Daily Current Affairs - 26th Jan 2020

Delhi airport gets a new women-only cab service

  • Women with wheels’, a unique taxi service has been launched at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. The ‘Women with wheels’ taxi service is an initiative by ‘Sakha cabs’. The taxi service will be only available for the female commuters and will be driven by women drivers only. The entry of men in the cab will be allowed only if they are accompanied by a woman or women. The ‘Women with Wheels’ service can be availed by the female commuters for any part of Delhi.

Department of Biotechnology held International Summit on Women in STEM

  • The Department of Biotechnology held an International Summit on Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with the Theme: Visualizing the Future: New Skylines.
  • The summit aimed to increase the participation of women in STEM field.
  • The summit show cased the success of several women in the field of STEM. The summit also hosted different sessions on empowering women through networking, leadership building, interactive exercises with scientists.
  • According to Article 51A, it is the duty of every citizen to develop scientific temper, spirit of inquiry and humanism.

Ganga-Volga Dialogue held with Russia to enhance Connectivity

  • The Ganga-Volga Dialogue was held between India and Russia in New Delhi. The dialogue focused in providing interface between the civilizations of the countries.
  • The dialogue prioritized people-to-people contact. According to Russia, the dialogue acted as a good platform for its policy of “Greater Eurasia”. The Dialogue was held on the Theme: Connectivity
  • The Dialogue also focused on Digital Connectivity, culture, tourism, healthcare, manufacturing technology, economy, entrepreneurship, etc. The aim of the dialogue is very similar to the International North-South Transport Corridor.

India & World Bank sign Agreement of 210 million USD in agriculture and rural transformation

  • The Government of Maharashtra and World Bank signed a 210 million USD agreement to facilitate agriculture value chains, increase market access and build resilient crops.
  • The Project is to be implemented in 36 districts of the state of Maharashtra. Around 43% of farmers and farm workers are expected to participate in the project. The main aim of the agreement is to facilitate small farmers compete agri-business investments and build crops resilient to flood and droughts. It also aims in building Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures.

Indian Railway’s first Waste to Energy Plant uses “PolyCrack” Technology

  • The East Coast Railways commissioned the first waste-to-energy plant of Railways sector of India. It is the fourth such plant in the country. The plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 1.79 crores with Polycrack technology.
  • The plant installed converts waste collected from the garbage disposal units into carbon powder, diesel and gas using Polycrack Technology. The diesel oil is to be sold by the Railways to other stake holders for commercial purposes.

India’s first Super Fab Lab inaugurated in Kerala

  • India’s first Super Fab Lab was inaugurated in Kerala. The laboratory is to function in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. It is the only laboratory that is being installed outside US.
  • The Super Fab Lab is being installed in collaboration with KSUM (Kerala Startup Mission). The laboratory will break down barriers between physical world and digital world.
  • A Fab Lab is a laboratory that offers digital fabrication. It is colloquially defined as, “How to make almost anything”. It is an array of computers that covers almost all materials.

Katerina Sakellaropoulou is Greece’s first female President

  • In a historic first, the Greek parliament has elected Katerina Sakellaropoulou as its first female president.
  • She is a senior judge with an expertise in environmental and constitutional law. 261 MPs out of the 300 voted for 63-year-old Katerina to become the ceremonial head of the country. She is the first elected President with no affiliation to any political parties.

Lebanon announces formation of new govt headed by Hassan Diab

  • Lebanon, which has been rocked by anti-government protests for the last several months, finally has a new government. The presidency announced the formation of the new government after Hezbollah and its allies clinched a deal on a cabinet that must tackle the country's worst economic crisis in decades.
  • The new government headed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, a 60-year old professor at the American University of Beirut, will consist of 20 ministers-technocrats. The country has been hit by protests since October last year against the ruling political class.

Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank submits merger proposal with Rupee Bank to RBI

  • The Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank has submitted a joint proposal for a merger with the Rupee Cooperative Bank. Mounting bad debt of the Rupee Bank had led RBI to put severe sanctions on the bank while superseding the erstwhile board of directors in 2013.
  • The total deposit in the bank is around Rs 1,290.96 crore. The bank also has 304 employees who will be absorbed within the rolls of the MSC Bank.

N. Ram selected for national media award

  • The chairman of “The Hindu Group” N. Ram has been selected as the outstanding media person in a national award instituted by Kerala Media Academy.
  • The award was instituted for fearless and brilliant journalistic work at a national level. The award carrying a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh, citation and sculpture were announced as part of the academy’s 40th-anniversary celebration.

Padma Awards 2020 Announced

  • Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
  • This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). The list comprises of 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards.
  • 33 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 Posthumous awardees.
  • Former Union Ministers George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are to be awarded with Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Former PM of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth, Boxer MC Mary Kom, Hindustani classical vocalist Chhannulal Mishra are also to be awarded with the prestigious award.
  • The former CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar is to be conferred with the Padma Bhushan award posthumously. Two Bangladeshis are to awarded honoured with Padma awards as well. It includes High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Mr Syed Muazzem Ali who passed away in 2014. He rebelled against the Pakistani Government and declared his allegiance to Bangladesh in 1971. He was serving in the Pakistan embassy during his allegiance.

Rajasthan Assembly passes resolution against CAA

  • Rajasthan Assembly on Saturday passed a resolution urging the Centre to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
  • It is the second Congress-ruled state to pass such a resolution after Punjab. Earlier, Kerala Assembly too had passed a resolution against the CAA moved jointly by the ruling Left alliance and the opposition Congress-led UDF.
  • The Rajasthan Assembly passed by voice vote the resolution which also asked the Centre to withdraw the new fields of information that have been sought for updation in National Population Register (NPR), 2020.

RBI raises short-term investment limit of FPIs to 30% from 20% of portfolio

  • The Reserve Bank of India raised the investment limit for FPIs in government and corporate bonds. In two separate notifications, the central bank said foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) can now invest 30 per cent of their portfolios in central and state government securities, including in treasury bills, from the 20 per cent earlier.
  • Similarly, in corporate bonds, too, short-term investments can now be 30 percent of the portfolio from 20 per cent earlier. Meanwhile, the RBI has also made relaxation in the voluntary retention route (VRR) for FPI investments in debt. The investment cap through VRR has been doubled to Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the RBI said in another circular.

Reliance Jio becomes 1st Telecom to launch UPI Payments Feature

  • Reliance Jio becomes the 1st telecom operator to facilitate UPI payments feature through its platform. It has launched the feature on the MyJio app rather than its wallet app, JioMoney. Reliance Jio will now compete with other private UPI payment providers such as Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe. The users cannot use their existing UPI ids to avail this service. Instead, they will have to create a new JIO UPI Id.

Rowing Federation of India lifts Dattu Bhokanal ban

  • The Rowing Federation of India has lifted the ban over Indian rower Dattu Bhokanal. He was suspended in March, 2019 from the game by the Rowing Federation of India for the period of 2 years. He was suspended against the charges of leaving a single sculls race midway during the 2018 Asian Games. The suspension has been lifted off from the rower with effect from 23 January, 2020 and allowed him to prepare for the Olympic qualification Regatta to be held in April 2020 at South Korea.