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Current Affairs 8th-14th January 2020

Current Affairs 8th-14th January 2020

18-01-2020 By Admin

Weekly Current Affairs from all the important sources.

Current Affairs 8th-14th January 2020

Kochi to host ASCEND 2020, the Global Investors Meet

Kerala is organizing the Global Investors Meet 'ASCEND 2020'. The meet will be held from 9-10 January 2020 in Kochi, Kerala. The meet will be organized by the Industries Department of the state government.

ASCEND 2020:
♦ In the meeting, the government will highlight a Kochi-to-Palakkad integrated manufacturing cluster, a Rs.131 crore Defence Park at 60 acres in Ottapalam of Palakkad district and an electronic hardware park in Ernakulam district among 18 mega projects the state government.
♦ The meet will focus on integrated solid waste management systems at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, and Malappuram. 
♦ It will focus on the medium density fiberboard plant in Perumbavoor.
♦ The organizers of the program will showcase 70 other projects classified as large, medium and small to provide jobs.
♦ The megaprojects require an estimated investment of more than Rs.100 crore.
♦ These projects are expected to give direct employment to at least 500 people.
♦ The proposed mega-projects also include a Propylene Oxide manufacturing plant of 2,00,000 MPA capacity in the vicinity of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)-Kochi Refinery, a Rs. 1,864-crore KINFRA-initiated Petrochemical Park of international standards at Ambalamugal in Ernakulam district and a Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) manufacturing facility of capacity 150,000 TPA.
♦ To showcase the meeting, the Kerala State government has launched the Invest Kerala Portal. It will provide a single-window facilitator for easy investment promotion under its Ease of doing business initiatives.


World Day of War Orphans was observed on 6 January

The World Day of War Orphans was celebrated on 6 January 2020. The day is observed every year. The day enables the global Communities to recognize the plight of a, particularly vulnerable group. 

The day aims to address the war orphans as it has become a growing worldwide humanitarian and social crisis. The day ensures to voice out the predicament of war orphans. It highlights that children growing up in orphanage experience emotional, social and physical handicaps. 

War orphans:
The World Day of War Orphans was initiated by the French organization, SOS Enfants en Detresses. UNICEF estimated that there are nearly 9,00,000 children in the Northeast, all of whom have been seriously affected by the war, either through a lack of education, food, shelter or a direct injury.
In the developed countries orphans are relatively less in number but in countries that have been and are subjected to wars and great epidemics such as AIDS, there are significant numbers of orphans. An estimate said that World War II created millions of orphans in Europe, with 300,000 orphans in Poland and 200,000 in Yugoslavia alone. The children are most often neglected. The day aims to remember these children and reminds the responsibility to work hard to diminish the shadow of war so that no one would be an orphan within the motherland.


Amit Shah released a book titled Karmayoddha Granth

The Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah released a book titled Karmayoddha Granth in New Delhi on 7 January 2020. In his book, Amit Shah has shared the life of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Karmayoddha Granth:
♦ The book talks about the three parts of PM Modi's life:
1) The first part talks of Modi dedicating his life to an ideology
2) The second about him entering politics on the ideals of the Sangathan
3) The third about him Upholding the tenets of Parliamentary Democracy and the Constitution of India to construct an ideal State
♦ He has addressed PM Narendra Modi as the epitome of selfless service to the Nation. 
♦ It describes all the schemes and the measures the Modi government launched for the welfare of the people.
♦ He has also narrated the challenges faced by Shri Modi while he was the CM of Gujarat and how he faced each one of them to transform the state by creating the Gujarat model.

Karmayoddha is a man who has a beating heart for people, a statesman, a hard taskmaster, an able administrator and an ideal leader who leads by example.


The 31st International Kite Festival launched in Ahmedabad

The 31st International Kite Festival was launched at the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It was inaugurated by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The festival will be conducted from 7-14 January in different parts of the state. The festival became an identity of Gujarat.

