- 1. Australia changed one word in its national anthem to honour Indigenous people.
- 2. Suneet Sharma appointed as new chairman & CEO of Railway Board.
- 3. PM laid the foundation stone of IIM Sambalpur in Odisha.
- 4. India started its two-year tenure as a Non-Permanent Member of UNSC.
- 5. WHO cleared emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- 6. India and ADB sign a loan agreement to expand horticulture in Himachal Pradesh.
- 7. ADB will provide aid of USD 231 million to increase electricity generation capacity in Assam.
- 8. DRDO celebrated its Foundation Day.
- 9. IFSCA has become a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Topic: International News
1. Australia changed one word in its national anthem to honour Indigenous people.
Australia has change one word in its national anthem to show the spirit of unity and to honour the indigenous people.
- In the second line of the anthem, “For we are young and free” has been changed into “For we are one and free.”
- “Advance Australia Fair” is the national anthem of Australia.
- Advance Australia Fair was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick. It was adopted as the national anthem in 1984. It was first performed in 1878.
- The new changes in the anthem will be effective from January 1, 2021.
- It is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and other smaller islands.
- It shares maritime borders with East Timor, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of New Caledonia.
- Scott John Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia.
- Currency: Australian dollar
- It is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of area.
2. Suneet Sharma appointed as new chairman & CEO of Railway Board.
- Suneet Sharma has taken the charge as New Chairman & CEO of the Railway Board.
- He has replaced Vinod Kumar Yadav.
- He had served on various positions such as Chief Mechanical Engineer, Chief Workshop Manager, General Manager, etc. in Indian railways.
- He is known for reforms such as increasing the speed of goods train, electrification in railways, and completion of various projects.
- His appointment has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
- Appointment Committee on Cabinet:
- It is the committee that finalizes the appointment to some senior positions like chairman and member of Railway Board, Chiefs of three military services, RBI governor, etc.
- The committee is chaired by Prime Minister.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
3. PM laid the foundation stone of IIM Sambalpur in Odisha.
- Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone of the permanent campus of IIM Sambalpur in Odisha.
- IIM Sambalpur is the first IIM that introduced flipped classrooms. In these classrooms, the basic concepts are learned in digital mode and experiential learning takes place in the class through live projects from the industry.
- This proposed campus will have some unique features such as GRIHA standard infrastructure, green campus, etc.
- IIM Sambalpur has the highest percentage of girl students.
- Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs):
- The establishment of IIM was started by Jawaharlal Nehru on the recommendation of the Planning Commission of India.
- These are the premier institutes for management education and research in India.
- IIMs were declared institutions of national importance in 2017 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Ministry of Education).
- At present, there are a total of 20 IIMs in the country.
Topic: International News
4. India started its two-year tenure as a Non-Permanent Member of UNSC.
- India has started its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
- India has become a non-permanent member of UNSC for the eighth time.
- The other countries that have become non-permanent members in 2021 are Norway, Kenya, Ireland, and Mexico.
- India will also be the President of UNSC in August 2021.
- United Nations Security Council:
- It is one of the six major organs of the United Nations, responsible for ensuring international peace and security.
- There are 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members in this council.
- It is headquartered in New York, United States.
- It was established on 24 October 1945.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
5. WHO cleared emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- World Health Organization has cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.
- It will help poorer countries in getting the COVID-19 vaccine soon.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has already got approval from the United States, Britain, and the European Union.
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures, which will be a big challenge for the poorer nations.
- Pfizer and BioNTech have claimed that their vaccine candidate is 95% effective in preventing the coronavirus.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate is a single nucleoside-modified messenger RNA, which provides instruction to the human cells to activate the immune response against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
- World Health Organization (WHO):
- It was established on 7 April 1948.
- It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Its current President is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
6. India and ADB sign a loan agreement to expand horticulture in Himachal Pradesh.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $10 project readiness financing (PRF) for the expansion of horticulture production in Himachal Pradesh.
- This loan agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Finance, Department of Horticulture, Himachal Pradesh and Asian Development Bank.
- The project readiness financing aims to support horticulture cultivation, new production technologies, and market system in Himachal Pradesh.
- The project will also help in projects related to irrigation, fencing of horticulture farms and storage infrastructure.
- Asian Development Bank (ADB):
- It is a regional development bank.
- It was established on 19 December 1966.
- Its headquarters are located in Mandaluyong, Philippines.
- Its President is Masatsugu Asakawa.
7. ADB will provide aid of USD 231 million to increase electricity generation capacity in Assam.
- Asian Development Bank will provide a loan of USD 231 million to the government of India to augment the electricity generation capacity in Assam.
- It will help in the construction of a 120 Mega Watts hydroelectric power plant in Assam, which will enhance the availability of electricity.
- The proposed hydroelectric power plant will be on the Kopli River, which will increase the share of clean energy in electricity production.
- This is the third tranche loan given by the Asian development bank to the Assam Power Sector Investment Program.
- The loan will be used for capacity building, construction, operations, and maintenance projects by the Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGCL).
8. DRDO celebrated its Foundation Day.
- DRDO celebrated its 63rd foundation day on 1 January 2021.
- The main focus of DRDO for this year will be to increase the Export of Products. Recently, DRDO has got the clearance for the export of the Akash Missile System.
- In 2020, DRDO achieved many milestones such as demonstration of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV), development of Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM), the launch of MRSAM, etc.
- DRDO has also established three dedicated COVID hospitals in Delhi, Patna and Muzaffarpur in record time.
- DRDO conducted a competition, “Dare to Dream,” for Startups in view to support innovation in the country.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
- It was established in 1958.
- It is involved in developing critical defense technologies and products to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
- It works under the Ministry of Defence.
- It has a network of 52 laboratories in the country.
- Chairman: G. Sateesh Reddy
- Headquarters: New Delhi
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Indian Economy
9. IFSCA has become a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
- International Financial Services Centres Authority has become an Associate Member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
- International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is an international body for setting up the standards for strengthening the securities markets.
- The membership of IOSCO will provide a platform to IFSCA for the exchange of information at the global level and regional levels.
- It will also provide an opportunity to learn the best practices from the other securities regulators of the world.
- International Financial Services Centres Authority:
- It was established to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs).
- It is headquartered at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
- India’s first International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) was established at the Gujarat International Financial Tec (GIFT) City, Ahmedabad.
- IFSC caters the customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy.