Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 January 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 15 Jan 2021 22:03 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. ISRO’s space programmes are committed to social welfare.

  • ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan has said that Indian space programmes are committed to social welfare.
  • Indian space programmes are being developed in a low budget. India’s Mars mission cost is even less than the “Gravity” movie of Hollywood.
  • ISRO has set a world record of launching 328 satellites in November 2020. It has also launched the earth observation satellite EOS-01.
  • ISRO is committed to make India the next space hub of the world.
  • At present, ISRO is among the top six government space agencies in the world.



Upcoming Missions of ISRO


Lunar Mission


Solar Coronagraph spacecraft mission


Mars Orbiter Mission


Synthetic aperture radar satellite


Indian Human Spaceflight Programme

  • Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO):
    • It is the space agency of the Indian government that was founded in 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai.
    • Headquarters: Bengaluru
    • Current Director: Dr. K. Sivan

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. 3rd phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY 3.0) was launched on 15 January.

  • The third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana was launched on 15 January 2021. It was launched in 600 districts in the country.
  • The PMKVY 3.0 will impart training to eight lakh from 2020 to 2021.
  • Under PMKVY 3.0, 729 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and 200 ITIs will create a pool of skilled professionals. It will also focus on the new generation and COVID-related skills.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana:
    • It was launched on 15 July 2015.
    • Its main objective is to encourage and promote skill development in the country through short duration skill training and incentivizing youth for the skill certification.
    • It is launched by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
    • National Skill Development Corporation is implementing PMKVY.
    • Mahendra Nath Pandey is the current Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Topic: Important Days

3. Fifth Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day celebrated on 14th January.

  • Fifth Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day was celebrated on 14th January as recognition of the services given by the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day is celebrated every year on 14th January to honour services given by Army veterans. It was first celebrated in 2017.
  • 2021 is being celebrated in the form of Swarnim Vijay Varsh to mark the 1971 war victory. 2021 is the 50th Anniversary of 1971 Indo-Pak War.
  • First Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE retired on 14 January 1953.
  • Swarnim Vijay Varsh song was released by Admiral Karambir Singh. He is 24th and present Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. The song was dedicated to soldiers during the 1971 War.
  • The names of the writer, composer and singer of Swarnim Vijay Varsh song are Mr Kumar Vishwas, Mr Chris Powell and Mr Romy.
  • Army and Air Force respectively released Samaan and Vayu Samvedna magazines.

indian armed forces veterans day

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Haryana

4. Aviation services between Chandigarh and Hisar launched by Chief Minister of Haryana at Chandigarh International Airport.

  • Aviation services between Chandigarh and Hisar were launched by the Chief Minister of Haryana at Chandigarh International Airport.
  • Aviation services have been launched under the Udan scheme. A private air taxi company has started this services.
  • Aviation services will also begin from Hisar to Dehradun on January 18 and from Hisar to Dharamshala on January 23.
  • UDAN Scheme:
    • Full form of UDAN is Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik. The scheme was launched in April 2017 under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    • It is a flagship scheme of the central government, which was launched with the objective of connecting regional routes, promoting balanced regional development and making flights affordable for the common people.
    • The Udan scheme is a major component of the National Civil Aviation Policy, which was launched in June 2016.

ude desh ke aam nagrik

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

5. Makaravilakku festival begins in Sabarimala temple.

  • Sabarimala temple started its annual festival ‘Makaravilakku’. It is celebrated on the occasion of Makara Sankranti in Kerala.
  • It was started by the Malayaraya tribe in the forest of Ponnambalamedu.
  • Due to Covid restriction, only 5000 devotees will be allowed to enter the Ayappa temple.
  • Deeparadhana, Makarajyothi, and the Makarasamkrama Puja are the parts of this festival.
  • Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram and Vadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur are some other famous temples in Kerala.
  • Sabrimala Temple:
    • It is a Hindu Temple located in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala.
    • It is located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
    • It is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.
    • In September 2018, the Supreme Court had allowed the entry of women of all age groups in the Sabrimala Temple.

