Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

04th & 05th Jan 2021 Current Affairs Headlines

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Important Days

World Braille Day

World Braille Day is observed globally on 4th January since 2019. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.

The day is marked remembering the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille – for people with visual disabilities. Louis Braille was born on 4th January 1809 in the town of Coupvray in northern France.


National News

Delhi government sets up Tamil Academy

Delhi government Department of Art, Culture, and Language has set-up a Tamil academy to promote the language and culture of the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Delhi has a large population of people from Tamil Nadu and we want to present a platform to the people of Delhi to get a taste of the art and culture of Tamil Nadu.

The Delhi government has appointed a former councillor and member of Delhi Tamil Sangam N Raja as the Vice-Chairman of the academy.

The Department of Art, Culture, and Language of the Delhi govt has decided that the new academy will introduce various awards to promote and reward the good works of people in Tamil language and culture.

The government will also provide language courses through this academy. The Delhi government will also celebrate and organise cultural festivals for the people of Tamil Nadu.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal; Governor of Delhi: Anil Baijal.
  • Delhi Minister of Art, Culture, and Language: Manish Sisodia.

Amit Shah released the inaugural issue of “National Police K-9 Journal”

Home Minister Amit Shah has released the inaugural issue of the National Police K-9 Journal in New Delhi. It is the first such publication in the country on the subject of Police Service K9s, Police Dogs.

This is a unique initiative that will further enrich the subjects related to Police Service Dog, K-9, PSK teams in the country.

A special Police K9 Cell was established in November 2019, under the Police Modernization Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs with the mandate of Mainstreaming and Augmentation of Police Service K9s in the country.

The publication of the Police K9 Journal is another step in creating an ecosystem in the country to train and learn on augmenting this vital resource.

The journal comprises different sections in Hindi and English. It is a biannual journal which will be released in April and October every year.

India becomes co-chair of Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP)

India has been chosen as the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for a period of three years till November 2023. India will replace South Korea, which held the post for 3 years until November 2020.

As a co-chair, India would be responsible to assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas.

The APAP is chaired by IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature) Asia and co-chaired by an APAP nation member on a rotational basis.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature CEO: Grethel Aguilar.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature Founder: Julian Huxley.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature Founded: 5 October 1948.

Banking News

RBI introduces the RBI-Digital Payments Index

Reserve Bank of India has launched a Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitization of digital/electronic payments across the country.

This RBI-Digital Payments Index (DPI) has 5 broad parameters that will be used for the measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments.

The RBI-DPI comprises of 5 broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods.

These parameters are – (i) Payment Enablers (weight 25%), (ii) Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors (10%), (iii) Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors (15%), (iv) Payment Performance (45%) and (v) Consumer Centricity (5%).

The base period for RBI-DPI is March 2018. This means that the DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100. RBI has calculated the DPI for March 2019 and March 2020 at 153.47 and 207.84 respectively, indicating appreciable growth. RBI-DPI shall be published on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Defence News

GRSE delivers 8th landing craft utility ship to Indian Navy

Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has delivered the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class vessel ‘IN LCU L-58’ (Yard 2099) to the Indian Navy.

The amphibious ships, to be based in the strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is close to various routes leading to the South China Sea.

LCU L-58 is the final ship in the series of 8 LCUs being manufactured by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • GRSE Chairman & Managing Director: Rear Admiral V K Saxena.
  • GRSE Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal.

BEL and Indian Navy inks pact for initial supply of Laser Dazzlers

The Indian Navy has signed a contract with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), to procure Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazzlers (Laser Dazzlers).

Initially, agreement has been signed for 20 Laser Dazlers. The Laser dazzler technology has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and would be manufactured by BEL, Pune plant.

It is the first time that this unique product is indigenously designed and developed for the Armed Forces.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Bharat Electronics Limited Chairman & Managing Director: M V Gowtama.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited Headquarters: Bengaluru.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited Founded: 1954.
  • Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Karambir Singh.
  • Indian Navy Founded: 26 January 1950.

Ranks and Reports

Mukesh Ambani ranked 12th in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021

India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) dropped down to 12th spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021 (as on 2nd January 2021).

The net worth of Ambani dropped from 90 billion USD (around Rs. 6.62 lakh crore) (in early 2020) to 76.7 billion USD (around Rs. 5.6 lakh crore).

The drop in the net worth of Mukesh Ambani was due to the correction in the shares of RIL which has fallen to Rs.1995.50 on 30th December 2020, which is 16% from its all-time high of Rs 2369.35.

Zhong Shanshan, referred to as “Lone Wolf”, has replaced Ambani as Asia’s richest person, he is one of the fastest in the history to achieve the feat.

Top 3 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index:

RankPersonalityNet worth
1Jeff Bezos190 Billion USD
2Elon R Musk170 Billion USD
3Bill Gates132 Billion USD

Science and Technology

DCGI gives final approval for Covid-19 vaccines of SII, Bharat Biotech

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has formally announced the final approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca “Covishield” and Bharat Biotech “Covaxin” vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for emergency use.

CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) accepts the subject expert committee reform rations on Serum and Bharat Biotech Covid vaccines.

The subject expert committee (SEC) under CDSCO had recommended Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as Covishield, for emergency use and Covaxin for restricted use.

Covaxin is the indigenous vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Serum Institute of India CEO: Adar Poonawalla.
  • Serum Institute of IndiaFounder: Cyrus S. Poonawalla.
  • Serum Institute of IndiaFounded: 1966.
  • Serum Institute of India Headquarters location: Pune.

Sports News

Leon Mendonca becomes India’s 67th Grandmaster

Goa’s 14-year-old Leon Mendonca has become India’s 67th chess Grandmaster by winning the third and final norm at a tournament in Italy.

Mendonca, who achieved the feat at 14 years, 9 months and 17 days, is the second GM from the coastal State. Chennai player G. Akash, had in July, become the country’s 66th Grandmaster. He became the 29th Youngest GM in the world. The 1st GM from Goa is Ivana Maria Furtado, she achieved it in 2011.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Chess Federation President: Arkady Dvorkovich.
  • International Chess Federation Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • International Chess Federation Founded: 20 July 1924.

Obituary

Former Union Minister Buta Singh passes away

Former Union Minister and senior Rajasthan Congress leader Buta Singh passed away.

The veteran politician Buta Singh served as Home Minister of India in the Rajiv Gandhi government from 1986 to 1989.

Buta Singh had also served as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was a four-time MP from Jalore-Sirohi Lok Sabha constituency.

He served as the Chairperson of the National Commission For Scheduled Cast from 2007 to 2010.

Ace mountaineer Colonel Narendra ‘Bull’ Kumar passes away

Ace mountaineer Colonel Narendra ‘Bull’ Kumar, who helped India secure the Siachen Glacier, passed away.

He was responsible for the success of Operation Meghdoot in 1984. He was the first Indian to climb Mount Nanda Devi.

He climbed Mount Everest in 1965, Mount Blanc( highest peak in the Alps), and later Mount Kangchenchanga. He earned the nickname ‘Bull’ for relentlessly charging into everything he did.

Col Kumar, who was awarded the Kirti Chakra, Padma Shri, Arjun Award and the McGregor medal, carried out multiple expeditions in the Siachen glacier area in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


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