Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. National Marine Turtle Action Plan

Why in news?

– Considering the need to have a conservation paradigm for marine mega fauna and marine turtles, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ and ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’ in New Delhi on 28 January, 2021.

Key facts are:

– According to the Union Environment Minister both floral and faunal diversity including the marine biodiversity is the beauty of India and we need to conserve it with best possible action and interventions.

– India has rich marine biodiversity along a vast coastline of over 7,500 km. From colorful fish, sharks, including Whale Sharks, turtles and big mammals like whales, dolphins and dugongs to bright corals, marine habitats not only harbor diverse species but also provide resources essential for human wellbeing.

– Millions of people depend on these resources ranging from maritime trade and transport, food, mineral resources, cultural traditions, spiritual values and inspiration that draws tourists from around the world.

– Despite the immense economic, ecological and cultural values of marine habitats in India, marine mega fauna species and marine turtles face a wide variety of challenges including stranding and entanglement.

– Managing such challenging situations requires coordination, action and people’s participation which would help in the long-term conservation of marine species and their habitats.

– The documents launched contains ways and means to not only promote inter-sectoral action for conservation but also guide improved coordination amongst the government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders on the response to cases of stranding, entanglement, injury or mortality of marine mammals and also conservation of marine turtles.

– These two documents highlight actions to be taken for handling stranded animals on the shore, stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat, management actions for improved coordination, reducing threats to marine species and their habitats, rehabilitation of degraded habitats, enhancing people’s participation, advance scientific research and exchange of information on marine mammals and marine turtles and their habitats.

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2. Indo-French alliance

Why in news?

– Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar and Ms Barbara Pompili, the French Minister for Ecological Transition launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment in New Delhi on 28 January, 2021.

Key points are:

– The basic objective is to strengthen Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favour of global environment protection and give them greater visibility.

– Welcoming Ms Barbara Pompili on her maiden visit to India, Shri Prakash Javadekar emphasised on the significance of India-France alliance is working towards climate change.

– “India has made significant progress towards climate change action & has already achieved 26% of reduction of emission intensity. As of 2020, the renewable capacity in India stands at 90 GW which includes 36 GW of solar energy & 38 GW of wind energy. “, informed Shri Javadekar.

– He further added that India looks forward to strengthening the Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favour of global environmental protection and give them greater visibility.

– The Indo-French Year of the Environment over the period 2021-2022 would be based on five main themes: environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

– It is also a platform for engaging in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to the environment and allied areas.

– From the French side, it will be held under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs with the support of the Embassy of France in Delhi and its partners.

– From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations.

– A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalise the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 28 January, 2021

3. World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day

Why in news?

– January 30, 2021, will mark the second annual World Neglected Tropical Diseases  (NTD) Day.

Key points are:

– India joins the world to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases. On this day the Qutub Minar will be lit up along with other landmarks across the world.

– On World NTD Day, on 30th January 2021, more than 50 landmarks representing 25 nations across the world will be lit up to celebrate how far we have come together in beating NTDs.

–  India too will proudly join these countries, by illuminating UNESCO world heritage site, Qutub Minar.

– 1 in 5 people around the world is affected by NTDs. India is home to the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 11 of these major neglected tropical diseases. These diseases debilitate, disfigure, and can even be fatal to those affected.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 25 January, 2021

4. NCAVES India Forum 2021

Why in news?

– The NCAVES India Forum 2021, organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in a virtual format, with live sessions on January 14, 21 and 28, 2021, concluded today on January 28, 2021.

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Key points are:

– The event covered a wide range of topics pertaining to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

– The first live session was dedicated to the discussion on the efforts made by India and the international agencies in the domain of environmental accounting and the second live session held on January 21, 2021 focussed on the Policy Demand for NCA in India and emerging opportunities for NCA to support national priorities in India.

– The focus of the concluding session was the achievements in natural capital accounting at the sub-national level and the prospects of natural capital accounts in India.

– In addition, MoSPI released the India EVL Tool giving a synoptic view of the environmental valuation studies conducted in India during the past twenty years.

– It was emphasized that the Ministry’s constant endeavour to provide timely, quality statistics would enable evidence-based policy-making.

– A holistic approach should be adopted taking into consideration both the environmental conservation as well as the growth of the country.

– State Governments play a major role in the ensuring that the development activities are devoid of any negative effect on the environment and that the need of the hour is to work collaboratively with states and local governments to implement laws that protect the environment.

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5. Village celebrates its newborn daughters

Why in news?

– Whenever a girl is born, Haridaspur, a remote village in Telangana, celebrates by distributing sweets and lighting lamps.

Key points are:

– This is due to the efforts by panchayat president Md. Shafi and secretary Rohit Kulkarni.

– All girl children in the village are going to have accounts of Sukanya Samriddi Yojana (SSY), a savings scheme being implemented by the Union government.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 23 January, 20212.

About Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

– It is a small deposit scheme for the girl child launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.

– A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, with a minimum deposit of Rs 250 (Earlier it was Rs 1,000). In subsequent years, a minimum of Rs 250 and a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the ongoing financial year.

– The account can be opened in any post office or authorised branches of commercial banks.

– The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of its opening or till the marriage of the girl after she turns 18.

– To meet the requirement of her higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of 50% of the balance is allowed after she turns 18.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 January, 2021

6. Agreement with IEA

Why in news?

– India has inked a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to strengthen cooperation in global energy security, stability and sustainability.

Key points are:

– The Objective is to encourage and promote strategic and technical cooperation in the energy sector.

– It will lead to a wider exchange of knowledge and will be a step towards making India a full member of the IEA.

– Strengthen mutual trust and cooperation & enhance global energy security, stability and sustainability.

– A phased increase in benefits and responsibilities for India as an IEA strategic partner.

– Building on existing areas of work and the Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP), such as energy security, clean and sustainable energy, energy efficiency, enhancing petroleum storage capacity, expansion of the gas-based economy in India etc.

About International Energy Agency

– It was established in 1974 as per the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 January, 2021

7. START Treaty

Why in news?

– Recently, Russia approved the extension of the New START treaty. It is the last remaining nuclear Russia-USA arms control treaty which is about to expire in February 2021.

Key points are:

– Both houses of the Russian Parliament (Kremlin) approved the extension of the New START treaty for five years. It was done after a recent telephonic conversation between the newly elected USA President and the Russian President.

– At the World Economic Forum’s virtual meeting, the President of Russia hailed the decision to extend the treaty as “a step in the right direction,” but also warned about the rising global rivalries and threats of new conflicts.

– The pact’s extension doesn’t require congressional approval in the USA, but Russian lawmakers must ratify the move and its President has to sign the relevant Bill into law.

– The New START Treaty is a treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.

– The term ‘strategic offensive arms’ applies to nuclear warheads deployed by Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles (‘SNDVs’).

What are SNDVs?

– SNDVs are Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (‘ICBMs’) with a range exceeding 5,500 kilometres, strategic bombers, warships (including strategic submarines) and cruise missiles, including air and sea-launched cruise missiles.

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. Lala Lajpat Rai Jayanti

Why in news?

– The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai ji on his Jayanti that is observed on 28 January 2021.

– In a tweet, the Prime Minister said,”Remembering the great Lala Lajpat Rai Ji on his Jayanti. His contribution to India’s freedom struggle is indelible and inspires people across generations”.

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2. 4th edition of Future Investment Initiative Forum

Why in news?

– Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare addressed the 4th edition of the Future Investment Initiative Forum on 27 January, 2021, through Video Conference.

– The purpose of the forum being hosted in Riyadh was to find solutions on how business and government can expand access to healthcare, train healthcare workers, remove regulatory barriers and encourage investment in advanced health technologies.

– Lauding the forum for its positive contribution to the world’s welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan underlined that “this dynamic platform has become an important part of the calendar of the business world.”

–  He reminded the audience of India’s historical ties and contacts with Saudi Arabia which has led a strong foundation for their strategic partnership today.

– He also appreciated Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the world economy and thanked the country for looking after the Indian minority during the Pandemic.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted the five big trends which are emerging due to COVID-19 and influencing global business:

– The impact of Technology and Innovation.

– Importance of Infrastructure for Global Growth.

– Changes coming in human resource and the future of work.

– Compassion for the environment.

– Business-friendly governance with a focus on the whole of society and government approach.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 25 January, 2021

3. 35th PRAGATI interaction

Why in news?

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 January, 2021, chaired the meeting of 35th edition of PRAGATI, the ICT based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, involving Central and State governments.

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– In the meeting, ten agenda items were taken for review including nine projects and one program. Among the nine projects, three projects were from the Ministry of Railways, three from MORTH, and one project each from DPIIT, Power Ministry and Ministry of External Affairs.

–  These nine projects have a cumulative cost of Rs. 54,675 crore concerning the 15 states viz. Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar, Telangana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

– During the interaction, the Prime Minister also reviewed the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana.

– The Prime Minister directed all the officials to ensure expeditious resolution of issues hindering infrastructure projects.

– He also encouraged the Department of Pharmaceuticals and states and UTs to ensure wide publicity of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana and use technology to enhance its effectiveness.

– Up to the 34th edition of PRAGATI meetings, 283 projects having a total cost of 13.14 lakh crore have been reviewed.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 23 January, 20212.

4. Govind Ballabh Pant

Why in news?

– A statue of freedom fighter Govind Ballabh Pant that was removed from the Parliament premises recently would be unveiled at its new location.

About Govind Ballabh Pant

– Pant was born on 10 September 1887 in what is now Uttarakhand, at Almora.

– In Kashipur, he established an organisation called Prem Sabha that started working towards several reforms.

– He also saved a school from shutting down due to non-payment of taxes to the British government.

– He was the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in Independent India.

– He served as India’s home minister from 1955 to 1961. It was during his tenure that states were reorganised on linguistic lines.

– Following Gandhi’s footsteps, Pant also organised a massive salt movement in the United Provinces. In May 1930, he was arrested and held at Dehradun jail.

– He also protested against the Simon Commission.

– In 1957, Pant was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 January, 2021

5. World Economic Outlook

Why in news?

– Recently, the latest World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by 11.5% in the Financial Year (FY) 2021-22.

Key points are:

– FY 2020-21: For the current fiscal, the IMF had forecast a record 10.3% contraction. For the next fiscal, starting from April 1st, GDP growth projection is at 11.5%, 2.7% higher than the projection made in October, 2020.

– Last October, the IMF had projected an 8.8% real GDP growth for India in FY 2021-22, highest globally.

– In FY 2022-23, the economy will likely grow by 6.8%.

– The latest revision for the current fiscal is higher than the government’s first advance estimate of 7.7% and also the RBI’s estimate of 7.5%.

– India has taken very decisive action, very decisive steps to deal with the pandemic and to deal with the economic consequences of it.

– The government announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under the newly framed Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against covid-19.

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6. U.S – Taliban peace deal

Why in news?

– On 29 February, 2020, a peace deal between the U.S. Government and the Taliban was signed.

About U.S – Taliban peace deal

– The deal calls for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops to leave Afghanistan.

– The Biden administration has said that it will review the US-Taliban deal to see if the Taliban are able to keep their end of the bargain.

Significance of Peace in Afghanistan for India

– India has called for renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability and putting an end to externally-sponsored terrorism and violence in Afghanistan.

– Economically, it is a gateway to the oil and mineral-rich Central Asian republics.

– Afghanistan has also become the second-largest recipient of Indian foreign aid over the last five years.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 January, 2021

7. Green tax

Why in news?

– The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has approved some proposals relayef to green tax.

Proposals are:

– To levy a “Green Tax” on old vehicles which are polluting the environment.

– The policy of deregistration and scrapping of vehicles owned by the Government department and PSU, which are above 15 years in age.

– Revenue collected from the Green Tax to be kept in a separate account and used for tackling pollution, and for States to set up state-of-art facilities for emission monitoring.

Green tax applicability

– Transport vehicles older than 8 years could be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of fitness certificate, at the rate of 10 to 25 % of road tax;

– Personal vehicles to be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of Registration Certification after 15 years.

– Public transport vehicles, such as city buses, to be charged lower Green tax.

– Higher Green tax (50% of Road Tax) for vehicles being registered in highly polluted cities.

– Differential tax, depending on fuel (petrol/diesel) and type of vehicle.

Exemptions are:

– Vehicles like strong hybrids, electric vehicles and alternate fuels like CNG, ethanol, LPG etc.

– Vehicles used in farming, such as tractor, harvester, tiller etc.

“Green Tax” benefits could be:

– To dissuade people from using vehicles which damage the environment.

– To motivate people to switch to newer, less polluting vehicles.

– Reduce the pollution level, and make the polluter pay for pollution.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 99, 25 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. 11th National Voters’ Day

– It is celebrated on 25th January and this year it is 11th National Voters’ Day. The theme for this year’s NVD is ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’. The theme focuses on ECI’s commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Honourable President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the national function being organized in New Delhi by the Election Commission of India. The event will be held at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi and the Honourable President shall grace the occasion virtually from Rashtrapati Bhawan.

– Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology will grace the function as the Guest of Honour.

The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India, i.e. 25th January 1950.

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– The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters.

– Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

– New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the NVD functions.

– During the event, the Honourable President of India will confer the National Awards for the year 2020-21 and launch ECI’s Web Radio:‘Hello Voters’.

– Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology will launch the e-EPIC programme and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters.  e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites.

– Honourable Minister, Mr. Prasad will also release three publications of the Election Commission during the event. Copies of these documents will be presented to the Honourable President of India.

– Three publications are Conducting Election During Pandemic- A Photo Journey, SVEEP Endeavours: Awareness initiatives during Lok Sabha Election, 2019, and Chalo Karen Matdaan.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 23 January, 20212.

2. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar- 2021

– 32 children have been awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2021.

– The Government of India has been awarding the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar to the children with exceptional abilities and outstanding accomplishments, in the fields of innovation, scholastics, sports, arts & culture, social service and bravery.

– The awardee children are from 32 districts of 21 States/UTs. 7 awards have been given in the field of Art & Culture, 9 awards have been given for Innovation and 5 for scholastic achievements.

– 7 children have won in Sports category, 3 children have been felicitated for Bravery and one child has been honoured for her efforts in the field of Social Service.

– While commending the young achievers, the Hon’ble President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has stated in a message that “I am hopeful that Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2021 would not only motivate the winners but will also encourage millions of other young children to dream, aspire and stretch their limits.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 January, 2021

3. 72nd Republic Day

– The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will address the nation tomorrow (25 January, 2021) on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day.

– As per Press release, the address will be broadcast from 1900 hrs. on the entire national network of All India Radio (AIR) and telecast over all channels of Doordarshan in Hindi followed by the English version.

– Broadcast of the address in Hindi and English on Doordarshan will be followed by broadcast in regional languages by regional channels of Doordarshan.

– AIR will broadcast regional language versions from 2130 hrs. onwards on its respective regional networks.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 January, 2021

4. Joint Military Exercise in the Andaman Sea

– Towards enhancing joint operational readiness, Indian Armed Forces conducted a large-scale conjoint military training exercise “KAVACH” along with “AMPHEX-21” in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.

