigers in 2003.
  372. World Health Organization changed its status of risk of coronavirus as high, from moderate, with severe outbreak witnessed in china and rapid expansion to other countries.
  373. Govt announced to make Indian Railways to run 100% on electricity, by 2024. Also, Railways has planned to make the network zero-emission network by 2030.
    1. So far, till 2017-18, 4,087 km route has been electrified. Electric traction accounts to 57.91% of energy expenses of Indian Railways.
  374. India’s first Super Fab Lab inaugurated in Kerala, to function in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). It is only Super Fab Lab that is being installed outside US.
    1. Super Fab Lab is being installed in collaboration with Kerala Startup Mission. Fab Lab offers digital fabrication. It is an array of computers that covers almost all materials, used in businesses to develop prototypes and also in education.
    2. Vigyan Ashram (Pune) was first Fab Lab to be opened in India, established in 2002.
  375. East Coast Railways commissioned first waste-to-energy plant of Indian Railways, as 4th such plant in country. It has been set up at with Polycrack technology, in Bhubaneswar. Plant can process 500 kg of waste per day and will earn Rs 17.5 lakh per annum.
    1. First such plant was established by Infosys in 2011 at Bengaluru.
    2. In Polycrack Technology, waste is processed and reformed in 24 hours.
  376. 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony  -
    1. Grammy Awards (originally called Gramophone Award) are presented by US Based The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in music industry. Notable Winners in 2020 Edition -
    2. Category Winner
      Album of the Year When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
      Record of the Year Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
      Song of The Year Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
      Best New Artist Billie Eilish
      Albums
      R&B Ventura – Anderson Paak
      Rap Igor – Tyler, the Creator
      Country While I'm Livin' – Tanya Tucker
      Rock Social Cues – Cage the Elephant
      Dance/Electronic No Geography – The Chemical Brothers
      Folk Patty Griffin
      Pop When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Billie Eilish
      New age Wings – Peter Kater
      Jazz 12 Little Spells – Esperanza Spalding
      World music Celia – Angélique Kidjo
      Children's Ageless: Songs for the Child Archetype – Jon Samson
      Historical Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
      Others
      Producer of the Year Finneas (Non-Classical), Blanton Alspaugh (Classical)
      Best Music Video "Old Town Road" (Official Movie) – Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyru
      Best Music Film Homecoming – Beyoncé
  377. As per ManpowerGroup's research report on Talent Shortage 2020, India faces a talent shortage of 63 percent, higher than global average.
  378. Portuguese diplomat Joao Vale de Almeida is appointed as European Union's top envoy in UK, after UK leaves the EU bloc (Brexit).
  379. Bombay Stock Exchange signed licensing agreement with Intercontinental Exchange Inc, a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services.
    1. It is for use of the ICE Brent Index as final settlement price for BSE's rupee-denominated Brent futures contract. India is a large consumers of crude oil, and Brent crude is highly co-related with Indian crude oil basket.
  380. Former PNB Chief Sunil Mehta took over as Chief Executive Officer of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), for 3 years term.
  381. Paleontologists discovered new species of meat-eating dinosaur in Utah (US), that inhabited flood plains of western North America during Late Jurassic Period, between 157-152 million years ago. It belongs to allosauroids.
    1. Previously, paleontologists thought there was only 1 species of Allosaurus in Jurassic North America.
    2. At 155 million years old, Allosaurus jimmadseni is geologically-oldest species of Allosaurus.
  382. 13th edition of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) held in Jaipur (Rajasthan). Author Ashwin Sanghi launched his book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’ during the event.
    1. It was announced that France will be the guest of honour at New Delhi World Book Fair for year 2022.
    2. 2020 Romain Rolland Book Prize was confered on 1st 3 albums of Asterix series (comic magazine series), translated into Hindi by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta. It is given annually to the best translation of a french title into any Indian language inclusive of english.
    3. Sneha Pamneja was awarded Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2020, a 1st of its kind award for brilliance in book design. She was honoured for designing the cover of the book ‘Tiffin: Authentic Recipes Celebrating India’s Regional Cuisine’.
  383. Jan 27 - International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, Proclaimed by UN in 2005. 2020 marks 75th anniversary of the day.
    1. The Holocaust was World War II genocide of European Jews. Between 1941 and 1945. Germany murdered over 60 lakh Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population.
  384. American Chipmaker Qualcomm launched 3 chipsets in India – Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460).
    1. These chipsets have been developed with support for ISRO’s Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), a technology considered an advanced location positioning and navigation system than the GPS technology currently in use.
    2. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi and Realme will soon launch new smartphones with Snapdragon 720G chipset processor.
  385. National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) partnered with UNICEF Hyderabad field office to set up ‘Communication Resource Unit’ (CRU). CRU will function as mechanism for providing Social and Behavioural Change Communications (SBCC) support to flagship programmes of State & central Government.
  386. Cross-border payments Firm Western Union partnered with teleco firm Bharti Airtel’s 2 arms– Airtel Payments Bank & Airtel Africa Plc, to enable Airtel customers in India to receive international remittances in their bank accounts & and Mobile Wallets across 14 countries in Africa.
