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1. Kenya’s military base in Lamu region of Kenya attacked by Islamist terrorist group Al Shabaab
- The military base of Kenya in the Lamu region (Kenya) is attacked by Al Shabaab, the Islamist group of Somalia.
- The base is used by both U.S and Kenyan forces.
- Kenya: It is an East African country with capital Nairobi and currency Kenyan Shilling.
2. Two warships to be sent by Britain to Strait of Hormuz
- Britain has decided to send two warships to Strait of Hormuz under rising tensions in the Middle East.
- The step has been taken to ensure the safety and security of U. K vessels and its citizens.
- Strait of Hormuz: It is a small passage between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
3. Year-long review of Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD)
- HRD ministry has progressed much in ensuring the goal of ‘Education For All and Quality Education’.
- K. Kasturirangan report having Education Policy 2019 has been submitted to the government.
- To ensure the skill enhancement among students, the ministry launched the DHRUV program i.e. Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program.
- To ensure quality primary education, teachers’ training was focused upon by NISHTHA(National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement).
- The ministry also started ‘Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan’ under which a total of 5930 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya have been sanctioned, out of which 4881 schools are operational.
- A plan of INR 800 crore has been approved under sports grants for more than 10 lakh government schools across the nation. Also, guidelines for sports and physical education has been prepared.
4. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar to award first ‘Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman’
- 30 media houses will be conferred with ‘Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman’ by I&B Minister.
- The award was instituted in June 2018 to award those who have contributed positively to increasing the outreach of Yoga in India and abroad.
- There are 11 awards under “Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Newspapers category”, 8 under “Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Television and 11 awards under “Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Radio” category.
- The decision will be taken by a jury comprising six members with Justice C.K Prasad (Chairman, Press Council of India) as the head.
- International Yoga Day:
- It is celebrated annually on June 21 since 2015.
- Yoga has been included in UNESCO’s Intangible Culture Heritage of Humanity list in 2016.
5. UJALA scheme and Street Lighting National Program (SLNP) completed 5 years from 2015-2019
- Unnat Jeevan Affordable LEDs and Appliances For All scheme and Street Lighting National Program has completed its 5 years of implementation from 2015-2019.
- Under the UJALA initiative, 36.13 crores of LED bulbs have been distributed across the country, leading to a saving of around 46.92 billion Kilowatt- hour per year.
- Due to the UJALA initiative, the price of the LED bulb has been reduced from INR 310 to INR 38 in 2018.
- Under SLNP, more than 1.03 crore smart- led street lights have been installed, leading to a saving of 6.97 billion kilowatt-hours per year.
- LED streetlights are helping in generating about 13,000 jobs to support Make In India Initiative.
- Street Lighting National Program was started in 2015 to replace conventional street bulbs with LED bulbs.
- It is under the Ministry of Power and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
- UJALA scheme
- The scheme, also known as Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All, was started in 2015 to distribute LED bulbs at subsidized rates.
- The scheme is under the Ministry of Power and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
6. Sukanya Project to be started by Kolkata Police’s Community Policing Wing
- Kolkata Police’s Community Policing Wing has started the third edition of the Sukanya project.
- The project aims to provide self- defense training to the school and college going girls.
- The girls of 8th, 9th and 11th standard and college girls in their 1st year will be included under the program.
- The funding is provided by the Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department of the state government.
7. Maharashtra to observe 31st Road Safety Week from 11th- 17th January 2020
- The transport department of Maharashtra will organize 31st Road Safety Week from 11th- 17th January 2020.
- Several activities that will be undertaken are women's two-wheeler rally, eye check-up and medical camps for drivers, workshops, social media campaigns, and road safety programs in schools.
- The overall objective is to promote the idea of road safety.
- The campaign will be funded by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways up to an amount of INR 10 lakhs.
8. Word “They” voted as the Word of the Decade
- U.S language experts in American Dialect Society have voted the word “They” as the Word of the Decade.
- It is a plural neutral pronoun, which means it is used to refer to the growing number of non- binary people who are not identified as either male or female.
- The word bypassed “he” and “she”.
- Earlier, the word “they” has been named as the word of the year in 2019.
- American Dialect Society
- The society was founded in 1889 as a learned society.
- The society is focused on the study of the English language in North America and of other related languages and dialects.
9. Marine Ecosystem Challenges And Opportunity Meet (MECOS-3) 2020 to be held in Kochi
- The Marine Ecosystem Challenges and Opportunities Meet (MECOS-3), the Global Marine Ecosystem Meet 2020, is to be held in Kochi in Kerala.