– The exercise was conducted under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) with the participation of Eastern Naval Command (ENC) and Army Southern Command (SC) involving assets of Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

– The exercise involved participation and deployment of all forces of ANC, elements of Amphibious Brigade of Army’s Southern Command along with corvettes, submarine and amphibious landing ships of Navy’s Eastern Fleet and Marine Commandos.

– Jaguar Maritime Strike and transport aircraft from Indian Air Force and assets of Coast Guard also participated.

The exercise commenced with maritime strikes by Jaguar aircraft, Para Commandos and Marine Commandos carrying out Combat Free Fall at Car Nicobar with an aim to validate air dominance and maritime strike capability within the area of interest in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

– Prior to amphibious landing operations, troops of the Army, Navy and Air Force were mobilised and transported by sea and air in close coordination with all agencies.

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– As part of shaping the battlefield, MARCOS along with their combat loads and Air Droppable Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (ADR) were dropped over the Andaman Sea, enabling the Marine Commandos to reach the target with stealth and speed.

– MI-17 V5 Armed Helicopters undertook precision targeting against designated enemy assets at sea and on land. The training exercise culminated with the beach landing operations by elements of Amphibious Brigade of Southern Command from INS Jalashwa, Airavat, Guldar and LCU MK-4 class of ships with 600 troops along with tanks, troop carrier vehicles and other heavy weapons.

– The exercise also validated joint capabilities of intelligence gathering from space, air, land and sea-based assets, its synthesis, analysis and near real-time sharing to achieve battlefield transparency for quick decision making.

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5. “Highways of Life is about truckers of Manipur and their struggle”

– Films Division’s 52-minute documentary made by Amarjeet Singh Maibam, , tracks the journey of a group of truckers as they manoeuvre through perilous highways, risking their lives, ferrying essential commodities to serve the people of Manipur.

– The film has been chosen at the 51st International Film Festival of India under the Indian Panorama Non-feature Films.

– “Highways of Life is about truckers of Manipur and their struggle” – Director Amar Maibam

– National Highway 2 and 37 which are considered as the lifelines of Manipur connects the landlocked state to the rest of the world.

– The documentary which has been made over a period of five years picturizes the economic blockades, strikes, extortion and bad road conditions that make the highways a life-threatening terrain for truckers.

– The film has won many accolades including Best International Documentary in Liberation DocFest Bangladesh, Best Indian documentary at Kolkata International Film Festival, Best Non-Feature Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Editing at the Manipur State Film Awards 2020.

– The film is an indexical of the unfavourable manmade predicaments the people of Manipur are currently facing, narrated through the daily difficulties faced by a trucker in the national highways that connect Manipur.

– Amarjeet Singh Maibam has directed and shot many fiction and non-fiction for Doordarshan. His independent documentary films include ‘City of Victims’, ‘My Generous Village’, and (co-directed) ‘Nawa – Spirit of Atey’.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 January, 2021

6. Golden Peacock Award at 51st IFFI

The epic World War II film Into the Darkness (De forbandede år,) which portrays the story of a Danish electronics factory owner who is forced to produce for the occupying Nazi forces, has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the just-concluded 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India.

–  Directed by Anders Refn, the 152-minute Danish film gives a gripping dive into the complex emotional turmoil which the people of Denmark had to undergo, during the Nazi occupation of the country.

– The film does this evocatively and powerfully, through the mental conflicts to which the protagonist Karlskov is subjected; on the one hand, he is being forced by the invaders to continue production for the German market, to protect his family; on the other hand, the moral indefensibility of this choice results also in painful breaks within his family.

– The Golden Peacock Award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakhs (Rs. 4 million) to be shared equally between Director Anders Refn and Producer Lene Børglum, both of whom have also been presented with a certificate each as well.

– The Silver Peacock for the Best Director goes to Taiwanese Director, writer and producer Chen-Nien Ko, for her 2020 Mandarin drama film The Silent Forest, a candid and heart-wrenching exposition of the systemic sexual abuse that happens in a school for children with special needs.

– The Silver Peacock for Best Director carries a certificate and cash award of 15 lakh rupees (Rs. 1.5 million).

– The Silver Peacock for Best Actor – Male too has been awarded to 17-year-old Tzu-Chuan Liu, who through his role as the protagonist Chang Cheng in The Silent Forest, has been able to beautifully and powerfully bring out the world of the differently-abled boy.

– Liu is known also for his roles in 76 Horror Bookstore (2020) and On Children (2018). The award carries a certificate and cash award of 10 lakh rupees (Rs. 1 million).

– The Silver Peacock for Best Actor – Female has been awarded to Polish actor Zofia Stafiej, for her role in Piotr Domalewski’s I Never Cry / Jak najdalej stad, a film which explores the journey of self-discovery of a daughter who has to traverse the maze of bureaucracy in a foreign country to bring back the body of her dead father. Stafiej receives a certificate and cash award of 10 lakh rupees for the award. Stafiej is known also for 25 lat niewinnosci. Sprawa Tomka Komendy (2020) and Marcel (2019).

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 January, 2021

7. China’s New Villages in Arunachal Pradesh

Recently, there have been reports of Chinese construction of three villages in Arunachal Pradesh 5 kilometres from the Bum La pass.

Bum La Pass is one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China.

– Earlier in 2020, China had begun work on a strategically significant railway line that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet, which lies close to Arunachal Pradesh border.

– The satellite images, dated November 2020, show that a full-fledged village has been built on the banks of the River Tsari Chu in the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.

– The village is located a couple of kilometres across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). China had earlier built a permanent construction of military barracks in this area. The area has been under Chinese control since 1959.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 18 January, 2021

8. Digital Copyright Payments

– Recently, Google has signed a deal with a group of French publishers to make digital copyright payments for online news content.

– A similar tussle is ongoing between the Australian government and global tech platforms (google and facebook) over the sharing of royalties with news publishers.

– France became the first country to enshrine the European Union copyright rules into national law. This brought into effect ‘neighbouring rights’ law.

– The newly adopted EU directive ensures that media are paid for original content, typically news, offered online by tech giants such as Google and Facebook.

– Under the new law, Google was forced to negotiate to pay the publishers and news agencies for reusing their material online.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 98, 23 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. Tri-Services Para Jumping and Freefall Skydiving Training Course

– Andaman and Nicobar Command has accomplished yet another milestone by conducting the first ever Tri-Services Para Jumping and Freefall skydiving training course at Air Force Station Car Nicobar.

– The course was conducted by the Indian Air Force which trains personnel of Indian Armed Forces.

–  During the Joint para jumping and skydiving course with participants from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, a total of 267 jumps were undertaken within a short span of 04 days and a total of 31 persons qualified the basic and advanced course.

– The participants of basic course earned Para Wing. The training course was a great success and of historic significance for the Command to wars enhancing the joint manship and operational capability.

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2. An Impossible Project

Put down your phones. Have a digital detox. This is the seemingly impossible invocation made by an IFFI 51 German film, featured under International Cinema, at the 51st International Film Festival of India, being held in Goa.

– Yes, it may be An impossible Project, as the film title suggests, especially in a world where each second, every sphere of life is influenced by digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.

– Giving what it regards as the much-needed shout-out to the world, the film tells about the renaissance of analogue in our digital lives, in an entertaining fashion. It is a sumptuous invitation to fall in love with real things again.

