General Knowledge & Current Affairs

January 2020 - 8th to 11th

1: UAE Cabinet validates Multi-entry Tourist Visa valid for 5 years

  • The UAE Cabinet has validated the Multi-entry Tourist Visa which would be valid for 5 years.
  • The Multi-entry Tourist Visa facility would be available for all nationalities visiting the UAE.
  • The decision was taken in the UAE’s Cabinet meeting which was held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
  • The decision has been made to boost the UAE’s tourism economy.
  • It also aims to stabilise UAE’s position as a global tourist destination. “Visa waiver” for Mexican citizens visiting the UAE was also introduced during the meeting.
  • The above decisions taken during the meeting will be made effective during the first quarter of 2020.

2: US Armed Forces & Pentagon designated as ‘terrorist entities’ by IRAN

  • The Iranian parliament has designated US Armed Forces & Pentagon as ‘Terrorist Entities’ with a motion passed at an open parliament session.
  • It also seeks the allocation of 200 Million Euros to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

3: Former PM Zoran Milanovic wins Croatia presidential election

  • Former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic belongs Social Democratic Party(SDP) won Croatia’s presidential election.
  • He defeated centre-right incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was the first female president of Croatia.

4: Ukrainian aircraft boarding 176 people crashes in Iran

  • Former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic belongs Social Democratic Party(SDP) won Croatia’s presidential election.
  • He defeated centre-right incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was the first female president of Croatia.

1: CCEA approves disinvestment of 4 CPSEs & 2 State PSUs in NINL

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its ˜in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 4 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) & 2 Odisha State PSUs in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL)
  • NINL is a Joint Venture company in which 4 CPSEs & 2 State PSUs have equity shareholding.
  • The 4 CPSEs includes Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), MECON, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).
  • 2 Odisha State PSUs includes Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL) and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
  • The advances from the disinvestment are expected to finance the development programmes of the Govenrment launched for the public

2: Government authorizes Rs 5559 cr for Indradhanush gas grid project

  • The Union Government has authorized the amount of Rs 5559 crore for 1656 Km long Indradhanush Natural Gas Pipeline Grid project
  • The amount will be provided as Viability Gap Funding (VGF)
  • The amount will be used to set up Natural Gas Pipeline Grid connecting 8 North Eastern states
  • The total expenditure of the project is estimated as Rs 9,256 crore and the above sanctioned amount is expected to cover 60% of the project

3: Indian Railways installs IP based Video Surveillance System at stations

  • Indian Railways is in the process of installing Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations to enhance security
  • Railway Board of India has approved works for provision of Video Surveillance System covering 983 stations over Indian Railways under Nirbhaya funds
  • This year a budget of Rs. 250 crore was allotted to Indian Railways from Nirbhaya fund for installation of the video surveillance system
  • In the first phase of installation, VSS is being installed at 200 stations and as on date work has been completed at 81 stations across India

4: India-2021 census exercise to begin on 1st April

  • Census exercise India-2021 to begin on 1st April 2020 and will end on 30th of September 2020
  • Census India-2021 will be conducted through a mobile phone application
  • The enumerators of the census will seek the information of the mobile number of the head of the family, information related to TV, Internet, vehicles owned, toilets, source of drinking water besides asking other questions during the house listing phase of the exercise

5: “Paperless Licensing Process” launched for Petroleum Road Tankers

  • The “Paperless Licensing Process” has been launched by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), for Petroleum Road Tankers
  • DPIIT has launched the process through Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO). The process has been launched under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.
  • The “Paperless Licensing Process” will led to online filing of the applications including the fee payment and thus heading towards digitisation.
  • The applicants will be intimated through email and SMS. Under the above process, the license would be authorised by the concerned officer and would be electronically dispatched to the applicant.

6: Union Home Minister inaugurates I4C & National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal

  • Union Home Minister has inaugurated the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal and Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) located in New Delhi
  • The National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal is a citizen centric vision which enables people to report cyber crimes online. The NCCRP will also provide access of cyber crime related complaints to the law enforcement agencies of the states and union territories to take action according to the law
  • It will also increase the coordination among the law enforcement agencies of the states and union territories in investigation of cases and resolving them. Presently, 3900 police stations and 700 police districts have been linked with the portal “”

1: J&K has registered highest IPD care in the country

  • Jammu and Kashmir has registered the highest Inpatient Department, IPD care in the country
  • According to the report released by the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), New Delhi
  • As per the report, the 96% IPD care in rural areas of J&K is provided by Public Health Facilities
  • This facility is highest against the country’s average of 85%