International Kite Festival:
♦ Makarsankranti, the festival of Kites aims attracts a large number of foreign tourists in the state.
♦ The size of the kite industry in the state has increased multi-fold following the successive International Kite Festivals in the state. 
♦ International Kite Festival is being organized at nine other places across the state including Statue of Unity Kevadiya, Surat and Vadodara.


Gujarat to set up Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the State is to set up the Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) in the state. The announcement was made at the Children's Innovation Festival (CIF) held at Swarnim Sankul in Gandhinagar. He felicitated top 30 idea teams, out 114 teams, led by school students in the state. Also, a letter of intent was exchanged between Gujarat University and UNICEF on the occasion.

The center will identify, nurture and promote children's ideas and innovation. 

Children's Innovation Festival (CIF) was organized by Gujarat University Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC). The initiative was aimed to identify, nurture and support children's innovations in the state. More than 480 teams applied from 25 districts of Gujarat, out of which 114 teams were selected for CIF Boot Camp for mentorship and capacity building on entrepreneurship. The festival was exclusively organized for the school-going children up to 18 years old.

Note: GUSEC is an incubation centre set up by Gujarat University in partnership with UNICEF.


First edition of Khelo India University Games to be held in Odisha

The first edition of Khelo India University Games has been scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University in Bhubaneswar. 

The University Games provides a platform for young students to showcase their sports talent. The games are aimed to further nourish the talents of the youth.

Khelo India University Games:
Khelo India University Games is an initiative of the Government of India to empower the sports sector. It aims to mould the future of budding sports stars in India. The games will be held from 22 February to 1 March 2020. Union Minister of Sports Kiren Rijiju and Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik unveiled the logo and jersey of Khelo India University Games at the launching ceremony of the event that was held at Bhubaneswar on 7 January 2020. 


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is observed on 9 Janauary

The 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is observed on 9 January 2020. The day is celebrated to recognize the overseas Indians who have contributed to the development of India.

Reason for celebrating the day on 9 January:
January 9 was chosen for the celebration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas because on this day in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa and led India's freedom struggle. 

PBD convention:
♦ Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conventions are being held every year since 2003. The conventions aim to provide a platform to the Non-resident Indians (NRIs) community to engage with the Indian government and its people of the land for mutually beneficial activities. 
♦ It also acts as a network among the NRI community residing in various parts of the world.
♦ The convention enables them to share their experiences in various fields.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:
The day was first observed in 2003. The day is celebrated in many places in India. The day was observed by the Indian government in Singapore in 2018.
On this day Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (PBSA) is conferred every year. The award is conferred by the President of India. The PBSA award recognizes the significant contributions made by the Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin (PIO), and organizations that are established by NRIs or PIOs to support, promote and build India's links across the globe.


Titanic wave of star-forming gases spotted in Milky Way

Scientists from Harvard University have discovered a titanic wave of star-forming gases practically in the Milky way on 7 January 2020. The astronomers reported that the massive structures are located in the Milky Way galaxy's spiral arm closest to Earth. 

New star:
♦ The researchers were building a 3-D map of the Milky Way galaxy's interstellar matter using a star census gathered by Europe's Gaia spacecraft. 
♦ The star-forming gases have been spotted as a wave-shaped structure. 
♦ It is 85 quadrillion kilometres long
♦ It is home to tens of thousands of small stars and has the potential for countless more stellar births. 
♦ The scientist says that all the stellar nurseries, or starforming blobs of gas, are interconnected and forms the wavy, gassy filament. 
♦ The wave is located just 500 light-years away from the Sun.


Worlds highest railway bridge to be built by 2021 December

The government has set a fresh deadline for the completion of the world's highest railway bridge that connects Kashmir to the rest of India by December 2021. It is the most challenging project in the post-independent history of the Indian Railways.

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project is important in order to provide an alternative and reliable transportation system to Jammu and Kashmir. It will connect Kashmir Valley to the Indian Railways.  network. This project will provide seamless and hassle-free connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir.

Highest railway bridge:
♦ The major rail project was declared a national project in 2002.
♦ The highest railway line is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. 
♦ The 1.315-km-long rail line is being constructed in hostile terrain. 
♦ It used over 5,462 tonnes of steel 
♦ It is located 359 metres above the river bed
♦ It has been designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 260 km per hour (kmph)
♦ It will connect Bakkal, Katra and Kauri, Srinagar.
♦ It forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal
♦ After completion, it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge, which is 275 m long, in China.


Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after 2 decades


Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics officially. He ended a wait spanning two decades. International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) issued the latest rankings that included all results between 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. Mirza's qualification to enter the Tokyo Games was confirmed in the issue. The riders competed the 4-star level tournaments to qualify for the Olympics. 
Previously, Imtiaz Anees in 2000 Sydney and Late Wing Commander IJ Lamba in 1996 Atlanta are the two Indians to who represented India at the Olympics. 


Scientists developed a viable scientific method to cultivate Indian Pompano fish in ponds

For the first time in India, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a viable scientific method to cultivate Indian Pompano fish in ponds. Pompanos are marine fishes. The Indian government began the scientific study on Pompano in 2014. 

Research highlights:
♦ The method will be of an alternative to shrimp. The funding was provided by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). With this, it will now be officially cultivated in ponds of Vishakhapatnam. 
♦ The experiment recorded 750 grams of meat per fish in open ponds and 1 kg in cages. The new scientific invention by CMFRI recorded 95% of the survival of the fishes. The method provided 3 tonnes per acre yield and a profit of 25% to 30% of input cost per acre. 
♦ The scientists also said that growing Pompano along with shrimp will increase the survival rate of the shrimp as the Pompanos breaks the life cycle of viruses that attack shrimps.
♦ The government is currently planning to implement inter-cropping of Shrimp and Pompanos.


Visakhapatnam to host naval event MILAN

Visakhapatnam, the City of Destiny is to host MILAN 2020. The International Naval event has been scheduled to be held in March 2020. Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Chief of Staff ENC reviewed the preparations at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) on 7 January 2020. The review meeting included site visits of the venues by the Nodal officers from the Navy and the stakeholder organizations that participate in the event.

MILAN 2020:
MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise. The main objective of the event is to enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn the strengths and best practices in the maritime domain. The theme of the exercise is Synergy Across the Seas. The theme is expected to provide a unique opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interest. 41 navies were invited and over 30 navies have confirmed their participation in MILAN 2020


Kerala State Youth Commission to conduct Adalat for the LGBT community

The Kerala State Youth Commission has scheduled a state-level Adalat to be held at Thiruvananthapuram. It aims to encourage the transgender community to open up about various issues faced by them and for speedy grievance redressal. 

♦ This is the first time such an event is organized in the State.
♦ Adalat is exclusively for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community
♦ It will provide a platform for the transgender community to air their grievances. 
♦ The Youth Commission aims to protect the right of the youths by addressing the problems of young people in the transgender community
♦ Kerala State government has a transgender policy in place from 2015. The policy aims to improve the lives of the transgender community. The state also has transgender cells working under the social justice department of Kerala.


World Hindi Day is observed on 10 January

World Hindi Day is observed on 10 January 2020. It is observed every year. The day ensures to promote the Hindi language around the world. World Hindi Day is different from National Hindi Day. 

The day aims to create a suitable environment to promote Hindi worldwide and to present Hindi as the prevalent language of the world. 

♦ On this day, Indian Foreign Ministries located abroad organizes various programs. 
♦ People of Indian origin living abroad organize various programs and celebrate the day.
♦ Unique programs for Hindi on various subjects are organized in all government offices.

World Hindi Day-History:
♦ The first World Hindi Conference was held on 10 January 1975. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
♦ World Hindi Conferences have been organized in various countries like India, Mauritius, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, United States. 
♦ On 10 January 2006, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh declared the day should be celebrated as World Hindi Day every year. It is celebrated every year since then.

