• Current Affairs, 22nd January 2020

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Rankings of ‘Central and state governmental water departments based on their efficiency targets for 2019’

    • According to the rankings of ‘Central and state governmental water departments based on their efficiency targets for 2019’released by Ministry of Jal ShaktiGujarat ranked the best for parameters on efficiency targets , while National Capital Territory of Delhi remains in the worst-performing state category.
    • The Survey of India (SoI) received top spot among the 7 central government departments reviewed on parameters for procurement, finance, real-time data acquisition system, data digitization, analytical work, pieces of training. SoI was followed by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and the Central Water Commission. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) pushed to the last in the year 2019 ranking.
    • Telangana had topped the state’s water efficiency in the previous year (2018) ranking while Gujarat was ranked seventh place.
    • Delhi improved its position by 6 places to get 35thrank in 2019 as against bottom 41 in 2018.
    • Tamil Nadu (TN) ranked best among the states that significantly improved its ranking. It stood at 13thspot in 2019 as compared to 33 in 2018.
    • Rajasthan has been ranked 3rdin the country this time, while in the April-May 2018 rankings, Rajasthan was ranked 16th. In the rankings released in December-2019, this state made a big jump and is one of the reputed states for best management of its water resources.
    • The states which have done satisfactory work under the project are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat SW(Surface Water Department), Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra Rajasthan, Telangana and West Bengal SW.
    • The Gujarat Surface Water Department led by the implementing agencies got a score of 80.51, followed by Damodar Valley Corporation with a score of 68.24 and Rajasthan with a score of 66.73.
    • The organization have been given a points out of 100. 48-100 are listed as satisfactory, the score between 40- 48 are moderately satisfactory; a score between 34-40 falls under moderately unsatisfactory category and a score below 34 is in the unsatisfactory category.
    • The ranking is part of a mid-term review by the central and state government working with water to achieve the goal of providing piped drinking water connections to every household over the next 5 years. Another objective of the ranking is the Water Resources Information System (WRIS) to create a real-time integrated National Water Information Center (NWIC) for all states.
    1. PM Modi, Nepalese counterpart inaugurate check post at Jogbani-Biratnagar
    2.  
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated the second integrated check post at Jogbani-Biratnagar along the border.
    • The check post was inaugurated via video conferencing. The check post has been built with India’s assistance in a bid to facilitate trade and people’s movement between two countries.
    • Built with Indian assistance, the integrated check post is spread over 260 acres and is capable of handling 500 trucks on a daily basis.
    • The Rs 140 crore project will improve trade and people-to- people contact.
    • The first ICP was built in Raxaul-Birgunj in 2018.
    • The Indian government had committed to building as many as 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, of which 45,000 have already been built.
    1. Review of Construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

     

    • The progress of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-P71) project was reviewed by the Empowered Apex Committee (EAC) headed by Shri Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, on 20 Jan 20 at Cochin Shipyard Limited.
    • The review critically examined the current status of the project as the IAC is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence Basin Trials in early 2020 followed by the Sea Trials by mid 2020. This is the 13thEAC Review Meeting of the Project and the first to be held after the signing of the Phase-III of the IAC Contract on 31 Oct 2019 between Government of India, Ministry of Defence & Cochin Shipyard Limited.
    • The Defence Secretary was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral  SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from IHQ MoD(Navy) and other senior officers from IHQ MoD(Navy), Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team.
    • IAC construction is in an advanced state with all four Gas Turbines, main engines having been started, Power Generation Systems comprising of eight Diesel Alternators ready and trials of ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment in progress. IAC had successfully completed the Pre-Contractors Sea Trials dry dock work package in Dec 2019.
    • Basin trials are conducted for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in early half of 2020. The Aircraft Carrier would be ready to commence the Sea Trials once the Basin trials are successfully completed.
    1. Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in China: Actions taken by the Health Ministry

     

    • As per WHO update (as of 11th January, 2020) in all, 41 cases of Novel Coronavirus have been reported so far from China [including one death (further update is awaited)]. As per WHO risk assessment, the risk for global spread, as of now, remains low.
    • Various measures have been initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as a matter of abundant precaution.
    1. Secretary (H) is constantly reviewing the evolving scenario, developments, and preparedness and response measures being undertaken by the Ministry.
    2. Secretary (H) took a review meeting on 20th January, 2020 in the context of spurt in cases reported by China and the public health measures that need to be scaled up.
    3. MoHFW has written to Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to facilitate thermal screening at the International airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin for the airlines to follow International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines for managing and notifying anybody reporting illness on flights originating from China and disembarking in India. MoCA has instructed for in-flight announcements for India bound flights.
    4. MoHFW has also written to Ministry of External Affairs to provide details of travelers from Wuhan city who have sought visa to travel to India, since 31stDecember, 2019 and to counsel the applicants while issuing visa. They have also been requested to provide daily details. As for E-visa issue Ministry of Home Affairs is being approached.
    5. Ministry of External Affairs has also been requested to disseminate travel advisory (in local languages) to Indian Embassies in China and adjoining countries for wider circulation and passenger information.
    6. Secretary (H) has also written to the States/UTs to review their preparedness, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities in the area of surveillance, laboratory support infection prevention & control, logistics, risk communication and in particular, hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilator management of critically ill patients of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).
    7. The Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) under the Chairmanship of DGHS has met twice (on 8th and 15th January, 2020) to assess the risk and review the preparedness and response mechanisms to manage any case that might get imported to India. WHO, being represented in the JMG is providing Ministry with regular updates and technical information.
    8. A travel advisory has been issued and put up on Ministry’s website and also on the Twitter handle for wider circulation.
    9. Port and Airport Health Organizations have been sensitized and thermal screening has been initiated at the international airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and will be initiated today at Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin airports. The Airport Health Organizations at the airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have put up signages at prominent locations informing the public about self-reporting of illness. The hospitals attached to these airports have been reviewed for provision of isolation and critical care facilities. Immigration officers manning the counters have been sensitized at these airports.
    10. Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has issued advisory to all States/UTs for SARI surveillance to pick up any travel related case reported in the community and follow up contacts of suspect/confirmed cases.
    11. National Institute of Virology, Pune is fully geared up to test samples of nCoV. Ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network are also equipped to test such samples, if a need arises.
    12. Adequate stock of Personal Protection Equipment is being maintained by Medical Stores Organization.
    13. Rapid response teams of the States/UTs have been trained in management of MERS-CoV outbreak (a similarly placed virus, reported from Middle East) in the year 2014. More recently these Rapid Response Teams of all States/UTs, APHO/PHOs and Regional Directors of this Ministry have also been trained (in Nov-Dec, 2019) on management of high risk pathogens in context of Ebola virus disease outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo.

     

    1. President of India Presents 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

     

    • Indian media’s most-coveted award — the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards were presented to the awardees by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi.
    • A recognition of journalism that is defined by fairness and accuracy, The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards gain even more prominence in the present times when the news space is polarised and the distinction of fact from fake news gets more difficult by the day.
    • This year’s recipients of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards constitute works from the year 2018, in categories ranging from political reportage, business and economics, civic journalism, environment, science and technology, and journalism from areas of conflict regional-language reporting. The awardees received prize money of Rs 1 lakh each.
    • Instituted in 2006, the Awards honour journalists from print, broadcast and digital media recognising their strength of character and integrity while covering news in adverse circumstances.
    • Founded by the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Foundation in 2006, the Awards are now the most important event in Indian media’s annual calendar.
    • The RNG Awards, this time, is covering different critical areas in print, digital and electronic media including business and economics, political reportage, civic journalism, environment, science and technology, journalism in conflict areas, and regional-language reporting. The prize money of the Awards is Rs 1 lakh in each category.
    • The eminent jurors for this year’s Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards were Tom Goldstein, Professor and Dean, Jindal School of Journalism & Communication, O P Jindal Global University; S Y Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner; Pamela Philipose, journalist and Senior Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research; and Justice B N Srikrishna, former Supreme Court judge.
    • The winner in the photojournalism category is C Suresh Kumar from The Times of India (Print/Digital).
    • The winner in Books (Non-Fiction) category is Gyan Prakash (Print).
    • The winner in Civic journalism category is Ghosal from News18.com (Print/Digital).
    • Winners in Politics & Government category are: Sushant Kumar Singh, The Indian Express (Print/Digital); Shikha, India Today TV (Broadcast); Moumita Sen, India Today TV (Broadcast)
    • Winners in the investigative journalism category are: Poonam Agarwal, TheQuint.com (Broadcast); Teena Thacker, Mint (Print/Digital);
    • Winners in Uncovering India Invisible category are: Hina Rohtaki, The Indian Express (Print/Digital); Meghnad Bose, The Quint.com (Broadcast); Asmita Nandy, TheQuint.com (Broadcast)
    • Winner in business category is Nidhi Verma fom Thomson Reuters (Print/Digital).
    • Winners in Environment, Science & Technology reporting category are:  Sarvapriya Sangwan, BBC News Hindi (Broadcast); Mridula Chari & Vinita Govindrajan, Scroll.in (Print/Digital)
    • Winners in reporting from Conflict Zones category are: Dipankar Ghose, Indian Express (Print/Digital); Late Achyuta Nanda Sahu, Doordarshan (Broadcast); Mormukut Sharma, Doordarshan (Broadcast); Dheeraj Kumar, Doordarshan (Broadcast)
    • Winners in the Regional category are: Saneesh TK, Manorama News (Broadcast); Anwesha Banarjee, EI Samay (Print/Digital)
      • Winner in Hindi category are: Shadab Ahmad Moizee, TheQuint.com (Broadcast), Diti Bajpai, Gaon Connection (Print/Digital)