– Be real again, start writing love letters again. That is the passionate invocation made by Director Jens Meurer. He was addressing a press conference today, January 22, 2021, at the festival venue in Goa, after a special screening of the film.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 January, 2021

3. India’s Vaccine Diplomacy

India has decided to ship out doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine to ‘neighbouring and key partner countries’.

– The first batches of vaccine have been already delivered to Bhutan and Maldives by special planes as a grant or gift.

About Vaccine diplomacy

– It is the branch of global health diplomacy in which a nation uses the development or delivery of vaccines to strengthen ties with other nations.

– It also includes the joint development of life-saving vaccines and related technologies, with the major actors typically scientists coming together to work irrespective of the kind of diplomatic relationship between the participating countries.

– It could provide innovative opportunities to promote India’s foreign policy and diplomatic relations between nations in its neighbourhood and across the globe.

– India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.

– India has also carried out capacity building and training workshops for neighbouring countries.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 January, 2021

4. Four indigenous martial art forms included in Khelo India Youth Games

In 2018, the Khelo India Youth Games were launched as a multidisciplinary grassroots event for under-17 years and under-21 years.

– Conducted annually, the best performers are given an annual scholarship of ₹5 lakh for eight years to prepare for international sporting events.

In a recent move, the Sports Ministry inducted four indigenous martial art forms namely Kalaripayattu of Kerala, Mallakhamb of Central India, Gatka of Punjab and Thang-ta of Manipur into the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG).

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 January, 2021

5. Taiwan invited to the inauguration in a rare shift

– Taiwan’s de facto Ambassador to the U.S. was formally invited to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

– Taipei’s Foreign Ministry said it was the first time in decades that a Taiwanese envoy had been “invited” by the inauguration committee.

– China has claimed Taiwan through its “one China” policy since the Chinese civil war forced the defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, to flee to the island in 1949 and has vowed to bring it under Beijing’s rule, by force if necessary.

– China is Taiwan’s top trading partner, with trade totalling $226 billion in 2018. Taiwan runs a large trade surplus with China.

– While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.

– Under the “one country, two systems” formula, Taiwan would have the right to run its own affairs; a similar arrangement is used in Hong Kong.

– Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Asian Development Bank under various names.

– Although they do not have formal diplomatic ties, Taiwan and India have been cooperating in various fields. India has refused to endorse the “one-China” policy since 2010.

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6. Ratle Hydro Electric Project

– The Union Cabinet has given its approval for 850 MegaWatt (MW) Ratle hydropower project on Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir.

–  It is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power station on the Chenab River, Kishtwar district of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

–  It includes a 133 m tall gravity dam and two power stations adjacent to one another.

– The installed capacity of both power stations will be 850 MW.

– In June 2013, the then Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the dam.

– Pakistan has frequently alleged that it violates the Indus Water Treaty, 1960.

– It envisages an investment of about Rs. 5282 crore and the project shall be commissioned within a span of 60 months.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 January, 2021

7. Egypt Resumes Severed Relations With Qatar

– Recently, Egypt resumed the severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.

– Egypt was part of an Arab quartet (other members were Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain) which had accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran due to which they had imposed a land, air and naval blockade on Qatar in 2017.

– Recently, Gulf states signed a ‘solidarity and stability’ deal at the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit.

– Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE are the members of GCC.

– In this summit, members of the GCC removed all the sanctions over Qatar and reopened their land, sea and air borders to Qatar.

– In solidarity with the Arab quartet (whose three members are in GCC), Egypt too resumed its ties with Qatar.

– Egypt conciliated with Qatar to strengthen the Gulf region against the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme which has always been opposed by the USA and GCC members.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 96, 21 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. New 4-lane Thaltej-Shilaj-Rancharda Railway Overbridge

– Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the new 4-lane Thaltej-Shilaj-Rancharda railway overbridge, built at a cost of Rs 55 crore, in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat through video conferencing from New Delhi.

– Several dignitaries including Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Shri Nitin Patel were present at the programme.

– He said after becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has started a campaign to address the problems faced in the country in basic utilities.

– Construction of overbridges or underbridges at one lakh railway crossings started.

– From 2009 to 2014, about 900 unmanned crossings had been completed while from 2014 to 2020, about 3,584 unmanned crossings were covered.

– Due to Corona, the growth of the world economy including India slowed down, but India’s economy is poised to take off at a fast pace, which has become a topic of discussion all over the world.

– The largest vaccination programme in the world has been started by Narendra Modi. With its completion, we will be able to accelerate the country’s progress by achieving complete victory over the Covid epidemic.

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2. ‘Investing Life’

– A film on the survival of every living being in unfavourable situations like a social boycott, road accidents and man-animal conflict. This is how Vaishali Vasant Kendale, Director of ‘Investing Life’ describes her 52-minute non-feature film, produced by Films Division, that has been screened in the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

– In the post-screening press conference, the Director said, it should not be looked upon as a biographical film. It recognizes the unconditional work of three common citizens.

– “They have been silently and single-handedly investing their life for years in the survival of every life in the surrounding area, which leads to the betterment of mankind and the ecosystem. There are many such people working at grassroots level. In return they expect nothing”, she said.

– The common grassroots level people portrayed in the film are devoting their lives for others. Hence, the name ‘Investing Life’, said the Director.

– “Biographies are made on great people. But, every living organism and common folks have a significant role to play in our world. All such individual roles are of importance”, added Kendale sharing her thoughts on what went behind the film.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 January, 2021

3. Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020

– Karnataka government has given an undertaking to the High Court that no coercive action will be initiated for transporting cattle in breach of the Cattle Ordinance, 2020 till the relevant rules are brought into force based on the draft rules notified recently.

– The court is hearing PIL petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Ordinance promulgated recently.

– The government is yet to frame rules prescribing manner of cattle transportation.

– There have been apprehensions about likely prosecution of farmers for transporting cattle within the State even for the exemption granted for bonafide agriculture and animal husbandry.

– It is a cognizable offence, violators can attract three to seven years of imprisonment.

– While a penalty between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh can be levied for the first offence, second and subsequent offences can attract penalties ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 January, 2021

4. Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) Borrowings Issue

– Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has opined that the off-budget borrowings made by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for critical infra projects have bypassed the limits set on government borrowings under Article 293 (1) of the Constitution and such borrowings do not have legislative approval.

– Off-budget borrowings are a means by which the government keeps its fiscal deficit in check by making quasi-government entities borrow on its behalf, to partly fund its expenditure plan for the year.

­ – CAG reported that KIIFB has bypassed the limits set on government borrowings under Article 293 of the Constitution as these borrowings did not have legislative approval.

– According to CAG, Entry 37 of the List 1 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution gives powers of raising foreign loans only to the Centre. Thus, KIIFB borrowings are in violation of the Constitution and encroachment on the powers of the Centre.

– KIIFB borrowings have not been disclosed in the Budget documents or in the accounts.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 January, 2021

5. India Innovation Index 2020

– Recently, India Innovation Index Report 2020 was released by NITI Aayog in which Karnataka retained its top position in the major States category.

– The Innovation Index is divided into three categories—major states, Union Territories, and hill and North East states.

– Karnataka topped with a score of 42.5 for the second year running.

– Four states are from South namely Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala occupy the top positions on the index, apart from Maharashtra which ranked second.

– Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar scored the lowest on the index, which put them at the bottom in the “major States” category.

– Himachal Pradesh topped the rankings of the hill and North-East states, followed by Uttarakhand, Manipur and Sikkim.

– Delhi (Union Territory) has scored the highest on the index in the country with a score of 46.6, while Lakshadweep has the lowest score at 11.7.

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6. Houthi

– U.S. to review Houthi terrorist label.

– The Houthis were formed by Zaidite scholars, a Shia sect who have lived in Yemen for over a thousand years and also ruled the country for several centuries.

