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1. Viability Gap Funding of 5,559 crore rupees approved to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited
- As part of the National Gas Pipeline Grid Project, a viability gap funding of INR 5,559 crore has been approved by the government for Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited.
- The total cost of the grid is 9,256 crore rupees. The VGF will cover 60% of the total cost.
- The pipeline is of the length 1,656 Km and will connect Guwahati in Assam to the other cities like Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizwal, and Agartala.
- The Gas Pipeline Grid would cover all the 8 North-Eastern states as part of Hydrocarbon Vision 2030.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also provided in-principle approval to sell equity held by 4 Central PSUs and two-state PSUs in Neenanchal Ispat Nigam Limited- NINL.
- Strategic disinvestment of 49.78% of MMTC (Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited) and 10.10% of the National Mineral Development Corporation has also been approved.
- It also approved strategic disinvestment of 68% share of MECON (Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants Limited) and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL).
2. Ordinance approved by the Cabinet to amend mineral laws
- Mineral Law Amendment Ordinance (2020) approved by the cabinet.
- The ordinance aims to amend Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015.
- The Ordinance will allow any Indian-registered company to participate in auctioning of coal mines.
- This will boost FDI in the coal mining sector.
3. Cluster of Ayurvedic institutions at Gujarat Ayurved University to get status of Institution of National Importance
- Ayurvedic institutions at Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar will get the status of the Institute of National Importance, as approved by the cabinet.
- Through this, the status of the Ayurvedic education will improve and various courses meeting national and international standards can be framed.
4. MoUs and agreements approved by the Cabinet
- An agreement on cooperation in exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful and civilian purposes between India and Mongolia approved by the Cabinet.
- Cabinet also approved signing MoU with the Department of International Development (U.K) aimed at ensuring energy self-sufficiency for Indian Railways.
- An agreement signed between the Ministry of Earth Science and the Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden, on cooperation in Polar Science has also been approved.
- The cabinet also approved the ratification of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France.
- Ex-Post-Facto approval by the cabinet has been given for Memorandum of Cooperation between the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on cooperation in the field of health. The agreement was signed in November 2019.
- Mongolia: It is a country located north of India. Its capital is Ulaanbaatar and its currency is Mongolian Togrog.
- France: It is a West European country with capital Paris and currency Euro.
- Sweden: It is a Scandinavian nation with capital Stockholm and currency Swedish Krona.
- U.K: It is an island nation in Northwest Europe formed from the integration of four nations i.e. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
5. PM-KISAN Scheme benefitted over 8 crore families
- Under PM-KISAN Scheme over 8 crores, farmers have been benefitted.
- The scheme launched in 2019 aims to provide income support of INR 6,000 in three equal installments of INR 2000 to each eligible farmer.
- A new facility has been introduced on PM Kisan Web Portal, where farmers can do self- registration and can edit their name according to the Aadhar card database.
- For registration and updation, Common Service Centres are being used by the farmers.
6. 1st edition of Khelo India University Game to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha
- Bhubaneswar will organize the 1st edition of Khelo India University Games from February 22 to March 1, 2020.
- The games will be held at KIIT University.
- The launching ceremony was held in the Bhubaneswar on 8 January 2020, attended by the Chief Guest Kiren Rijju, the Union Sports Minister. The sports minister along with Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the logo, jersey and mascot of the Khelo India University Games.
- The mascot of Khelo India University Game is “Jay and Bijay”.
- Khelo India Program:
- The program has been introduced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- It aims to strengthen the sports culture in the country from the grass-root level.
7. Gravitational waves detected by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory )
- Gravitational waves have been detected by the LIGO (Laser Infernometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) for 2nd time after two neutron stars collided.
- The first detection was made in 2017.
- Laser Infernometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) aims to observe gravitational waves in the universe.
- Currently, three observatories are operational at Livingston, Louisana, and Hanford in the U.S.A.
- They are arranged in the shape of L.
- The Indian observatory has to be built in Hingoli in Maharashtra.
8. Work on GOCO (Government Owned Contractor Operated) model started by the Indian Army
- The government has started the identification process of industry partners to implement the GOCO model for its base workshops and ordnance depots.
- GOCO model:
- The model is being implemented on the recommendation of General. DB Shekatkar committee.
- Under this, government asset is operated by the private industries with full independence given to them to use best practices.
9. Jasbinder Bilan bagged U.K Children’s Book Award
- Indian born author Jasbinder Bilan bagged U.K Children’s Book Award for her book “Asha and the Spirit Bird”.
- U.K Children Book Award
- The award is given to the authors from U.K and Ireland.
- The winner is awarded 5000 pounds.
- The award is open across 5 categories i.e. First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.
Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs)
1. The government has recently approved the viability gap funding of over Rs 5000 crore to which company to build Natural Gas Pipeline Grid covering north eastern states?
A. Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL)
B. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
C. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)
D. Indraprastha Gas Limited
2. Recently Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of an ordinance for which of the following?
A. Labour laws
B. Company laws
C. Mineral laws
3. The cluster of Ayurveda institutions of which State will get the status of Institution of National importance?
A. Madhya Pradesh
4. Recently the Cabinet has approved an agreement on space cooperation signed between India and _________.
5. An agreement signed between India and Sweden has received cabinet approval. The agreement is related to-
A. Energy Sector
C. Migration and Mobility
D. Polar Science
6. The Cabinet has given approval for signing an MoU with which country for enabling Energy Self-Sufficiency for Indian Railways?
7. What amount is given in installments to the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme(PM-KISAN)?
A. Rs. 1000
B. Rs. 2000
C. Rs. 3000
D. Rs. 6000
8. The first edition of Khelo India University Games will be held in-
9. Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) India will be set up in which state?
A. Tamil Nadu
D. Andhra Pradesh
10. What is the full form of the GOCO Model?
A. Government Owned Cooperatives Order
B. Government Order Company Owned
C. Government Order Commission Operated
D. Government Owned Contractor Operated
11. Who among the following has won the UK Children's Book Award?
A. Jasbinder Bilan
B. Malorie Blackman
C. Nandini Bajpai
D. Jenny Downham