2: 31st International Kite Festival begins in Ahmedabad

  • The 31st International Kite Festivalhas been launched at Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • Ahmedabad is hosting this festival since 1989
  • A large number of kite artists from across the world are participating in the festival to exhibit their skills
  • The festival is also taking place at nine other places across the state including Statue of Unity-Kevadiya, Surat and Vadodara

3: 4th ‘Buxa Bird Festival’ kicks off in West Bengal

  • The 4th edition of ‘Buxa Bird Festival’ has started in Buxa National Park in West Bengal’s, district Alipurduar
  • More than 50 birdwatchers from pan India and abroad have registered in the festival

4: Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center to be set up in Gujarat

  • The Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) will be set up in Gujarat
  • The Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) will identify, nurture and promote innovative abilities of children in the state
  • The CIF is being organized by Gujarat University Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC). GUSEC is an incubation centre created by Gujarat University in collaboration with UNICEF

5: Famous chariot festival of Tamil Nadu Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple begins

  • The famous chariot festival of the Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple in Tamilnadu begins
  • This 17th-century temple is famous for its architectural grandeur
  • The temple is especially significant because it is sacred to both the Shaivite as well as Vashnavite sects
  • There is an Anjaneya statue, which is 22 feet tall is carved of a single granite block. It is one of the tallest statues of its type in India

1: Two Indian banks to end their operations in Sri Lanka

  • The two Indian private sector lenders Axis Bank and ICICI Bank to close their operations in Sri Lanka after the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has permitted
  • The licenses issued by Central Bank of Sri Lanka will be cancelled once the winding-up operations are complete
  • The two banks are no longer to carry their banking operations, including accepting deposits from the public in Sri Lanka

2: RBI allows to offer 24A—7 rupee trading via select banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has enabled select banks in India to offer round-the-clock (24A—7) trading in the Indian rupee to allow Indians to safeguard their foreign exchange (Forex) risks at any time
  • The select banks in India offered Indian customers foreign exchange rates only in inter-bank market hours from 9 am 5 pm
  • This decision will also make the offshore currency markets in countries like Dubai & Singapore less attractive for Indian investors

3: RBI allows “Video based Customer Identification Process”

  • The Reserve Bank of India has revised the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for banks and other lending institutions
  • New amendments in KYC norms by RBI allows banks and other lending institutions to use “Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP)”.
  • The V-CIP is a consent based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity and for customer onboarding from remote areas while leveraging the digital technology.
  • RBI has also advised banks to capture clear image of PAN card produced by the customer during the Customer Identification Process (CIP).
  • The central bank also advised the banks and other regulated entities to record the customer’s location (Geotagging) to ensure the customer’s physical presence in India.

4: RBI releases ”National Strategy for Financial Inclusion” report

  • The Reserve Bank of India has released a report “National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI): 2019-2024”. The National Strategy for Financial Inclusion for the period 2019-2024 has been formulated by RBI under the aegis of Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee (FIAC)
  • The strategy aims to provide access to formal financial services in an affordable manner, broadening & deepening financial inclusion and promoting financial literacy & consumer protection

1: Indian Navy start 1st ‘Maha-Navy Connect 2020’

  • Indian Navy starts1st Maha-Navy Connect 2020 Tri-Dimensional Expedition started from Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • The aim of the expedition is to promote the maritime heritage of India and spread awareness about Coastal Security amongst the coastal communities in Maharashtra
  • The tri-dimensional expedition consisting of yachting, running and cycling teams of 50 naval personnel. This expedition will cover more than 555kms from Maharashtra’s northernmost fort Arnala to its southernmost Sindhudurg fort

2: Visakhapatnam to host MILAN 2020 naval exercise in March

  • Visakhapatnam is ready to host another International Naval event ‘MILAN’ in March 2020
  • The theme of the exercise for the year 2020 is ‘Synergy Across the Seas’.
  • MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise aimed to enhance professional interaction between foreign-friendly navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.

3: India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant to be commissioned by 2021

  • India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase-3 which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment and to be commissioned by early 2021 in Indian Navy.
  • It will be fully operated by 2022. Vikrant is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi, Kerala.

