• Current Affair,11 JANUARY 2020

    • January 11, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. Mumbai Police arrests fugitive gangster Ejaz Lakdawala


    • Mumbai Police has arrested fugitive gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, an accused in 25 cases of extortion, attempt to kill and rioting. Addressing a press conference today, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve said Lakdawala was arrested in Patna and brought to Mumbai yesterday.
    • Mumbai Police’s anti extortion cell produced Lakdawala before a local court in Mumbai today, which has remanded him to police custody till 21st January.
    • A few days back, his daughter Sonia Lakdawala was also arrested while trying to flee the country. According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Santosh Rastogi, a lot of information about Lakdawala’s dealings and current location was obtained from the investigation of Sonia Lakdawala.
    • Earlier a Dawood gang member, Lakdawala aligned with Chhota Rajan when the latter created his own gang. Lakdawala, however left the Chhota Rajan gang in 2008 to operate on his own from outside the country.
    • In May 2004, he was arrested by the Canadian Police in Ottawa. A few years back, Lakdawala was believed to be somewhere in North America, although he frequently travelled to other countries like Malaysia, Nepal, Cambodia and United Kingdom. A Red Corner notice had earlier been issued against him.


    1. JNU sets up five member panel to probe violence inside campus

    • Jawaharlal Nehru University has set up a five member panel to probe the recent violent incident in the campus.
    • The committee headed by Prof Sushant Mishra will probe security lapses, if any, and recommend steps for students’ safety. It will submit its report at the earliest.


    1. Would like situation in Gulf region to de-escalate as soon as possible: MEA
    • India today said that it is closely monitoring the situation in the wake of US -Iran hostilities.
    • Ministry of External Affairs Spokesman Raveesh Kumar told media in New Delhi that India would like situation in Gulf region to de-escalate as soon as possible and is  talking to important players over the issue.
    • He said, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to Foreign Ministers of Iran, UAE, Jordan and Oman in this regard. He said, New Delhi has conveyed to all the stakeholders the importance India attaches to peace in the region.
    • On evacuating the Indian diaspora from the troubled areas, the Spokesman said, if necessary, it will be done. On the Chabahar Project, he said, the USA has in the past shown understanding of the importance of the project. He said, the project is important for connectivity and providing assistant to Afghanistan.


    1. Over 1000 Fast Track Special Courts to be set up for speedy disposal of rape, POCSO cases

    • Over 1000  Fast Track Special Courts will be set up across the country for speedy disposal of cases relating to rape and  Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.


    • Out of these, 389 courts have been proposed to be set up exclusively for POCSO Act related cases in districts where the pendency of such cases is more than 100. The Law Ministry has said, these courts will be set-up as a part of the National Mission for Safety of Women. It said, the scheme was circulated to the concerned State Governments and Union Territory Administrations in September last year.


    • The Ministry said, 24 States and Union Territories have joined this scheme for setting up 792 Fast Track Special Courts. These include 354 exclusive courts for trial of POCSO offences. The Ministry said, 216 POCSO courts are already functional in 12 States.


    • Incidents of rape and gang rape of minor girls below twelve years and similar heinous crimes against women have shaken the country. These offences require effective deterrence through time- bound trial.


    • For this purpose, the Centre has enacted the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018.


    1. CSIR partners to launch the Nature India Essay Competition 2020
    • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Nature India launched the Nature India essay competition 2020 today to provide young and experienced scientists, researchers and authors in India, a platform to share ideas on how societally-impactful science can advance and strengthen the country.
    • The Nature India essay competition is open for readers aged 25 to 50. The essayists will have an opportunity to draft a compelling narrative with personal anecdotes, emotion and a science-backed story that may become potentially historic in helping shape the roadmap for India’s scientific future. The essays should convey thoughts on the societal impact of science in India in not more than 1000 words. The tone of the essays must be aspirational, with emotions and story-telling. The essays should be reasoned, well-researched, forward-looking and supported by existing science.
    • On the launch of the essay competition, Director General, CSIR, Dr Shekhar C Mande remarked that the fruits of science must benefit the society and that Nature India essay competition would give an opportunity to Indian scientists to share their perspective and aspirations on this crucial aspect of S&T.
    • The submitted essays will be judged by a panel of editors, scientists and science communicators. The deadline for completed essays is midnight, India time, on March 9, 2020. The winners will have their essays published in the Nature India annual volume as well as the Nature India blog Indigenus. The top three essays will win a cash prize (Rs 40,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 or equivalent), a three-year subscription to Nature, trophies and certificates.


