Pune to host fifth edition of global Drosophila conference
• The Asia Pacific drosophila research conference (APDRC) is being conducted in India for the 1st time from January 6-10 in Pune, Maharashtra.
• Overall this is the 5th edition of the biennial conference and is known by the name APDRC5. It is organised by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
• The conference aims to promote the interaction of Drosophila researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with the rest of the world.
• The previous 4 editions of the conference took place in Taipei (Taiwan), Seoul (South Korea), Beijing(China) and Osaka (Japan).
• About Maharashtra:
Governor- Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Chief minister- Uddhav Thackeray.
National Parks(NP)- Tadoba NP, Sanjay Gandhi NP, Chandoli NP, Gugamal NP.
Overview of Cabinet Approvals on 8th January, 2020
The Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was held on 8th January 2020. Following decisions were taken during the meeting:
• Approval for the ratification of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France.
• Approval for Agreement between India and Mongolia on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful and Civilian Purposes.
• Approved Agreement on cooperation in polar science between India and Sweden.
• Approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom for Enabling Energy Self-Sufficiency for Indian Railways.
• Ex-post-facto approval on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Government of India and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on cooperation in the field of Health
• Approved Capital Grant as Viability Gap Funding to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited for setting up the North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid
• Approved ‘In Principle’ strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding of Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation Limited, National Mineral Development Corporation, MECON and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited. a JV Company with two Government of Odisha State PSUs
• Confer the status of Institution of National Importance to the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar, Gujarat
Second National GST Conference held for streamlining GST
On January 07, 2020 the 2nd edition of the National GST Conference of the Commissioners of State Tax and Chief Commissioners of Central Tax was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary of the Ministry of Finance(MoF). The conference was held to streamline the GST (Goods and Service Tax) system and also to plug revenue leakages.
Measures taken in 2nd National GST Conference: After the conference, following measures were decided for necessary action.
• Committee constitution: A committee of the centre and state officers for examining and implementing quick measures to curb fraudulent refund claims was decided to be constituted. The committee will be implemented by the end of January 2020.
• Investigation: Major cases with fake Input Tax Credit(ITC), fraudulent refund cases will soon be compulsorily investigated.
• Linking foreign exchange remittances: Considering the increased amount of fraudulent IGST (Integrated GST) refund claims, the foreign exchange remittances will be linked with IGST refunds.
• CBDT, CBIC and GSTN Mou Signing: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed among Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and GST-Network (GSTN) to exchange data through Application Program Interface (API) among them.
• Data sharing: This data will be shared on a quarterly basis instead of yearly basis.
• Bank transaction exploration: Access to explore bank transactions including bank details by GST in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) will be made. Suggestions were also made to align GST system with the Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) to get bank account details.
• Fraud refund detected by CBIC & CBDT: Data will be shared for cases involving fraudulent refund detected by CBIC with CBDT and vice versa.
• Single bank account: Formation of a single bank account for foreign remittance receipt and refund disbursement was suggested.
• Business closure: In case of closure of businesses, a self-assessment declaration should be prescribed by suitable amendments in GSTR (GST- Return) forms.
• Unmatched ITC availed by taxpayers should be verified.
• About GST:
Fact- Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) used in India on the supply of goods and services.
Launch- 1 July 2017.
Gujarat : 31st International Kite Festival launched in Ahmedabad
• Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated the 31st edition of International Kite Festival at Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad on January 07, 2020.
• The colourful kite festival will continue till 14th January 2020, the day which is observed as Makarsankranti (festival of Kites) in different parts of the state.
• The International Kite Festival will be held at nine other places across the state simultaneously including Statue of Unity- Kevadiya, Surat and Vadodara.
• More than 140 kite flying experts from 40 countries, about 800 kite fliers from Gujarat and 200 kite fliers from 12 other states are participating in this unique festival.
• Static About Festivals:
Lai Haraoba festival- Tripura.
