Daily Current Affairs – International
Israel unveils revolutionary laser-based air defense system
Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it has successfully developed a laser-based air defense system.
- The system is meant to intercept aerial threats ranging from as mortar fire, drones, medium-range Grad rockets, anti-tank missiles as well as long-range missiles, currently at the disposal of Iran-backed terror groups in Syria and Lebanon.
- The system is set to be tested in six months’ time at an undisclosed location in northern Israel.
- If the interception test is successful, the laser-based system will be dispatched for field use along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.
- The technological development will enable the long-range targeting and stabilization of laser beams, allowing them to intercept targets at great distances.
Daily Current Affairs – National
India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant likely to be commissioned by 2021
The manufacturing of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase three.
- It is likely to be commissioned by early 2021.
- This carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi.
- Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on December 3 had said that Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022 and it will have a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.
Access to Internet is a fundamental right
The Supreme Court has declared access to the internet a fundamental right.
- A government cannot deprive the citizens of fundamental rights except under certain conditions explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.
- The ruling came on hearing of a plea in connection with Internet blockade in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 in the view of revoking of Article 370 in the Union Territory.
- Indian constitution makes the right to freedom of speech and expression a fundamental right for all citizens. It has been listed in Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution.
Famous chariot festival of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple started in Tamil Nadu
The famous chariot festival of the Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple, the southernmost major temple in Tamilnadu, is being held with great camaraderie and devotion.
- The ten-day annual festival is held in the Tamil month falling in December – January.
- The temple is especially significant because it is sacred to both the Shaivite as well as Vaishnavite sects.
- This 17th-century temple is famous for its architectural grandeur.
- There is an Anjaneya statue, which is 22 feet tall and is carved out of a single granite block. It is said to be one of the tallest statues of its type in India.
Eight North-Eastern states to participate in the Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat in April
The eight States of the Northern Eastern Region will participate in a big way during the Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat due to be held in the first week of April this year.
- The annual fair is held at Madhavpur Ghed in Porbandar district and the Mela this year will commence on 2nd April, a day after the Ram Navami festival.
- The Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connection to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The week-long ‘Utsav’ will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and the other North-Eastern States with the aim to integrate the rich cultures of the two regions.
Andhra Pradesh Government signs MoU with German firm KFW for Zero Budget Natural Farming
The Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the representatives of a German firm, KFW for `Zero Budget Natural Farming’ (ZBNF).
- As part of the agreement that intends to scale up the ongoing project with the German firm, the government has taken a loan of Rs 711 crores out of the estimated amount of Rs 1015 crore earmarked to be spent towards the climate-resilient, ZBNF.
- The YS Jaganmohan Reddy led-State government will spend Rs 304 crore on the project.
- The project is aimed to cover 2.39 lakh farmers in around 600 village panchayats and promote natural farming.
- Zero Budget Natural Farming, as the name implies, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero.
- This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops.
Pulses Conclave to be held in Lonavala
India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for the country’s pulses trade and industry on announced that the fifth edition The Pulses Conclave, will be held from February 12-14in Lonavala, Maharashtra.
- IPGA expects close to 1500 trade stakeholders from India and key pulses exporting countries like USA, Australia, Canada, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi.
- The conference aims at increasing exports, processing efficiencies, protein extraction, value addition and post-harvest management.
Indian Railways installs IP based Video Surveillance System at stations
- Indian Railways is in the process of installing Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations to enhance security.
- Railway Board of India has approved works for provision of Video Surveillance System covering 983 stations over Indian Railways under Nirbhaya funds.
- This year a budget of Rs. 250 crore was allotted to Indian Railways from Nirbhaya fund for installation of the video surveillance system.
- In the first phase of installation, VSS is being installed at 200 stations and as on date work has been completed at 81 stations across India.
India-2021 census exercise to begin on 1st April
- Census exercise India-2021 to begin on 1st April 2020 and will end on 30th of September 2020.
- Census India-2021 will be conducted through a mobile phone application.
- The enumerators of the census will seek the information of the mobile number of the head of the family, information related to TV, Internet, vehicles owned, toilets, source of drinking water besides asking other questions during the house listing phase of the exercise.
Daily Current Affairs – Business
SBI lowers GDP estimates to 4.6% in FY20 from 5%
The SBI lowered the economic growth forecast to 4.6% from the earlier 5%.
- The latest SBI Ecowrap report even predicted growth rate to remain below 6 percent for the two years in a row.
- The SBI Research Desk stated that factors like government expenditure are the key factors in determining the overall growth outlook for FY20.
Daily Current Affairs – Appointments
Hudco appoints M Nagaraj as Chairman, Managing Director
State-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) said that M Nagaraj has been appointed the company’s Chairman and Managing Director.