  387. IndusInd Bank launched asset management platform PIONEER, to provide services to high net-worth customers. PIONEER customers will get several privileges.
  388. Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's new Hindi novel Balwa will be released soon. It is a fiction story based on happenings in India in 1990s.
  389. New snake eel species residing in Bay of Bengal has been discovered by Estuarine Biology Regional Centre (EBRC) of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). It has been named as Ophichthus kailashchandrai , to honour vast contributions of ZSI Director Kailash Chandra.
  390. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari launched an online web portal ‘GATI’, to be used to monitor around 500 projects worth Rs 3 Lakh Crores. Contractors and concessionaires can raise any project related issues on the portal.
  391. West Bengal passed resolution against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), becoming 4th state to do so, After Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan. West Bengal govt stated that CAA does not stick to secularism.
  392. Jan 28 is Birth Anniversary of Noted Freedom Activist Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as “Punjab Kesari” and “Lion of Punjab”.
  393. Supreme Court ruled that African Cheetah shall be permitted to be introduced in India, on experimental basis. SC had put the move on hold 10 years back, fearing the Cheetahs might become into conflict with project of reintroduction of lions in Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
  394. ISRO launched Bhuvan Panchayat version 3.0, under which ISRO will collaborate with Gram panchayat members to understand their data requirements. It will run for two years. The portal aims at helping village development planning process under the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  395. Ramsar Convention added 10 more sites from India, taking total to 37 sites in India.
    1. Ramsar Convention was signed in February 1971, aimed at maintaining an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity. 
    2. Maharashtra got its first Ramsar site, at Nadur Madhameshwar. Punjad added 3 and UP added 6 to its list.
  396. Indian Navy launched Operation Vanilla in Southern Indian Ocean, after request received from Madagascar, which is affected by Cyclone Diane.
  397. Assam Rifles constructed war memorial in Nagaland, in memory of 357 personnel who sacrificed their lives fighting against insurgency in Nagaland. It is first of its kind in the state. It is tiled Veer Smriti.
  398. According to United National Development Programme (UNDP), Telangana emerged as best performing state in terms of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Telangana was followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
    1. Note that in December 2019, India became first country to release SDG index, launched by NITI Aayog. In this index, Top 5 states were - Kerala (1), Himachal Pradesh (2), Andhra Pradesh (3), Tamil Nadu (4), and Telangana (5).
  399. As per survey by Transparency International, Assam tops in terms of budget formulation followed by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Survey was based on four parameters - budgetary process, public disclosure, post budget fiscal management and efforts to make budget citizen friendly.
  400. Indian Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO (INCCU) Meet held in New Delhi, as its first meet since reconstitution of the commission.
  401. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conferred awards related to Republic Day 2020 Parade -
    1. Among States /UTs - Assam Tableau was adjudged best, based on the theme 'Land of Unique Craftsmanship and Culture'.  Tableaux of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh were named joint second best.
    2. Among different ministries/departments - Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) won joint best Tableaux award. Ministry of Jal Shakti tableau had showcased Government's new initiative 'Jal Jeevan Mission'.
    3. Tableau of Central Public Works Department (CPWD), with theme 'Kashmir se Kanyakumari', won special prize.
    4. CISF declared as 'best marching contingent' amongst CAPFs and other auxiliary squads.
  402. NTPC is announced as project management consultant for development of 300 MW of solar power projects in West Africa Nation Togo. It is first time another country has sought help of NTPC, under International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  403. Cabinet Approvals (Jan 29, 2020) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved to extend existing Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) Scheme beyond 2017-18. It will annually benefit to 28,821 Major Port Trusts and Dock employees/workers and yearly estimated outgo will be Rs.46 crore.
      2. Approed amendments in National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill 2019, for amending Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act 1973. Presently, the Bill is pending in Rajya Sabha. Amendments will -
        • Ensure necessary regulatory reforms in the field of Homoeopathy education.
        • Enable transparency and accountability for protecting interests of public. 
      3. Approved Amendments in National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019 (NCIM) which is pending in Rajya Sabha.
        1. Proposed legislation will ensure necessary regulatory reforms in the field of Indian System of Medicine education. 
        2. Proposed regulatory structure will enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interest of the general public. 
      4. Approved 30% of North Eastern Council funds to be allocated to new projects in North East Region.
        1. These projects have been given least importance so far. With increased funds, they will be able to reach in pace with the older projects and help in faster development.
      5. Approved Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill 2020, to amend Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. Bill will be introduced in coming summer session of Parliament.
        1. Proposing requirement for opinion of one provider for termination of pregnancy, up to 20 weeks of gestation and introducing requirement of opinion of two providers for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.
        2. Enhancing upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women which will be defined in amendments to MTP Rules and would include 'vulnerable women' including survivors of rape, victims of incest and others.
        3. Upper gestation limit not to apply in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by Medical Board.
        4. Identity of concerned woman shall not be revealed except noted cases.
        5. Bill is for expanding access of women to safe and legal abortion services.
  404. IT Firm Tech Mahindra has set up a Google Cloud Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Hyderabad, aimed at driving digital transformation of enterprises globally.
  405. UK launched 4 million pound (about Rs 37 crore) fund in India to support collaborative research into emerging technologies. It will encourage industry and academia to collaborate and develop tech solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges in India.
  406. Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and Mangaluru Smart City Ltd signed MoU for giving a boost to green building movement and sustainable development in Mangaluru.
  407. Scientists at National Centre for Cell Science Pune discoverd a novel archael species named Natrialba swarupiae, in Rajasthan' s Sambhar Lake (India’s largest inland salt lake). It is named after Dr. Renu Swarup (Secretary in Department of Biotechnology).
    1. Archae are microorganisms which are similar to bacteria in size and simplicity of structure but radically different in molecular organization.
  408. RBI appointed its Executive Director Janak Raj as member of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the highest interest rate setting body. He replaces M D Patra, who was recently elevated as Deputy Governor of the RBI.
    1. RBI Monetary Policy Committee has 6 Members - 3 RBI officials and 3 external members nominated by Government. Nominated Members serve term of 4 years.
    2. M D Patra will still remain, MPC Member, now as Deputy Governor of RBI.
    3. Currnet RBI MPC Members -
      1. RBI Officials -
        1. Governor of RBI as Chairperson - Shaktikanta Das
        2. Michael Debrata Patra (Deputy Governor of RBI)
        3. Janak Raj (Executive director of RBI)
      2. Nominated -
        1. Chetan Ghate - Professor Indian Statistical Institute
        2. Pami Dua - Director, Delhi School of Economics
        3. Ravindra H. Dholakia - Professor, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
  409. China is now world's second-largest arms industry, as per figures compiled by Sweden based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). China surpassed Russia and trails only Behind US Now.
  410. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned high-speed interceptor boat C-448, built by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) shipyard.
  411. Taranjit Sandhu is appointed as India’s New ambassador to United States (US).
  412. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani has been appointed as new Prime Minister of Qatar.
  413. Autobiography of Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha titled ‘Relentless’ has been released.
  414. Oxford University Press (OUP) named Samvidhaan (Constitution) as Oxford Hindi Word of 2019. Oxford Said that 2019 saw the values of democracy, secularism, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity being tested on the touchstone of the Constitution.
  415. Saudi Arabia announced to not allow Israeli citizens to visit the nation, after Israel approved its citizens from visiting Saudi Arabia.
    1. Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and other major gulf nations. It has peace deals with only two Arab nations- Jordan and Egypt.
  416. Indian environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev has ben awarded 2020 Tyler Prize, jointly with biologist Gretchen C Daily.
    1. Pavan Sukhdev was honoured for his outstanding work in sphere of the green economy.  Sukhdev was head and special adviser of UNEP’s 'Green Economy Initiative'.
    2. Tyler prize is one of the first international premier environmental awards, often described as the ‘Nobel Prize for Environment’. It was constituted in 1973 by the late John and Alice Tyler.
  417. India's Gita Sabharwal has been appointed by United Nations as its Resident Coordinator in Thailand.
    1. UN Resident Coordinators are highest-ranking representatives of the UN’s country-level development system.
  418. US President Donald Trump unveiled his middle-east peace plan, aimed at resolving Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Key Features -
    1. It recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, Proposing transition to a two-state solution.
    2. New map will more than double Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem where US will open an embassy. No Israeli or Palestinian will be uprooted from their homes.
    3. Vision also promises commercial investment worth 50 billion dollars into new Palestinian state.
    4. Vision gives the Palestinians four years to study the deal and negotiate with Israel.
  419. As per TomTom Traffic Index by a Dutch independent location technology specialist TomTom -
    1. Bengaluru is most traffic congested city in world, followed by Philippines capital Manila, Bogota (Columbia), Mumbai, and Pune.
    2. Of the top five most traffic choked cities in world, three are from India - Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune.
    3. In Europe, Moscow is the most traffic-congested city.
  420. Committee constituted for transforming Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) into a world class premier institute on highway sector, submitted its report. It was headed by YS Malik. It stated urgent need for enhancement of knowledge and expertise of engineers to maintain massive road network of India in efficient, environment friendly and safe manner.
  421. Jan 30 is Death Anniversary of M K Gandhi, known as Martyr's Day.
  422. Jan 30, 2020 is observed as First Ever World Neglected Tropical Diseases day.
  423. World’s largest meditation centre inaugurated at Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad (Telangana), to mark 75th anniversary of the formation of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) and Heartfulness Institute. It can accommodate 1 lakh practitioners at a time.
  424. Former British film actress of Indo-British descent, Sanjna Kapoor has been awarded French honour of ‘Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) for her outstanding contribution to the field of theater.
  425. Former England Cricketer Alastair Cook and ex-West Indies team manager Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt are appointed as members of England's Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)'s World Cricket Committee.
