- 1. India will chair three key committees of UNSC.
- 2. NIXI will provide free domain name booking service in Indian Languages.
- 3. Government’s Digital Calendar and Diary App launched by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
- 4. IREDA and NHPC signed an MoU for renewable energy projects.
- 5. Centre announced merger of J&K All India service cadre officers with AGMUT.
- 6. China chaired third multilateral meet with South Asian partners.
- 7. Sudhanshu Dhulia is appointed as Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court.
- 8. PNB, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) and IIT, Kanpur to jointly establish Fintech Innovation Centre (FIC).
- 9. Rise in world food price index continues for seventh consecutive month in December.
- 10. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) releases photos of new missile base on coast of Persian Gulf.
Topic: International News
1. India will chair three key committees of UNSC.
- India will be chairing three important committees of the United Nations Security Council.
- The three committees are:
- Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022: It was formed in 2001 after the 9/11 attack in New York. India had chaired this committee in 2011-12. It helps members state to prevent any terrorist activities within their borders or outside the boundary.
- Taliban Sanctions Committee: It is also known as the 1988 Sanctions Committee. It is significant for India because terrorists are derailing the peace process in Afghanistan.
- Libya Sanctions committee: It is also called the 1970 Sanctions Committee. It is responsible for sanctions against Libya. It ensures a ban on the sale of weapons and freezes funds related to terrorism.
- Recently, India has become a non-permanent member of UNSC for the eighth time. Norway, Kenya, Ireland and Mexico have also joined UNSC as non-permanent members.
- 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.
Topic: Space and IT
2. NIXI will provide free domain name booking service in Indian Languages.
- The National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi) will offer the free domain name booking service in 22 official Indian languages. It will also provide free email in the local language.
- The objective of this initiative is to promote the adoption of the domain name in Indian languages.
- This offer will be for the applicant who registers the domain name till 31st January. It will also be available for existing users who renew their domain names in the month of January 2021.
- National Internet Exchange of India:
- It was established in 2003.
- It is a non-profit company providing internet services in the country.
- It manages Internet Exchanges, IDN domain, and Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
3. Government’s Digital Calendar and Diary App launched by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
- Government’s Digital Calendar and Diary App have been launched by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
- While launching Digital Calendar and Diary App, the Minister said that there are now 120 crores mobile phones in India.
- He also said that 70 crore people are using mobile phones. The digital calendar is currently available in Hindi and English.
- It will be made available in 11 other Indian regional languages from 15th January onwards. The calendar will have information about 100 programmes of the government.
- Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has developed and designed GOI Calender and the Diary App.
(Source: News on AIR)
4. IREDA and NHPC signed an MoU for renewable energy projects.
- IREDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NHPC for providing technical expertise in developing renewable energy projects.
- IREDA will help NHPC in developing the action plan for renewable energy for the next five years. It will also assist in the technical-financial aspect of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation projects of NHPC.
- The MoU will help both organizations in sharing technical knowledge and transfer of technology.
- Earlier, IREDA has signed a MoU with SJVN Ltd for Green Energy Projects.
- The synergy between both organizations will help India in achieving the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022.
- It is a Mini Ratna Company under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
- It provides financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity through new and renewable sources.
- NHPC Limited is a Mini Ratna Public Sector Enterprise incorporated in 1975 and headquartered in Faridabad, Haryana. It works under the Ministry of Power.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
5. Centre announced merger of J&K All India service cadre officers with AGMUT.
- Union government has announced the merger of Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS, IPS, and IFS officers with Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre officers.
- It will allow AGMUT cadre officers to work in Jammu and Kashmir. AGMUT cadre is also known as the Union Territory cadre.
- The Government has promulgated an ordinance to amend the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 for the merger of the cadre.
- It will help in resolving the issue of the lack of All India Services Officers in Jammu and Kashmir.
- On 31 October 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. It had been done through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
- All India Services: It consists of three civil services of India, which are the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Forest Service, and the Indian Police Service.
- Jammu & Kashmir:
- Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is located to the north of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the west of Ladakh.
- It has 20 districts.
- Its capital is Srinagar.
- Lieutenant Governor: Manoj Sinha
Topic: International News
6. China chaired third multilateral meet with South Asian partners.
- China has organised its third multilateral meet with South Asian partners for cooperation on the COVID-19 pandemic and economic agendas.
- This meeting has been attended by Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
- In this meet, various issues such as the impact of the pandemic, economic and trade cooperation, sustainable development were discussed.
- In earlier meets, the countries had discussed the role of China’s Belt and Road Initiatives in the economic recovery after the COVID-19 period.
- They had also discussed the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan and the establishment of an economic corridor in Nepal.
- South Asian countries comprise Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives.
- China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a massive bilateral project for infrastructure development within Pakistan. It is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and was officially launched in 2015.
7. Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court.
- Sudhanshu Dhulia has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court.
- He has been appointed by the President under Article 217.
- He had become permanent Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court on 1 November 2008.
- High Court:
- It is the principal civil court for state and union territory.
- There are 25 High Courts in India.
- The Calcutta High Court is the oldest in India.
- The High Court of Andhra Pradesh is the newest High court in India.
Topic: Banking System/Finance
8. PNB, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) and IIT, Kanpur to jointly establish Fintech Innovation Centre (FIC).
- PNB, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) and IIT, Kanpur will jointly establish Fintech Innovation Centre (FIC).
- MoU for the establishment of Punjab National Bank – IIT Kanpur Innovation Centre at IIT Kanpur has been signed.
- Fintech Innovation Centre will research and develop technological solutions to explore opportunities in the Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space.
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) is the second largest Public Sector Bank of India. It was established in 1894. Its CEO is S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao.
Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings
9. Rise in world food price index continues for seventh consecutive month in December.
- Rise in the world food price index has continued for the seventh consecutive month in December.
- In December 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index stood at 107.5 points. In November, it stood at 105.2.
- The average of food price index for the whole of 2020 was 97.9 points. It increased by 3.1% from 2019.
- FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased 4.7% in December. It reached the highest level since September 2012.
- FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was 19.1% higher in 2020 in comparison with the year 2019.
- FAO Cereal Price Index and FAO Dairy Price Index increased 1.1% and 3.2% from November. It was 6.6% higher in comparison with 2019.
- FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) includes five commodity group price indices. They are FAO Cereal Price Index, FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, FAO Dairy Price Index, FAO Meat Price Index and FAO Sugar Price Index.
- FFPI was introduced in 1996. It measures the monthly change in prices of certain commodities. Its base period is 2014-16.
Topic: International News
10. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) releases photos of new missile base on coast of Persian Gulf.
- Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has released photos of a new missile base on the Persian Gulf coast.
- New missile base is located somewhere in the Iranian province of Hormozgan. Earlier, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has seized a South Korean tanker, the Hankuk Chemi and its crew in the Strait of Hormuz.
- Iran-US tensions have increased since 2018. In 2018, US had come out of 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
- In January 2020, Iran’s top Military Commander, Qassim Soleimani was killed in US drone strike.
- Strait of Hormuz is located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Iran is located on its North coast. United Arab Emirates is located on the south coast of Strait of Hormuz.
- Iran is located in Western Asia. Its capital and largest city is Tehran. Its President is Hassan Rouhani.