♦ The word Hindi is believed to be transformed from the Sanskrit word Sindhu.
♦ Hindi is spoken by about 43 crore people in the world.
♦ It is the fifth most spoken language among the total languages spoken in the world.
♦ The Hindi language is spoken in many countries including Bangladesh, Mauritius, Pakistan, Nepal, Germany, New Zealand, Guyana, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Suriname, Trinidad, USA, UK, and South Africa.

Note: World Hindi Day is different from National Hindi Day. National Hindi Day is observed on 14


Census India 2021 will begin on 1 April

Census India 2021 will begin on 1 April and will end on 30 September 2020. The Census will be conducted through a mobile phone application. The move aims to move away from the traditional pen and paper. 

Census India 2021:
♦ Census enumerators of the census will collect the information of mobile number of the head of the family, information related to toilets, TV, Internet, vehicles owned, source of drinking water, Information will be sought on building number, wall, and roof of the census house, census house number, predominant material of the floor, household number, use of census house, condition of the census house, total number of persons normally residing in the household, name of the head of the household and the person's sex beginning of 1 April.
♦ The officials have been instructed to ask as many as 31 questions from every household during both house listing and housing census exercises.
♦ The Government of India (GOI) also aims to carry out the National Population Register (NPR) exercise along with the house listing phase of the census.
♦ GoI is targeting September 2020 deadline to update the NPR which is a list of usual residents of the country.
♦ The census will have the reference date as 1 March 2021, but for snow-bound J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it will be 1 October 2020.

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 programme to be held on 20 January

Seven students from Jammu Division have been selected for the 3rd edition of the Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 programme which will be held on 20 January 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be interacting with the students from across the country at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. 

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 programme:
♦ Of the 7 selected students, 6 students are from Government Schools. 
♦ A total of 4569 students from Jammu Division Schools register for the 3rd edition of the programme of using around 85 Facilitation Centers established across the Division by the Directorate Of School Education Jammu to help students in the registration process. 
♦ Students were selected on the basis of submission of online forms, open for the students of class 9th to 12th.
♦ The students selected from Jammu Division schools under the programme are:
1) Manya Pandoh from GGHSS, Mubarak Mandi Jammu 
2) Lakshya Langeh from Government SRML School 
3) Karishma Raina from Government Girls HSS Nowabad, Jammu
4) Avni Pandita from Government Girls HSS Nowabad, Jammu
5) Kanika Sharma from Government HSS Jorian
6) Sanchita from Presentation Convent Senior Secondary School, Jammu
7) Tushrika from Government Girls Model Higher Secondary School, Mubarak Mandi


GoI notified new set of rules to conserve wetlands

The government of India has notified a new set of rules to conserve wetlands across the country. The rule set by the Ministry of Environment was issued on 6 January 2020. 

New set of rules:
♦ The new rules prohibit setting up or expansion of industries, and disposal of construction and demolition waste within the wetlands. 
♦ The rules ensure to set up authority in each state and Union Territory (UT). 
♦ The authority has been directed to prepare a list of all wetlands of the state/UT within 3 months and make strategies for conservation and wise use of wetlands within their jurisdiction.
♦ The official should recommend mechanisms to maintain ecological character through promotional activities for land within the boundary of notified wetlands.
♦ The authority will include one expert each in the fields of wetland ecology, fisheries, hydrology, landscape planning, and socio-economics.
♦ The experts will be nominated by the state government. 

Wetlands in India:
In September 2019, the government has identified 130 wetlands for priority restoration in the next 5 years. It has also directed the States to submit their respective integrated management plan. The highest number of such identified wetlands are Uttar Pradesh with 16, Madhya Pradesh with 13, Jammu & Kashmir with 12, Gujarat with 8, Karnataka with 7 and West Bengal with 6. According to the data by ISRO provided national wetlands atlas on the basis of satellite imagery and mapping over 2 lakh wetlands that cover around 4.63% of the total geographic area of India.


Pulses Conclave 2020 to be held in Maharashtra

The Pulses Conclave 2020 (TPC 2020) has been scheduled to be held from 12-14 February 2020 in Lonavala, Maharashtra. The announcement was made by the India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for India's pulses trade and industry on 9 January 2020.