  426. Nepal became first South Asian nation to offer to "mediate" between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and cross-border terrorism.
  427. India's Anil Khanna nominated as Life President of Asian Tennis Federation (ATF).
  428. 71st edition of International Boxing Tournament Strandja 2020 held in Sofia (Bulgaria) -
    1. India ranked 9th, with 3 medals (1 Silver, 2 Bronze). List was topped by Ukraine with 10 medals.
    2. Indian Medals -
      1. Mohammed Hussamuddin - Silver (57 KG)
      2. Sonia Lather - Bronze (57 KG)
      3. Shiva Thapa - Bronze (63 KG)
  429. World Sustainable Summit 2020 organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at New Delhi, with theme Towards 2030: Making the Decade Count.
    1. As per report released during the summit, carbon-dioxide emissions from steel sector will reach 600 million tonnes by 2050. Current CO2 emissions from steel sector is 242 Million Tonnes, 35% of total emissions of India.
  430. India’s 1st underwater metro project will be completed as East-West Project of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, by March 2022.
  431. European Parliament deferred voting on a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, stating that it is India’s “internal matter". As a compromise, European lawmakers agreed to postpone the voting and get a direct perspective about CAA from Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar, who wll visit Brussels (Belgium) shortly.
  432. Britain unveiled a new 50 pence coin minted to mark Brexit (British exit from the European Union Bloc), which bears the inscription “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”.
    1. After Brexit, 28 member of European Union states will come down to 27.
  433. Annual event Bharat Parv organised in Delhi, with Theme Ek  Bharat  Shreshtha  Bharat’ and  Celebrating  150 Years of  M K Gandhi.
  434. Indian-American Arvind Krishna is appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Global Tech Major IBM (International Business Machine).
  435. Visits to India (Jan 21 - 31, 2020) -
    1. Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn visited India.
    2. French Minister of Culture Franck Riester Visited India. He honored Sanjna Kapoor (Former British film actress of Indo-British descent), with French honour of ‘Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) for her outstanding contribution to the field of theater.
    3. Brazil’s President Jair Messias Bolsonaro Visited India -
      1. He was Chief Guest at 71st Republic Day Parade. This is the third time that a Brazilian President was chief guest at Republic Day. Last time a Brazilian President was chief guest was in 2004 when Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended.
      2.  Brazilian Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply Ms. Tereza Cristina Correa da Costa Dias also Visited.
      3. 15 MOUs Were Signed -
        1. Bioenergy Cooperation
        2. Oil and Natural Gas
        3. Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty
        4. Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
        5. Early Childhood
        6. Health and Medicine
        7. Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
        8. Cultural Exchange Programme for period 2020-2024
        9. Social Security
        10. Cyber Security
        11. Scientific and Technological Cooperation (2020-2023)
        12. Geology and Mineral Resources
        13. MoU between Invest India and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex Brazil)
        14. Animal Husbandry and Dairying
        15. Cooperation for establishing a nodal institution in India to carry out research on Bioenergy
      4. India-Brazil have set target of USD 15 billion trade by 2022.
      5. Brazilian gunmaker Taurus Armas SA  signed agreement for setting up a joint Venture with Indian steelmaker Jindal Group to manufacture and sell guns in India.  Jindal will hold 51% stake in JV and remaining 49% will be held by Taurus.
  436. Visits from India (Jan 21 - 31, 2020) -
    1. External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited African Nations Niger & Tunisia.
      1. India signed MoU with Tunisia, for the setting up of a ‘India- Tunisia centre for innovation in information and communication technologies (ICT)’ in Tunisia.
      2. He Inaugurated USD 56 million convention centre in Niger''s capital Niamey. It is first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour M K Gandhi, whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019. Out of cost of USD 56 million, assistance of USD 35.48 was provided by India and the rest USD 20.52 million funded by Niger government.
  437. General Conferences (Jan 21 - 31, 2020) -
    1. 3rd Apex Conference of the Smart Cities organized at Andhra University Convention Center in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
    2. 3rd Global Potato Conclave held at Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
    3. Andhra CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched first Disha Police Station in Rajamahendravaram city., as model stations aimed at rendering speedy justice for female victims of Sexual assault.
      1. Andhra Pradesh government enacted Disha Act, after gruesome rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad in November 2019. Disha act to ensure speedy investigation and trial of sexual assault cases. Under it, state government is opening 13 special courts in each district for expeditious trial of such cases.
    4. 1st edition of Ganga-Volga Dialogue of Civilizations 2020 based on the theme “Connectivity”, between India & Russia  held in New Delhi.
    5. Arunachal Pradesh state council for science & Technology  organised state's 1st Innovation festival at science centre IG Park in Itanagar.
    6. Government will set up India's First war memorial for animals in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh).
    7. As a first such initiative, Telangana State Election Commission used facial recognition app in a bid to counter impersonation by voters, during elections in Kompally Municipality.
    8. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Classical Telugu Centre at Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), which has been shifted to Nellore from Mysore.