– Their rebellion against the Saudi-backed government began about a decade ago.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 January, 2021

7. Regulatory Compliance Portal

– The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched a regulatory compliance portal that will act as a bridge for citizens, industries and the government to minimise burdensome compliances recently.

– DPIIT comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is acting as the nodal department for coordinating the exercise of minimizing regulatory compliance burden for citizens and businesses which have an adverse impact on time and cost of businesses.

– The objective is to reduce the compliance burden, simplify further the citizen-government interface whether online or offline and remove antiquated and obsolete acts which don’t add value.

– To boost manufacturing and make Indian industry competitive, there are issues of quality and manufacturing of scale but the compliance burden is a major cost.

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8. New US President

– Joe Biden recently took oath as 46th US President and Kamala Harris as 49th Vice President.

– Biden will be the oldest president in American history.

– Harris will be the first female and first Indian American vice president of the United States.

– A newly elected or re-elected president of the United States begins their four-year term of office at noon on the twentieth day of January following the election.

– While the Constitution does not mandate that anyone, in particular, should administer the presidential oath of office, it has been administered by the Chief Justice.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 15 January, 2021

9. Angiogenesis

– Researchers are working to develop a transgenic zebrafish model by the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool to further study the compensatory angiogenesis mechanism in the tumour microenvironment.

About Angiogenesis

– It is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels, formed in the earlier stage of vasculogenesis.

– It is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing and in the formation of granulation tissue.

– However, it is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumours from a benign state to a malignant one. Deregulation of angiogenesis is the main reason for tumour growth and progression.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 96, 21 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. Supreme Court Directive on Quota in Promotions

– The Supreme Court asked the Attorney General recently, to compile the various issues being raised by States with regard to the application of a Constitution Bench judgment of 2006 in M. Nagaraj case.

– The directive is based on a plea by the Centre to refer to a seven-judge Bench the question whether creamy layer should apply or not to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community while providing them reservation in government promotions.

– The court in M. Nagaraj case had upheld the application of creamy layer principle to members of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in promotions.

– The term ‘Creamy layer’ was first mentioned in the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in the Indra Sawhney case (1992). This term is used to describe some members of a backward class who are socially, economically as well as educationally advanced as compared to the rest of the members of that community.

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2. Systemically Important Banks (SIBs)

– The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has retained State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) or banks that are considered as “too big to fail”.

– Some banks, due to their size, cross-jurisdictional activities, complexity, lack of substitutability and interconnectedness, become systemically important.

– SIBs are perceived as banks that are ‘Too Big To Fail (TBTF)’. This perception of TBTF creates an expectation of government support for these banks at the time of distress.

– SIBs are subjected to additional policy measures to deal with the systemic risks and moral hazard issues posed by them.

– Systemic risk can be defined as the risk associated with the collapse or failure of a company, industry, financial institution or an entire economy.

– Moral hazard is a situation in which one party gets involved in a risky event knowing that it is protected against the risk and the other party will incur the cost.

– The disorderly failure of these banks has the potential to cause significant disruption to the essential services they provide to the banking system, and in turn, to the overall economic activity.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 January, 2021

3. PM congratulates Mr. Joe Biden on the assumption of office

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Mr. Joe Biden on the assumption of office as President of the United States of America.

– In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said “My warmest congratulations to @JoeBiden on his assumption of office as President of the United States of America. I look forward to working with him to strengthen India-US strategic partnership.

– My best wishes for a successful term in leading the USA as we stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security.

– The India-US partnership is based on shared values. We have a substantial and multifaceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages. Committed to working with President @JoeBiden to take the India-US partnership to even greater heights.”

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 January, 2021

4. National Mini Aadi Mahotsav

– TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has taken a step towards adapting to the new normal by resuming the Aadi Mahotsav.

– The first Aadi Mahotsav post the pandemic is taking place between January 20-January 30, 2021 at GPRA Complex, New Moti Bagh, New Delhi.

– The 10-day festival that celebrates several aspects of tribal culture has evinced a lot of interest and has seen much footfall in the first place.

– The Aadi Mahotsav – A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Crafts, Cuisine and Commerce – has been a successful initiative that was commenced in 2017.

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– The festival was an attempt to familiarise the people with the rich and diverse craft, culture of the tribal communities across the country, in one place.

– Due to the pandemic in 2020, the Aadi Mahotsav festival, which is an avenue for popularising tribal culture and arts, had to shift online. Focussing on the tribes of Madhya Pradesh and their crafts and traditions, the 10-day online event on tribesindia.com was a huge success.

– The currently ongoing Aadi Mahotsav is showcasing the tribal traditions, craft, arts and culture of tribes across the country and around100 tribal artisans and producers from across India are participating in this festival.

– In a way, this is a trial run for the mega Aadi Mahotsav that will take place at Dilli Haat in New Delhi from 1 to 15 February, 2021. Judging by the footfall on Day 1, it is clear that the ongoing mini-Aadi Mahotsav is receiving a good response.

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5. GI tag sought for India’s costliest mushroom

– A geographical indication (GI) tag has been sought for one of the costliest mushrooms in the world that grows in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district.

– Locally called Gucchi, or Morel, the mushroom, priced at over ₹20,000 a kg, is a forest produce collected by local farmers and tribals.

– It is said to have medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.

– It is found in the temperate forests.

– A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

– Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

– Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 January, 2021

6. Carbon Sequestration

– There has been increasing investments to develop technology in the field of Carbon Sequestration and fight the menace of climate change.

– As Global Warming accelerates and society continues to emit greenhouse gases, the idea is gaining of investing in artificial techniques of Carbon Sequestration.

– According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nations may need to remove between 100 billion and 1 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere this century to avert the worst effects of climate change, far more than can be absorbed by simply planting more trees.

About Carbon sequestration

– It is the long-term storage of carbon in plants, soils, geologic formations, and the ocean.

– It occurs both naturally and as a result of anthropogenic activities and typically refers to the storage of carbon.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 15 January, 2021

7. Bandipur Tiger Reserve

– A stranded wild elephant was rescued in Nugu reservoir, close to Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.

– As per the Tiger census 2018, Karnataka has the second-highest number of tigers in the country after Madhya Pradesh.

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8. Guru Gobind Singh birth anniversary

– The Prime Minister paid homage to Guru Gobind Singh on his birth anniversary on 20 January, 2021.

About Guru Gobind Singh

– He was the last tenth Sikh Gurus and was born on 22nd December, 1666 in Patna, Bihar.

–  His birth anniversary is based on the Nanakshahi calendar according to which it will fall on 20 January in 2021 and last year, it was celebrated on 2 January.

– He became the Sikh guru at the age of nine, following the demise of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. He was assassinated in 1708.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 95, 20 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

– The Minister of Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel announced that the year-long celebrations to commemorate 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will formally commence on 23rd January, 2021.

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the inaugural event of the celebrations being held at  Kolkata, the Minister disclosed while addressing media persons in New Delhi.

– The Government has decided to celebrate  23rd January as PARAKRAM DIWAS every year and a Gazette Notification to this effect has been issued on 19 January, 2021.

– The 125th Birth Anniversary year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be celebrated in a befitting manner at national and international level.

–  He said that a High-Level Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been constituted for deciding the programs, and to supervise and guide the commemoration throughout the year.

– The Committee will provide guidance for the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas.

– The inaugural function of the commemoration will be held at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on 23rd January 2021 presided over by the Prime Minister.

–  A permanent exhibition on Netaji and a Projection Mapping Show will be inaugurated on the occasion.