1: World Bank projects India’s growth rate at 5% for FY2020

  • World Bank has released Global Economic Prospects report. In its report, the World Bank has projected India’s growth rate at 5% for fiscal year 2020
  • It has also projected India’s growth rate at 5.8% for fiscal year 2021.
  • The report stated the weakness in credit from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) as the root cause for lowering the growth rate from 6% to 5%.
  • While the global economic growth is likely to increase to 2.5% in fiscal year 2020

2: SBI’s report ‘Ecowrap’ lowers India’s growth rate to 4.6% for FY 2020

  • The State Bank of India has released its research report ‘Ecowrap’. In the report Ecowrap’, the economic research department of SBI has lowered India’s growth rate to 4.6% in the fiscal year 2020
  • The report also stated that agriculture and allied activities are expected to grow at 2.8%, while growth in industry projected to grow at 2.5% in fiscal year 2020.
  • The service sector is also expected to increase to 6.9% in fiscal year 2020

1: World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi from Italy retires from football

  • Italian Veteran footballer Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement. He won the 2006 world cup title for Italy after defeating France
  • He has played 117 games for Italy from 2004-17

2: Ladakh wins 7th National Ice Hockey Championship women trophy

  • Ladakh women team has won the 7th National Ice Hockey Championship women trophy
  • In the final match, Ladakh scoring 2 goals against Delhi and won the tournament.
  • The tournament was organised by the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) in association with the Ladakh winter sports club.
  • 4 women teams representing Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Ladakh participated in the tournament

1: India hosts 5th Asia Pacific drosophila research conference in Pune

  • The 5th edition of the Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5) held in Pune, Maharashtra
  • The conference is being conducted in India for the 1st time
  • It is organised by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
  • The aims of the conference are to promote the interaction of Drosophila researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with their peers in the rest of the world.

2: South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo 2020 held in New Delhi

  • The 27th edition of South Asian Trade and Travel Exchange Expo (SATTE) 2020 was held in New Delhi
  • The SATTE expo was supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and sponsored by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department
  • The objective of the expo was to build new business partnerships and hence was an important place for the promotion of tourism
  • The SATTE witnessed the participation of over 50 countries and 28 Indian states.
  • During the expo, the Tourism Department of Jammu & Kashmir launched publicity campaign to showcase diverse tourism attractions.

1: Deutsche Bank projects India’s economy to reach $7 trillion by 2030

  • Deutsche Bank has projected that Indian economy will reach $7 trillion by 2030
  • The estimation was stated by Deutsche Bank in its research report “Imagine 2030”.
  • According to the report, India will grow with the Nominal GDP growth rate of just over 10% in the next decade
  • Indian economy is presently valued at $3 trillion

2: India listed as 5th biggest Geo-political Risk of 2020

  • India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been listed as the 5th biggest Geo-political Risk of 2020.
  • The listing was done by Eurasia Group in its report.
  • The report states ‘Top 10 Risks’ of the year 2020

3: Indian passport ranked 84th in Henley Passport Index 2020

  • Henley Passport Index 2020 has been released. The Indian passport ranked 84th in the world’s most powerful passport index 2020. Which is a drop by 2 places as it ranked 82nd in 2019
  • Now India provides visa-free access to 58 countries. The list was topped by Japan

M Nagaraj appointed as Chairman and MD of Hudco

  • M Nagaraj has been appointed the company’s Chairman and Managing Director of State-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco)
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved his appointment.
  • He has experience in a multitude of sectors such as housing, infrastructure finance, skill development and microfinance in the social sector, and international trading. Hudco provides loans for housing and urban infrastructure projects

1: Veteran Odissi Danseuse Minati Mishra passes away

  • Veteran Odissi Danseuse Minati Mishra passed away. In 2012 she was honoured with the Padma Shri
  • She was an A-Grade artist at All India Radio (AIR) and a recipient of the Sangeet Prabhakar title for Hindustani vocal music

2: Ruler of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said passes away

  • The longest serving ruler of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said passed away. He was a charismatic and visionary leader who transformed Oman into a modern and prosperous nation. He was ruling Oman since 1970
  • The Sultan is the prime decision-maker in Oman and also holds the portfolio of Prime Minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of foreign affairs, minister of finance and minister of defence

World Hindi Day” celebrated globally on 10th January

  • World Hindi Day is celebrated globally on 10th January every year
  • The day is celebrated every year to promote the use of Hindi language worldwide.
  • The World Hindi Day was observed first time in 2006.
  • The day marked the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference held in 1975 in Nagpur.

1: Indian High Commission organizes œArt Exhibition in Bangladesh

  • The Indian High Commission has organized the “Art Exhibition” in Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • The “Art Exhibition” has been organized to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

2: Works on laying of submarine cables between Chennai-A&N Islands inaugurates

  • Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated the submarine cable works on laying between Chennai Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • The submarine cables will be initially laid from Chennai to Port Blair covering a distance of 1,450 kilometers.
  • He also flagged off the ship to lay the cable at Chennai Port.
  • At the initial stage of commissioning of the project itself, the islands can get a data speed of 400-gigabytes per second
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