♦ The biennial global pulses conference 'TPC 2020' is in line with the Prime Minister's vision is to double the farmer's income by the year 2022.
♦ The Conclave programme various aspects including the dissemination of global and domestic pulses production numbers, global and domestic prices, supply and demand scenarios will be discussed 
♦ It aims to put together a roadmap to help the Indian pulses trade be able to contribute to the PM's vision of making India a $5 trillion economy through the retail sale of pulses, processed pulses, pulse derivates, and value additions, all of which will drive investments in the entire value chain.
♦ IPGA's programme aims to encourage its members to take advantage of the increased domestic production, balance imports vis-a-vis production and demand. It will ensure that the Indian consumer does not face any availability crunch nor high retail prices.

Pulses are the key source of proteins in India. India's pulses production has steadily grown from around 19 million tons in 2013-14 to 23 million tons in 201-19. The target has been for 2019-20 is 26.30 million tons. 

India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA):
IPGA is the apex body of India's pulses and grains industry and trade. It is headquartered in Mumbai. IPGA is registered under the Companies Act 2013 with a membership of over 270 including various regional associations of the Pulses industry. It aims to make Indian pulses and grains industry and trade globally competitive which in turn will help India's food and nutrition security.

Ten new songbirds have been found in the Wallacea Island

Scientists found ten songbirds, five new species and five new subspecies, near Sulawesi, have officially joined the scientific record. One among them is a Togian jungle-flycatcher was found in the Wallacean islands off Indonesia's east coast. It is one of the several new bird species. The finding suggested that humans' understanding of biogeographically complex regions such as Wallacea remains incomplete.

Wallacea Island:
Wallacea is a group of mainly Indonesian islands separated by deep-water straits from the Asian and Australian continental shelves. Wallacea includes Sulawesi, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Timor, Halmahera, Buru, Seram, and many smaller islands. Among them, Sulawesi is the largest island in the group.
Note: It should be noted that around 160 new species have been discovered in the last 30 years.


UP organizes programs to promote Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat campaign

As a measure to promote Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat, the Uttar Pradesh State government organized various programs in the State. Many schools and colleges of the state are organizing events for the purpose.  

Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat in UP:
♦ Uttar Pradesh has partnered with Arunachal Pradesh to promote the campaign. Many cultural exchanges took place between the two states. 
♦ Cultural troops of Arunachal Pradesh performed in Agra district of the state in December 2019.
♦ As a part of cultural exchange, many artisans from UP also went to Arunachal Pradesh and tasted the authentic UP Food. This event was promoted by the state culture department.
♦ The events are being organized at a regular interval in various parts of the country 
♦ It encourages people of both states to know each other's culture in a better way. 
♦ Baba Sahab Bhimrao Ambedkar University Lucknow has announced that it is to celebrate EK Bharat Shreshtha Bharat day on every second Friday of the month.

PM Modi is to re-dedicate three iconic colonial buildings in Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to re-dedicate Kolkata's four iconic colonial buildings to the people of Kolkata. The four buildings Currency Building, Metcalfe Hall, Belvedere House, and Victoria Memorial Hall have now been completely resorted. The structures are now expected to be turned into vibrant cultural spaces in Kolkata. He will be re-dedicating the building during his visit to Kolkata on 11-12 January 2020.

Currency Building:
The Currency Building is located in Kolkata's Dalhousie region. It was built in the year 1833. It was designed in Italian style with Venetian windows. Till 1937, the building was home to the Reserve Bank of India. It was then neglected and set to demolish. But the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) took over in 2002 and declared the building a protected monument.

Metcalfe Hall:
Metcalfe Hall was built between 1840-1844 as a public library. It features 30 Corinthian pillars. It is situated in the Kolkata's Dalhousie region and just around 200 m away from the Currency Building. It was restored in early 2019. Metcalfe Hall has an exhibition called Ami Kolkata, on the people of Kolkata.