– A cultural program “AmraNutonJouboneriDoot” will also be held based on the theme of Netaji.

– Shri Patel said “a commemorative coin and postage stamp will also be released on this day. An International Conference ‘Re-visiting the legacy of Netaji Subhash in the 21st century’ and an Artists’ Camp is being organized at National Library, Kolkata on the same day.”

– The Ministry of Culture will also be organising a programme at Netaji’s birthplace in Cuttack, Orissa. Another programme is also being organisedatHaripura in Gujarat which also has a symbolic association with Netaji.

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2. ‘Jal Utsav’

– Damhedi village of Anuppur District of Madhya Pradesh celebrated ‘Jal Utsav’ to welcome tap water connections in their households on 15th January, 2021.

– The village was decked up with rangolis and flower decorations & villagers were in their finest clothes & tribal accessories.

– The festivities included tribal songs, dance & music which filled the whole atmosphere with the spirit of joy. The village which mostly comprises of tribal population has suffered paucity of potable water in their area since ever.

– Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the flagship programme of Union Government is ensuring safe drinking water to every rural household of the country.

– Jal Jeevan Mission envisages the adoption of a participatory approach for ensuring safe and sustainable rural water supply for every household.

– In this light, Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam is implementing 58 Multi Village Schemes (MVS) in about 6,896 villages in 34 districts to ensure the availability of water for drinking and other domestic purposes throughout the year.

– To take the mission forward, Damhedi -1 Multi Village Rural Water Scheme in Pushprajgarh block became functional on 15th January, 2021. The MVS is located in Anuppur district, which consists of 74 villages.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 January, 2021

3. 1st National Conference of States on Logistics

– Union Minister of Railways; Commerce & Industry; Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal said that National Logistics Policy, which is under consultation, along with the National Logistics Council and State Logistics Coordination Committee, will work as a template for better coordination and integrated development for logistics centre.

– Addressing the 1st National Conference of States on Logistics, he said that Logistics team in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is trying to integrate various means of transport, documentation & stakeholders through technology platforms, into a much-simplified way of working, which will enhance the Ease of Doing Business.

–  The Minister said that Logistics is all about 5R’s: Getting the Right product – In the Right condition – At the Right place – At the Right time – To the Right customer.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 18 January, 2021

4. Quantum Computing Applications Lab

– The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India will establish a Quantum Computing Applications Lab in the country, in collaboration with AWS, to accelerate quantum computing-led research and development and enable new scientific discoveries.

– The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab will provide quantum computing as a service to government ministries and departments, researchers, scientists, academia, and developers, to enable advances in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and aerospace engineering.

– AWS will provide hosting with technical and programmatic support for the Lab. This MeitYinitiative will provide scientific, academic, and developer communities access to a quantum computing development environment aligned with the government’s science and technology priorities.

About Quantum computing

– Quantum computing is an emerging field that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to build powerful tools to process information.

–  It has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers and lead to new breakthroughs that can transform chemical engineering, material science, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimization, machine learning, and much more.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 January, 2021

5. 6th India-Nepal Joint Commission Meet

– The 6th India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting was held recently in which Nepal raised the Kalapani boundary dispute with India.

– In several areas, both the nation discussed cooperation including power, oil and gas, water resources, capacity building and tourism among others.

– At the Joint Commission level, India distanced itself from discussing the matter as there is a dedicated Foreign Secretary-level mechanism to discuss boundary disputes.

– To fight with COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal’s requirement for vaccines was discussed as it has approved the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine.

– Both the delegations reviewed the development partnership and discussed the benefit of the Integrated Check Posts (ICP) at Birgunj and Biratnagar (Nepal).

– Third and Fourth ICP at Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa respectively to be started.

– India to build two cultural heritage projects in Nepal on the ‘Pashupatinath Riverfront Development’ and the ‘Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration in Patan Durbar’ through grant assistance.

– Nepal’s Foreign Minister also delivered a speech in the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 15 January, 2021

6. Bad Bank

– The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently agreed to look at a proposal for creating a Bad Bank.

About Bad Bank

– A bad bank conveys the impression that it will function as a bank but has bad assets to start with.

– A bad bank technically is an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) or an Asset Management Company (AMC) that takes over the bad loans of commercial banks, manages them and finally recovers the money over a period of time.

– The bad bank is not involved in lending and taking deposits, but helps commercial banks clean up their balance sheets and resolve bad loans.

– US-based Mellon Bank created the first bad bank in 1988, after which the concept has been implemented in other countries including Sweden, Finland, France and Germany.

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7. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

– Government to amend LLP Act to spur ease of business.

– Under the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act, changes proposed are decriminalising various offences and permitting LLPs to issue non-convertible debentures.

About Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

– A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners have limited liability. It, therefore, exhibits elements of partnerships and corporations.

– In an LLP, one partner is not responsible or liable for another partner’s misconduct or negligence.

– Every LLP shall have at least two designated partners being individuals, at least one of them being resident in India and all the partners shall be the agent of the Limited Liability Partnership but not of other partners.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 14 January, 2021

8. Desert Knight-21

– It is a bilateral Air exercise held between the Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace).

– The latest edition will be held at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 12 January, 2021

9. Rooftop Solar Scheme

– The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has recently released an advisory on the rooftop solar scheme.

– Its objective is to generate solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of the houses, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing the Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme (Phase II).

– The aims of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Scheme (Phase II) is to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022.

– In a grid-connected rooftop or small Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) system, the DC power generated from the SPV panel is converted to AC power using the power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 94, 19 January

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. Motor Bike Ambulance ‘Rakshita’

Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi based DRDO laboratory, handed over Rakshita, a bike-based casualty transport emergency vehicle to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)  \ in a ceremony held at CRPF HQ in New Delhi on 18 January 2021.

– DS & DG (LS), DRDO, Dr AK Singh handed over the model of Rakshita to DG CRPF, Dr AP Maheshwari, followed by the flagging off the contingent of 21 bikes on the occasion.

– The bike ambulance will help in overcoming the problems faced by Indian security forces and emergency healthcare providers.

– It will provide life-saving aid for the evacuation of injured patients from low-intensity conflict areas.

– This will be handy in the congested streets and remote locations, where access through ambulance is difficult and time-consuming.

– The bike can respond to a medical emergency need of patients faster than a four-wheeler due to its functionality and integrated emergency medical support system.

– Rakshita is fitted with a customized reclining Casualty Evacuation Seat (CES), which can be fitted in and taken out as per requirement.

– Other major features are the head immobilizer, safety harness jacket, hand and foot straps for safety, adjustable footrest, physiological parameter measuring equipment with wireless monitoring capability and auto warning system for the driver.

– The vital parameters of the patient can be monitored on the dashboard-mounted LCD. It is also equipped with air splint, medical and oxygen kit for on-spot medical care.

– This bike ambulance is useful not only for the paramilitary and military forces but has potential civil applications too.

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2. Russia Pulls Out Of Open Skies Treaty

– Russia pulled out of the Open Skies Treaty (OST) citing the earlier withdrawal of the USA from the treaty recently.

– As per Russia, provisions of the pact allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States.

– This move was made when the USA pulled out of the Open Skies Treaty in November 2020, arguing that Russian violations made it untenable for the United States to remain a party.

– Reasons for USA withdrawal are Russia’s continuous non-compliance, OST misused to claim Ukrainian region, risk to critical infrastructures, etc.

– Reasons for Russia Withdrawal are USA limiting OST and no assurance from NATO members.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 18 January, 2021

3. 47th G7 Summit

– Indian Prime Minister has been invited by the United Kingdom as a guest to attend the 47th G7 summit that is scheduled to be held in June 2021.