     

     

    1. Atal Innovation Mission & UNDP hosts 3day Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge
    2.  
    • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a three day long Youth Co:Lab -national innovation challenge here in Delhi after a series of successful challenges held in past two phases across the country.
    • With efforts of AIM and UNDPto support young people by catalysing youth-led innovation, empowering them through Youth Co:Lab, four winning teams made it the list to represent India at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Innovation Challenge in Malaysia slated to be held in April this year.
    • Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP earlier, aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.
    • As a part of the first phase of Youth Co: Lab’s national innovation challenge, a series of innovation challenges were held in four cities– Jyothy Foundation (Bengaluru), AIC – Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Foundation (Mumbai), AIC – Prestige Inspire Foundation (Indore) and AIC – Mahamana Foundation For Innovation and Entrepreneurship – IM-BHU (Varanasi).
    • The event saw the participation of more than 60 teams from which top 15 winning teams contested in the National Innovation Challenge in Delhi. Another 15 teams had been chosen via the nomination method from the pool of start-ups incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres.
    • Following this, UNDP and Atal Innovation Mission hosted a three day Youth Co: Lab National Innovation Challenge, 17-19 January 2020 in Delhi in which 30 selected teams participated.
    • While the first two days focussed on equipping these young change makers with entrepreneurial and 21st century skills to refine their solutions, the final day, saw them present their innovative ideas in front of a jury comprising of key ecosystem enablers.
    • Sharing his views about the national innovation challenge, Mission Director AIM R Ramanan, said, “We are proud to have partnered with UNDP for this important initiative and are proud to announce that around 300 teams have participated in Youth Co: Lab and over 30 teams in finalists have presented their solutions. Many of them will have the opportunity to avail themselves of world class incubators set up by the AIM as well as the UNDP accelerator program for them to realise their potential and convert their innovation into product that could be used by the millions.”
    • He added that it will enable young students from all over the country and all over the world to participate in ideation and coming up with innovative solutions to many of the problems faced by the word aligned with the SDGs.
    • The top two teams will be fully funded, while the next two teams will be partially funded for the final summit. The four teams will also participate in the Regional Springboard Programme. Further, Top eight teams will get incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres and receive support from UNDP to enhance their impact management for a year.
    • While speaking on the occasion Ms Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India said that ‘‘We at UNDP believe in the power of young people to be change makers in our society. Young people are a central part of the endeavour in achieving the SDGs. Youth Co:Lab is unleashing youth’s creativity, potential and innovation. Through this engagement, we are seeing real impact on their lives, on the issues that matter to them and the future of our planet.
    • Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • By developing 21st century skills, catalysing and sustaining youth-led start-ups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and centre in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges.
    • With presence in over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Youth Co:Lab was launched in India last year in October, in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.
    • Youth Co:Lab was co-created byUNDP and the Citi Foundation in 2017. It was aimed to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • Youth Co:Lab was launched inIndia in October 2019 in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. It aims to develop skills, catalyzing and sustaining youth-led start-ups and social enterprises across the region.

