- 1. Death rites dating back 5000 years have been unearthed from the Harappan cemeteries in Gujarat.
- 2. James Webb telescope discovered Earth-like planet.
- 3. Last vessel of the FPV series, ICG Ship 'Kamala Devi' has been commissioned.
- 4. Armed Forces Veterans Day 2023: 14 January
- 5. A consultation paper on Telecom Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing released by TRAI.
- 6. 14 January is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, Bihu and Pongal across India.
- 7. Ravi Kumar has been appointed as CEO of Cognizant.
- 8. Member of Parliament (MP) Santokh Singh died during Bharat Jodo Yatra.
- 9. Vidisha becomes the first district to deploy innovative 5G use cases offered by startups on the ground.
- 10. India’s First Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming will be set up in Shillong by March 2023.
- 11. Neelakurinji has been put on the list of protected plants.
- 12. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber will serve as the President at COP28.
- 13. Indian origin Manpreet Monica Singh sworn as first female Sikh judge in US.
- 14. NPCI has permitted UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts connected to mobile numbers of 10 countries.
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Topic: Art and Culture
1. Death rites dating back 5000 years have been unearthed from the Harappan cemeteries in Gujarat.
- The excavation at one of the biggest graveyards of the Harappan era demonstrated that dead humans were buried with afterlife items.
- The afterlife items include personal artefacts, sacred animals, and pots of food and water.
- The excavation was started in 2019 at Juna Khatiya village in the Kutch district.
- Archaeologists have found rows of graves with skeletal remains, ceramic pots, plates and vases, beaded jewellery and animal bones.
- It has emerged as one of the biggest Harappan sites with the possibility of around 500 graves. Till now, 125 graves have been found.
- These graves are from the period of 3,200 BCE to 2,600 BCE.
- This site is important because it demonstrates the transition from earth-mound burials to stone graves.
- The pottery found at this site has similar features and style to pottery excavated from the Harappan sites of Sindh and Balochistan.
- The rectangular graves were made of shale and sandstones and a majority of burial pits have five to six pots.
- Boulders of basalt were used for covering some of the burial structures. Pebbles of local rock, basalt, soil, sand, etc. were also used for the construction.
Topic: Space and IT
2. James Webb telescope discovered Earth-like planet.
- James Webb telescope has discovered an exoplanet named LHS 475 b.
- It is almost the same size of Earth and matches 99% of its diameter.
- John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory researchers used the Webb telescope to capture the planet in wavelengths of light.
- This rocky planet has opened the future possibilities of studying the rocky planets in the atmosphere.
- It will clear the understanding of Earth-like planets located outside the solar system.
- This planet is a few hundred degrees warmer than the Earth. However, researchers couldn’t find more about the atmosphere of the planet.
- The Webb telescope was launched into space in December 2021 and began its operation in 2022.
3. Last vessel of the FPV series, ICG Ship 'Kamala Devi' has been commissioned.
- On 12 January, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship 'Kamala Devi' was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard in Kolkata.
- The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) has been designed, built, and delivered by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd.
- ICGS Kamla Devi is officially the fifth and last vessel in the series of FPVs.
- ICGS Kamala Devi is 48.9 meters long and 7.5 meters wide with a displacement of 308 tonnes.
- The ship can reach a maximum speed of 34 knots with MTU 4000 series engines and three Rolls-Royce 71S Type III Kameva waterjets.
- The ship is also fitted with a 30 mm 2A42 Medak cannon and a 12.7 mm SRCG (stabilized remote-controlled gun) to improve combat capability.
- The ICG ship Kamala Devi was named after the famous Indian social reformer and independence activist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay.
- She is the first woman in India to contest for a legislative seat in India, in the Madras provincial elections.
Topic: Important Days
4. Armed Forces Veterans Day 2023: 14 January
- On 14 January, Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed every year.
- It is celebrated to commemorate the retirement of M. Cariappa, who retired on 14 January 1953.
- It is celebrated to honor the sacrifices made by veterans while serving the country.
- It was first celebrated in 2016.
- M. Cariappa was the first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army. He led the Indian Forces during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947.
- He became commander-in-chief on 15 January 1949.