– Apart from India, Australia and South Korea are also invited to participate in the proceedings of the summit as “guest countries”.

– The UK was the first P5 member to support a permanent UN Security Council seat for India and the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit in 2005.

The proposed summit will be the first in-person G-7 summit in almost two years.

– The objective behind the summit is to unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from the coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 January, 2021

4. ‘Difficult four’ countries

– The difficult four countries are Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and India.

– The classification has been made by Chatham House, the century-old UK-based policy institute also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

– Chatham House has published a report proposing a blueprint for Britain’s future foreign policy after Brexit. Titled “Global Britain, Global Broker”, the report sketches a bold path ahead for the UK.

– The report notes how “the overt Hindu nationalism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is weakening the rights of Muslims and other minority religious groups, leading to a chorus of concern that intolerant majoritarianism is replacing the vision of a secular, democratic India bequeathed by Nehru”.

– India is a reluctant supporter of liberal democracy. It is “ambivalent” about human rights abuses within other states, and possesses “a long and consistent record of resisting being corralled into a ‘Western camp’”.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 15 January, 2021

5. 5G and how is India prepared to adapt this technology

– The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought inputs from Telcos and other industry experts on the sale and use of radiofrequency spectrum over the next 10 years, including the 5G bands.

– 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection.

– 5G offers exponentially faster download and upload speeds.

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– 5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and a more uniform user experience.

– All the three private telecom players, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vi have been urging the DoT to lay out a clear road map of spectrum allocation and 5G frequency bands so that they would be able to plan the rollout of their services accordingly.

– One big hurdle, however, is the lack of flow of cash and adequate capital with at least two of the three players, namely Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

– On the other hand, Reliance Jio plans to launch an indigenously built 5G network for the country as early as the second half of this year.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 14 January, 2021

6. K-Shaped Economic Recovery

– The latest readings of the Nomura India Normalization Index (NINI) suggested the impact of Covid-19 on Indian Economy and the K-Shaped Recovery through which the Indian Economy is recovering.

– Nomura Services India Private Limited (Nomura Holdings Inc) is a consumer services company.

– Households at the top of the pyramid are likely to have seen their incomes largely protected, and savings rates forced up during the lockdown, increasing ‘fuel in the tank’ to drive future consumption.

– Households at the bottom are likely to have witnessed permanent hits to jobs and incomes.

– A long-lasting period of ultra-accommodative monetary policy has led to a fall in real lending rates and spreads for corporates and households that should eventually come as lagged relief to the interest-sensitive sectors.

– An economic spread is a measure of a company’s ability to make money on its capital investments.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 12 January, 2021

7. Rapid Blood Test to Predict Covid-19 Disease Severity

– Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis (WUSTL) have published a paper showing that a relatively simple and rapid blood test can predict which Covid-19 patients are at highest risk of severe complications or death.

– Blood Test measures levels of mitochondrial DNA, a unique type of DNA molecule that normally resides inside the energy factories of cells.

– Mitochondrial DNA spilling out of cells and into the bloodstream is a sign that a particular type of violent cell death is taking place in the body.

– The test could serve as a way to predict disease severity as well as a tool to better design clinical trials, identifying patients who might, for example, benefit from specific investigational treatments.

– The test could serve as a way to monitor the effectiveness of new therapies. Presumably, effective treatments would lower mitochondrial DNA levels.

– The test also predicted outcomes as well as or better than existing markers of inflammation currently measured in Covid patients.

– Most other markers of inflammation measured in patients with Covid-19, including those still under investigation, are general markers of systemic inflammation, rather than inflammation specific to cell death.

– Inflammation is the body’s innate response to injury or infection (including trauma, surgery, burns, and cancer).

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Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

  1. Record construction of 534 kilometres of National Highway in one week

– The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has created a record by constructing 534 km of National Highways (NHs) in the last week commencing 8 January.

– The Ministry has constructed 8,169 km of National Highways (NHs) from April 2020 to 15 January 2021 in the current financial year 2020-21, i.e. with a speed of about 28.16 km per day.

– During the same period in the last fiscal, 7,573 km roads were constructed, with a speed of 26.11 km per day.

– The Ministry is hopeful that with such pace it should be able to cross construction target of 11,000 km by 31 March.

– The Ministry also awarded NH projects of 7,597 km during this period (April 2020 to 15 January 2021). In 2019-20, projects of 3,474 km were awarded during the same period. Thus, the pace of award has also more than doubled this fiscal.

– In total, projects of 8,948 km of roads were awarded in 2019-20 while 10,237 km of roads were constructed.

– The pace of construction is expected to increase further in the remaining months of the current financial year, which are conducive for construction activities.

  1. Several projects launched in Bagalkot district of Karnataka

– he Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah launched several projects in Bagalkot district of Karnataka.

– He inaugurated the expansion project of a Sugar Mill and the 75th branch of Vijaya Bank.

–  He also laid the foundation stone of Ayurvedic Medical College and several farming projects.

– On this occasion, Amit Shah said that in 2014 and 2019, the people of Karnataka had voted strongly in favour of Modi ji and since Modi ji has become the Prime Minister, he has taken big step towards making a self-reliant India, – Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

– On the occasion, the Union Minister of Coal & Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pralhad Joshi, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karajol, Home Minister of Karnataka, Shri Basavaraj Bommai, and other State Ministers and leaders were present.

– He said that the Modi government is committed to the development of Karnataka and today the living standard of farmers and their incomes will increase with this initiative of Nirani Group of Industries.

– He also said that the Narendra Modi government has made efforts to promote the use of ethanol and removed the central excise duty on ethanol in the year 2015.

– When the Modi government assumed office, there was 1.58 percent ethanol blending, which the Modi government has targeted to increase to 10 percent by 2022 and 20 percent by 2025.

– Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, as on 25th December, an amount of Rs 1,13,619 crore has been transferred to about 9 crore farmers directly into their bank accounts without the role of any middleman.

  1. Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Sahab

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the demise of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Sahab.

– In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “The passing away of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Sahab leaves our cultural world poorer. He was a doyen of music, a stalwart of creativity whose works endeared him to people across generations. I have fond memories of interacting with him. Condolences to his family and admirers.”

  1. Pension Payment Order

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the recently introduced Electronic “Pension Payment Order” (PPO) promises ease of living for senior citizens.

– Referring to some path-breaking reforms introduced in the Ministry of Personnel, Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that the Department of Pensions in the Ministry of Personnel was often at the receiving end of complaints from senior citizens about the original copies of their Pension Payment Order getting misplaced.

– Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on digitalization, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, in the last six years there has been rapid progress in this direction and many of the Ministries and Departments in the Government of India were performing nearly 80% of their work through e-office even before the onset of COVID pandemic.

Accordingly, the Department of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare decided to integrate the electronic PPO generated through PFMS application of CGA (Controller General of Accounts) with Digi-locker.

– This enables the pensioner to obtain an instant print – out of the latest copy of his PPO from the Digi-locker account.

– A number of reforms have been introduced to bring ease of living and convenience in the lives of pensioners including Pre-retirement Workshops and Counselling Sessions as well as assistance in meaningful engagement in the post-retirement phase of life so that the energies, the expertise and the experience of senior citizens can be optimally utilised in the service of society and for the cause of nation building.

  1. Adaptation Gap Report 2020

– The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report 2020 estimated the annual cost of adaptation to the effects of climate change for developing countries to at least quadruple by 2050.

– The current cost for these countries is in the range of USD 70 billion (Rs 5.1 lakh crore) and may rise to USD 140-300 billion in 2030 and USD 280-500 billion in 2050.

