India’s first satellite of 2020 Gsat-30 successfully launched
In the first mission of the year for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India’s forty-first communication satellite – GSAT 30 was launched by the European commercial launcher Arianespace. The satellite will enhance television broadcasting, satellite-based news gathering, and direct-to-home services.
Poet, writer Mohi selected for Saraswati Samman ’19
Acclaimed Sindhi poet and writer Vasdev Mohi has been selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, a literary recognition given annually by the KK Birla Foundation. The award is for his work ‘Chequebook’, a collection of short stories in Sindhi, published in 2012. Born in 1944 in Mirpur Khas of undivided India, Mohi’s repertoire includes 25 books of poetry, translated works, critical pieces and short stories. His critical essays and papers have appeared in national and international literary seminars. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sindhi Sahitya Academy Award, Gangadhar Mehar National Award and Lifetime Achievement Award of Sindhi Academy.
Rohit Sharma named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year 2019
Rohit Sharma has been named the 'ODI Cricketer of the Year' for 2019 by the ICC. He was awarded for his incredible form throughout the year. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who stopped fans from booing Australia's Steve Smith during their World Cup match at the Oval, won the 'Spirit of Cricket' award for the same.
Taranjit Sandhu headed for US as ambassador
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, a veteran of India-US ties with decades of on-and-off experience dealing with it, is expected to be named shortly as Indian ambassador to Washington DC, succeeding Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
A P Maheshwari appointed new CRPF chief
The Govt. of India appointed 1984-batch IPS officer of the UP cadre, A P Maheshwari, as the new chief of the CRPF. Maheshwari, who was Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), will replace UP-cadre IPS officer R R Bhatnagar, who retired on December 31. Bhatnagar has been appointed as advisor to the lieutenant governor of Kashmir.
PM renames Kolkata Port Trust after Syama Prasad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12th January renamed Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) after Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
Prof. MS Swaminathan & Dr. G Muniratnam chosen for Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Awards
Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan and well-known social worker, Dr. Gutta Muniratnam were respectively chosen as the first recipients of "Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence" and "Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service". The National Award for Excellence was instituted by the Muppavarapu Foundation, while the one for Social Service was launched by the Swarna Bharat Trust, in Hyderabad. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan was awarded for his distinguished contributions to the field of agriculture while Dr G Muniratnam, was awarded for his extraordinary contribution in improving quality of people’s lives through social service.
PM inaugurates the 107th Indian Science Congress
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. The Science Congress which will continue till January 07, 2020 consists of 28 Plenary Sessions on areas ranging from Climate Smart Agriculture for Food Security, Crop Improvement Towards Food & Nutrition Security, Materials Science And Technology For Rural Development, Challenges and Opportunities In Cancer Drug Discovery, Artificial Intelligence And Medical Technology, Advances In Basic Medical And Clinical Interactions, Non-Communicable Diseases In Rural Population as well as Cancer Research - Therapeutic Applications. The areas also include Nano Materials for Energy, Environment and Health Care, Novel Solutions for Oil and Gas Industry Problems and so on in which senior scientists and officials will discuss on the status, challenges, opportunities and scope in these research areas. The Nobel Laureates who are participating in this Indian Science Congress include German physicist Professor Stefan Hell who is one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany and Professor Ada E. Yonath from Israel.
PM dedicates 5 DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories to the Nation
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation 5 Young Scientists Laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in Bengaluru. DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories (DYSLs) are located in five cities viz, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Each lab will work on a key advanced technology of importance to the development of futuristic defence systems viz, Artificial intelligence, Quantum technologies, Cognitive technologies, Asymmetric technologies and Smart materials.
Manipur bags Krishi Karman Award
Manipur was selected for the prestigious award as the best-performing state in Overall Food-grain Production Category-III (production less than 1 million tone) for the year 2017-18. The award carried a trophy, a citation and an amount of Rs. 5 crore.
Denmark sources record 47 per cent of power from wind in 2019
Denmark sourced almost half its electricity consumption from wind power last year, a new record boosted by steep cost reductions and improved offshore technology. Wind accounted for 47% of Denmark’s power usage in 2019, the country’s grid operator Energinet said citing preliminary data, up from 41% in 2018 and topping the previous record of 43% in 2017.
General Manoj Mukund Naravane takes charge as 28th Army Chief
General Manoj Mukund Naravane took charge as the 28th Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday even as General Bipin Rawat retired after serving three years as the Army Chief. Before taking over as Chief of Army Staff, General Mukund Naravane was appointed as Vice-Chief of Army Staff on September 1. Prior to this, he was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India's nearly 4,000-km border with China.
ILP Comes Into Effect in Manipur from January 1, 2020
The Inner Line Permit comes into effect in Manipur from January 1, 2020, making it the fourth northeastern state after Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh to come under the ILP regime. The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday, gave its nod to implement ILP in Manipur. According to a gazette notification dated December 31, 2019, the Manipur Inner Line Permit Guidelines, 2019 shall apply to the entire state.
Sustainable Development Goals: Kerala retains No. 1 slot
Kerala retained the top slot while Bihar came out as the worst performer in NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index 2019, which assesses each state and Union Territory’s achievement regarding sustainable development goals (SDG) such as good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, reduction in hunger and poverty, among others. Kerala had the top rank among states with a score of 70, while Bihar has lowest score of 50.