     

    1. Brazil President Bolsonaro to be chief guest at 71st Republic Day
    2.  
    • President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro will arrive in New Delhi on Friday on a four-day state visit to India. President Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day Parade at Raj Path in the national capital on January 26.
    • He will be accompanied by a delegation comprising of seven Ministers, Chairman of Brazil-India Friendship Group in the Brazilian Parliament, senior officials and a large business delegation.
    • President Bolsonaro will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on 25th of January who will host a Banquet in his honour. On the same day, he will hold talks with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vice President and the External Affairs Minister will call on President Bolsonaro.
    • On 27th of this month, President Bolsonaro will address Indian and Brazilian Business leaders at the India-Brazil Business Forum.

     

    1. Govt has set target of providing house to all poor households, before 75th Independence Day: Arjun Munda
    2.  
    • Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda has said that advancement of education, health and employment sectors are main focus areas of Central Government’s development plan. He was speaking at a Public Outreach Programme meeting held at Talwara in block Pouni of Reasi district in Jammu Division yesterday.
    • During his visit to the mountainous district, he sought full involvement of local administration in meeting the targets of Central schemes.
    • The Minister reiterated the government’s resolve for holistic development of J&K in line with other parts of India. Creation of avenues of self-employment for the youth, besides expansion of education, health and other basic services to every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir is getting focused attention of the government, he added.
    • He further announced that the government has set the target of providing a house to all poor households of the country, before 75th Independence Day of India.
    • Responding to the local demands, the Union Minister assured to develop a Tribal Cluster in the district. He also assured further assistance for development of Gujjar, Bakerwal and other scheduled Tribe communities of the UT.

     

    1. Prez, Vice Prez, PM greet people of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on their Statehood Day
    2.  
    • President, Vice President and Prime Minister have greeted people of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on their Statehood Day. In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind extended best wishes to all the residents of the states for a bright and prosperous future.
    • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, endowed with pristine and breathtaking scenic places, virgin forests, rivers, rich and diverse cultures, the people of the three States have enriched India and contributed immensely towards national development.
    • He hoped that with unique festivals, arts, crafts, hardworking trait of the people and their benevolent attitude towards nature, the three States will witness rapid development in the coming years.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Manipur is known for its vibrant culture and people from Manipur have made a mark in various fields. He hoped that the state will keep progressing in the years ahead.
    • Mr Modi said, the people of Meghalaya are known for their kind and compassionate nature and from sports, music to conservation of nature, there is much to learn from them. He prayed for Meghalaya’s development in the coming years.
    • The Prime Minister said, India are proud of Tripura’s exemplary traditions and contribution to national development. He said, people of Tripura are known for their industrious.

     

    1. JP Nadda elected as National President of Bharatiya Janata Party
    2.  
    • BJP Working President J P Nadda was elected unopposed as the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party today. Party’s election in-charge of organization, Radha Mohan Singh gave him the certificate of his election on the occasion.
    • The nomination process for the top party post was held at party headquarters in the national capital. Party leaders including Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states filed nomination papers in support of Mr Nadda’s candidature. Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated Mr Nadda at party headquarters.
    • Nadda, who is from Himachal Pradesh, was appointed as the party’s working president in July last year. He has long been a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, its highest decision-making body.
    • He was also the Cabinet Minister in the first tenure of the Narendra Modi Government. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he was in charge of the BJP’s election campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

     

