Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 14th January 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 14th January 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc.

 

Contents:

  1. Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD).
  2. Raisina Dialogue.
  3. Urbanization Trends: EIU.
  4. Harvest Festivals in India.
  5. Island Development Agency (IDA).
  6. Commissionerate system.
  7. Eight Wonders of the SCO.
  8. Kaifi Azmi.
  9. Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award.
  10. Other important current affairs.

 

1. Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD):

The government has launched a central accident database management system that will help in analyzing the causes of road crashes and in devising safety interventions to reduce such accidents in the country.

  • The system, known as the Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD), has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) and will be implemented by the National Informatics Centre.
  • The project costs ₹258 crore and is being supported by the World Bank.
  • The system will be first piloted in the six states with the highest fatalities from road crashes — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • IRAD is a comprehensive web-based Information Technology (IT) solution and will enable various agencies such as the police, Public Works Department (PWDs), etc. to enter details on a road accident from different perspectives such as investigation, road engineering, vehicle condition, etc.

Road Accidents in India:

  • According to the World Road Statistics, India recorded the highest number of road accident deaths across 199 countries in 2018 followed by China and the US.
  • According to government data, more than 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road crashes in the country in 2018.
  • Of the total people killed in road crashes in 2018, 48% were between 18 years and 35 years old, and more than 60% of such fatalities were due to overspeeding.

 

2. Raisina Dialogue:

The 5th edition of Raisina Dialogue is being held in New Delhi.

  • The 1st edition was held in 2016.
  • The title of the Raisina Dialogue this year (2020) is “Navigating the Alpha Century”.
  • The conference will host 700 participants from more than 100 countries and at least 40% of the speakers will be women.
  • The Dialogue has been India’s contribution to global efforts to discover solutions, identify opportunities and provide stability to a century that has witnessed an eventful two decades.

Raisina Dialogue:

  • It is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
  • Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media, and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
  • The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.
  • The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

 

3. Urbanization Trends: EIU:

Recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey released a ranking of the fastest-growing urban areas across the world which features three cities from Kerala among the top 10.

  • From the period of 2015-2020, Malappuram had a 44.1% change, Kozhikode had 34.5% change and Kollam had 31.1% change). These are the only places from India to feature in the top 10 rankings.
  • Thrissur, Kerala is at 13th position with a 30.2% jump between 2015 and 2020.
  • Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu is at 30th rank.
  • Thiruvananthapuram is in the 33rd position.

 

4. Harvest Festivals in India:

The harvest festivals like Lohri, Makar Sankranti, and Pongal have recently been celebrated all across the country. The festivals celebrate the hard work and enterprise of millions of farmers across the country.

Makar Sankranti:

  • Makar Sankranti denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path.
  • The day marks the onset of summer and the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayan – the northward movement of the sun.

Lohri:

  • Lohri is primarily celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus.
  • It marks the end of the winter season and is traditionally believed to welcome the sun to the northern hemisphere.
  • It is observed a night before Makar Sankranti, this occasion involves a Puja Parikrama around the bonfire with prasad.
  • It is essentially termed as the festival of the farmers and harvest, whereby, the farmers thank the Supreme Being.

Pongal:

  • The word Pongal means ‘overflow’ or ‘boiling over’.Also known as Thai Pongal, the four-day occasion is observed in the month of Thai, when crops such as rice are harvested and people show their gratitude to the almighty and the generosity of the land.
  • Tamilians celebrate the occasion by making traditional designs known as kolams in their homes with rice powder.

Makaravilakku festival in Sabarimala

  • It is celebrated at the sacred grove of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.
  • It is an annual seven-day festival, beginning on the day of Makara Sankranti when the sun is in the summer solstice.
  • The highlight of the festival is the appearance of Makarajyothi- a celestial star that appears on the day of Makara Sankranthi on top of Kantamala Hills.
  • Makara Vilakku ends with the ritual called ‘Guruthi’, an offering made to appease the god and goddesses of the wilderness.

 

5. Island Development Agency (IDA):

Recently, the sixth meeting of the Island Development Agency held in New Delhi.