- The meet is to be organized by the Marine Biological Association of India between January 7 to January 10, 2020.
- The meet will be participated by scientists, marine biotechnologists and oceanographers from all over the world.
- Various issues will be taken over in the symposium like climate crisis, small scale fisheries, green fishing technologies, and eco-labeling.
10. Bhitarkanika National Park Census conducted in Odisha
- Bhitarkanika National Park Census was conducted in Odisha.
- The census was conducted in winters as more than 50% of mud banks were exposed at that point.
- The census was conducted by around 22 teams, which cited 620 hatchlings, 288 juveniles, 325 yearlings, 185 sub-adults, and 339 adults.
- According to the census, the population of Salt Water Crocodiles has increased from 1742 to 1757 in 2018.
- In August 2019, around 3000 crocodiles were born from 103 nests.
- Bhitarkanika National Park:
- It is located in Odisha.
- It is the second-largest mangrove system in India.
- It is also a Ramsar Wetland site included in the list in 2002.
- The saltwater crocodile found in abundance in Bhitarkanika has the IUCN status of ‘Least Concern’.
11. 1st Turtle Rehabilitation center of India in Bihar
- India’s first turtle rehabilitation center will come up in Bihar's Bhagalpur forest.
- The center will house sick and injured turtles rescued from smugglers.
- The center will be spread over half a hectare and will provide shelter to more than 500 turtles.
12. ISRO signed pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) to set up optical telescope under Project NETRA
- Indian Space Research Organization has signed a pact with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) to establish an optical telescope under project NETRA.
- ISRO has signed a pact with NIT- Karnataka to set up a regional academic center for space to promote research and development.
- Project NETRA:
- The project was started by ISRO in 2019 to set up observational satellites in the space to facilitate early warning about debris and hazards in orbit.
- The system includes radar, telescope, radar centers, and data processing units.
13. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi declared 3- days national mourning for the Major General Qassem Soleimani and others killed in U.S airstrike in Baghdad
- The 3- days national mourning has been declared by Iraq Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi for Iran’s Military Commander Qassem Soleimani and others killed in the US airstrike in Baghdad.
- Iraq: It is a West Asian country with the capital Baghdad and currency Iraqi Dinar.
14. WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index released
- India has improved its rank from 40th to 34th position in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 issued by the World Economic Forum.
- Some of the steps taken to boost tourism include E-visa fees, decreasing GST rates on hotel room booking, and opening 120 new peaks for mountaineering.
- Foreign tourists Arrival witnessed a growth of 3.2% in 2019.
- World Economic Forum:
- It is an international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It was formed in 1971.
Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs)
1. UJALA Scheme was launched by the government to provide Affordable LEDs for All in-
2. Recently the military base of Kenya was attacked by Islamist group Al Shabaab. The group belongs to which country?
3. A strait that lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman-
A. Bab-al-Mandab Strait
B. Strait of Hormuz
C. Strait of Gibraltar
D. Malacca Strait
4. What is another name of the DHRUV program?
A. Pradhan Mantri Shiksha Rupantran Yojana
B. Pradhan Mantri Yuva Vikas Yojana
C. Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program
D. Pradhan Mantri Initiative for School Teachers
5. Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman will be presented by which of the following ministry?
A. Ministry of AYUSH
B. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
C. Ministry of Women and Child Development
D. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
6. What is the ranking of India in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019?
7. Sukanya Project that aims at providing self-defense training to the school and college going girls is an initiative of which State government?
A. Uttar Pradesh
D. West Bengal
8. Which State government will be observing Road Safety Week in January 2020 to promote the idea of road safety?
D. Andhra Pradesh
9. Which of the following word has been voted as the Word of the Decade?
10. Bhitarkanika National Park is located in-
D. Madhya Pradesh
11. The third Marine Ecosystem Challenges and Opportunities Meet will be held in-
12. The first Turtle Rehabilitation Center of India will be established in which of the following states?
A. Uttar Pradesh
13. What is Project NETRA?
A. A project by ISRO to set up observational satellites in the space
B. A project to promote eye donation
C. A project to establish infrastructure for providing electricity for all
D. A project to promote quality education
14. Adil Abdul Mahdi, recently in news, is the Prime Minister of which country?
A. Saudi Arabia
15. What is the IUCN status of the saltwater crocodile?
B. Least Concern