    1. PM to chair PRAGATI meeting

    • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will chair the 32nd interaction through PRAGATI- the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, on 22nd January 2020.
    • In the previous thirty one interactions of PRAGATI, projects worth over twelve lakh crores have been reviewed by the Prime Minister. In the last PRAGATI meeting of the year 2019, 9 projects worth over Rs. 61,000 crore related to 16 states and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir were taken up for discussion. There were also discussions on various topics like grievances of Indian citizens working abroad, National Agriculture Market, Aspirational District Programme and infrastructure development programmes and initiatives.
    • Prime Minister had launched the multi-purpose and multi-modal governance platform PRAGATI on 25th March 2015. PRAGATI is an integrating and interactive platform, aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances. PRAGATI also helps in simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India, as well as projects flagged by various State governments.
    • Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi launched today his ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation). PRAGATI is a unique integrating and interactive platform. The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
    • Two sets of public grievances of more than 20 people relating to (a) payment of Employees Provident Fund of private sector and (b) Income Tax refunds; It was noted that all the grievances had been redressed. Also, the intervention through PRAGATI is leading to system improvement so that such grievances do not arise.
    • Two issues flagged by States of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, regarding National Highways and clearance for Navi Mumbai airport, respectively.
    • Six Central Government projects involving more than a dozen Union Government Ministries and thirteen States. It was noted that various actions and permissions relating to projects were pending for several years. Due to PRAGATI, on several issues there was definite progress. In fact, some of the issues were almost finally resolved.
    • Progress of School Toilet Programme, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
    • PM gave suitable directions for redressal of grievances and compliance on the projects and programmes and motivated all officers to work in coordinated manner for outcome;
    • A built-in feature of PRAGATI is that these directions will remain in the system for further follow up and review till the finality of the matter.
    • The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States. With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation. Such an effort has never been made in India. It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.
    • Immediately after assuming office, the Prime Minister had shown his keenness to design a credible mechanism for redressal of Public Grievances. He was equally keen to see that programmes and projects launched by the Central and State Government(s) are monitored properly for timely implementation and desired outcome. With that spirit and for holistic development of the country, it was also felt necessary to facilitate from the Union Government level the projects of the States. Accordingly, with the three objectives of: Grievance Redressal, Programme Implementation and Project Monitoring, an IT-based redressal and monitoring system has been designed. It will combine Data Management and Analysis, Geo-spatial Applications as well as Video-conferencing. The application will be accessible to the Secretaries of the Government of India and the State Chief Secretaries.
    • Key features of the PRAGATI application are as follows:
    • It is a three-tier system (PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States);
    • Prime Minister will hold a monthly programme where he will interact with the Government of India Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries through Video-conferencing enabled by data and geo-informatics visuals;
    • The first such programme was launched on 25th March, 2015 (Wednesday) at 3.30 PM;
    • Now onwards, it will be held once in every month on Fourth Wednesday at 3.30 PM-to be known as PRAGATI Day.
    • Issues to be flagged before the PM are picked up from the available database regarding Public Grievances, on-going Programmes and pending Projects;
    • The system will ride on, strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of the CPGRAMS for grievances, Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. PRAGATI provides an interface and platform for all these three aspects.
    • It will also take into consideration various correspondences to PM’s office by the common people or from high dignitaries of States and/or developers of public projects;
    • The issues flagged are uploaded seven days prior to the PRAGATI day (i.e. on third Wednesday of every month).
    • These issues can be viewed by the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries after entering into the application;
    • User ID and Password for each of the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries have been created and made available;
    • Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries will be able to see the issues pertaining to their Department /State;
    • Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries have to put their comments and updates about the flagged issues within three days (i.e. by next Monday);
    • One day – Tuesday is available to the PMO team to review the data entered by the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries;
    • The design is such, that when PM reviews the issue he should have on his screen the issue as well as the latest updates and visuals regarding the same;
    • The system has been designed in-house by the PMO team with the help of National Informatics Center (NIC). As the name suggests, it is aimed at starting a culture of Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation. It is also a robust system for bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.

     

     

    1. Indian Heritage in Digital Space

     

     

    • Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC)Shri Prahalad Singh Patel launched the first International Heritage Symposium and Exhibition (IHSE). The exhibition will be held until February 15, 2020 on “Indian Heritage in Digital Space “ and the first international heritage symposium will be held for two days  in the National Museum in New Delhi.
    • The exhibition was organized along with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),Delhi.
    • The exhibition is developed under the Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in the cultural heritage domain of the country
    • The exhibition demonstrate the outcome of two flagship projects namely a digital mini-spectacle to showcase the glory of Hampi and Augmented reality based interactions with physical models of monuments; that are completed under the DST mentored initiative Indian Heritage in Digital Space (IHDS).
    • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, National Institute of Design Bengaluru, CSIR-CBRI Roorkee, Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, and a women-led, IDH start-up Vizara Technologies, New Delhi are multi-disciplinary teams which are responsible for  these flagship project.
    • The project aims to create digital installations using 3D laser scan data, AR, holographic projections and 3D fabrication, to provide interactive and immersive experiences showcasing the glory of Hampi and five Indian monuments namely KashiVishwanath Temple, Varanasi; TajMahal, Agra; Sun Temple,Konark; Ramachandra Temple, Hampi ; and RaniKiVav, Patan.
    • Installation of ‘ViRaasat’ which consists of a scaled down 3D printed replica using laser-scanning, 3D modelling and rendering, 3D printing, computer vision and spatial AR provides a mixed reality experience to visitors in selected monuments.