    1. The City of Destiny Gearing Up to Host MILAN 2020

      • After successfully hosting the International Fleet Review (IFR) in Feb 2016, the City of Destiny Visakhapatnam is gearing up to host another International Naval event ‘MILAN’ in March 2020.   With about two months to the mega event, the preparations were reviewed at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) by Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Chief of Staff ENC on 07 January 2020.  The review meeting saw an overwhelming and positive response from the civil administrators and stakeholder organisations, with participation by Dr G. Srijana Commissioner GVMC, Shri Rajiv Kumar Meena, City Police Commissioner, Shri A Srinivas Secretary VMRDA, Shri RN Hari Krishna, Chief Mechanical Engineer VPT, representatives from HSL, HPCL, IOCL, EPCL, Coromandel Fertilizers Ltd and Senior Police Officers from Special Branch, Law & Order, and Traffic.
    • A detailed presentation to apprise the attendees of the planned activities of MILAN was conducted. Vice Admiral SN Ghormade has solicited wholehearted support and cooperation from the City Administration, Civic Bodies, Police Department and PSUs in co-hosting the multinational Naval event as was done during IFR in 2016. The review meeting was followed by site visits to various venues by the Nodal officers from the Navy and the attendees representing stakeholder organisations towards drawing out time bound action plans.
    • MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise aimed to enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
    • The Exercise with the theme ‘Synergy Across the Seas’ would provide an excellent opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interest. Of the 41 navies invited, confirmations from over 30 navies have been received towards their participation in MILAN 2020.


    1. PM’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha-2020’ programme to be held on Jan 20
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction Programme with school students, Pariksha Pe Charcha-2020 will be held in New Delhi on 20th this month. In thisprogramme, the Prime Minister will interact with the cross section of Students and Teachers from India and abroad to beat exam stress.
    • Around two thousand students, parents and teachers will be participating in it. A lot of excitement and enthusiasm is being seen among the students, teachers and parents to not only participate in the unique event but also to receive valuable tips from the Prime Minister.
    • Last month, Human Resource Development Ministry launched a short essay competition for students of Class 9 to 12 for the third edition of this event. Selected winners of this competition will get  a chance to attend Pariksha Pe Charcha and interact with Mr Modi.
    • The first edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha was held on 16th February, 2018 and second on 29th of January last year.