  • In the meeting, the progress made under the “Holistic development of islands” program was reviewed.
    Island Development Agency
  • The Union Government constituted the Island Development Agency on 1st June 2017 for the development of islands.
  • It is chaired by the Union Home Minister.
  • For the first time in the country, under the guidance of IDA, an initiative of sustainable development in the identified Islands within scientifically-assessed carrying capacity has been taken-up.
  • Development Plans with a focus on the creation of jobs for the islanders through tourism promotion as well as the export of seafood and coconut-based products made in the Islands have been prepared and are being implemented in four islands of Andaman & Nicobar and five islands of Lakshadweep.
  • In the second phase, suitable sites in 12 more islands of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and 5 islands in Lakshadweep have been covered.

 

6. Commissionerate system:

The Uttar Pradesh government has approved the commissionerate system of policing for state capital Lucknow, and Noida.

  • In the commissionerate system, the Commissioner of Police (CP) is the head of a unified police command structure, is responsible for the force in the city, and is accountable to the state government.
  • The office also has magisterial powers, including those related to regulation, control, and licensing.
  • The CP is drawn from the Deputy Inspector General rank or above and is assisted by Special/Joint/Additional/Deputy Commissioners.
  • It is supposed to allow for faster decision-making to solve complex urban-centric issues.
  • Under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, ‘Police’ is under the State list, meaning individual states typically legislate and exercise control over this subject.
  • Previously, only four cities had the system: Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

 

7. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has included the Statue of Unity among the ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO:

At 182 meters, the statue is 23 meters taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue and almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty (93 meters tall) in the US.

  • Located on the Sadhu Bet island, near Rajpipla on the Narmada river, the Statue of Unity is located between the Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges.

The Eight Wonders of the SCO are:

  • India — the Statue of Unity.
  • Kazakhstan — the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly.
  • China — The Daming imperial palace complex.
  • Kyrgyzstan — Lake Issyk-Kul.
  • Pakistan — The Great Mughals’ heritage at Lahore.
  • Russia — The Golden Ring cities.
  • Tajikistan — The Palace of Nowruz.
  • Uzbekistan — the Poi Kalon complex.

About the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.
  • Its creation was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

8. Kaifi Azmi:


Google released a doodle on the occasion of 101 birth anniversary of the Indian Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi.

  • Sayyid Athar Hussein Rizvi, known as Kaifi Azmi, (1919 – 2002) was an Indian Urdu poet.
  • Kaifi Azmi published his first collection of poems, Jhankar in 1943 and became a member of the influential Progressive Writers’ Association that used writing to achieve socioeconomic reforms.
  • He is known for bringing Urdu literature into the film industry.
  • His legendary works such as Pakeezah’s soundtrack Chalte Chalte and Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye from Arth have gone down as notable contributions in Urdu language and Hindi language.
  • He was the recipient of Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu for his collection Awaara Sajde, President’s Award for national integration and Sahitya Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

 

9. Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award to Prof M S Swaminathan:

The Agricultural Scientist Prof M S Swaminathan was awarded the “Muppavarapu Venenkaiah Naidu” National award. The award was also presented to Mr. Muniratnam. Mr. Muniratnam was the first person to receive the award four days back.

  • The professor was made the honors during Pongal celebrations at Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
  • The award carried a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
  • During the celebrations, the professor was titled as “Father of Green Revolution and the Doyen of Agricultural Science”.

Muppavarapu foundation:

  • Muppavarapu foundation is a non-profit organization started by Mr. Muppavarapu Harshavardhan, son of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
  • The organization arranges training on the latest technologies.
  • The training is predominantly offered in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, home science, fisheries, vermiculture, and mushroom culture.M S Swaminathan
  • Mr. Swaminathan is an Indian Geneticist. He played a major role in the Green Revolution program of India. He has played the role of director-general of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), director of IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) and president of IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

 

Other important current affairs:

1. The President of India greeted fellow citizens on the eve of the festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parbon. These festivals are celebrated in diverse yet similar ways, across India.

2. Two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) — Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur — were commissioned by Defence Secretary.

  • Indian Coast Guard Ship Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur are second and third in the series of five Fast Patrol Vessels.
  • While Annie Besant will be based in Chennai, Amrit Kaur will be based at Haldia.

3. Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Assam, has recorded 96 species of wetland birds, as per the second wetland bird count conducted by officials of the park.

4. Recently, a study of inscriptions on clay tablets excavated from Moghalmari have confirmed the presence of two monasteries.