- Minister Shri Rajnath Singh presided over the 7th Armed Forces Veterans Day celebrations in Dehradun.
- He also launched the 'Soul of Steel Alpine Challenge', a joint adventure sports initiative of the Indian Army and CLAW Global, by flagging off a car expedition from Dehradun to Gamshali, located in Niti Valley.
- He dedicated the Shaurya Sthal to the army, developed by the Uttarakhand War Memorial Trust, which will be handed over to the Indian Army.
Topic: National News
5. A consultation paper on Telecom Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing released by TRAI.
- On 13 January, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a Consultation Paper on Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing.
- Last year, the Department of Telecommunications advised TRAI that all service providers should share telecom infrastructure and network elements to maximize resource use.
- Issues related to infrastructure sharing as well as issues related to spectrum sharing and leasing of the spectrum have been taken up.
- This paper has been prepared to seek the views of the stakeholders on the issues relating to license fees and bank guarantees.
- Written comments on the consultation paper can be sent by February 10 and counter comments by February 27.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Art and Culture
6. 14 January is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, Bihu and Pongal across India.
- People in different parts of India celebrate January 14 as Makar Sankranti, Bihu and Pongal.
- This day is dedicated to Lord Surya. This is the day when the Sun enters Capricorn from Sagittarius.
- In the north Indian states, the day (14th January) is celebrated as Makar Sankranti.
- Makar Sankranti is also the festival of kites which is also celebrated to mark the arrival of the harvest season.
- In Tamil Nadu, the beginning of the month Thai is celebrated as Pongal.
- The Pongal is celebrated for four days. People offer their harvest to the Sun on the first day called Bhogi Pongal.
- The second day is the main day of Pongal and is celebrated as Surya Pongal. The third day is celebrated as Mattu Pongal.
- The last day of the Pongal season is Kaanum Pongal, where people visit their relatives and spend time together.
- In Assam, this day is celebrated as Magh or Bhogali Bihu.
- This festival has different names in different parts of the country.
Makar Sankranti or Sakraat
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
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Topic: National Appointments
7. Ravi Kumar has been appointed as CEO of Cognizant.
- He has replaced Brian Humphries as CEO of Cognizant.
- Humphries will remain with Cognizant as a special advisor until March 15, 2023.
- Ravi Kumar will join Cognizant after a 20-year career at Infosys.
- Cognizant also said that Stephen J. Rohleder has been elected Chair of the Board.
- Stephen J. Rohleder is a member of Cognizant's Board since March 2022.
- Former Chair Michael Patsalos-Fox will be on the Board as an independent director.
- Cognizant is an American multinational information technology services company. It is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, United States.
Topic: Personality in News
8. Member of Parliament (MP) Santokh Singh died during Bharat Jodo Yatra.
- Santokh Singh was an MP from the Congress party. He was an MP from Jalandhar.
- He died of a heart attack during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Punjab's Phillaur.
- Bharat Jodo Yatra started on September 7, 2022 from Kanyakumari. It will pass through 12 states.
- During this yatra, a distance of about 3,500 kilometers will be covered in about 150 days.
- It will culminate on January 30 in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar.
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
9. Vidisha becomes the first district to deploy innovative 5G use cases offered by startups on the ground.
- Vidisha is the first-ever district in India to deploy innovative 5G use cases offered by startups on the ground.
- It is a joint initiative of Vidisha District Administration and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the guidance of Additional Secretary (Telecom) & Administrator USOF.
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under Telecom Startups & MSMEs Mission (TSuM) & 5G Vertical Engagement Partnership Program (VEPP) facilitates collaborations of Digital Communication Technology to start-ups, MSMEs, Aspirational districts, etc.
- Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT-), Department of Telecom is a leader in emerging digital communication technologies and the “5G Use Case Incentive Pilot”.
- It is deploying innovative 5G/4G IoT solutions for startups and SMEs in Madhya Pradesh by focusing on healthcare, agriculture, dairy, education and skill development.
- Under the 5G use case promotional pilot, the use cases will be deployed at community & district health centres Model Schools, Agri & Dairy Farmers, and skill development centers for a period of 1 year. They may be extended as per the need.
