Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

17th Jan 2021 Current Affairs Headlines

National Headlines

 Rajnath Singh unveils India’s 1st indigenously developed driverless metro car

Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has unveiled India’s first ‘Driverless Metro Car’ on 15 January 2021 during a function held at BEML’s Bangalore Complex.

The indigenously designed & developed state-of-the-art Driverless Metro trains are being manufactured at BEML Bangaluru manufacturing facility, for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

BEML recently opened its Depot office at Charkop Metro Depot, MMRDA, Mumbai for commissioning, testing and round-the-clock services for Driverless Metro cars.

BEML bagged a total order of 576 cars for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)’s MRS1 project and the supply is scheduled progressively up to January 2024.

No foreign leader as chief guest on Republic Day this year

According to External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, due to the global COVID-19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be a foreign Head of State or Head of Government as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day event. President Ramnath Kovind will take the salute at the parade this time.

This will be the first time in over five decades that India will not have a chief guest at the Republic Day parade.

This comes days after United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India. Boris Jonhson was scheduled to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade on January 26.

Centre launches Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0

The Government of India launched the third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana on 15 January 2021.

The scheme has been rolled out for the current financial year, ending March 2021, and will be implemented by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. 

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana-3.0, skills training would be provided in 600 districts across all states, (except four states including Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal) to 8 lakh candidates over next three months with an outlay of Rs 948.90 crore with a focus on Covid-related skills.

The training will be imparted through 729 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs), empanelled non-PMKK training centres and more than 200 industrial training institutes (ITIs).

Further, a five-year PMKVY will be launched in 2021-22 with an enhanced target of skilling 1.5 crore youth.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship: Mahendra Nath Pandey.

International Headlines

Indian-American Garima Verma named digital director in Office of the First Lady

Incoming First Lady, Jill Biden has named Indian-American Garima Verma as her digital director and Michael LaRosa press secretary, the Biden transition team has announced.

She served as audience development and content strategist on the Biden-Harris campaign.

Before joining the campaign, Verma was a volunteer with the content team, designing graphics for distribution to Biden-Harris volunteers across the country.

UN Rights Body elects Fiji in First-Ever Presidential Vote

The UN Human Rights Council elected Fiji’s ambassador as its 2021 president in an unprecedented secret ballot after a diplomatic stand-off blocked the usual consensus decision.

Fiji’s ambassador in Geneva, Nazhat Shameem Khan, who served as the council’s vice president in 2020 and is considered a rights champion, won with 29 out of 47 votes.

She ran against two other candidates from the UN’s Asia-Pacific regional group of countries: Bahrain’s ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri and his counterpart from Uzbekistan, Ulugbek Lapasov, who received 14 and four votes respectively.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UN Human Rights Council Founded: 15 March 2006.
  • UN Human Rights Council Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Appointments

TEPC appoints Sandeep Aggarwal as new Chairman

The Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) has appointed Sandeep Aggarwal as the new Chairman. Aggarwal, the Managing Director and Promoter of Delhi-based Paramount Communications, will take over from Shyamal Ghosh, ex-Telecom Secretary.

TEPC is an independent body set up by the government to promote and develop the export of telecom equipment and services.


Agreements

India and Japan inks MoU to enhance cooperation in ICT

India and Japan have signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) via videoconferencing.

The MoU was signed between Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takeda Ryota.

Both countries will enhance mutual cooperation in the field of 5G technologies, telecom security, submarine optical fibre cable system to islands of India, spectrum management, smart cities, high altitude platform for broadband in unconnected areas, disaster management and public safety etc.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Japan Capital: Tokyo.
  • Japan Currency: Japanese yen.
  • Japan Prime minister: Yoshihide Suga.

Banking

YES Bank launches wellness themed credit card

Yes Bank has announced its partnership with Aditya Birla Wellness Private Limited to launch the ‘YES BANK Wellness’ and ‘YES BANK Wellness Plus’ Credit Cards – aimed at the holistic health, self-care and wellness of consumers.

This is an innovative step to encourage and promote self-care, mental and physical well-being. Consumers can now enjoy the bouquet of complementary health benefits by simply registering on the Aditya Birla Multiply App. Benefits include reward points, diet plans, consultations etc

The mobile app allows consumers to avail complimentary benefits such as annual health check-up, round the clock doctor or counsellor helpline, in-studio or home-based workout sessions, personalized diet plans, among others, right at their fingertips.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • YES bank HQ: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • YES bank MD & CEO: Prashant Kumar.

Summits and Conferences

Piyush Goyal inaugurates the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’

The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal has inaugurated the two-day ‘Prarambh’, Startup India International Summit in New Delhi on 15 January 2021.

The Summit has been organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under M/o Commerce & Industry.

The inaugural event was participated by the members of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries.

The ‘Prarambh’ Summit will provide a platform to the startups and young minds from around the world to come together and collaborate to work collectively to come with new ideas, innovation and invention.

The focus of the Summit will be on enhancing multilateral cooperation and engagement with countries from around the globe to collectively develop and strengthen the startup ecosystems.

The Summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Startup India initiative, launched by the Prime Minister on 16 January 2016.


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