Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 January 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 20:13 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. Cabinet approved an MoU between India and Uzbekistan in the field of Solar Energy.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of solar energy.
  • Under this MoU, the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) of India and the International Solar Energy Institute, Uzbekistan, will identify and implement the pilot projects in the field of solar energy.
  • Both countries will cooperate in various areas, including Solar Photovoltaic, Storage Technologies and Transfer of Technologies.
  • Both countries will also work to implement and deploy solar projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries.
  • National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE): It is an autonomous Institute of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is responsible for research and technology development and related activities in the areas of Solar Energy Technologies in the country. It is located at Gurugram.
  • Uzbekistan:
    • It is a Central Asian nation.
    • Its capital is Tashkent and the currency is Uzbekistani Som.
    • It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
    • Shavkat Mirziyoyev is the current President of Uzbekistan.

Solar Energy MoU

(Source: News on AIR)


Topic: Reports and Indices

2. NITI Aayog released second edition of India Innovation Index 2020.

  • NITI Aayog has released the second edition of the India Innovation Index 2020.
  • In this ranking, states and union territories have been ranked based on two categories- outcome and governance. It uses 36 indicators and 4 composite indicators to rank any state or Union territories.
  • The index will promote competitive federalism among states and Union territories.
  • Major Outcomes of this ranking:
    • In the Major States category, Karnataka is at the top. Maharashtra is in the second position, followed by Tamil Nadu. Bihar is in last place with a score of 14.5
    • Himachal Pradesh is in the top position in the North East and Hill States category.
    • In the Union Territories and small States category, Delhi is in the first position, followed by Chandigarh.

India Innovation Index

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

3. Statehood day of Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya is observed on 21st January.

  • Statehood day of Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya is observed on 21st January and they were granted statehood in 1972.
  • 21st January 2021 is 49th statehood day of Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya. They celebrated the 48th statehood day in 2020.
  • North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971 became effective from January 21, 1972.
  • Before 1972, Manipur and Tripura were Union Territories. Meghalaya was made a sub-state within Assam through 22nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1969.
  • Statehood to other north eastern states:
    • Nagaland was given the status of a state on 1 December 1963. It was made from Naga Hills and Tuensang region of Assam.
    • Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh were given the status of states in 1987. Mizoram was made after Mizoram Peace Accord of 1986. 
    • Sikkim was made a state through 36th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1975. It celebrates its foundation day every year on 16 May. Assam was granted statehood on 26 January 1950.
    • Sixth schedule has provisions for administering tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. 





















statehood day northeastern states

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. MoU signed between Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  • An MoU has been signed between Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The MoU aims to strengthen technical exchange on sustainable geo-hazard management.
  • The MoU between Road Transport and Highways Ministry and DRDO will ensure the safety of road users on National Highways.
  • It will also ensure the safety of road users from adverse effects of landslides and other natural calamities.

Topic: International News

5. First Maritime Security Dialogue between India and EU held virtually on 20 January 2021.

  • First Maritime Security Dialogue between India and EU held virtually on 20 January 2021.
  • EU-India Maritime Dialogue is an attempt to develop mutual understanding between India and EU in the area of maritime security.
  • It is also an attempt to develop cooperation opportunities between them in the area of maritime security.
  • India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 was the outcome of 15th India-European Union Summit held on the 15th July 2020.

First Maritime Security Dialogue between India and EU

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Geography

6. Rs 5,282 crore investment approved for Ratle Hydro Power Project in UT of J&K.

  • Rs 5,282 crore investment has been approved for the Ratle Hydro Power Project in UT of J&K.
  • Ratle Hydro Power Project is located on river Chenab, in Kishtwar in UT of J&K.
  • The investment will be a new Joint Venture Company (JVC) between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC).
  • The time for completion of Ratle Hydro Power Project is 60 months. Pakaldul project was also in the news. It is being built on Chenab’s tributary, Marusadar. Kwar project is proposed on Chenab River.

Ratle Hydro Power Project in UT of J&K

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

7. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wins election for sixth term.

  • Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won the election for the sixth term by defeating Bobi Wine.
  • However, Bobi Wine rejected the election results and requested people to reject them. His real name is Robert Kyagulanyi. 
  • The elections were questioned by local civil society groups and foreign governments.
  • Government had ordered shut off of the internet just one day before the election and banned all social media and messaging apps.
  • Uganda:
    • It is located in East Africa. It is a landlocked country.
    • Its capital is Kampala.
    • Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is its current President.
    • It surrounds Lake Victoria.
    • Bordering countries: Kenya (in East), South Sudan (in North), Congo (in West), Rwanda (in south west), Tanzania (in South)  

Topic: National News

8. NDRF celebrated its 16th Foundation Day.

  • National Disaster Response Force celebrated its 16th foundation day on 20 January 2021.
  • It is celebrated to highlight the determination and achievements of the NDRF personnel.
  • It has played an important role in protecting the loss of life and property during different disasters. Women are also part of this force.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):
    • It was established in the year 2006 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
    • It currently has 12 battalions, with 1149 members in each battalion.
    • It works under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • Its main objective is to provide immediate assistance in natural and man-made disasters.
    • The Motto is “आपदा सेवा सदैव”.
    • SN Pradhan is the current Director-General of NDRF.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. Ports Review Meeting named ‘Chintan Baithak’ will be held in Gujarat.

  • Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is conducting a three-day Ports Review Meeting ‘Chintan Baithak’ from 21 to 23 January 2021 at Dhordo, Gujarat.
  • The meeting will include sessions on various issues such as exploring new opportunities for urban transportation, issues related to International Arbitrations, implementation of SAROD-Ports, development of satellite ports, Seaplane services, etc.
  • The main objective of this meeting is to improve the performance and efficiency of the ports of India through extraordinary ideas. The government is also committed to the development of world-class infrastructure facilities at ports for reducing logistics costs, increasing connectivity and for trade facilitation.
  • The ideas that emerged out of the meeting will be included in the Maritime Vision 2030.
  • Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways:
    • It was formed on 17 November 2000.
    • Recently, the Ministry of Shipping has been renamed as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
    • Mansukh Mandaviya is the current Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.

Ports Review Meeting

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Karnataka

10. Karnataka Chief Minister launched Avalokana software.

  • Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa launched Avolokana software to track government expenditures on 1,800 programmes.
  • The software will give constituency-wise detail about the Government grant and allocation on different development programmes.
  • The software will mainly track the expenditures on schemes related to Sustainable Development, Scheduled Caste, Tribal, etc.
  • It will bring transparency to the governance of the state. It will help the state government in release of funds based on the expenditure details provided by the software.
  • Chief Minister has also launched the statistics on Development programmes for the year 2019-20.
  • Karnataka:
    • It is the largest state in South India. Its capital is Bengaluru.
    • It shares its border with Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
    • Chief Minister of Karnataka: B S Yediyurappa
    • Governor of Karnataka: Vajubhai Vala

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

11. Howrah-Kalka Mail has been renamed as “Netaji Express”.

  • India’s one of the oldest trains- 12311/12312 Howrah-Kalka Mail -has been renamed “Netaji Express”.
  • Indian Railways has taken this decision after the announcement of celebrating the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as ‘Parakram Diwas’.
  • Piyush Goyal is the current Railway Minister of India.

Facts related to Indian Railways

  • Indian Railways network is the fourth largest in the world by size.
  • Gorakhpur Junction is the world’s longest platform.
  • The first electric train in India was started between Bombay Victoria Terminal and Kurla Harbour in 1925.
  • India’s first bullet train will run between Mumbai to Ahmedabad.
  • Bori Bunder is the first railway station in India.
  • Vande Bharat is the fastest train in India.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the largest railway network in India.
  • India’s longest train route is between Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari.
  • Indian Railways will become the world’s first green railway to run on 100% clean energy by 2030.

Topic: National News

12. India’s first Labour movement museum will be set up in Kerala.

  • India’s first Labour movement museum will be established in Alappuzha, Kerala.
  • It will showcase the history of Labour movements across the world. It will display a huge repository of documents, pictures and exhibits related to Labour movements of the world and particularly of Kerala.
  • Alappuzha is the origin place of the Labour movements of India. Alappuzha’s workers engaged in production and shipping of coir were the first to demand better wages in India.
  • The museum will be launched as part of the LDF government’s second 100-day program.
  • The estimated cost of this museum is ₹9.95 crores and it will be established in the New Model Cooperative Society building.
  • Kerala:
    • It was formed on 1 November 1956.
    • It is known as the Spice Garden of India.
    • It state shares its border with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
    • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
    • Chief Minister is Pinarayi Vijayan and the Governor is Arif Mohammad Khan.





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