    9. India's first underwater Metro is being constructed at Hooghly river in Kolkata (West Bengal). The new under water enable crossing the river in less than a minute. Currently it takes 20 minutes in the ferry to cross the river and an hour to cross the Howrah bridge.
    10. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched Composite Regional Centre (CRC) for skill development, empowerment of persons and rehabilitation in Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Islands). CRCs are located in Kozhikode, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Guwahati, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Mandi and Suraghi (Chhattisgarh).
    11. Magh Bihu harvest festival celebrated in Assam. It is also called ‘Bhogali Bihu’ or ‘Maghor Bihu’ as it is celebrated with community feasts after annual harvest takes place.
    12. Nepal  created a new Guinness World Record for organizing highest altitude Fashion Show on earth, at 5340 meters (17515 feet) elevation at Kala Patthar.
    13. National Conclave on Emerging Opportunities in Natural Gas sector held in New Delhi. It was stated that present share of gas in energy basket of India is 6.2%, targeted to be 15% by 2030. Global average is 24%.
    14. Women with wheels’ taxi service has been launched at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, to be only available for female commuters and will be driven by women drivers only.
    15. Indian Railways has taken up RFID project (radio-frequency identification) that aims to automatically and accurately track and trace rolling stock as they move across India, as an attempt to fuel growth plans and improve operational efficiency.
    16. PM Narendra Modi attended 3rd edition interaction programme with school students ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020‘ held in New Delhi.
    17. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan today launched a scheme of SAIL to promote Voluntary Philanthropist Activities (VPA) by its employees, called SERVICE - SAIL Employee Rendering Voluntarism and Initiatives for Community Engagement.
    18. Kochi (Kerala) hosted Global Investors Meet ASCEND 2020.
      1. Kerala Govt unveiled masures to enhance ease of doing business in state, including a wage subsidy scheme for the first five years for new ventures getting registered from April 1, 2020.
    19. Maharashtra Govt organized Advantage Maharashtra expo 2020 industrial exhibition in Aurangabad.
      1. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray also inaugurated India’s first and biggest ‘walk-through’ aviary in Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo also known as Byculla Zoo in Mumbai.
      2. Aviary is spread over in 18,234 sq ft, is 44 feet tall and consists of 100 species of Indian and exotic birds.
    20. E-Commerce Firm Amazon organized SMBhav, a first-of-its-kind mega summit for Small and Medium Businesses in New Delhi.
    21. National Crime Record Bureau Launched 2 online national level services related to Search of Missing Persons and to Generate Vehicle NOC.
    22. Lok sabha speaker Om Birla attended 25th conference of speakers and presiding officers (CSPOC) 2020 in Ottawa (Canada).
    23. Odisha Government launched a virtual police station, enabling people to lodge complaints from their respective districts regarding theft of their vehicles without visiting Police Station.
    24. Iranian film ‘Castle of Dreams’ directed by Reza Mirakarimi won Best Film and Best Director Award at 18th Dhaka International Film Festival (Bangladesh).
    25. President Ram Nath Kovind laid foundation stone of UT of Lakshadweep’s 1st super specialty hospital at Kavaratti.
    26. 1st session of India-Norway trade and investment dialogue held in New Delhi. India and Norway signed Dialogue of Trade and Investment when Norway Prime Minister visited India in 2018.
    27. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) will organize 14th Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) in January 2021.
    28. 12th edition of South Asia Conference organized by Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi, with theme Neighbourhood First.
    29. Tamil Nadu CM announced 'Direct CTO', to enable companies operating under 'green category industries' receive faster clearances from government to commence operations. It was announced during event for marking 125 years of trade body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
    30. After Mumbai, e-commerce firm Amazon has set up its second pick up kiosk in Kolkata’s Sealdah Railway Station, in partnership with Eastern Railways. Pick up kiosk allows the customers to pick up packages at railway stations.
  438. Census India 2021 will begin on April 1, 2020 and will end on September 30, 2020. It will be conducted through a mobile phone application, moving away from traditional pen and paper.
    1. For the first time, Census will collect data of transgenders headed houses. Also, the census will enquire about “Main cereal”, which s also included for the first time in the history of census of India.
    2. Census 2021 is to ask 31 questions to the citizens.
  439. Misc. Sports events (Jan 2020) -
    1. Ladakh won 7th National Ice Hockey Championship Women trophy held at the Karzoo Ice Hockey Rink in Ladakh.
    2. “Lawn bowls” and “cycling” events will be included in 3rd edition of Khelo India Games to be held in Guwahati (Assam) in January 2020.
    3. New Zealand Cricketer Leo Carter became 7th cricketer in world to score six sixes in an over, during New Zealand's Twenty20 tournament Super Smash.
    4. Australian Wade Ormsby won Hong Kong Open Golf Title.
    5. International Hockey Federation unveiled a new world ranking system for 2020, as a match-based instead of tournament-based calculation. It is expected to remove subjectivity surrounding continental weighing by creating a system which is fair to all.
