Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

08th & 09th Jan 2021 Current Affairs Headlines

National Headlines

PM Modi dedicates new Section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) to the nation.

Through video-conferencing, Modi also flagged off the world’s first double-stack long-haul 1.5-km-long container train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli-New Kishangarh. 

The New Rewari-New Madar section of the WDFC is situated in Haryana, approximately 79 km in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts and Rajasthan approximately 227 km in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur, and Alwar districts.

India and NDB signs USD 646 million loan agreement for Andhra Pradesh

The New Development Bank (NDB) has signed loan agreements worth USD 646 million with the Government of India for two road projects in Andhra Pradesh. Each project costs USD 323 million.

These projects will improve mobility and connectivity to the socioeconomic centres, enhance transport efficiency, improve road safety and riding quality, and provide all-weather accessibility for the State’s road users.

The first project is the Andhra Pradesh Roads and Bridges Reconstruction Project. It comprises widening 1,600 km of State Highways to double lane and reconstructing dilapidated bridges on the State Highway network.

The second project is Andhra Pradesh Mandal Connectivity and Rural Connectivity Improvement Project. It comprises widening 1,400 km of district roads to double lane and reconstructing dilapidated bridges on the district road network.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • New Development Bank Headquarters Location: Shanghai, China.
  • New Development Bank President: Marcos Prado Troyjo.
  • New Development Bank Founder: BRICS.
  • New Development Bank Founded: 15 July 2014.

Karnataka Government launches Krishi Sanjeevani Vans to test soil, water

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa flagged off 40 Krishi Sanjeevani vans in Bengaluru.

These vans have been launched by the state Agriculture Department with Central assistance under National Krishi Vikas Yojana to take up this novel programme.

To take labs to the agriculture fields, study the conditions and address the needs of the farmers about pest control, the fertility of the soil, weeds and suitable crops in the existing conditions so that farmers get support for their farming techniques.

Depending on the soil, water and pests inflicting the crops, the Agriculture Department personnel can suggest remedies.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Karnataka: B.S. Yediyurappa; Governor: Vajubhai Vala.

International News

Indian-American Raj Iyer becomes U.S. Army’s first CIO

Indian-American Dr Raj Iyer has taken over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army, after the Pentagon created the position in July 2020.

Dr Raj Iyer is one of the highest-ranking Indian-American civilians in the US Department of Defence.

Dr Iyer holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering had been serving as the Principal Advisor to the Secretary of the Army and directs representation of the secretary in matters relating to information management/information technology (IT). The position of CIO is equivalent to a three-star General.


Appointments News 

Biden selects Judge Merrick Garland for attorney general

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate federal appeals judge Merrick Garland to be the next U.S. attorney general.

He serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts. Vanita Gupta, the head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, will be nominated by Biden as the Associate Attorney General, the No. 3 people in the department.

Alex Ellis appointed new British high commissioner to India

Alexander Ellis has been appointed British high commissioner to India and will take up the key role later this month.

He has held several posts, including deputy national security adviser in the cabinet office, director-general in the department for exiting the European Union, and the British ambassador to Portugal. Ellis succeeds Philip Barton.

In August 2020, Barton was promoted as permanent undersecretary in the UK’s newly formed foreign, commonwealth and development office.

Hima Kohli appointed as 1st Woman Chief Justice of Telangana High Court

The senior-most judge of Delhi High Court, Justice Hima Kohli has been appointed as the new Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. She is the first woman to be sworn in as CJ of Telangana HC.

Justice Kohli was administered the oath of office by Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan. She replaces CJ Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, who has been appointed as the CJ of Uttarakhand HC.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Telangana: K Chandrasekhar Rao; Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

JK Maheshwari sworn in as Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court

Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.

Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Justice Maheshwari during a function held in Raj Bhavan.

Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami of the Sikkim High Court has now been transferred for appointment as the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Sikkim: PS Golay.
  • Governor of Sikkim: Ganga Prasad.

Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court

Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court informed the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in the exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court, as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.

Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, was enrolled as an Advocate on July 7, 1986, and practised in the Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts in Civil, Constitutional, Service, and Labour matters and has specialized in Service and Constitutional matters.

He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Uttarakhand High Court on November 1, 2008.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal; Governor: Prof. Jagdish Mukhi.

Karan Bajwa to head Google Cloud in Asia Pacific

Google Cloud has announced the elevation of Karan Bajwa as its new leader for the Asia Pacific.

Presently, Bajwa leads Google Cloud in India. He will lead all regional revenue and go-to-market operations for Google Cloud, including on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Workspace. He succeeds Rick Harshman who leaves the organisation for a new opportunity.

At present, Bajwa is based in Gurgaon but will relocate to Singapore in 2021. He will continue to lead Google Cloud in India until a new senior leader for the business is appointed.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • CEO of Google: Sundar Pichai; Headquarters: California, United States.

Arup Kumar Goswami sworn in as CJ of Andhra Pradesh High Court

Arup Kumar Goswami was sworn in as the Chief Justice (CJ) of Andhra Pradesh High Court by Governor Biswab Bushan Harichandan in the presence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Justice Goswami was transferred from the Sikkim High Court a few days ago. He replaced J.K. Maheswari who has been posted as the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.

Chief Justice Goswami began his career as an advocate with the Bar Council of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura in 1985.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy; Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

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Banking News

RBI sets up College of Supervisors chaired by N S Viswanathan

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an academic advisory council called ‘College of Supervisors (CoS)’ to further strengthen supervision over regulated entities.

