Daily Current Affairs - 04th Jan 2020

14 Indian scientists get Swarna Jayanti Fellowship

  • Fourteen Indian scientists under 40 years of age, including three from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, were awarded the prestigious Swarna Jayanti (SJ) Fellowships for 2018-19.
  • The fellows, selected on the basis of their past work, innovative research idea and the potential to make an impact on R&D in the respective disciplines, will get a monthly fellowship of Rs 25,000 and a annual research grant of Rs 5 lakh, for the next five years, in addition to their salary

Adani Ports buys Krishnapatnam Port from CVR Group for Rs.13,500 crore

  • Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) will buy a 75 per cent stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd, the entity that runs a private deep-water port at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, for Rs.13,500 crore.
  • The deal is APSEZ’s biggest acquisition yet in India’s port sector in terms of value and size and helps it build scale in an industry that is dominated by the 12 state-owned ports.
  • Krishnapatnam, a port owned by the Andhra Pradesh government, was given to the Hyderabad-based CVR Group for development and operations on a 30-year contract beginning September 2004.
  • Currently, the port has a draft of 18.5 metres, a depth that can accommodate full-loaded Capesize vessels of 200,000-tonne capacity.

Bank of Baroda join hands with JM Financial for co-lending

  • Public Sector lender Bank of Baroda has inked a strategic co-lending agreement with JM Financial Home Loans Limited (JMFHL), the housing finance subsidiary of JM Financial Group, for providing retail loans to home buyers.
  • The partnership is likely to offer credit delivery to homebuyers, thus boosting the home-buying segment.

Britain’s Prince William unveils prize for climate innovation

  • Prince William has announced ‘’ The Earthshot Prize ‘to encourage new solutions to tackling climate change. The Earthshot Prize will be awarded to five people every year over the next decade and aims to provide at least 50 answers to some of the greatest problems facing the planet by 2030.
  • They include promoting new ways of addressing climate change and issues surrounding energy, nature and biodiversity, the oceans, air pollution and fresh water.

Centre gears up to place restrictions on non-essential imports

  • India is set to finalize stricter quality standards for 371 items by March, a move primarily aimed at curbing imports of non-essential items such as toys, plastic goods, sports items and furniture, especially from China.
  • This move is aimed at curbing imports from China and narrowing the trade deficit with India’s northern neighbour, but the rules will also apply to Indian producers to make the regulations World Trade Organization-compliant.
  • Non-essential imports from China amount to Rs.4 trillion a year, according to a commerce ministry estimate.
  • The proposed rules, to be framed by ministries in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), will also ensure stricter inspection of imports.

Government approves 2,636 new charging stations in 62 cities: Prakash Javadekar

  • The Union government has given sanction for setting up 2,636 charging stations in 62 cities across 24 states and union territories under the FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric) Vehicles scheme which will encourage original equipment manufacturers to launch new electric vehicle models.
  • The Department of Heavy Industry had invited the expressions of interest from entities for availing incentives under the FAME India Scheme Phase II for deploying charging stations within cities.
  • Under the second phase of the FAME India 317 EV charging stations have been sanctioned in Maharashtra, 266 in Andhra Pradesh, 256 in Tamil Nadu, 228 in Gujarat, 205 in Rajasthan, 207 in Uttar Pradesh, 172 in Karnataka, 159 in Madhya Pradesh, 141 in West Bengal, 138 in Telangana, 131 in Kerala, 72 in Delhi, 70 in Chandigarh, 50 in Haryana, 40 in Meghalaya, 37 in Bihar, 29 in Sikkim, 25 each in Jammu, Srinagar, and Chhattisgarh, 20 in Assam, 18 in Odisha and 10 each in Uttarakhand, Puducherry and Himachal Pradesh.

Govt appoints AIIMS' Prof Suresh Chandra Sharma as first chief of NMC

  • The chief of Delhi AIIMS' ENT head-neck surgery department, Professor Suresh Chandra Sharma, has been appointed the chairman of National Medical Commission, the new medical education regulator to replace scam-tainted Medical Council of India.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Sharma for a period of three years or till the age of 70 years.
  • The new law provides for setting up of an NMC in place of the Medical Council of India for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions.

India to kick off New Year with three T20I against Sri Lanka from Jan 5

  • India will kick off the New Year with three T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka from 5th of January. The series will end on 10 th of January. The opening match of the T20 series will be played at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani killed in US airstrike at Baghdad airport

  • Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad International airport.
  • At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani.
  • Ties between the US and Iran have deteriorated since Washington pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018. It then reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran, aiming to choke off its oil exports.

Manav Thakkar becomes world no.1 in latest International Table Tennis Federation rankings

  • Young Indian paddler Manav Thakkar has become world no.1 in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings in the Under-21 men's singles category. With this, Thakkar became the fourth Indian to achieve the feat after Harmeet Desai, G Sathiyan and Soumyajit Ghosh.
  • Among other Indians, G. Sathiyan has managed to retain his 30th spot in the senior category. Achanta Sharath Kamal has climbed a spot to 33rd position. Top woman paddler, Manika Batra was static at the 61st position.

Priyam’s 110 sets up India U-19 team’s 66-run win over SA

  • Skipper Priyam Garg led from the front with a 103-ball 110 as the India U-19 team outclassed hosts South Africa by 66 runs to make a winning start to the four-nation one-day series.
  • Electing to bat, India posted 264 for five with Garg, doing the bulk of scoring.
  • The visitors then returned to restrict South Africa to 198 for nine, continuing their preparation for the U-19 World Cup.

Renault clocks volume growth of 8% in 2019

  • French automaker Renault India has ended the calendar year 2019 by selling 88,869 units, thereby registering about 8% increase in volume compared with 2018. In the first three quarters of 2019, the company sold 19,193 units, 17,605 units and 17,705 respectively.

U.S. drone attack sets gold price on fire

  • The impact of the U.S. drone strike killing a top Iranian military commander was visible in most market segments in India as gold prices spiked, while equities fell, and the rupee plunged to a one-and-a-half-month low.
  • While gold prices in the spot market surged by around Rs.1,000 per 10 gm on Friday, rupee fell by 42 paise to end at 71.80 against the U.S. dollar amid a spike in crude prices.
  • Bullion market participants expect prices of gold to touch Rs.45,000 per 10 gm soon.

World Braille Day being celebrated on January 4

  • The world Braille Day is celebrated on January 4 every year. This day is marked remembering the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille - for people with visual disabilities. Louis Braille was born on 4th January 1809 in the town of Coupvray in northern France.