    6. As per International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), India fnished Shooting Nation in World in 2019, with 21 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze. India secured first position in all Rifle-pistol World Cups and Finals in 2019.
    7. Hyderabad's Aashman Taneja has set a Guinness World Record in sport of Taekwondo, for most number of full-contact knee strikes in one hour., with over 1200 knee strikes in an hour.
    8. Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen has set a world record of 111 unbeaten classical games.
    9. Team of Indian Consulate won Diplomat Cup Cricket Championship of 2020 held in Sharjah (UAE), defeating Pakistan Consulate.
    10. Jacqueline Williams of Jamaica became first woman third umpire in men’s international cricket match, when she oversaw T20 matches between West Indies and Ireland.
    11. Australia will host 11th Indoor cricket World Cup in Oct 2020.
    12. Dattu Bhokanal’s two-year suspension on charges of tanking a race during 2018 Asian Games, has been lifted by Rowing Federation of India (RFI).
    13. Indian cyclist Esow Alben won gold Medal in men’s Keirin individual event at Berlin Tournament in Germany.
    14. Mizoram defeated Sikkim to win North East Dr T Ao Football Trophy 2020.
  440. Obituaries (Jan 2020) -
    1. Ratna Ojha - Noted Eminent Assamese dramatist, litterateur and social activist.
    2. T N Chaturvedi - Former Governor of Karnataka.
    3. Bhim Chandra Jana - Noted Freedom fighter.
    4. Sharif Idu - Noted Folk Singer and sarangi maestro from Punjab. He was conferred with country’s highest honour for performing arts — the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006 in dhadi folk music category.
    5. Minati Mishra - Noted Odissi Danseuse and Padma Shri Awardee.
    6. Hans Tilkowski - German footballer (Goalkeeper).
    7. Akbar Padamsee- Noted painter and artist.
    8. M. Chidananda Murthy - Noted Kannada writer, researcher and historian.
    9. Qaboos bin Said Al Said - Ruler of Oman.
    10. Thomas Antony - Noted Kerala Cartoonist.
    11. Obaid Siddiqui - Noted Broadcaster and Urdu poet.
    12. Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deo - Odisha’s Gajapati dynasty head and former MP.
    13. Manmohan Mahapatra - Noted Odia filmmaker. He won eight consecutive national film awards for his films.
    14. Khagendra Thapa Magar - World’s shortest man, from Nepal. He was 2 ft and 2.41 tall.
    15. Bapu Nadkarni - Former Indian Cricketer.
    16. Ashwini Kumar Chopra - Noted journalist and former MP.
    17. P.T. Ummer Koya - Former vice-president of world chess governing body FIDE (International Chess Federation).
    18. Sunanda Patnaik - Noted Odia Hindustani vocalist.
    19. Man Mohan Sood - Former Indian cricketer.
    20. Saleha Sultan - Titular queen of Bhopal and wife of late Nawab Bashir Yar Jung of Paigah family.
    21. Vinay Kumar Sinha - Noted Indian Film producer.
    22. Sher Singh Kukkal - Noted artist and sculptor.
    23. Kobe Bryant - American Basketball Player and Noted NBA Star. He died in a helicopter crash.
    24. Golok Chandra Goswami - Noted Assamese linguist.
    25. Melhupra Vero - First Rajya Sabha MP from Nagaland and Padma Shri Awardee.
    26. Sunita Chandra - Former Hockey Player.
    27. Jameela Malik - Noted South Indian actress.
    28. Tushar Kanjilal - Noted social worker and Padma Shri Awardee.
    29. Pieter Robert Rensenbrink - Former Netherlands' footballer.
    30. Ajmal Sultanpuri - Noted Urdu poet.
    31. Matthew Satya Babu - Former Noted Indian basketball player.
    32. Sashi Sarma -Noted Assamese litterateur.
    33. Vidya Bal - Noted Feminist and Social Activist.
  441. Industrial Awards (Jan 2020) -
    1. Piyush Jaiswal has been awarded Global B`ihar Excellence Award 2019, for his work in promoting women empowerment.
    2. Ministry of Science and Technology have awarded Swarna Jayanti Fellowships to 14 scientists to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology. The fellowship includes a fellowship of 25 thousand rupees per month and research grant of five lakh rupees for five years is also being provided in addition to salary.
    3. HDFC Bank hass been adjudged best in 'Innovation and Inclusiveness in Priority Sector Lending' category at '11th Inclusive Finance India Awards' in '16th Inclusive Finance Summit' in New Delhi.
    4. Award of Excellence for 2019 given by Computer Society of India (CSI) and Special Interest Group on e-Governance (CSI SIG e-Gov) to 2 applications developed by Election Commission of India - cVIGIL’ and ‘Voter Helpline App’, in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
      1. Using cVIGIL (Vigilant Citizen), citizens can report  Violations during elections. Every cVIGIL case is replied back with action taken in 100-minute timeline after evidentiary proof of violation.
