• Current Affairs, 20th January 2020

    • January 25, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    • PM to interact with students, teachers and parents at “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020”


    • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will interact with a cross section of  Students, Teachers and Parents at “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020” on 20th January, 2020. The Third edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school students “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020” is proposed to be held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi at 11 AM  on 20th January, 2020. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will answer the questions and interact with selected students about how they can beat examination stress.
    • 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 who is keen to ensure that the students take exams in a relaxed atmosphere and do not come under stress,  to ensure better results in the long run.
    • The First edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school and college students “ParikshaPeCharcha 1.0” was held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 16th February, 2018. The second edition of the said Interaction Programme with school and college students “ParikshaPeCharcha 2.0” was also held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 29th January, 2019.
    • In January last year, during the second edition of ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’, the Prime Minister asked students to not waste time and improve their time management as time is a very valuable asset.




    • Promotion & protection of ancient Indian Languages is need of the hour – Vice President



    • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that promotion and protection of ancient Indian languages is the need of the hour as they offer a window to our ancient civilisational values, knowledge and wisdom. He also called for a national movement for promotion of each and every mother tongue.
    • The Vice President made these remarks while visiting the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) and International Institute of Tamil Studies (IITS), in Chennai today.
    • Shri Naidu praised the efforts put by the Center in translation of Thirukkural into all Indian languages and also in some foreign languages. He further called for translation of ancient and popular Tamil texts into Indian and foreign languages for the wider benefit of humanity.
    • He appreciated the good work done by both institutes in documenting and preserving objects that are related to or reflect the antiquity of the Tamils.
    • “Your contributions are significant because there is no such institution anywhere in the world that is fully committed for carrying out researches on the ancient Tamil society”, he said to the staff and officials of the CICT and IITS.
    • The Vice President expressed the need toHarness the power of technology to preserve & promote the rich heritage of Indian languages. “We must have many more technological tools for communication in local languages to serve the needs of all our people speaking different languages”, Shri Naidu stressed.
    • VP called for according a sense of dignity & a sense of pride to those who speak, write and communicate in Indian languages.He also urged people to use their mother tongue at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration.
    • Emphasizing that language preservation and development needed multi-pronged approach, Shri Naidu said it should begin at the primary school level and called for providing basic schooling in child’s mother tongue.
    • Saying that language was a vehicle of intergenerational transmission of culture, scientific knowledge and a worldview, the Vice President said that language evolves with human evolution and gets nourished by constant use.
    • The Vice President called for measures to encourage scholars to do research using the primary sources and unearth new nuggets of knowledge. ‘We must keep on adding to the knowledge and illuminate our present and future,’ he said.
    • Role of institutions such as Central Institute of Classical Tamil is very important in this. The institution and the researchers associated with the institution are doing a great service to the nation by preserving, protecting and promoting the beautiful language Tamil, he said.
    • The Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) is an autonomous Institute of higher research functioning under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.It has been focusing exclusively on the researches relating to the classical phase of the Tamil language, i.e., from the early period to the 600 A.D.
    • The Vice President said that endeavours like these, will help in understanding the best of all cultures, societies and languages and brings people closer to one another.
    • During his visit to the International Institute of Tamil Studies, the Vice President went around the cultural centre with the permanent exhibition set up to recreate the history of Tamils unravelled by decades of research.
    • The exhibits are arranged in five galleries – the “Tholkappiar Arangam” displaying art forms, the “Thiruvalluvar Arangam” with exhibits of metalcraft/agriculture, education, medicine and weapons, the “Kapilar Arangam” with a collection of home tools/grinders and exhibits on temples and gods, the “Avvaiyar Arangam” with lifelike depictions of well-known events in the life of ancient kings and the “Ilango Adigal gallery” with exhibits on shipbuilding and sail-weaving.
    • The Vice President was very impressed by the full scale-models of the cities of Madurai and Srirangam highlighting the meticulous city-planning and temple-building artistry found in these cities.
    • “I recommend a visit to this unique institution to better understand the history of Tamils. I am sure every visitor will come with a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment”, Shri Naidu said.