Hornbill festival- Nagaland.
Lohri festival- Punjab.
Gujarat : Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center to be set up soon.
• The state government of Gujarat has planned to set up Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) to identify, nurture and promote children’s innovation in the state.
• The announcement regarding this was made by the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani , during the felicitation ceremony of Children’s Innovation Festival (CIF) held at Swarnim Sankul in Gandhinagar on 07 January 2020.
• CIF has been organized by Gujarat University Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC), an incubation centre set up by Gujarat University in partnership with UNICEF to identify, nurture and support children’s innovations in the state.
• About Gujarat:
Chief Minister- Vijay Rupani
Governor- Acharya Devvrat
State Animal- Asiatic lion
State Bird- Greater flamingo
State Tree- Banyan
State Flower- Marigold
• About UNICEF:
Founded- December 11, 1946
Headquarters- New York, United States
Executive Director- Henrietta H. Fore
Indian Navy launches awareness program about Coastal Security in Maharashtra
• The Indian Navy has launched an expedition, Maha-Navy Connect 2020, on 05 January 2020 from the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, as a part of its initiative to promote the maritime heritage of India and spread awareness about Coastal Security amongst the coastal communities in Maharashtra.
• The Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command flagged off the first-ever tri-dimensional expedition which consists of yachting, running and cycling teams of 50 naval personnel along three different axes.
• The expedition, concluding on January 11, extends from Arnala fort, Northernmost fort of Maharashtra to Sindhudurg fort, the southernmost fort of Maharashtra, covering more than 555 km.
• During the expedition, the teams will visit various schools and local establishments, undertake community interaction, Swachhta Abhiyan and awareness campaigns amongst the locals.
Paris Book Fair 2020 : India invited as guest of honour
• India will be attending the Paris Book Fair 2020 as the guest of honour country.
• The annual fair will be held in March 2020.
• This will be the third time that India would be the guest country at the fair after 2002 and 2007.
• To continue the cultural exchange, France is expected to be the guest of honour at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2022.
8. JK shines in provision of health services at National level
• On January 7,2020 Jammu and Kashmir (J&K),Union territory of India has registered the highest Inpatient Department, IPD care in the country.
• The state-wise fact sheets was released by National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC),New Delhi.
• Overall, all women in J&K are availing Antennal Care Services (ANC).
• The report says that about 96% of IPD care in rural areas of J&K is provided by Public Health Services(PHS) which is highest against the country’s average of 85%.
• J&K had surpassed Kerala as the state with the highest life expectancy in India for all ages barring life expectancy at birth in the year 2016.
• About J &k:
Lieutenant Governor- Shri Girish Chandra Murumu.
National Park(NP)- Hemis NP, Dachigam NP, Kazinag NP, Kishtwar NP, Salim Ali NP.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0: All you need to know
• Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 at block level in 35 districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
• It aims to achieve 90 % vaccination coverage among children under 2 years of age & pregnant women against 8 vaccine preventable diseases(diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B).
• Under IMI2.0, the government will provide the immunization activity in 4 rounds over seven working days excluding the Regular immunization days, Sundays and holidays between December 2019 & March 2020.
• It will primarily focus on those people left out from earlier immunisation drives including dropouts, resistant families and under-served population, tribal areas and the urban areas.
• It is the 2nd phase of the nationwide immunisation drive to mark the 25 years of Pulse polio programme. The previous version (IMI 1.0) was launched by the centre in 2017. Prior to this, Mission Indradhanush launched in the year 2014, which sought to achieve 90 % immunisation coverage in India by 2020.
• The 1st round of IMI 2.0 was completed in December 2019 and the next/ 3rd round of the mission will be launched in February 2020, where it will cover 425 blocks of 73 districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) state and 4th round will be launched in March 2020.
BANKING AND ECONOMICS
NSO pegs India's GDP growth at 5% for FY20
• The first advanced estimates of the national income was released by National Statistical Office (NSO) on 07 January 2020.
