Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

15th & 16th Jan 2021 Current Affairs in English

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Important Days

Indian Army Day

The Army Day in India is celebrated on 15 January every year, to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens. This year marks the 73rd Indian Army Day. 

The Army Day is celebrated at all Army Command headquarters to honour our country’s soldiers who set the greatest example of selfless service and brotherhood, and above all, love for the country.

The day is marked to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) KM Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • 28th Chief of Army Staff: General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Armed Forces Veterans Day

In India, the Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed each year on 14 January since 2017 to acknowledge and honour the selfless devotion and sacrifice of our veterans in the service of the nation. The day was initially called Armistice Day. 2021 marks the 5th Armed Forces Veterans Day. 

The day is observed as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces who retired on 14 January 1953. 


National Headlines

Tesla sets up India subsidiary in Bengaluru

Elon Musk-owned electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla has registered a fully-owned subsidiary in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Tesla, the world’s most valued carmaker has incorporated a fully owned subsidiary ahead as a first step to set up an R&D unit and a manufacturing plant for its electric vehicles in the country.

Tesla’s global senior director David Jon Feinstein, chief accounting officer Vaibhav Taneja and Bengaluru-based entrepreneur Venkatrangam Sreeram are on the board of the India unit, Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd.

The office, situated on Lavelle Road in Bengaluru, is registered with a total paid-up capital of Rs 1,00,000 and authorised share capital of Rs 15 lakh.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Tesla Founded: 1 July 2003.
  • Tesla Headquarters: California, United States.

Naveen Patnaik inaugurates India’s first “Fire Park” in Bhubaneswar

The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik virtually inaugurated a first of its kind “Fire Park”, to educate and bring awareness on basic fire safety measures among the people, particularly the students.

The ‘Fire Park’ is located inside the premises of the Odisha Fire and Disaster Academy in Bhubaneswar.

The minister also launched an online portal, ‘AgnishamaSeva’ of Odisha Fire Service.

The fire park will facilitate demonstrations on use of first aid fire-fighting equipment, rescue and disaster operations, visit the exhibition hall, screening of films and distribution of leaflets on fire safety.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Odisha: Naveen Patnaik.
  • Odisha Capital: Bhubaneswar.
  • Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal.

Kerala becomes 8th State to complete ease of doing business reforms

Kerala has become the 8th State in the country to successfully undertake “Ease of Doing Business” reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

Kerala has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs.2,373 crore through Open Market Borrowings. Permission for the same was issued by the Department of Expenditure on 12th January 2021.

Kerala has now joined the seven other States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, who have completed this reform.

On completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these eight States have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs.23,149 crore.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan.
  • Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.

International News

Donald Trump becomes the first U.S. President to be impeached twice

President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time on January 13, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.

He was first impeached in 2019 over his Ukraine dealings. The House voted 232-197 to impeach Mr Trump.

The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Mr. Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, urged on by the President’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.

Sadyr Japarov wins the presidential election in Kyrgyzstan

The frontrunner in Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election, Sadyr Japarov, has won by a landslide. According to the Central Election Commission, Mr Japarov had won 79% of votes cast.

Mr Japarov, who served time in jail for taking a rival hostage, will also have sweeping new presidential powers after voters by a similar margin opted to amend the constitution in a referendum.

Kyrgyzstan has been in crisis since parliamentary elections last October. The results of those elections were disputed, leading to protests and the resignation of then-President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kyrgyzstan Capital: Bishkek;
  • Kyrgyzstan Currency: Kyrgyzstani som.

Appointments News

Dushyant Dave resigns as SC Bar Association (SCBA) President

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president, Dushyant Dave has resigned from his post with immediate effect, he has forfeited his right to continue. Acting SCBA Secretary Rohit Panday confirmed the development that the senior advocate has resigned with immediate effect.

The SCBA is an Indian bar association, comprising the practising lawyers of the Supreme Court of India. The SCBA has been in the vanguard of the movement for upholding, maintaining and consolidation of the constitutional values of democracy, rule of law and independence of Judiciary. In its meeting dated 4th May 1951.

The Committee in its resolution observed that no attempt should be made to abridge or limit the Fundamental Rights.

The Committee further pointed out that the Constitution was in operation only for a short period of sixteen months and the Supreme Court had no occasion to pronounce on the validity of various State laws.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Supreme Court Bar Association Headquarters: New Delhi, India.

Intel appoints Pat Gelsinger as new CEO

Intel has appointed Pat Gelsinger as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective Feb. 15, 2021. Gelsinger will also join the Intel board of directors upon assuming the role. He will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15.

Gelsinger is an industry veteran with more than four decades of technology and leadership experience, including 30 years at Intel where he began his career.

Pat is a proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and deep knowledge of Intel.

He will continue a values-based cultural leadership approach with a hyper-focus on operational execution.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Intel Founded: 18 July 1968.
  • Intel Headquarters: Santa Clara, California, United States.
  • Intel Founders: Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce.

Defence News

Indian Army inks $20 mn contract to buy SWITCH drones

The Indian Army has recently signed a contract with Mumbai-based drone manufacturing company, ideaForge, to procure high-altitude variant of SWITCH unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The total cost of the deal is approximately USD 20 million.

However, the quantity of UAVs to be procured is not disclosed. These UAVs will be delivered to the Indian Army over a period of one year.

SWITCH UAV is an indigenous system built to cater for the most demanding surveillance operations of the Indian Forces.