    5. Gujarat topped SKOCH State of Governance 2019 ranking, replacing West Bengal. Top 5 are Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
    6. Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren conferred with the "Champion of Change Award-2019" for his work in the Barhait and Dumka assembly constituencies in state, by Former president Pranab Mukherjee.
    7. Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, N Kumar honoured with Harit Ratna Award 2019 by All India Agricultural Students Association (AIASA).
    8. Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee has been conferred honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by Calcutta University.
    9. Indian Ayurvedic Telemedicine Pioneer Partap Chauhan Conferred with Ayurveda Ratan Award 2020 in Brussels (Belgium), during 2nd Ayurveda Day Celebration at European Parliament. In November 2018, Ayurveda Day was 1st celebrated at European Parliament.
  442. Misc. Appointments (Jan 2020) -
    1. Axis Bank appointed Amit Talgeri as Chief Risk Officer.
    2. Andhra Pradedsh government appointed Kritika Shukla and and M. Deepika as Special Officers for implementing Andhra Pradesh Disha Act 2019. It intends for speedy trial and faster execution in cases of sexual offences against women in state.
    3. Govt approved re-employment of V K Yadav as Chairman of Railway Board for 1 year.
    4. Delhi AIIMS’ Suresh Chandra Sharma has been appointed as 1st Chairman of NMC (National Medical Commission).
    5. Lakshmi Vilas Bank appointed S Sundar as interim Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
    6. A Sakthivel is appointed as chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) for 2020-21.
    7. Former CRPF Director-General Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar is appointed as Advisor to Lieutenant Governor of UT of Jammu and Kashmir (Currently G. C. Murmu). Other two Advisors are KK Sharma and Farooq Khan.
    8. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA Rabindra Nath Mahato is elected as Speaker of New Jharkhand Legislative Assembly.
    9. PSU Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) appointed M Nagaraj as Chairman and Managing Director(CMD).
    10. Arun Kumar Sahu is appointed as next High Commissioner of India to Commonwealth of Dominica.
    11. Indian dancer-choreographer Sandip Soparrkar has been appointed by International Business School of Washington (IBSW) as a new Panel Member in board of Directors.
    12. Rajya Sabha MP Chandra Pal Singh Yadav has been re-elected as Chairman of Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO).
    13. Girish Kumar has been re-appointed as Surveyor General of India for 1 year.
    14. BCCI appointed Former Crickcters Madan Lal and Gautam Gambhir as members of CAC (Cricket Advisory Commitee).
    15. Punit Sood has been appointed as country head of RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) India.
    16. Japanese Investment Major SoftBank appointed Manoj Kohli as its India’s head.
    17. Central Vigilance Commission appointed A.D.M. Chavali, Former Executive Director of Indian Overseas Bank, as a member in Advisory Board for Banking & Financial Frauds.
    18. Alok Kansal is appointed as General Manager of Western Railway (WR).
    19. Vinay Mohan Kwatra is appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Nepal.
  443. Persons Resigned / Retired (Jan 2020) -
    1. Indian female hockey Player Sunita Lakra announced her international retirement.
    2. P R Seshadri resigned as MD and CEO of Karur Vysya Bank.
    3. Cricketer Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
    4. North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev resigned from his position.
    5. Italian footballer Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement.
    6. Indian weightlifter Sarbjeet Kaur has been banned for four years by National Anti Doping Agency, after being found guilty of a doping violation.
    7. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned, after President Putin proposed a series of constitutional changes.
    8. Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Hafeez announced to retire from international cricket, after upcoming T-20 World Cup 2020 to be held in Australia.
    9. Brazil Tennis Player Joao Olavo Soares de Souza has been banned for life and fined $200,000 by International Tennis Federation after being found guilty of match-fixing and corruption.
    10. Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec resigned from his post.
    11. Vineet Saxena -Noted Rajasthan domestic cricketer.
    12. Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart resigned as independent director of Ujjivan Small Finance bank .
    13. New Zealand Crickter Todd Astle announced his retirement from first-class cricket.
    14. Abidali Neemuchwala resigned as CEO of IT Major Wipro.
  444. Misc. Corporate Events (Jan 2020) -
    1. Bank of Baroda signed co-lending partnership agreement with JM Financial Home Loans Limited (JMFL), to provide loans to Home buyers.
    2. Indian Bank signed MoU with Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association in Tamil Nadu, to offer training and credit linkage to women members/entrepreneurs of association for establishing business.
    3. CSC e-Governance Services India signed MOU with Paytm Payments Bank Ltd for sale of FASTags, to facilitate sale of PPBL FASTags through last mile network of 3.6 lakh CSCs.
    4. PSU Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary company with name CONCOR Last Mile Logistics Limited.
    5. Amazon India and Future Retail signed long-term agreements to expand reach of Future Retail stores and consumer brands through the Amazon India marketplace. Amazon also announced USD 1 billion investment in India.
    6. Axis Mutual Fund announced its new fund – ‘Axis All Seasons Debt Fund of Funds’, as an open-ended fund of funds scheme investing in debt-oriented mutual fund schemes.