• As per the report, the Indian economy is estimated to grow at 5 percent in 2019-20 as against 6.8 percent in the previous fiscal, mainly due to slow deceleration in manufacturing and construction sectors
Sri Lanka : Two Indian lenders, Axis Bank & ICICI Bank, to cease functioning.
• The Indian private sector lenders Axis Bank and ICICI Bank are all set to close their operations in Sri Lanka.
• The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has permitted the two banks to cease their operations in the island nation following the requests by their parent banks.
• The licenses issued to them will be cancelled once the winding-up operations are complete, after which the two banks will no longer be permitted to carry on banking operations, including accepting deposits from the public.
Air India disinvestment: Group of Ministers approve EoI, share purchase agreement
• The GoM also approved a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) & also a debt restructuring plan for Air India.
• The central government had planned to sell its stake in Air India in 2018, but it could not succeed. In 2019, the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) once again approved the sale of 100% government stake in Air India along with Air India Express and the carrier’s stake in joint venture AISATS (Air India -SATS (Singapore Airport Terminal Services Private Limited).
• Air India is incurring a loss of Rs 20 -26 crore every day.The airline’s debt has increased to about Rs 80,000 crore & its deficit was around Rs 8,556 crore in 2018-19.
• The debt burden on Air India has reached such an extent due to its debt management inability. So, the government is working on all methods for its disinvestment & approved to transfer the management control to private players.
• In July 2019, Union Government reconstituted the Group of Ministers (GoM) called the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) on Air India disinvestment. It consists of 3 other ministers namely finance minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce, and railway minister Piyush Goyal and civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
• The last meeting of the GoM was held in September 2019.
• About Air India:
Founded– 15 October 1932 (as Tata Airlines)
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman & MD– Ashwani Lohani
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Prashant kishor and Kanhaiya kumar are among the‘20 people to watch in 2020s’ list of Forbes; political commentator Hassan minhaj of US tops
Former PM Zoran Milanovic wins Croatia presidential polls
• On January 6,2020 Zoran Milanovic, 53 years old won Croatia’s presidential election.Zoran Milanovic is Croatia’s center-leftist former Prime Minister.
• He defeated center-right incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic(51 years old), who was the first female president of Croatia.
• The Presidential election was held on 22 December 2019.
• Milanovic belongs to the Social Democratic Party(SDP) won 52.7% vote while Grabar-kitarovic of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won 47.3%.
• About Croatia:
Currency- Croatian Kuna.
Prime Minister- Andrej Plenkovic.
Socialist leader Pedro sanchez took the oath as PM of Spain
• On January 8, 2020, Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon (47), a Spanish politician & Socialist leader took the oath as Spanish prime minister (PM) before Spanish King Felipe VI.
• He assumed his office after his proposal to form a leftist coalition government with support from smaller parties by narrowly won a parliamentary confidence vote. The Vote, by a simple majority of MPs(member of parliament), went 167 in the 350-seat assembly.
• The new Cabinet under Pedro Sanchez will have members of the anti-austerity United We Can party, including party leader Pablo Iglesias as deputy prime minister.
• About Spain:
A Sakthivel appointed as the new Chairman of AEPC
• On January 6, 2020 Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) has appointed A Sakthivel as the new chairman of the organisation from 2020 to 2021.
• He succeeded HKL Magu. He is also the first person in the history of AEPC, who is sworn-in for the fourth time as Chairman of the AEPC.
• About AEPC:
Headquarters- Gurgaon, Haryana.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dhadi folk singer Idu Sharif passes away
• Noted sufi singer Idu Sharif, known for his Dhadi folk singing passed away due to paralysis.
• The Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner was from Patiala’s Laloda.
• Dhadi folk singing is a Punjabi folk music which includes singing ballads using Dhadd and Sarangi, the folk instruments of Punjab.
