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01st Jan 2021 Current Affairs Headlines

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National News

Cabinet approves export of indigenously-developed Akash Missile System

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to export indigenously-developed Akash Missile System.

The Cabinet has also approved to set up of a committee for faster approvals of exports. The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces.

Akash is a short-range Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms to protect vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from air attacks. It was inducted in IAF in 2014 and in the Indian Army in 2015.

India’s first pollinator park opens in Uttarakhand

The country’s first pollinator park with over 40 species of butterflies, honeybees, birds and insects has been developed over four acres at Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

The objective behind developing the park is to conserve various pollinator species, create awareness among people in general about the importance of conservation of these species and to promote further research on various aspects of pollination, including a threat to habitat and impact of pollution on pollinators.

There are at present 40 species of pollinators at the park, including common jezebel, common emigrant, red pierrot, common sailor, plain tiger, the common leopard, the common moron, common grass yellow, common blue bottle, common four-ring, peacock pansy, the painted lady, pioneer white, yellow-orange tip and lime butterfly.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat.
  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya.

Indian Railways new Vistadome coach successfully completes 180 km/h speed trial

Indian Railways successfully completed the 180 km per hour speed trial of its new design Vistadome tourist coaches.

These Vistadome coaches will make train journeys memorable for the passengers, as well as give a further boost to tourism.

The luxurious tourist’s coaches have been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.

The European-style coaches are made with see-through glass rooftops and wide windows for the indulgent sightseeing experience.

Currently, 13 Vistadome coaches are being operated on select routes including the Nilgiri Mountain Railway line, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Kangra Valley Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, between Dadar in Mumbai and Madgoan in Araku Valley as well as in the Kashmir Valley.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Railway Founded: 16 April 1853.
  • Indian Railway Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Union Minister of Indian Railways: Piyush Goyal.

Harsh Vardhan inaugurates India’s highest meteorological centre at Leh

Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the meteorological centre (MC) of the India Meteorological Department at Leh in Ladakh via video conferencing.

The centre would provide localised weather forecasts in the region, which would result in strengthening the weather-related early warning system for the region.

The meteorological centre at Leh is the second MC located in the Himalayas. The first such facility is based in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

The facility is located at a height of 3,500 metres, which makes it the highest meteorological centre in India.

This new MC will provide short-range (three days,) medium-range (12 days) and long-range (one month) forecast for Leh and Kargil districts of the Union Territory.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh: Radha Krishna Mathur.

Defence News

Navy, DRDO conduct a maiden trial of air-dropped container “SAHAYAK-NG

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with the Indian Navy conducted the successful maiden test trial of “SAHAYAK-NG” India’s first indigenously designed and developed Air Dropped Container from IL 38SD aircraft (Indian Navy) off the coast of Goa.

The trial was conducted by the Indian Navy to enhance its operational logistics capabilities and provide critical engineering stores to ships that are deployed more than 2000 kilometres from the coast. SAHAYAK-NG is an advanced version of SAHAYAK Mk I.

The newly developed GPS aided air dropped container is having the capability to carry a payload that weighs up to 50 kilograms and can be dropped from heavy aircraft.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

Appointments News

Harsh Vardhan nominated to the Board of “GAVI”, The Vaccine Alliance

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has been nominated as the board member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

The seat is currently held by Myint Htwe of Myanmar. Dr Vardhan will represent the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/ Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board.

Dr Vardhan will assume the charge with effect from January 1, 2021, and serve till December 31, 2023.

The vaccine alliance GAVI is an international organisation, that provides a forum for balanced strategic decision-making, innovation and partner collaboration.

It was created to improve access to new and underused vaccines for numerous vaccine-preventable diseases for children who live in the world’s poorest countries.

The GAVI board is responsible for the strategic direction and policy-making oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • GAVI Headquarters location: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • GAVI Founded: January 2000.

Science and Technology

India’s 1st Testbed TiHAN launched at IIT Hyderabad

Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has virtually laid the foundation stone of “TiHAN-IIT Hyderabad”, India’s first Testbed for Autonomous Navigation Systems (Terrestrial and Aerial) at IIT Hyderabad.

The Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation Systems (TiHAN) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Remotely Operated Vehicles at IIT Hyderabad.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 135 crores to IIT Hyderabad under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to set up a Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Director of IIT-Hyderabad: Budaraju Srinivasa Murty.

Awards News 

V.K. Yadav chairman of railway board conferred with Eminent Engineer Award

The chairman & CEO of Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav has been conferred with the prestigious “Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2020’.

This award is given by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for his outstanding contribution towards modernization and reforms over Indian Railways.

Every year Institution of Engineering and Technology, Delhi Local Network celebrates Engineers’ Day on the 15th of September to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya.

On this occasion, besides technical activities, the Institution also presents the Eminent Engineer’s Award to distinguished Engineering personalities for their outstanding services in the field of Engineering and technology.

Pt Satish Vyas conferred Tansen Samman at the World Music Festival

In Madhya Pradesh, 96th Tansen Music Festival began in Gwalior with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place. In the inaugural ceremony renowned santoor player, Pandit Satish Vyas was conferred upon the prestigious Tansen Samman.

Bhopal-based institution Abhinav Kala Parishad was honoured with Raja Mansingh Tomar award. The festival pays tribute to Tansen, one of 9 gems in Akbar’s court.


Obituary

Veteran broadcaster Indira Joseph Venniyoor passes away

Veteran broadcaster, Indira Joseph Venniyoor passed away. She was a renowned broadcaster, All India Radio veteran & first English news announcer of Travancore Radio when its English service began in 1949.

She was the wife of well-known literary scholar & art critic the late E.M.J. Venniyoor.


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