General Bipin Rawat Appointed as Chief of Defence Staff
Government has decided to appoint General Bipin Rawat, as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with effect from December 31, 2019 and until further orders and extension in service of General Bipin Rawat with December 31, 2019 and till such period he holds the office of CDS. General Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978 and is currently serving as Chief of the Army Staff since January 01, 2017.
Dada Saheb Phalke Award
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented Dada Saheb Phalke Award to Shri Amitabh Bachchan at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Cabinet approves Atal Bhujal Yojana
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the implementation of the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL), a Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs.6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25). The scheme aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States. ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank's loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.
Cabinet approves conduct of Census of India 2021 and updation of National Population Register
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 at a cost of Rs. 8,754.23 crore and updation of National Population Register (NPR) at a cost of Rs. 3,941.35 crore. Census of India will cover the entire population in the country while NPR will also cover all the population except in the state of Assam.
Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed as Foreign Secretary
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla (IFS: 1984), Ambassador in Washington D.C. as Foreign Secretary with effect from 29.01.2020 upon completion of two year term of Shri Vijay Keshav Gokhale as Foreign Secretary on 28.01.2020.
Dr Sangita Reddy takes over as President FICCI
Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, has taken over as FICCI President from Mr Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited, at the apex chamber's 92nd Annual Convention in New Delhi.
Sahitya Akademi announces annual Sahitya Akademi Awards
The Awards were recommended by distinguished Jury members representing 23 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi. Seven books of poetry were awarded to Dr. Phukan Ch. Basumatary (Bodo), Dr. Nand Kishore Acharya (Hindi), Sri Nilba A. Khandekar (Konkani), Sri Kumar Manish Arvind (Maithili), Sri V. Madhusoodanan Nair (Malayalam), Smt. Anuradha Patil (Marathi) and Prof. Penna Madhusudan(Sanskrit). Four novels were awarded to Dr. JoysreeGoswami Mahanta (Assamese), Sri L. Birmangol Singh (Beryl Thanga) (Manipuri), Sri Cho. Dharman (Tamil) and Sri Bandi Narayana Swamy (Telugu). Six books of short stories were awarded to Sri Abdul Ahad Hajini (Kashmiri), Sri Tarun Kanti Mishra(Odia), Sri Kirpal Kazak (Punjabi), Sri Ram sawroop Kisan (Rajasthani), Sri Kali Charan Hembram(Santali) and Sri Ishwar Moorjani (Sindhi). Dr. Shashi Tharoor (English), Dr. Vijaya(Kannada) and Prof. Shafey Kidwai (Urdu) have won for each of their works on creative non-fiction, autobiography and biography respectively. Three books of essays were awarded to Dr. Chinmoy Guha(Bengali), Sri Om Sharma Jandriari (Dogri) and Sri Ratilal Borisagar (Gujarati).????
Lt Gen M.M. Naravane appointed as Chief of Army Staff
Government has decided to appoint Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, as the next Chief of the Army Staff after the retirement of General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC on December 31, 2019. Lt Gen Naravane will take over as Chief of the Army Staff in the substantive rank of General with effect from the afternoon of December 31, 2019.
ADB, India sign $250 million loan to expand energy efficiency investments in India
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on 16th December 2019 signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers. In addition, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.
Deepika Padukone Bags Award for Mental Health Awareness
Deepika Padukone has been honoured by the 26th Annual Crystal Award for raising mental health awareness. She is the only Indian actress to feature in Davos 2020 winners list. Apart from Deepika, artist Theaster Gates and choreographer Jin Xing have also been felicitated with the Annual Crystal Award.
Best parliamentarian of the year award
Best parliamentarian of the year award was conferred on Saugata Roy, Lok Sabha member from TMC and former minister of state for urban development, and Tiruchi Siva, Rajya Sabha member from DMK. NCP leader Supriya Sule and Congress leader Viplove Thakur were conferred the best women parliamentarian awards from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively.
PSLV successfully launches RISAT-2BR1 and nine commercial satellites in its fiftieth flight
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. After 16 minutes and 23 seconds, RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 km. Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits. After separation, the two solar arrays of RISAT-2BR1 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
Lok Sabha passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha on December 10 midnight passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan after facing religious persecution there. After over seven-hour-long debate, the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it. According to the Bill, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Finland's Sanna Marin, 34, is world's youngest PM
Sanna Marin, Finland's Transport Minister has been selected to lead the Social Democratic party. She is expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister of the Northern European nation this week. The 34-year-old will not only become the youngest PM of Finland, but will be the youngest head of state of an country in the world.
Cabinet approves launch of Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for creation and launch of Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to create an additional source of funding for Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Central Public Financial Institutions (CPFIs) and other Government organizations. Bharat Bond ETF would be the first corporate Bond ETF in the country.
First Manned Mission
The Human Space Mission: Gaganyaan is targeted for December 2021. The Gaganyaan Programme has been approved by the Government of India. The design and configuration of major subsystem are finalized. The procurement and system/ subsystem realisation for tests and flight has commenced. The crew selection and training process for Gaganyaan mission is progressing well including the training in Russia under Gaganyaan Mission. GSLV Mk III launcher which is ISRO’s heavy lift launcher is identified for Gaganyaan mission. It has requisite payload carrying capacity for Orbital module in desired elliptical orbit. Process for human rating of GSLV Mk-III is progressing well.
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