- To provide uninterrupted services to the user of Vidisha, these digital solutions will be powered by BharatNet broadband.
- After the successful demos of digital solutions on 12th January 2023, purchase cum Service orders and agreements have been signed with C-DOT and 7 Startups at the Vidisha district collectorate.
- Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT):
- It was established in 1984 for designing and developing digital exchanges.
- It is the Telecom Technology development centre of the Government of India.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
10. India’s First Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming will be set up in Shillong by March 2023.
- Digital India Startup Hub through the Software Technology Parks of India will set up India’s First Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming at Shilong.
- This centre of Excellence will help startups and entrepreneurs of North East region to build the next generation Online Gaming ecosystem.
- Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has recently proposed amendments to the IT Rules 2021 in respect to Online Gaming.
- MeitY will also set up a state-of-the-art facility under the National Institute of Electronics and IT (NIELIT) in Shillong to provide training on cutting edge Digital Skills.
- Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar also informed that the Government is Re-launching Skill India through PMKVY 4.0.
- It will give training to 50,000 youths in Meghalaya with future-ready skills.
- PMKVY4.0 has set a target to skill around 60,000 youth in Tripura and 35,000 in Nagaland.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
11. Neelakurinji has been put on the list of protected plants.
- Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) has been added to the list of protected plants under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- Those uprooting or destroying the plant will be fined Rs 25,000 and imprisoned for three years.
- As per the order, cultivation and possession of Neelakurinji is not permitted.
- Former professor of botany at Pala St. Thomas College, Jomy Augustine, stated that the plant was endemic to a small stretch in the Western Ghats from the Mangaladevi hills to the Nilgiris hills.
- Nearly 70 different types of Neelakurinji plants have been discovered in the Western Ghats.
- Strobilanthes kunthiana is the most common Neelakurinji, which blooms once in every 12 years.
- The Eravikulam National Park near Munnar is known for its extensive flowering of Kurinji, with the next flowering season expected in 2030.
- Neelakurinji is known for both its ornamental and medicinal properties.
Topic: International Appointments
12. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber will serve as the President at COP28.
- Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, will serve as COP President for the first time.
- The United Arab Emirates will host COP28 from 30 November to 12 December 2023 at Expo City Dubai.
- He has played a key role in shaping the UAE's clean energy path.
- He will develop the COP28 agenda in partnership with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry of Egypt.
- Dr Al Jaber has served as Special Envoy for Climate twice, from 2010 to 2016 and from 2020 to the present.
- Prior to this, he participated in more than 10 COPs.
- He is also the first CEO to serve as COP President. He is the current CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Topic: International Appointments
13. Indian origin Manpreet Monica Singh sworn as first female Sikh judge in US.
- Manpreet Monica Singh has taken oath as a Harris county judge in Texas. She has become the first female Sikh judge in the US.
- Judge Ravi Sandill, first South Asian judge of Texas, presided over the sworn-in ceremony.
- Manpreet Monica Singh was born and brought up in Houston. Her father immigrated to the US in early 1970s.
- She has been a trial lawyer for 20 years. She was involved with many civil rights organisations at various levels.
- In USA, members of the Judicial Branch are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
- Judges and Justices serve no fixed term — they serve until their death, retirement, or conviction by the Senate.
Topic: Banking System
14. NPCI has permitted UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts connected to mobile numbers of 10 countries.
- The 10 countries are Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE and United Kingdom.
- Non-resident account types such as NRE/NRO (non-resident external/ non-resident ordinary) accounts having international mobile numbers have been permitted to transact in UPI.
- NPCI had permitted UPI transactions to and from NRO/NRE accounts linked to Indian numbers in October 2018.
- All UPI members, including banks and payments platforms, have been mandated by NPCI to comply with the norms by April 30.
- The partner banks have to ensure such accounts are allowed according to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations and follow the guidelines of the RBI from time to time.
- National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will soon extend the facility to mobile numbers of other countries as well.
- An NRE account helps NRIs to transfer foreign earnings to India. An NRO account helps NRIs to manage the income earned in India.
- United Payment Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system. It processes both peer-to-merchant (P2M) and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. It is developed by NPCI and was introduced on 11 April 2016 as pilot.