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. Trump’s Impeachment trial to begin in senate

     

    • United States President Donald Trump’s historic impeachment trial begins in the Senate today. This is  only the third time in history that  an American President is facing an impeachment trial. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the two other US Presidents who have been impeached earlier, while Richard Nixon missed the proceedings after he tendered resignation before the trial. Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial.
    • Trump is facing two articles of impeachment, or charges. Firstly, he’s accused of seeking help from Ukraine’s government to help himself get re-elected this November. He is alleged to have held back millions of dollars of military aid to Ukraine and dangled a proposed White House meeting with Ukraine’s president, both as bargaining chips.
    • In exchange, witnesses say he wanted Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden, the man who’s leading the Democratic race to challenge him in the election.
    • Secondly, after the White House refused to allow staff to testify at the first impeachment hearings last year, Democrats accused Mr Trump of obstructing Congress, the part of the US government that writes and brings in laws, and which was investigating him.
    • The lawmakers, will decide if Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress as charged in two articles of impeachment.
    • The brief echoes the repeated assertions of the 73-year-old President Trump that the saga is a political witch hunt and a hoax, and that his phone call with the Ukrainian leader was perfect.

     

    1. Corona Virus spreads from Human to Human.China Confirms 6 Deaths

     

    • China has today confirmed 6 deaths due to novel coronavirus which has spread to many cities in China including Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai and southern Guondong province.
    • As of Tuesday, a total of 295 cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in China and neighbouring countries. 2 cases confirmed in Thailand ans 1 each in Japan and South Korea.
    • Meanwhile, Emergency Committee of World Health Organisation, WHO, has convened a meeting under International Health Regulations in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China.
    • Confirming China’s attendance in the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokerperson told the media in Beijing today that China will continue to deepen international cooperation and work together with international communtiry to deal with the epidemic. At the meeting tomorrow, the Committee will determine whether the outbreak constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” and the recommendations to manage it.
    • Chinese officials have confirmed that the virus can be transmitted between humans which has become cause of major concern for the health officials. Officials however added that it can be halted with increased vigilance.
    • Chinese President Xi Jinping has also said that it must be taken very seriously. As per the WHO website, if it is declared a public health emergency of international concern, the Emergency Committee will be empowered to recommend measures to be taken within the country or by other countries, to reduce the spread of disease.
    • China’s official news agency Xinhua has reported that Wuhan city administration has taken a string of measures to tighten the control and monitoring of outbound travelers in an effort to curb the spread of new coronavirus-related pneumonia. It has enforced entry & exit controls ahead of peak travel season and has established headquarters for the control and treatment of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
    • Outbound tour groups have been banned, and local police are conducting spot checks on inbound and outbound private passenger vehicles for live poultry or wild animals.
    • Thirty-five stationary infrared thermometers and over 300 hand-held ones have been used to screen passengers with fevers at various transport terminals in Wuhan, including the airport, railway stations, bus stations and passenger piers. Passengers with fevers will be registered, provided masks and brochures about pneumonia and advised to see doctors. Ticket cancellations and changing will be free of charge for them.

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    1. Cricket: India beat Japan in U-19 World Cup

     

    • In cricket, India  won the  Group A ICC Under-19 World Cup Cricket match against Japan by 10 wickets at Bloemfontein, South Africa today.
    • Put into bat, Japan were all out for paltry 41 runs. As many as 5 Japanese batsmen were out without any score. S.Noguchi and K.K.Dobell top scored for Japan sharing 7 runs each. For India, Ravi Bishnoi claimed 4 wickets and Kartik Tyagi  3.
    • India “A” reached the 42 run target in 4.5 overs. Opening batsman YBK Jaiswal scored 29 for India while his partner K.Kushagra scored 19. Earlier, India cruised to a 90-run victory over Sri Lanka in their opening group league encounter on Sunday.
    • India will play New Zealand in their last group match on the 24th of this month.

     

     

     

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