– Adaptation Cost includes costs of planning, preparing for, facilitating and implementing adaptation measures.

– The ever-increasing adaptation cost has also outpaced the growth in adaptation finance and that is the reason for a maintained Adaptation Finance gap.

– Adaptation Finance refers to the flow of funds to developing countries to help them tide over the damages caused by weather events from climate change.

Adaptation Finance gap is the difference between Adaptation Cost and Adaptation Finance.

– Adaptation costs, in actual terms, is higher in developed countries but the burden of adaptation is greater for developing countries in relation to their gross domestic product.

  1. India & Oman

  A meeting of the India-Oman Strategic Consultative Group (IOSCG) was held recently with the first high-level official visit from Oman to India since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic.

– India assured assistance to Oman in its requirement for Covid-19 vaccines. India had also facilitated food and medical supplies to Oman during the pandemic.

– On the operationalisation of the Air Bubble arrangement, previously both the countries have expressed satisfaction during COVID-19 pandemic.

– Air bubbles (travel corridors or travel bubbles) are systems established between two countries that perceive each other to be safe and allow carriers of both the countries to fly passengers either way without any restrictions.

– Both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of India-Oman relationship including in political, energy, trade, investment, defence, security, space, mining, Science & Technology, culture and consular fields.

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

 1. “Prarambh”, Startup India International Summit

– On the day 1 of “Prarambh”, Startup India International Summit on January 15, 2021, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry hosted a Roundtable meeting with Global Funds at 10 PM IST, corresponding to 8:30 AM PST, 16th January, 12.30 AM SGT 16th January, and 1:30 AM JST.

– The roundtable received the participation of around 70 Venture Capital (VC) fund investors from across the United States, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and some Global Funds domiciled in India.

– These funds have a total AUM to the north of $41 Bn in the Indian Region and Global AUM of more than $143 Bn.

– The meeting was chaired by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and attended by Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Anil Agrawal, Joint Secretary, DPIIT and major Indian regulators, policymakers, along with Global VC Funds.

– he intent of this roundtable was to listen to the concerns of Global Funds, share a progress report of the current Indian Startup-VC Ecosystem, and discuss ways ahead for Investing in India with an aim to mobilise Global Capital in Indian Innovations and promoting ease of doing business for global venture funds.

– The Roundtable discussion covered topics like the growth potential of Indian startups, opportunities in the GIFT City and broad overview of the VC-Startup ecosystem.

– The session also covered the top regulatory issues to be addressed with the Government of India.

– It was pointed out in the meeting that India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world and the ecosystem has seen a dramatic transformation over the past decade.

– There has been K-shaped recovery in the second half of 2020 – with sectors like education, healthcare, e-commerce, food delivery having been positively impacted, while sectors like travel and hospitality were severely impacted.

– It was mentioned by certain funds that India has the potential to become the most innovative nation on the planet in the next 10-15 years.

–  Some of the participants appreciated the Indian Government’s intent, speed, direction and action taken in promoting the Startup culture in the country, and providing a conducive environment.

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2. India Meteorological Department (IMD) celebrates its 146th Foundation Day

– India Meteorological Department (IMD) on 15 January, 2021 celebrated its 146th Foundation Day.

– IMD is one of the oldest, scientific service organizations in the country, in existence well before Independence.

– On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Doppler Weather Radars at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and Kufri, Himachal Pradesh; Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System in IMD in collaboration with ISRO (MMDRPS) and released Report on Cyclone disturbances during 2020; Hindi Patrik- ‘Mausam Manjusha’; Official e-launched “Online Web Portal of IMD Journal MAUSAM” in collaboration with CSIR-NISCAIR and released a special issue of Mausam on Tropical Cyclone.

– Dr. Harsh Vardhan said Installation of state of art Doppler Weather Radars will provide valuable support to the disaster managers and to the pilgrims undertaking the pilgrimage to Kailash Manasarovar and Char Dham yatra.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 15 January, 2021

3. Amresh Kumar Chaudhary has been awarded prestigious “Chief of Army Staff Commendation”

– Incumbent Chief Controller, Shri Amresh Kumar Chaudhary has been awarded prestigious ” Chief of Army Staff Commendation” for his outstanding contribution to Armed Forces during critical period of Covid19 pandemic and it’s various operations.

– Amresh Kumar Chaudhary is currently working as Chief Controller in Mil Rail.

– Amresh Kumar Chaudhary is a very sincere, hard-working, proactive and result-oriented official with highest degree of integrity.

About Mil Rail

– Mil Rail is an extension of Traffic Directorate of Ministry of Railways, headed by Executive Director (ED) level officer with an office at Army HQ.

– Mil Rail is responsible for overall coordination, strategic planning & execution of Railway Logistics support to Defence forces during peace & emergency situations.

– Mil Rail works in close coordination with Ministry of Defence for Railway operations pertaining to their requirements. A separate control room manages all these Railway operations which is headed by a Chief Controller.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 14 January, 2021

4. CARA Celebrates its 6th Annual Day

– Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development and Chairperson Steering Committee of Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) virtually addressed the Officers and Staff of CARA on its 6th Annual Day on 15 January, 2021.

– CARA was granted the status of a Statutory body of Government of India w.e.f. January 15, 2016, vide Section 68 of the JJ Act, 2015 for facilitating adoption in the country.

– CARA celebrates its Annual Day every year on the 15th of January.  Due to the Global Pandemic COVID-19, the event was celebrated virtually.

– Amidst such challenging times CARA has surpassed the figures of Adoption in the last two quarters in comparison to the corresponding quarters of the last year.

– In the second and third quarter of 2019-20, the adoption figure was 849 and 885 respectively, while in 2020-21 it increased to 966 and 983in the second and third quarter.

– CARA has also conducted a series of virtual programmes on the diverse aspects of adoption, training more than 2500 social workers and stakeholders from all the States and UTs during the year.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 12 January, 2021

5. PMKVY 3.0

– Third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY 3.0) will be launched soon. It will be launched in 600 districts across all states of India.

– Spearheaded by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), this phase will focus on new-age and COVID-related skills.

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About PMKVY 3.0

– Skill India Mission PMKVY 3.0 envisages training of eight lakh candidates over a scheme period of 2020-2021.

– The 729 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs), empanelled non-PMKK training centres and more than 200 ITIs under Skill India will be rolling out PMKVY 3.0 training to build a robust pool of skilled professionals.

– On the basis of the learning gained from PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0, the Ministry has improved the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energize the skilling ecosystem affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


– Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), launched in 2015, is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.

– The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme: is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.

– Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 11 January, 2021

6. National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India

– Science & Technology minister dedicates an Innovation Portal developed by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India to the nation.

– Innovation Portal is developed by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

– The National Innovation Portal (NIP) is currently home to about 1.15 lakh innovations scouted from common people of the country, covering Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary and Human Health.

– In terms of domain areas, presently the innovations cover Energy, mechanical, automobile, electrical, electronics, household, nutraceuticals etc.

About National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India

– It is an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

– Set up in February 2000 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat to provide institutional support for scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up the grassroots innovations across the country.

– It is India’s national initiative to strengthen grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge.

– Its mission is to help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 9 January, 2021

7. India’s first indigenously Developed 9mm Machine Pistol

– India’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army.

– The machine pistol fires the in-service 9mm ammunition and sports an upper receiver made from aircraft-grade aluminium and lower receiver from carbon fibre.

– 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping of various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing.

– The weapon is named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect” & “Hard Work”.

– The weapon has huge potential in Armed forces as a personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders and counter-terrorism operations etc.

IAS Prelims Mock-Test 2021 – Set 91, 15 January

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