This Fixed-Wing VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) UAV can be deployed at high altitude and harsh environments for day and night surveillance in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

It is man-portable and has the highest time on target compared to any other UAV in its class.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IdeaForge CEO: Ankit Mehta.
  • IdeaForge HQ:  Mumbai, Maharashtra.

DRDO develops India’s first Indigenously-Developed 9mm Machine Pistol

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

Infantry School, Mhow and DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune have designed and developed this weapon using their respective expertise in the complementary areas.

The weapon has been developed in a record time of four months. The weapon is aptly named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect” & “Hard Work”. 

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.

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

The weapon has huge potential in Armed forces as a personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers/dispatch riders, radio/radar operators, Closed Quarter Battle, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations etc.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary Department of Defence Research and Development  & Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

Schemes and Committees News

RBI forms six-member working group to regulate digital lending frauds

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a working group to study digital lending activities of the regulated and unregulated players, due to the growing instances of frauds in digital lending space.

The group will suggest steps to regulate digital lending including online lending platform and mobile lending.

The group will evaluate digital lending activities and assess the penetration and standards of outsourced digital lending activities in RBI regulated entities.

The six-member panel comprises of following four RBI internal and two external members:

  1. Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI (Chairman)
  2. Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Supervision (Member)
  3. P Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, RBI (Member)
  4. Manoranjan Mishra, Chief General Manager, Department of Regulation (Member Secretary)
  5. Vikram Mehta, Co-founder, Monexo Fintech (External Member)
  6. Rahul Sasi, Cyber Security Expert & Founder of CloudSEK (External Member)

IRDAI sets up panel to examine availability of health insurance products

Insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has set up a panel of experts called ‘Health Insurance Advisory Committee’ to examine the availability of health insurance products in the country, considering the need of the Indian society and recommend suitable products and processes.

The expert committee will be headed by IRDAI Chairperson, Subhash Chandra Khuntia and will have a Member (Non-Life) as the vice-chairperson. The committee, which has a term of one year. 

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IRDAI Founded: 1999.
  • IRDAI Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana.

Economy News

Fitch Ratings Projects GDP of India at -9.4% in FY21

The Fitch Ratings expect the gross domestic product (GDP) of India to contract by 9.4 per cent in FY21 (April 2020 to March 2021).

Fitch further projects the GDP to expand by 11 per cent in FY22 (April 2021 to March 2022).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Fitch Ratings Headquarters: New York, United States.
  • Fitch Ratings CEO: Paul Taylor.
  • Fitch Ratings Founder: John Knowles Fitch.
  • Fitch Ratings Founded: 1914.

BofA Securities Projects GDP of India to Contract 6.7% in FY21

The BofA Securities expects the GDP growth of India for the current financial year 2020-21 to contract by 6.7 per cent.

Apart from this, BofA Securities has projected the Indian economy to grow at 9 per cent in 2021-22 if the vaccine distribution is done in the first half of the new fiscal year, but it expects GDP growth prospects at just at 6 per cent if the distribution is delayed to the second half of 2021-22 (October-March).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • BofA Securities Headquarters: New York, New York, United States.
  • BofA Securities Parent organization: Bank of America.
  • BofA Securities Founded: 1 January 2009.
  • BofA Securities  CEO: Brian T Moynihan.

UBS Projects GDP of India at -7.5% in 2020-21

Swiss brokerage major UBS Investment Bank has projected the Indian economy to contract 7.5 per cent in the current fiscal FY21, ending March 2021.

UBS further expects the economy to rebound at 11.5 per cent in FY22. For the FY23, GDP growth is expected to stabilise at 6 per cent.

Nomura Estimates India’s GDP to contract 6.7% in FY21

The Japanese brokerage Nomura has revised upward, the GDP forecast for India in 2020-21 and now expects it to contract to 6.7 per cent.

Nomura has further projected the GDP of India to rise to 13.5 per cent in FY22 (2021-22).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Nomura President and Group CEO: Kentaro Okuda.

Agreements News

NITI Aayog and Flipkart collaborate to enhance WEP

NITI Aayog and Flipkart, have come together to launch the revamped Women Entrepreneurship Platform.

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is a unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to realise their entrepreneurial aspirations.

The idea of the platform was first mooted by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog who announced the setting-up of a Women Entrepreneurship Platform in NITI Aayog at the conclusion of the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Hyderabad in 2017, with an overarching theme of ‘Women first, prosperity for all’. 

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • NITI Aayog Formed: 1 January 2015.
  • NITI Aayog Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • NITI Aayog Chairperson: Narendra Modi.
  • Flipkart headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Flipkart CEO: Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

Awards News

AIIMS Bhubaneswar receives Kayakalp Award for 3rd time

The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar has proved its mettle once again for promoting cleanliness, hygiene and creating sustainable practices in public health facilities by winning the Kayakalp Award Scheme.

AIIMS Bhubaneswar will get an award of Rs 2 crore for the performance. The institute has been adjudged as the best central government hospital under B category for cleanliness for a third consecutive year.

It had earlier received the award in 2018 as well as in 2019 for becoming second cleanest hospital in the country among category B hospitals (less than 1000 beds) and received Rs one crore as prize money.


Obituary

Social Activist and Padma Shri Awardee D Prakash Rao passes away

Noted social activist and Padma Shri winner, D Prakash Rao has passed away. He was basically a tea seller based in Cuttack, who spent his entire earning to educate slum children, through the school ‘Asha O Ashwasana’, which he started in 2000.

He was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2019 for his contribution towards boosting the value of education among slum kids in Cuttack. Apart from this, Rao was also a well-known blood donor.


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