    7. To increase security of credit / debit cards, RBI directed all banks to give card users the facility to themselves enable/disable their cards for different types of use - online, physical, contact-less domestically or internationally.
    8. Bajaj Finserv partnered with Apollo Hospitals to extend credit to those having to undergo expensive healthcare procedures, called Health EMI Cards.
    9. RBI released minutes of Board meeting for the first time, as a step to improve transparency of its business at board meetings.
    10. ICICI Bank launched Cardless cash withdrawal facility from its ATMs, with per-day transaction limit of 20000.
    11. ICICI Lombard received Irdai’s approval to pilot 6 innovative applications in its health and motor portfolio under Sandbox Project.
      1. Regulatory Sandbox Project has provided insurance industry with flexibility to explore new products and services that suit today’s technology and data driven world.
      2. This is the highest number given to any company under the Irdai-introduced project.
    12. E-Commerce Firm Flipkart signed MoU with Gujarat State Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation, for promotion of local handicrafts by bringing on board thousands of artisans, weavers and craftsmen, as part of Flipkart’s “Samarth” initiative.
    13. Indian Bank launched 2 two tailor made credit products - Corporate Loan and Ind Surya Shakthi/ Indian Bank Solar which will be available across country for benefit of textile sector.
  445. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (Jan 2020) -
    1. World Bank's Global Economic Prospect report predicted India's GDP growth rate to be 5 % in FY 2019-20 and 5.5 % in FY 2020-21.
    2. CSO (Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation) predicted 5 % Growth ibn FY 2019-20, under first advance estimates of National Income for FY 2019-21.
    3. SBI projected gross domestic product (GDP) for FY20 to be 4.6 %, against 5 % projected earlier.
    4. According to ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020’ report by United Nations, India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for 2019-20 will be 5.7%. It has been slashed from 7.6% to 5.7 %. In FY 2020-21, growth rate is expected to be 6.6%.
    5. International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook reduced growth forecasts for India to 4.8 % for 2019-21, down from 5.8 %.
      1. Also, IMF has projected global growth to rise from 2.9 % in 2019 to 3.3 % in 2020 and 3.4 % in 2021.
      2. Indian economy growth is expected to rise to 5.8 percent in 2020-21 and 6.5 percent in 2021-22.
    6. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), Indian subsidiary of Fitch group, estimated Indian economy to grow at a 5.5% rate in FY 21 (2020-21). It is slightly higher than 5% GDP growth rate estimate for FY20 (2019-20).
    7. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in its “Economic Outlook Survey 2020”, projected India’ s GDP growth at 5% for 2019-20 and 5.5 % in 2020-21.
  446. Department of Telecommunications taken over process of issuing and managing IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity), a special 15-digit serial number of mobile phones, from private body MSAI (Mobile Standard Alliance of India).
    1. Government will change system operated by MSAI and develop a new system called “Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction (ICDR)”, prepared by Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT).
  447. Nagoba Jatara tribal festival celebrated in Telangana.
  448. ICICI Bank launched first-of-its-kind 24×7 self-service delivery tool for customers called “iBox”. Under this, customers will be able to take their debit, credit card, check book and return check from the branch close to their home or office. The iBox terminals are installed outside the premises of the bank’s branches, which can be used even after bank closes.
  449. Google announced a $1 million grant for global non-profit organization ‘Internews’ that will launch a new initiative to promote news literacy in India, as part of $ 10 million Google’s commitment worldwide to media literacy.
    1. Google also launched new application called “Tangi”, which focuses on Do It Yourself videos. Name is inspired from TeAch aNd GIve.
  450. Drone Federation of India collaborated with Tata AIG General Insurance Company, for development and launch of tailor-made insurance products for drone operators.
  451. Srinagar Journalist Yusuf Jameel selected for 2019-2020 PEN Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism.
    1. Award is in name of Gauri Lankesh, the editor-activist murdered in 2017. It carries a purse of 1 lakh.
  452. Indian female footballer Ngangom Bala Devi became first Indian woman to earn a professional football contract abroad after signing for Scottish giant Rangers FC. She is also Rangers’ first-ever Asian international footballer.
  453. Canadian Female footballer Christine Sinclair became all-time top scorer in international soccer, with her 185th goal against St. Kitts and Nevis. This is a record for both male ane female category. She got past mark held by American Abby Wambach.
  454. Book “Calcutta nights” (originally ‘Raater Kolkata’) translated into English by Rajat Chaudhuri has been released.
  455. Global smartphone brand OPPO signed MOU with IIT Hyderabad, to take up joint R & D projects in advanced and emerging technologies.
  456. US President Donald Trump signed revised North American Free Trade Agreement into law. The trade deal, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, updates quarter-century-old NAFTA.
  457. Indian Women's Hockey Captain Rani Rampal became first hockey player in world to win the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ Award, based on public votes.
  458. AN-32 aircraft of Indian Air Force powered with 10% blend of bio-jet fuel took off and landed successfully at Leh airport. This is the first time that bot engines of an aircraft are powered with bio-jet fuel.

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