  • Moghalmari is a Buddhist monastic site of the early medieval period in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district.
  • Presence of two monasteries- Mugalayikaviharika and Yajñapindikamahavihara at Moghalmari.

5. Recently, the Malkangiri district administration, Odisha has initiated a project to divert the region’s tribals from illegal marijuana cultivation by promoting organic turmeric as a profitable cash crop.

  • Organic turmeric will weed out the marijuana cultivation in remote areas of Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri.

6. Recently, Diego (Chelonoidis hoodensis, or the giant tortoise species) has retired from the captive breeding program in the Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

  • He will be returned to Española Island, from where he was taken around 80 years ago.
  • Diego is 100 years old and joined the breeding program in 1976.
  • The tortoise population has since gone up from 15 to 2,000.
  • He is responsible for about 40% of the offspring produced.

7. Housing ministry launched an e-commerce platform to facilitate homebuyers in identifying genuine properties.

  • The move aims to bring the trust back in the real estate sector.
  • The main objective of the e-commerce platform is to bring transparency in the sector and offer only certified projects. e-commerce platform.

8. 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.

9. Aashman Taneja, a five-year-old boy, from Hyderabad has set the Guinness world record in Taekwondo for the most full contact knee strikes in one-hour non-stop.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. The 4th Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed on 14 January every year.

  • The day is observed as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Filed Marshal KM Cariappa OBE.
  • The day acknowledges and honors the selfless devotion and sacrifice of the veterans in the service of the nation. Celebration.

13. India topped the Annual Ranking by Nation (Rifle, Pistol & Shotgun ISSF World Cups for the year 2019 by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

  • It is followed by China and the United States. India leads the standings with 30 medals overall.
  • The tally stood at 21 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze.

14. India – Bangladesh Information and Broadcasting Ministers’ Meet 2020 is being held in New Delhi on 14 January 2020.

  • Bangladesh Information Minister Muhammad H Mahmud is participating in the meeting.
  • The content sharing program will be inaugurated by the Bangladesh official broadcaster Bangladesh Betar and All India Radio.
  • Both the countries are expected to hold talks on the bilaterally planned biopic of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding figure of Bangladesh.

15. The Special National Vendor Development Program (NVDP) on Petroleum and Steel sectors for SC/ST Entrepreneurs was held on 13 January 2020. It was organized by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI).

16.Michael Patra appointed as fourth deputy governor of RBI

  • the central government has appointed Michael Patra as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a three-year term.
  • At present, he is serving as an executive director at the Reserve Bank of India.
  • He replaces Viral Acharya, who left office on July 23, 2019.
  • He will take over as the fourth deputy governor at the Reserve Bank.
  • He was in charge of the central bank’s monetary policy division until now.

17. Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate a new Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu on January 21 in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.

  • The center will facilitate to focus its activities for the development of this rich classical Telugu through Research, seminars, debates and various activities.

18. Lawyer Robert Abela (42 years) was sworn in as the 14th Prime Minister of Malta.

19. Around 8,000 residents were evacuated after a small active Taal volcano near Manila spewed a massive cloud of ash.

20. Ritu Nanda, entrepreneur, and daughter of late Bollywood actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor passed away on January 13, 2020, in New Delhi.

  • Ritu Nanda is the sister of Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor. She was suffering from cancer.

21. The Indian Railways has signed MoU with the RailTel, a Mini Ratna Public Sector Undertaking in order to implement Phase II of the e-office program, the Indian Railways is to provide content on-demand services in premium, suburban, express and mail trains.

22. The South-Central Railways and SBI signed MoU to implement doorstep banking in 585 railway stations

  • The MoU will enable direct pick up of cash from all the railway stations included in the MoU.
  • Before the agreement, the earnings generated at the railway stations were manually sent to the nearest banks that were authorized to collect the deposit on behalf of the Railways.
  • This delayed the remittance of cash because of several factors such as the availability of manpower, holidays, etc.

23. The Indian Aviation Ministry announced that registration of all drones in the country is mandatory. The Ministry has given January 31, 2020, as the deadline for the users to register their drones.

24. On January 17, 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization will launch the GSAT-30 satellite on the launch vehicle Ariane-5.

  • It is to be launched in Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou. Kourou is a French territory that is located along the northeastern coast of South America.

 

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