    • Nationwide programme to administer polio drops to children organized on National Immunization Day

    • The National immunization day was observed today. With an aim to maintain the ‘NO POLIO’ status, a nationwide programme to administer polio drops to children below 5 years was organized throughout the country.
    • President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio Programme for this year by administering Polio drops to children below the age of five at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday.
    • Puducherry chief minister Narayanasamy launched the  Intensified Pulse Polio Immunization (IPPI) programme in the union territory today. Around 82,000 children were administered polio drops through 452 centres throughout the union territory. Health department sources said, this immunization programme would be held for the next two days to cover all the left out children by door to door visit.
    • National draft policy on Rare Disease



    • the govt has released the National draft policy on Rare Diseasein which financial support of  15 lakh will be provided under the Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi scheme for one-time treatment of rare diseases.
    • Beneficiaries:The scheme benefit is limited to people below Poverty Line (BPL) and also 40% of the population eligible as per Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) norms for treatment in government tertiary hospitals only.
    • Centers of Excellence Institutes: Certain medical institutes will also be notified by the Union Ministry of Health (MoH) as Centers of Excellence for Rare Diseases. These institutes include
    • All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS)- New Delhi; Maulana Azad Medical College(MAMC), New Delhi; Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences(SGPGIMS), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh; Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research(PGIMER), Chandigarh and 4 more institutes.
    • Cost of treatment:The patients cost of treatment will be met out by these Centers of Excellence by donations received through the online digital platform. For this, govt will set up the platform for voluntary individual and corporate donors to contribute to the treatment cost.
    • Suggestions on the policy:The health ministry has put up about the draft policy in its site and is also open to suggestions by February 10, 2020.
    • National Registry for Rare Diseases: Govt plans to set up National Registry for Rare Diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to create a databaseof various rare diseases.  This has been decided keeping in view lack of availability of data on rare diseases, resource constraints etc. Recently on January 16, 2020 the Delhi High Court(HC) has issued notice to Health ministry to release pending payment of upto Rs 80 lakh to AIIMS accrued over 13 months for rare disease treatment for the patients.
    • Group 1 diseases: They are categorised under group 1 and will be funded under the scheme. The disease includes Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs), immune deficiency disorders, chronic granulomatous disease, osteopetrosis, Fabry’s disease and liver or kidney transplant.
    • Diseases having Constraints under the scheme:Resource constraints were cited in the policy to certain diseases like Gaucher’s disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Hurler Syndrome and Wolman disease as they require lifelong treatment.
    • Most commonly reported diseases:  These include Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle-cell Anaemia and Primary Immuno Deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases, Lysosomal storage disorders etc
    • Current cost of rase disease treatment: It has been estimated that for a child weighing 10 kg, the annual cost of treatment for any rare diseases varies from Rs 10 lakh to above 1 crore per annum. The drug dose and cost also increases with age.


    • Wings India 2020



    • Indian aviation and technology leaders gathered in Bengaluru for industry meet ahead of “Wings India 2020”, Asia’s largest civil aviation event.  Shri Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Smt. Usha Padhee, JS, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Dr. S Unnikrishnan Nair, Chairman, Director, Human Space Flight Centre ISRO along with other senior government officials graced the occasion.
    • Addressing the event, Shri Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India said ” Over the last decade, India has witnessed a robust civil aviation market, and through this event we aim to provide a congenial forum that will cater to the rapidly changing dynamics of the sector, focusing on new business acquisition, investments, policy formation and regional connectivity.”
    • He added, “Bengaluru being the IT capital of India, it has the potential of becoming the aviation capital of India”
    • Wings India 2020, a flagship event of the Indian Civil Aviation industry will be held at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad from 12-15 March 2020.
    • ‘Wings India 2020’- a four-day event themed: “Flying for All’’ is an international platform focused on the new business acquisition, investments, policy formation and regional connectivity in the civil aviation industry.
    • Speaking at the event, Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, Human Space Flight Centre ISRO, said “India is set to trigger revival of the global aviation sector. The civil aviation and space industry together will have a world class training facility for pilots and astronauts. We are sure that the exhibition for aviation as well as space fraternity is a platform to develop new growth spots that can be targeted to ensure a positive curve.”
    • Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries,  Usha Padhee JS, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, said
    • “This summit aims to bring all players, facilitators, and regulators of aviation fraternity under one roof to explore opportunities together. It’s a platform for all civil aviation sector stakeholders to achieve greater synergies; learn from best practices of each other”.
    • Wings India 2020 is also Asia’s largest and most popular gathering in the industry. Organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, AAI and FICCI the event is expected to attract top leaders, special invitees in foreign ministers for civil aviation and global CEOs, suppliers, strategic partners, organizations and the media.



    • Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik visits NCC Republic Day Camp 2020


    • Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik visited the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Republic Day Camp 2020 at the Cariappa Parade Ground here today. Upon his arrival, Raksha Rajya Mantri inspected the Guard of Honour presented by a contingent of the three wings of NCC – the Army, Navy and Air Force. It was followed by a band display by the NCC cadets.
    • Shri Shripad Naik also visited the ‘Flag Area’, prepared by NCC Cadets, depicting various social awareness themes and cultural activities. The cadets briefed him about their respective State Directorate themes, aimed at national integration and development. The Raksha Rajya Mantri also visited the ‘Hall of Fame’, a proud possession of the NCC, with display of rich archival collection of alumni photographs, models, motivational and other visual delights of the three wings of NCC.
    • Later, the NCC cadets presented a cultural programme, comprising group dances and ballets, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the nation. DG NCC Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra was also present on the occasion.
    • In his address, Shri Shripad Naik complimented the cadets for their smart drill and confidence. He recalled his days as an NCC cadet and appreciated the commitment of National Cadet Corps to groom future leaders. Highlighting the immense contribution of the NCC, he said, it was in the forefront of the organisations engaged in youth empowerment, promoting a unique mix of scholastic education and multifaceted activities, enabling all round development of its cadets.
    • The NCC Republic Day Camp 2020 is being attended by 2,155 cadets, including 732 girls, selected from 28 states and nine union territories. In addition, a total of 115 foreign cadets from 10 friendly countries are participating under the NCC Youth Exchange Programme.


    • ELECRAMA 2020



    • Union Minister of Heavy Industries &Public Enterprises, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar today inaugurated ELECRAMA 2020, at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) R K Singh and Minister of Industries in Uttar Pradesh Government, StatishMahana were also present on the occasion. ELECRAMA is the flagship showcase of the Indian electrical industry and a platform to connect the world with Indian industry in respect of technology, new trends and innovation for future energy transition.
    • In his special address, Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises said that the annual growth of energy should be 10% for many years to come even if the country’s economy grows at the rate of 6% annually. Referring to demand for more relief by the industry, he said that industry’s cause must translate into societal cause for the benefit of society as well as the industry.  He said that electricity for a poor household is not only a facility but also an empowerment and main source of inspiration. The Minister also referred to electrification of 18 thousand unelectrifiedvillages and congratulated the Power Minister, RK Singh for fulfilling this commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a time frame of 1000 days. He further stated that 3.5 crore households were given power connections under SAUBHAGYA (PradhanMantriSahajBijliHarGharYojana) scheme.
    • The Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Minister asked the electrical industry to focus on quality of electrical equipment stating that main cause of fire incidents in many cases is poor quality of equipment and faulty wiring. The Minister urged the power industry to become part of product chain and not just supplier of spare parts. He mentioned the success story of LED bulbs which led to saving of thousands of crores of rupees in power bills to the customers and also protecting environmentthrough installation of 400 million LED bulb. Shri Javadekar said that energy efficiency is a big issue and to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change tools of energy efficiency must be used.
    • Emphasising on the quality of electrical goods, Shri Prakash Javadekarsaid there can be no compromise on quality. People want ease of living and new facilities for which electricity is an asset, the Minister pointed out.  People will need more electricity and more electrical equipment and therefore demands of power as well as electrical goods are bound to go up, said the Minister.  He said that the per capita consumption of energy is very low in India as compared to developed countries.
    • The Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Ministersaid that electrical vehicle is the future of India and the work on it has begun.  Electrical vehicles will reduce environmental pollution and also lead to efficiency in use of energy. He informed that there are around 5 lakh electrical vehicles including two wheelers and four wheelers in the country.
    • Speaking on the occasion, Power Minister R.K. Singh said that the electricity sector has been transformed in the last few years and the whole country has been connected with one grid and one frequency. Now India has become power surplus country and is exporting power. He said that investment in transmission and distribution system is continuing and will pick up pace. The Power Minister said that per capita consumption need to be tripled to reach the global average of 3600 units. He said that government is revamping energy tariff policy and any subsidy, that has to be given to any category of electricity consumers by the State Governments, should be done through direct benefit transfer scheme. The Power Minister also spoke about the need of reform in the power distribution system. He said that the government is coming out with a new trajectory of loss reduction and distribution companies will have to follow this trajectory if they want to get further grants from the Central Government or if they want to access loans from the Power Finance Corporation.