Topic: Defence News

6. India's first indigenous machine pistol jointly developed by DRDO and Army.

  • DRDO’s Pune facility and the Indian Army’s Mhow-based Infantry School have developed India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol ‘Asmi’.
  • It has been developed in just four months. It has been designed with the help of 3D printing technology.
  • It will be incorporated in armed forces as a personal weapon for commanders, tank and aircraft crews, etc. It could also be used by the central and state police organizations for VIP protection duties and policing.
  • It will help in the government’s vision of modernizing the weapons of the army and police.
  • The cost for each Pistol will be around Rs 50,000.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
    • It works under the Ministry of Defence.
    • It was established in 1958.
    • Chairman: G. Sateesh Reddy
    • Headquarters: New Delhi

Indias first indigenous machine pistol

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National news

7. PM will flag off six express trains to provide direct connectivity to the Statue of Unity.

  • Prime Minister will flag off six express trains to provide connectivity to Kevadia, near the Statue of Unity on 17 January 2021.
  • These six trains will be started from Varanasi, Dadar, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rewa and Chennai railway stations.
  • It will help in boosting tourism near the Statue of Unity. The direct connectivity will help tourist in reaching the destination in a hassle-free manner.
  • Kevadia railway station is India's first railway station with a Green Building.
  • PM will also inaugurate Dabhoi-Chandod-Kevadia rail line and Pratapnagar-Kevadia electrified section.
  • Statue of Unity:
    • It is located in the state of Gujarat, India.
    • It is the world's tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 feet).
    • It is the statue of India’s first deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
    • It was inaugurated on 31 October 2018.
    • Its construction was started in 2013. It has been designed by Ram Vanji Sutar.

Topic: International News

8. US commerce department blacklisted China's oil giant CNOOC.

  • The US government has added China's oil giant company CNOOC to its blacklist. It has also been de-listed in the S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  • This step is part of the ongoing sanction of the US government over Chinese companies.
  • According to the US government, CNOOC supports Chinese army's aggressive actions against neighbours. CNOOC has also threatened many countries for their exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the South China Sea
  • China has captured some islands of the South China Sea for the exploration of oil and gas.
  • US government has added nine Chinese firms in his blacklist, it also includes some big giant companies like Xiaomi, Comac, etc.
  • The United States has been opposing China's extensive territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • China:
    • It is an East Asian country.
    • It is the most populous country in the world.
    • Xi Jinping is the current President of China.
    • Beijing is the capital and Renminbi is the currency of China.

Topic: National News

9. Republic Day 2021 to be celebrated without a foreign Head of State as the Chief Guest.

  • Republic Day 2021 will be celebrated without a foreign Head of State or Head of Government as the Chief Guest.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was invited as Chief Guest at Republic Day 2021. But, his visit was cancelled due to spreading of new Coronavirus strain in UK.
  • Republic Day parades in 1952, 1953 and 1966 were also held without the presence of any foreign dignitary.
  • Indonesian President Sukarno became first chief guest to attend Republic Day in 1950. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was Chief Guest last year. All ASEAN leaders were present at Republic Day parade in 2018.

Topic: International News

10. UNHRC’s president, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger completed term on December 31 and the post is vacant currently.

  • UNHRC’s president, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger had completed her term on 31 December 2020 and the post is vacant currently.
  • Fiji’s Nazhat Shameem Khan was to become the president of UNHRC. But, Bahrain supported by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia proposed its candidate at last minute.
  • The name of the Bahrain’s candidate is Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri.
  • Fiji joined UNHRC in 2019. Its three year term started on 1 January 2019. US came out of UNHRC in 2018.
  • United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC):
    • It is a body of the United Nations. It has 47 members elected for a three-year term.
    • It was founded on 15 March 2006. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Its presidency rotates by the region. Its bureau consists of one President and four vice-presidents. They represent five regional groups and remain in office for a year.

Topic: Reports/Indices

11. Year 2020 is likely to be one of the three warmest years. 

  • WMO’s provisional report on the State of the Global Climate says that 2020 is likely to be one of the three warmest years.
  • 2016 is the warmest year till now. As per the report, the warmth of 2020 is comparable to that of 2016.
  • As per the report, 2015-2020 may become six warmest years on record and 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.
  • The report says that average global temperature in 2020 exceeded 1850-1900 pre-industrial level by 1.2 C. Average global temperature in 2020 stood at 14.9 C.
  • As per the report, one marine heat wave was experienced in more than 80% of ocean area in 2020.  Highest ocean heat content was observed in 2020.
  • State of the Global Climate report is released by World Meteorological Organization annually. Final version of the report will be released in March 2021. 
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
    • The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 countries.
    • The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded on 23 March 1950.





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