The Cos will be headed by former deputy governor N S Viswanathan and will have five other members.

The objective of the council will be to identify areas where skill building/up-skilling are requir­ed, plan and develop curricula of all programmes, benchmark the programmes with international standards/­best practices, and develop appropriate teaching methods, etc.

Other members include:

  • Arijit Basu, State Bank of India Managing Director
  • Paresh Sukhankar, former HDFC Bank Deputy Managing Director
  • S Raghunath of Banglore IIM
  • Tadhagatha Bandyophyay of Ahemadabad IIM and
  • Subrata Sarkar of IGIDR, Mumbai.

IDFC Mutual Fund unveils new investor awareness campaign #PaisonKoRokoMat

IDFC Mutual Funds has launched its latest pan-India investor awareness campaign titled #PaisonKoRokoMat. With this new campaign, IDFC Mutual Fund aims to shift the conversation regarding wealth creation from the traditional to the contemporary.

This new campaign of IDFC Mutual Fund urges savers to become investors and explore the smart and modern mutual fund vehicle for their investments.

The 360-degree campaign focuses on looking beyond the traditional ways of growing your money and using your goals to allocate your money across asset classes and investment solutions.

The campaign has been conceptualised and created by TBWAIndia.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IDFC First Bank CEO: V. Vaidyanathan.
  • IDFC First Bank Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • IDFC First Bank Founded: October 2015.

Economy News

World Bank Projects Indian Economy to Contract By 9.6% in 2020-21

World Bank has projected the Indian economy to contract by 9.6 per cent in the fiscal year 2020-21, in its Global Economic Prospects report. World Bank estimates Growth to recover to 5.4 per cent in 2021.

Apart from this, the global economy is estimated to expand by 4 per cent in 2021 by the World Bank. According to the report, global growth is projected to moderate to 3.8 per cent in 2022.

NSO Projects India’s GDP to contract 7.7% in FY21

The GDP of India is expected to contract by 7.7 per cent in the current fiscal year 2020-21, as per the first advanced estimates released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on January 07, 2021.

The first advance estimates of GDP of a financial year are released before the Union Budget. This data helps in the budget-making process.

Useful for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of State IC of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation: Rao Inderjit Singh.

Agreements News

PNB Collaborates with IIT Kanpur to set up Fintech Innovation Centre

Punjab National Bank has partnered with IIT Kanpur and the Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) to set up a ‘Fintech Innovation Centre (FIC)’ at the institute’s campus.

PNB and IIT Kanpur will jointly work to set up this innovation centre as a vehicle for research and development of technological solutions, with the help of FIRST, to address challenges and explore opportunities in the Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space.

PNB intends to create new products or solutions with technological innovations by creating an FIC involving IITK’s experienced faculty members with the help of FIRST.

The collaboration of technical prowess from IIT Kanpur and financial expertise of PNB makes it an apt “Fin-Tech” partnership that will help build innovations and entrepreneurial excellence.

The FIC will be supported by a holistic ecosystem of financial institutions, academia, VC funds, technology companies and key government organisations.

Useful for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Punjab National Bank CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao (1 Oct 2019–).
  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Punjab National Bank Founders: Lala Lajpat Rai, Dyal Singh Majithia.

Schemes and Committee

MoS Reddy to head committee for ‘protecting language, culture and land of Ladakh’

A 10-member delegation from Ladakh met Union home minister Amit Shah has urged the government to protect Ladakh’s language, culture and land.

The Central Government has decided to form a committee to protect the unique language, cultural identity and land of Ladakh. The Committee will be headed by the Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.

This committee will also ensure citizen’s participation in the development of the Union Territory. The other members of the committee will include elected representatives from Ladakh, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, central government, and the Ladakh administration.


Defence News

India & Israel successfully test MRSAM air defence system

India and Israel successfully tested a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) defence system.

The MRSAM missile defence system has been developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to deal with airstrikes by enemy countries.

Currently being used by all three wings of the Indian Army as well as Israel Defence Forces (IDF), the air and missile defence system was a joint venture of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the IAI.

Useful for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary Department of Defence Research and Development  & Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.
  • President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries: Boaz Levy.

Sports News

Claire Polosak set to become first female match official in men’s Test match

Australia’s Claire Polosak is set to become the first female match official in a men’s Test match when she takes up the fourth umpire’s role in the third Test between India and Australia.

The 32-year-old from New South Wales has already earned the distinction of being the first woman on-field umpire in a men’s ODI match in ICC’s Division 2 league between Namibia and Oman played at the Windhoek in 2019.

Useful for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of ICC: Greg Barclay.
  • CEO of ICC: Manu Sawhney.
  • Headquarters of ICC: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Khelo India Ice Hockey Tournament begins in Chiktan, Kargil

Khelo India Ice Hockey Tournament organised at Chiktan in Kàrgil, Ladakh. For the first time, the women team of Chiktan also participated in the Khelo India Games in Kargil district.

There are 13 teams from different villages of Chiktan participating in the tournament, which include 11 men’s teams and 2 women’s teams.

The tournament was inaugurated by SDM Shakar Chiktan and the Chief Guest of the event Kacho Asgar Ali khan in the presence of ZPEO Chiktan Ghulam Rasool along with in-charge police post-Chiktan.

Useful for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports: Kiren Rijiju.
  • Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh: Radha Krishna Mathur.

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