    • NDRF celebrates its 15th Raising Day



    • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated  its 15th Raising Day here today . The Union  Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai was the chief guest on this occasion and Shri G.V.V. Sarma, Member Secretary, NDMA was the Guest of Honor.
    • MoS, Shri Nityanad Rai while appreciating  the role of the NDRF in saving the  human lives and national property in disaster response operations said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra  Modi and  Union Home Minister , Shri Amit shah  have full faith in the NDRF and it has always been in the forefront to tackle any kind of disaster occurring in the country. The force has earned  good name and fame nationally and internationally with its selfless service and  unmatched professionalism in disaster management, he said.
    • While  congratulating the Force on its 15th  Raising Day, the Minister said that since its inception  in 2006, NDRF has saved more than One lakh lives in its 3100 operations  and  rescued/evacuated over 6.7 lakh people during disasters.
    • He again said that PM,  Shri Narendra  Modi  is  proud of the  service done by the  NDRF to the nation and praised it  for its role in the field of Disaster Management.  The Minister said that this force has done commendable job in last few years to save the lives of  people in distress by demonstrating high level of professionalism, determination and hard work by countering multiple challenges with bravery.
    • The Minister also suggested that following the PM, Shri Narendra Modi’s directions, NDRF should work  in coordination with State SDRFs and collect information of all the available resources and equipments near the disaster prone areas.
    • Speaking on the training and  awareness programmes of the Force , Shri Nitayanad Rai said that  NDRF has so far imparted training to more than 4000 volunteers  and has a target to give  training to  more than 70000 volunteers by 2024  at the local levels in different parts of the country.
    • Member Secretary, NDMA, Shri G.V.V. Sarma also appreciated hard work, sincerity and dedication of Force personnel and applauded its efforts in disaster risk reduction. He also emphasized on the capacity building with SDRFs and procuring the  modern  equipment and technology  for disaster management.
    • Director General, NDRF  Shri S N Pradhan  while complementing the NDRF for its role in saving the lives from disasters striking the country during last year, said that it is most visible  face  in the disaster management as it has always  lived up to the expectations of people of the country over the years.
    • On this occasion, MoS for Home Affairs Sh. Nityanand Rai presented the medals to the awardees of Distinguished Service Medals and trophies to the winner of school safety and best battalion sports competition.  A booklet on SOPs was also released on the occasion.




    • Utilize natural resources with appropriate use of technology


    • Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari today called upon the Research institutes in Vidarbha to utilize abundant reserves of natural resources like forest produce, coal with appropriate use of the technology. He was speaking after inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of VNIT (Vishveshwarya National Institute of Technology) at Nagpur in Maharashtra today. Mr. Gadkari said, the country is importing raw materials like news print, medical equipment, wood pulp.
    • Research institutes must develop appropriate technologies through cooperation, coordination, and communication with relevant organizations that provide such raw materials. He hoped that this would stimulate industry generation in the backward areas. He also announced that the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will provide assistance worth 200 crore rupees for setting up of ‘Technology Research and Excellence Center’ at  VNIT.
    • Gadkari also inaugurated the ‘Siemens Center of Excellence’ center at VNIT to mark the  Diamond  Jubilee Celebrations. This center will have state-of-the-art labs of  Robotics, Machine Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence. He also inaugurated a statue of Sir Vishveshwarya on this occasion.
    • The diamond jubilee celebrations at VNIT will include yearlong educational activities, workshops, guest lectures, and research and extension activities.






    1. Piyush Goyal to lead Indian Delegation to World Economic Forum 2020



    • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, will lead the Indian delegation to the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos from January 20th to 24th 2020. The Commerce and Industry Minister will participate in the WEF along with Union Minister of State for Shipping and Chemical and Fertilizers, Mansukh L. Mandaviya and Chief Ministers of the States of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, Finance Minister of Punjab and the IT Minister of Telangana. Secretary Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, senior officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Invest India are also part of the delegation.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister will hold bilateral meetings with Ministers of Australia, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Korea and Singapore. He will also meet Director General of World Trade Organization and Secretary General of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
    • Apart from this Commerce and Industry Minister will hold bilateral meetings with CEOs of companies, attend WEF sessions and round tables on Accelerating Investments in Indian Railways and attracting Global Institutional Investments in India.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister will also participate in an informal WTO Ministerial gathering being held in Davos during this period.
    • The WEF annual meeting in Davos engages the world’s top leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of the year. The theme of the 2020 meeting is stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.
    1. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says India is safeguarding its interest in its neighbourhood


    • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has assured Members of Parliament that India is safeguarding its interests in its neighbourhood.
    • The Minister was briefing members of the Consultative Committee on External Affairs in New Delhi yesterday.
    • Jaishankar described the briefing as an animated discussion on the neighbourhood and beyond and said that he has shared his thinking and assessment on contemporary issues.
    • Biju Janata Dal MP Sasmit Patra, a member of the committee, said interactions were very meaningful, insightful and intense.
    • BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao praised Dr. Jaishankar, saying that as an accomplished diplomat and a hugely successful minister, he fielded questions of all members with immaculate finesse, clarity and vision.
    • Congress leader and former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor described the meeting as lively.
    • Besides Dr. Jaishankar, top officials of the Ministry including Foreign Secretary VK Gokhale and his successor Harsh Vardhan Shringla were present at the meeting.


    1. Pirates release 19 Indians kidnapped from commercial vessel off western coast of Africa




    • Nineteen Indians kidnapped by pirates from a commercial vessel from the high seas off the western coast of Africa last month, have been released while one died in their captivity. The Indian seafarers were kidnapped from the vessel MT Duke on the 15th of last month.
    • The Indian High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria said in a tweet that the Government of India and the Mission gave the highest priority and worked with the Nigerian government on the release of Indian seafarers. The Indian High Commission said, the Mission is assisting in their speedy return.


    1. Prince Harry, Meghan Markle sign formal deal to exit from royal family

    • Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have signed up to a formal exit deal from the royal family, which will see them forsake their His and Her Royal Highness (HRH) titles and will no longer receive UK taxpayers’ funding for their duties.
    • The deal, which comes into effect by spring in a few weeks’ time, means the couple will no longer be representing the Queen in an official capacity.
    • Buckingham Palace said in a statement in London last night that The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the royal family.
    • Queen Elizabeth II said the agreement followed months of discussions and was a constructive and supportive way forward for her grandson and his family.




    1. Khelo India Youth Games: Maha bags all four Gold medals in Kho Kho events

    • In the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati, Maharashtra dominated the Kho Kho events by winning all the 4 Gold medals in under-17 and under-21 boys and girls categories. Maharashtra is leading the overall medal tally with 60 gold followed by Haryana with 45 gold. Assam is in 6th position in the medal tally with 13 gold. In swimming, Assam’s Shivangi Sarma today won gold in 100-meter freestyle taking her personal gold tally to 4.
    • in wrestling, Haryana grabbed the maximum medals. On the other hand, spectators witnessed some thrilling contests in swimming in the Jakir Hussein Aquatics complex. While local girl Shivangi clinched her 4th gold, Maharashtra’s Mihir Ambre got the gold in the 100-meter butterfly. Mihir is now aiming to qualify for the Olympics.
    • In weightlifting, under-17 girls – Tamilnadu’s Poornasri won gold and Punjab’s Navneet got the silver. Prajakta of Maharashtra clinched gold while Manipur’s Umeshwari won silver in 64 kg category.
    • Meanwhile, the CEO of the games Avinash Joshi said that a grand closing ceremony of the games will be organized on the 22nd of this month. He said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal, Union ministers Kiren Rijiju and Rameshwar Teli will attend the closing ceremony. Mr. Joshi said that a Chinese martial arts team will display their skills in the ceremony.


    1. 3rd ODI: India defeat Australia by 7 wickets; clinch series 2-1

    • In cricket, India defeated Australia by 7 wickets in the third and final ODI at Bengaluru and clinched the series 2-1. Opting to bat first, Australia posted a competitive total of 286 for nine from their quota of 50 overs. Former skipper Steve Smith top-scored for the visitors with 131 as he managed to get his first ODI century after three years.  For India, Mohammed Shami claimed four wickets while Ravindra Jadeja scalped 2.
    • In reply, India scored 289 for 3 in 47.2 overs. Skipper Virat Kohli scored 89.  Rohit Sharma slammed his 29th One-Day International century in the ongoing third match. He came in to bat with a new opening partner KL Rahul as Shikhar Dhawan got injured and did not come out to open the innings.  Today’s ton was Rohit’s  8th century against Australia in the ODI format.  He also became the third-fastest batsman to score 9,000 runs in the 50-over format as he went past the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and  Sourav Ganguly to achieve the feat.





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