- Nagaraj is also Director (Corporate Planning) of the company
- He has experience of around 28 years in a multitude of sectors such as housing, infrastructure finance, skill development and microfinance in the social sector, and international trading.
- Hudco provides loans for housing and urban infrastructure projects.
Sakthivel takes over as AEPC India Chairman
Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) said it has appointed A Sakthivel as the new chairman of the organisation.
- Sakthivel said the industry had been struggling to survive and the exports growth were stagnant.
- Sakthivel along with some exporters had founded Tirupur Exporters Association in 1990.
Daily Current Affairs – Banking
RBI allows “Video based Customer Identification Process”
- The Reserve Bank of India has revised the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for banks and other lending institutions.
- New amendments in KYC norms by RBI allows banks and other lending institutions to use “Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP)”.
- The V-CIP is a consent based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity and for customer onboarding from remote areas while leveraging the digital technology.
- V-CIP will also provide comfortability to banks and other regulated entities while holding to the RBI’s Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
- The video files recorded as V-CIP are required to be stored bearing the date and time stamp while ensuring the safety and security of the video files.
- RBI has also advised banks to capture clear image of PAN card produced by the customer during the Customer Identification Process (CIP).
- The central bank also advised the banks and other regulated entities to record the customer’s location (Geotagging) to ensure the customer’s physical presence in India.
Daily Current Affairs – Defence
Visakhapatnam to host MILAN 2020 naval exercise in March
- Visakhapatnam is ready to host another International Naval event ‘MILAN‘ in March 2020.
- The theme of the exercise for the year 2020 is ‘Synergy Across the Seas’.
- MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise aimed to enhance professional interaction between foreign-friendly navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant to be commissioned by 2021
- India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase-3 which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment and to be commissioned by early 2021 in Indian Navy.
- It will be fully operated by 2022. Vikrant is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi, Kerala.
Daily Current Affairs – Economy
World Bank projects India’s growth rate at 5% for FY2020
- World Bank has released Global Economic Prospects report. In its report, the World Bank has projected India’s growth rate at 5% for fiscal year 2020.
- It has also projected India’s growth rate at 5.8% for fiscal year 2021.
- The report stated the weakness in credit from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) as the root cause for lowering the growth rate from 6% to 5%.
- While the global economic growth is likely to increase to 2.5% in fiscal year 2020.
SBI’s report ‘Ecowrap’ lowers India’s growth rate to 4.6% for FY 2020
- The State Bank of India has released its research report ‘Ecowrap’. In the report ‘Ecowrap’, the economic research department of SBI has lowered India’s growth rate to 4.6% in the fiscal year 2020.
- The report also stated that agriculture and allied activities are expected to grow at 2.8%, while growth in industry projected to grow at 2.5% in fiscal year 2020.
- The service sector is also expected to increase to 6.9% in fiscal year 2020.
Daily Current Affairs – Summit and Conferences
South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo 2020 held in New Delhi
- The 27th edition of South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo (SATTE) 2020 was held in New Delhi.
- The SATTE expo was supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and sponsored by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department.
- The objective of the expo was to build new business partnerships and hence was an important place for the promotion of tourism.
- The SATTE witnessed the participation of over 50 countries and 28 Indian states.
- During the expo, the Tourism Department of Jammu & Kashmir launched publicity campaign to showcase diverse tourism attractions.
Daily Current Affairs – Ranks and Reports
Indian passport ranked 84th in Henley Passport Index 2020
- Henley Passport Index 2020 has been released. The Indian passport ranked 84th in the world’s most powerful passport index 2020. Which is a drop by 2 places as it ranked 82nd in 2019.
- Now India provides visa-free access to 58 countries. The list was topped by Japan.
World’s top most powerful passports:
1) Japan: 191 countries
2) Singapore: 190 countries
3) Germany, South Korea: 189 countries
Daily Current Affairs – Sports
Ladakh wins 7th National Ice Hockey Championship women trophy
- Ladakh women team has won the 7th National Ice Hockey Championship women trophy.
- In the final match, Ladakh scoring 2 goals against Delhi and won the tournament.
- The tournament was organised by the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) in association with the Ladakh winter sports club.
- 4 women teams representing Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Ladakh participated in the tournament.
Daily Current Affairs – Obituaries
Veteran Odissi Danseuse Minati Mishra passes away
- Veteran Odissi Danseuse Minati Mishra passed away. In 2012 she was honoured with the Padma Shri.
- She was an A-Grade artist at All India Radio (AIR) and a recipient of the Sangeet Prabhakar title for Hindustani vocal music.
Daily Current Affairs – Important Days
- World Hindi Day is celebrated globally on 10th January every year.
- The day is celebrated every year to promote the use of Hindi language worldwide.
- The World Hindi Day was observed first time in 2006.
- The day marked the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference held in 1975 in Nagpur.