    1. Several parts of North India in grip of cold wave
    • Several parts of North India are in grip of cold wave. In Uttarakhand, continuous snowfall in hills and rain in some other parts have thrown life out of gear. Power and water supply have been disrupted in many areas due to heavy snow. Road connectivity has also been affected in hilly areas of the state. Met department has predicted more rain and snowfall in Kumaun region of the state.
    • Snowfall is likely to occur at places with an altitude of 2200 metres and above. AIR correspondent reports that due to snowfall and continuous rains during the last three days, power and water supply has been disrupted in many areas of Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pitthoragarh district. Road connectivity has also been affected in hilly areas of the state.
    • District administration has been engaged to clear the roads and restoration of Electric and Water supply across the hilly areas. Meanwhile, tourists are enjoying the snowfall in Nainital and Mussoorie and other tourist destinations in the state. Met department predicts that very light to light rain and snowfall likely to occur at isolated places in Kumaun region of the state and dry weather likely to prevail over rest of the state. Snowfall likely to occur at places with height 2200 m  and above.
    • Cold wave conditions further intensified in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, with the minimum temperature dropping a few degrees below normal. Several parts of Punjab and Haryana have been lashed by rains in the past three days. Amritsar was the coldest place in Punjab with a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, one notch below normal.
    • In Haryana, Hisar was the coldest place with a minimum of 3.2 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 6.7 degrees Celsius.  A thick blanket of fog also enveloped Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Adampur, Halwara, Bathinda, Hisar, Karnal, Rohtak and Sirsa.
    • A day after snowfall, several parts of Himachal Pradesh including its capital Shimla woke up to a sunny morning today. However, most of the middle and high hills of the state including Shimla, Kufri, Manali, Dalhousie and Kalpa shivered at below freezing point. The state will experience mostly dry weather during the next two days.
    • Meanwhile, the work to clear snow from roads is on. 879 roads in the state are blocked after widespread snowfall yesterday. Shimla police has issued an advisory to the public to remain cautious while driving and even moving on foot as roads might be slippery even after clearing of snow.
    • Power and water supply has been adversely affected in parts of the state due to heavy snowfall. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed deputy commissioners of various districts to restore essential services in the state at the earliest. Met office has forecast heavy rain, snowfall in middle and high hills of the state from January 11 to 14 and issued orange warning for Sunday.
    • Moreover the icy cold winds sweeping the national capital, Delhi brought down minimum temperature this morning. Met Department has forecast further dip in temperature over the weekend due to icy winds coming from the hills.
    • Gujarat is experiencing fresh spell of cold wave conditions after mercury nosedived during the last 24 hours. Amid heavy snowfall and rain in North India, many parts of Saurashtra and North Gujarat are experiencing the cold wave conditions again. Naliya in Kutch district recorded the lowest temperature in the state at 3.3 degree Celsius last night. Nearly 8 places including Ahmedabad across the state recorded the lowest temperature below 10 degree Celsius.
    • AIR correspondent reports that Naliya and state capital Gandhinagar remained the two coldest places, where the minimum temperature was dropped by more than 7 degree Celsius in last 24 hours.


    • According to official data received from local weather office, minimum temperature in Gandhinagar remained 7.5 degree Celsius, while Bhuj recorded 8.3 degree Celsius. Deesa, Kandla, Keshod, Rajkot and Ahmedabad also recorded lowest temperature below 10 degree Celsius during the last 24 hours.


    1. Budget to be presented on Feb 1; Economic Survey on Jan 31

    • Union Budget will be presented on 1st of next month and the Economic Survey on 31st January. The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on 31st of this month.
    • Official sources said, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs met yesterday in New Delhi and recommended that Budget session to be convened in two phases.
    • The first phase of Budget Session will be from 31st January to 11th February while the second part of the session is expected to be from 2nd March to 3rd April.


    1. Govt approves over Rs 5000 cr project for natural gas supplies in Northeast
    • The Government has approved the Viability Gap Funding, VGF of 5 thousand, 559 crore rupees to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited  to build Natural Gas Pipeline Grid covering 8 North Eastern states.
    • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA approved the capital grant in New Delhi yesterday. This is second such funding by the government for gas pipeline project.
    • The total cost of the grid is 9 thousand 256 crore rupees and sanctioned VGF amount will cover 60 per cent cost of the project. The 1,656-km pipeline will connect Guwahati in Assam to major cities in the region such as Itanagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawl and Agartala.
    • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, the project is critical towards implementing the government’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the North-East. He said, the Gas Pipeline Grid would be developed in all the eight states of North-Eastern region.
    • The Capital Grant will provide natural gas supplies to various types of consumers and would help in substituting the liquid fuels. The government said that the pipeline grid would ensure reliability and uninterrupted natural gas supplies to the consumers which otherwise gets severely affected due to various reasons in this part of the country.
    • The CCEA also gave in principle approval to sell equity held by four Central Public Sector Enterprises and two state PSUs in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited-NINL.
    • It approved strategic disinvestment of 49.78 per cent equity shareholding of Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation MMTC Limited and 10.10 per cent of National Mineral Development Corporation. The CCEA, gave approval for strategic disinvestment of point 68 per cent of MECON and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited each.