January 2020 Important Days
Name of important Days
Global Family Day
African National Congress Foundation Day
NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
Death anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
National Youth Day
Indian Army Day
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti
National Girl Child Day
National Voters Day
National Tourism Day
International Customs Day
Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai
Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas
World Leprosy Eradication Day
1 January – Global Family Day
It is celebrated as a day of peace and sharing. Its aim is to unite and spread message of peace by considering and promoting an idea that Earth is a one Global Family so as to make world a better place to live for everyone.
8 January - African National Congress Foundation Day
South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was founded in 8 January 1912 by John Langalibalele Dube in Bloemfontein. Behind this the primary motive was to give voting rights to black and mixed race Africans or to unite African people and spearhead the struggle for fundamental political, social and economic change.
9 January – NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
NRI or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas observed every year on 9 January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. This day also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January, 1915.
11 January – Death anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
He was the second Prime Minsiter of Independent India. He popularised the slogan 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' He actively participated in the India's freedom struggle. Due to cardiac arrest he died on 11 January, 1966.
12 January – National Youth Day
The birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda also called Swami Vivekananda Jayanti is celebrated every year on 12 January. He was born on 12 January, 1863. The government had decided to observe it as National Youth Day because the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth. He had given speech at the Parliament of the World's religions in Chicago and glorified India's name.
15 January – Indian Army Day
Every year 15 January is observed as Indian Army Day because on this day in 1949 field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief.
15 January -- Makara Sankranti
Makara Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya. It is observed each year in January. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.
Observances: Kite flying.
Date: Wednesday, 15 January, 2020
Celebrations: Kite flying, bonfires, fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization
Featured in religions: Hinduism
Significance: Harvest festival
Also called: Magha, Môkôr Sôngkrānti, Mela, Maghi, Bhogi
23 January - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa. He was one of the most prominent Indian freedom fighter. His army was known as Indian National Army (INA) or Azad Hind Fauj. He also led an Indian national force from abroad against the Western powers during World War II.
24 January- National Girl Child Day
On 24 January every year National Girl Child Day is celebrated to highlight the inequalities faced by a majority of the girls in India, importance of education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care and safety of girl children etc.
25 January- National Voters Day
Every year on 25 January National Voter's Day or Rashtriya Matdata Diwas is celebrated to encourage young voters to take part in the political process. In 2011 first time this day was celebrated to mark Election Commission's Foundation Day.
25 January- National Tourism Day
Every year on 25 January National Tourism Day is celebrated in India to raise the awareness and educate people about the importance of tourism and the role it plays in the Indian economy.
26 January- Republic Day
On 26 November, 1949 Indian Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution the supreme law of the land and replaced the Government of India Act 1935. It came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system. This day marks with the largest parade took place at Rajpath, Delhi every year.
26 January – International Customs Day
International Customs Day (ICD) is celebrated every year on 26 January by Custom Organisation to recognise the role of custom officials and agencies in maintaining border security. It also focuses on the working conditions and challenges that custom officers face in their jobs.
28 January- Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January, 1865 in Punjab. He was a prominent nationalist leader who played an important role in India’s struggle for freedom. He also earned the title of 'Punjab Kesari' or 'the Lion of the Punjab'. He initiated the foundation of Punjab National Bank. He died on 17 November, 1928, due to serious injuries. The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar, Haryana is named after Lala Lajpat Rai.
30 January – Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas
30 January is celebrated as Martyr's Day or Shaeed Diwas every year in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and sacrifice of three revolutionaries of India. As, on 30 January, 1948, the 'Father of Nation' was assassinated. And on 23rd March 3 heroes namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar of the nation were hanged to death by British.
30 January – World Leprosy Eradication Day
World Leprosy Day is observed on 30 January every year to focus on the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. As, we know that disabilities do not occur overnight but happen after a prolonged period of undiagnosed disease.