Belvedere House:
The Belvedere House is situated inside the campus of the National Library. The building used to be home to the Governors of Bengal and the Viceroys of India. After restoration, the building features the paintings of Elizabeth Bruner, Santiniketan, and some old photographs of Kolkata by painters including Raja Deen Dayal.

Victoria Memorial Hall:
The Victoria was built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria. It lies by the bank of the Hooghly River, near Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The Victoria Memorial has around 25 galleries and the gardens are covered of 64 acres.

India ranked the fifth-biggest geopolitical risk of 2020 by Eurasia Group

Eurasia Group reported that India is one of the world's top geopolitical risks for 2020. The political risk consultancy India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was listed as the fifth biggest geopolitical risk of 2020.

Report Highlights:
♦ Eurasia Group is one of the United States' most influential risk assessment companies.
♦ The report said that the Indian PM Narendra Modi has spent much of his second term to promote the controversial social policies, include the revocation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir through an Act, at the expense of an economic agenda. 
♦ It also highlighted that the impacts will be shown in 2020, with intensified communal and sectarian instability, foreign policy and economic setbacks.
♦ The list was topped by-elections in the US and followed by events and developments like the US-China technology tug of war on 5G and the trade war between China and the US.

Wings India 2020 to be held in Begumpet Airport

Wings India 2020 has been scheduled to be held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad from 12-15 March 2020. The event is expected to boost aviation.

Organized by:
The event is organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to provide a congenial forum to the rapidly changing dynamics of the sector

Wings India 2020:
♦ Wings India 2020 is an international exhibition and conference on the civil aviation sector
♦ The event focus on new business acquisition, investments, policy formation, and regional connectivity.
♦ The event aims that the restructured focused forums will be instrumental in attaining the objective of connecting the investors, buyers, sellers and other stakeholders at a common forum.
♦ The Centre is currently planning a privatization programme for the flight carriers. It believes that privatization will strengthen the civil aviation sector in the country.
♦ A curtain raiser event was held at Begumpet Airport where the Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri participated.


Power Ministry released the 2019 State Energy Efficiency Index

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in association with Alliance for Energy-Efficient Economy released the State Energy Efficiency Index 2019. The index used 97 significant indicators and tracked the progress of Energy Efficiency (EE) initiatives in 36 states and union territories (UTs).

State Energy Efficiency Index 2019:
♦ The index showed that a majority of the initiatives taken by states are on the Policies and Regulations front.
♦ State Energy Efficiency Index categorized states as four types based on their efforts and achievements towards energy efficiency implementation. They are Front Runner, Achiever, Contender, and Aspirant. 
♦ In the Achiever Category Haryana, Kerala and Karnataka secured the top position.
♦ There was no front runner’ state mentioned in the report. It conveys that a lot more can be done at the state level to realize energy savings from energy efficiency. 
♦ The States and UTs are grouped into four groups based on the aggregated Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and considered the basic energy requirements such as coal, electricity, gas, and oil to meet the state's actual energy demand. Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Puducherry topped the category. Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan performed the worst in each the same.
♦ It directed the States/UTs to focus on ensuring greater compliance to achieve savings to contribute towards the national goals on energy security and climate action.


China reported the first case from new Coronavirus

Chinese health authorities reported that a new virus implicated in a pneumonia outbreak was identified in the city of Wuhan, China. The researchers discovered that the new strain of the virus is that of the coronavirus.

Coronaviruses infect the respiratory tract. 
The virus shows symptoms like runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever. There are six coronaviruses that can infect humans, including the viruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Previous Outbreaks:
In 2002-03, Coronavirus killed more than 700 people in the world. The virus originated in China. There is no specific vaccine for the virus as of 2019. The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia, in 2012. Most cases were found in the Arabian peninsula.


Dibrugarh district won the 2020 Plastic Waste Management Award

Assam's Dibrugarh district won the Plastic Waste Management Award 2020. It was awarded for being the best district of India in the plastic waste management category during Swachhta Hi Sewa 2019. The award was received by Pallav Gopal Jha, Deputy Commissioner from renowned Bollywood actor Amir Khan at a function held at Pride Plaza, Aerocity in Delhi.
The award recognizes the innovative and effective efforts taken by the district in managing plastic waste in rural areas of the district. The function was organized by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation of the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Swachhta hi Seva 2019:
Swachhta hi Seva 2019 is a nationwide awareness and mobilization campaign on Swachhta. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mathura on 11 September 2019.
Under the campaign, massive awareness and mobilization programs were organized in the Dibrugarh district. The campaign was aimed to generate awareness on single-use plastic waste collection, segregation and effective disposal under the Swachh Bharat Mission-G (SBM).


Two Indian Coast Guard Ships are commissioned at Kolkata

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar commissioned two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) namely Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur on 12 January 2020 at Kolkata.

♦ The ships are 48.9 m long and 7.5 m wide, with a displacement of 308 tonnes. 
♦ The ships can achieve a maximum speed of 34 knots.
♦ It is powered with MTU 4000 series engines and propelled by three 71S type III Kamewa water jets by Rolls Royce. 
♦ The ships can undertake multi-faceted tasks such as search and rescue, surveillance, interdiction, and medical evacuation.
♦ The ships are fitted with new technology, sensors, navigation and communication equipment, and machinery. 
♦ They equipped with Bofors 40/60 guns and 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Controlled Gun (SRCGs) to enhance the fighting efficiency of the ship.
♦ The ships carry one Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) and a Gemini boat each for swift boarding and search and rescue operations. 
♦ ICGS Annie Besant ship is commanded by Commandant (JG) Sunny Deo and ICGS Amrit Kaur is commanded by Commandant (JG) Himanshu Mishra.

Scientists found the oldest material on Earth from an ancient meteorite

Scientists found a meteorite that was crashed into rural southeastern Australia in a fireball in 1969 contained the oldest material ever found on Earth. The stardust predated the formation of the solar system by billions of years.

Oldest meteorite:
♦ The oldest of 40 tiny dust grains trapped inside the meteorite fragments were retrieved around the town of Murchison in Victoria state.
♦ It dated back to about 7 billion years ago which is about 2.5 billion years before the sun, Earth and the rest of the solar system formed.
♦ All of the dust specks that were analyzed in the research came from before the solar system's formation which is known as pre-solar grains.
♦ About 60% of them dated between 4.6 and 4.9 billion years old. Among the stardust, the oldest 10% dated to more than 5.6 billion years ago.
♦ The pre-solar grains from the meteorite was examined by Philipp Heck, curator of meteorites at Chicago's Field Museum. It had a piece of the meteorite in its collection.
♦ In order to separate the oldest grains from the relatively younger ones of the meteorite, scientists crushed fragments of the meteorite into a powder. It was then dissolved in acid, which left only the pre-solar particles.


China operationalised the world's largest radio telescope, FAST

China operationalized the world's largest radio telescope in southwest China’s Guiyang city, the capital of Guizhou province. The FAST telescope is was launched after three years of trial operation.

FAST telescope:
♦ The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) telescope is with a diameter of half-a-kilometer. It is dubbed as China Sky Eye. 
♦ The device is expected to make major scientific discoveries.
♦ FAST is 2.5 times as sensitive as the second-largest telescope in the world.
♦ It is capable of receiving a maximum of 38 gigabytes (GB) of information per second.
♦ The receiving area of the telescope is around 30 football fields.
♦ The cost of the telescope is around the US $170 million.
♦ The telescope includes a 5 km radius as the core zone, 5 km to 10 km radius as the intermediate zone and a peripheral zone that covers 10 km to 30 km in radius.

Captain Tania Shergill to be the first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade

Captain Tania Shergill has been selected to be the first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade. The parade adjutant is responsible for the parade. In the 2019 Republic Day parade. Captain Bhavna Kasturi was the first woman officer to lead an all-men contingent.

Captain Tania Shergill:
Captain Tania Shergill is an officer with the Army's Corps of Signals. She was commissioned in March 2017 from the Officer Training Academy, Chennai. She is an electronics and communications graduate. Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather have also served in the Indian Army.