    1. In a letter to UNSC, Iran says it respects Iraq’s territorial integrity
    • After firing missiles at Iraqi bases housing US troops, Iran has said it respects Iraq’s territorial integrity.
    • In a letter to the United Nations Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said his country has full respect for the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
    • The diplomat said in a letter released by the Iranian mission that the operation was precise and targeted military objectives thus leaving no collateral damage to civilians and civilian assets in the area.
    • The ambassador said, Iran recalls its dedication to the maintenance of international peace and security and stresses that it does not seek escalation or war.


    1. Sri Lankan FM Dinesh Gunawardena meets EAM S Jaishankar
    • Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena today met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi. Mr Gunawardena is on a three-day visit to India.
    • AIR correspondent reports that this is the first visit of Dinesh Gunawardena to India since he took over the charge of Foreign Minister after formation of new government in Sri Lanka.
    • Cooperation in economic projects, investment by Indian companies, issue of fishermen and stability in the Indian Ocean region are among the main issues expected to be discussed between the two countries during the visit.
    • Sri Lankan Foreign Minister will also meet Skill Development Minister Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey and Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar this afternoon. He is also scheduled to visit Mahabodhi temple in Gaya tomorrow.



    1. Kabaddi and gymnastics begin in third Khelo India youth games
    • The Kabaddi and gymnastics began today in the third Khelo India youth games in Guwahati. The opening ceremony of the event will be held tomorrow evening at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati.
    • CEO of the games Avinash Joshi said that all preparations have been made for the games. He said that nearly 6500 athletes will take part in 20 disciplines. Mr Joshi said that the technical conduct of the games would be of the international standard.


    • Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal urged all to make the event a grand success. Mr Sonowal requested the teachers and parents to encourage their children to come and enjoy the games.


    • AIR correspondent reports that that last two Khelo India Games proved a melting pot for young talent. The established names excelled expectedly but these games also brought to the forefront a bunch of talented kids.


    • The superiority of Youth Olympic gold medallist weightlifter Jeremy , CWG silver medalist shooter Mehuli Ghosh and swimmer Srihari Nataraj was beyond doubt but there were a few like Bavleen Kaur and Deepak Singh, for whom the Games was a big window of opportunity.


    • Jammu and Kashmir gymnast Bavleen was star performer for her team, taking home three gold and two silver medals. In the ever-growing list of shooting talent, one more name was added– 10-year-old Abhishek Shaw.Named after Beijing Olympics champion Abhinav Bindra, he became the youngest medallist of the Games, teaming up with new shooting sensation Mehuli in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.


    • Khelo India introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level and it is expected that Khelo India 2020 would also provide a platform for young talent.


    1. P V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal storm into quarterfinals of Malaysia Masters badminton tournament

    • In Badminton, reigning world champion P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal produced dominating performances to progress to the women’s singles quarterfinals of the Malaysia Masters Super 500 badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur today.
    • Sixth seed Sindhu notched up a commanding 21-10, 21-15 victory over Japan’s Aya Ohori in a pre-quarterfinal match lasting just 34 minutes. It was Sindhu’s ninth successive win over Ohori.


    • The 24-year-old Indian, who won the World Championships in Basel last year, will take on world number 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals after the Chinese Taipei shuttler got the better of South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun 21-18, 16-21, 21-10.


    • Saina, who had won the Indonesia Masters last year before going through a rough patch, dispatched eighth seed An Se Young of South Korea 25-23, 21-12 after a thrilling 39-minute contest to make to the last eight.


    • This is Saina’s first win over the South Korean, who got the better of the Indian in the quarterfinals of the French Open last year. The two-time Commonwealth Games champion will next take on Olympic champion Carolina Marin. Saina had defeated Lianne Tan of Belgium 21-15, 21-17 in the opening round yesterday.


    • In the men’s singles, India’s challenge ended after both Sameer Verma and H S Prannoy crashed out in the second round.

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