• Current Affairs,14th February 2020

    • February 14, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Prime Minister praises Wuhan Rescue Operation

     

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has appreciated the high level commitment to duty showcased by the officials of Air India and Ministry of Health who conducted evacuation operation of the stranded Indians in Wuhan.
    • The Prime Minister has issued a letter of appreciation to the team members of the evacuation operations.  This letter would be handed over to the crew by Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
    • Air India had conducted an emergency evacuation operations from the Wuhan city, which is the epicenter of the widely spreading Novel Corona Virus Flu. Despite being aware of the aforementioned severe situation in the region, the Air India sent two B-747 aircraft with teams of Air India as well as teams from Ministry of Health for two consecutive days, i.e. 31st January 2020 and on 1stFebruary 2020, returning the next day.

     

    1. Destination Management and Community Participation in Gujarat

    • Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani inaugurated the two day event/meeting on Destination Management and Community Participation, in Gujarat today.
    • The event has been organized by the Ministries of Tourism and Culture in cooperation with the Government of Gujarat at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
    • Speaking on the occasion Shri Prahlad Singh Patel said that Kutch has emerged as unique tourist destination in Gujarat. Destination development not only develops the tourism industry but also promotes local culture, traditions & community. It was also stated that tourism development is about change in perception & policy and not only capital investment. Shri Patel also indicated that the Government of India is giving major importance to developing Dholavera as one of the Iconic destinations.
    • The Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani welcomed all dignitaries and referred to 2001 earthquake wherein Kutch region was totally devastated. However, with the vision of Prime Minister of India, the region of Kutch (White Rann), with its unique geography, culture and heritage has been transformed into a major tourist attraction.
    • Shri Rupani said that this would be an ideal case study for destination management.
    • He expressed his immense pleasure that Dholavera and Somnath have been selected for development under Iconic destination development scheme of Government of India.
    • He also highlighted that the Statue of Unity was developed in a record time which is serving as good example of promoting Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat vision of Prime Minister.
    • The Tourism Minister, Government of Gujarat Shri Jawahar Chavda mentioned about various tourist attractions in the state such as wildlife, spirituality, nature, places associated with Gandhi’s life and World Tallest statue – the statue of Unity.
    • During the inaugural event, an MOU was signed between Government of Gujarat and ITDC for providing consultancy towards innovative and decorative lightings & illumination at various monuments and Sound & Light show at various locations in the state of Gujarat.
    • The meeting was convened to discuss the importance of Destination Management and Community Participation in the tourism sector. The event involved speaker sessions by government officials, tourism industry, private sector entrepreneurs, etc. showcasing best practices / case studies from various States & Union Territories in the related field. The meeting aided in understanding the concepts & frameworks, approaches, challenges faced in implementation and impact generated by such initiatives on the society & the overall economy.
    • One of the major objectives was to understand the synergy between Culture and Tourism and how both can collaborate at policy, design and implementation levels to develop both tangible and intangible assets to achieve overall tourism growth in the country.
    • The event highlighted on benefits to local communities by way of imparting skill sets necessary for prudent hospitality industry and cross-cultural learning exchanges to improve employability of the local people. Socio-economic benefits for the community could be enabled by making them lead the development initiatives. Challenges & issues related to Destination Management such as comprehensive planning, community participation, carrying capacity, etc. was discussed during the meeting.
    • The event encouraged constructive discussions and collaboration between various stakeholders for achieving objectives of effective destination management. The key take-a ways of the discussions were the strategies and design principles for effective destination management and community participation.

     

    1. India an ideal destination for study of niche courses like Yoga and Ayurveda

     

    • Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ met Parliamentary Delegation from Canada led by the Speaker of the Senate, Parliament of Canada Mr. George J. Furey in New Delhi today.
    • In the meeting, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that India is an ideal education destination where students from foreign countries can come to study niche courses like Yoga and Ayurveda, along with other disciplines in some of the best institutions in the country. Shri “Nishank” also spoke about the upcoming New Education Policy and how it is poised to make education in India  more accessible, inclusive and high quality. He spoke about the already strong relations between India and Canada in the field of education and how this could be strengthened further in the coming years.
    • Shri Pokhriyal also explained in detail the initiatives taken by Ministry of HRD for internationalization of Higher Education, such as Study in India, Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) and Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research Collaboration( SPARC. ) He highlighted that Canada is one of the 28 countries participating in SPARC, with more 19 joint research proposals underways between Indian and Canadian Institutions. Under GIAN, nearly 90 faculty members from Canadian institutions have come to teach courses in Indian institutions Shri Pokhriyal invited students from Canada to study in the fields of Yoga, Ayurveda, Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian languages ​​and Indian philosophy along with science and technology in various Indian educational institutions. He also talked about the work being done by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), a bi-national organization created by a joint announcement of Government of India and Government of Canada in 1968, towards promoting academic exchange between the two countries.
    • The Minister also suggested that we should strive to develop a system whereby the top Canadian companies and Indian companies provide an opportunity to internship students in their respective countries. He added that many multinational companies are doing excellent work in both India-Canada locations. The Minister also appealed that there is a need to promote collaborative research with Indian establishments in Canada, as it is doing excellent work in the fields of nanotechnology, green energy, ecology, medicine, etc.
    • Shri Pokhriyal said we should make special efforts to the enhance exchange of students between the two countries. The Minister hoped that this meeting will effectively help in developing strategies to promote balanced international mobility of students and faculty between higher education institutions between India and Canada.

     

    1. Searches conducted by the Income Tax Department lead to detection of unaccounted income of more than Rs. 2000 crore

     

    • Income Tax Department carried out Search and Seizure action on 6th February 2020 at Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Cuddapah, Vishakhapatnam, Delhi and Pune. More than 40 premises were covered.
    • The search action included three prominent infrastructure groups based in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Investigations led to busting of a major racket of cash generation through bogus sub-contractors, over-invoicing and bogus billing. Several incriminating documents and loose papers were found and seized during the search, apart from emails, WhatsApp messages and unexplained foreign transactions unearthed during the search.
    • Search operation was also carried out on close associates including ex-personal secretary of a prominent person and incriminating evidence seized.
    • The search operations revealed that Infrastructure companies had sub-contracted work to several non-existent/bogus entities. Preliminary estimates suggest siphoning of more than Rs. 2000 crore through transactions that were layered through multiple entities with the last in the chain being small entities with turnover less than Rs. 2 crore to avoid maintenance of books of accounts and tax audits etc. Such entities were either not found at their registered address or were found to be shell entities. Several such sub-contractors were controlled by the principal contractors with all their ITR filings and other compliances being done from the IP addresses of main corporate office.
    • FDI receipts of several crores in the group companies of one of the Infrastructure companies is suspected to be round-tripping of its unaccounted funds.
    • Unexplained cash of Rs. 85 lakh and Jewellery worth Rs. 71 lakh have been seized. More than 25 bank lockers have been restrained.

     

    1. Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurates Phase-I of East West Metro corridor of Kolkata Metro

     

    • Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal today inaugurated and flagged off the Phase I of East West Metro corridor of Kolkata Metro connecting Salt Lake Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium and dedicated various other Railway projects to the Nation at a function in Kolkata.
    • Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the entire East-West corridor upto Howrah Maidan will be completed by December 2021 and expressed the hope that Kolkata Metro will become the preferred mode of transport for the people of the city. Shri Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and other dignitaries along with senior Railway officials were present on the occasion. Presently Metro services are run in Kolkata on only one North South corridor from Noapara to Kavi Subhas stations over a length of 27.3 Km. This corridor was inaugurated 36 years ago in 1984.
    • Shri Piyush Goyal also dedicated to the Nation 140 kms of railway electrification project in Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections of Howrah and Malda Divisions. The commissioning of 140 kms new railway electrification project at a cost of Rs. 219 Crores (approx.) covering Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections will help in ensuring seamless electric train operations on different routes of Eastern Railway and reducing diesel fuel consumption substantially. 83% route kilometres of Eastern Railway have now been electrified and the balance is in progress so as to achieve 100% electrification by 2021.
    • In keeping with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and in order to promote Indian Railways as an environmentally sustainable transport system, harnessing green and clean solar energy and thus minimizing carbon foot print is a mission area of Railways. Shri Piyush Goyal dedicated to the Nation 3 MW roof top solar power plant at Howrah station which has been installed without incurring any capital expenditure by Railways. It will supply electricity @ Rs. 3.62 per unit for 25 years as against the present rate of Rs. 8.50 per unit. The total cumulative revenue saving will be Rs. 40 Crores (approx.) over the next 25 years.
    • Shri Piyush Goyal dedicated to the Nation 41.13 Kms of double/third line over Howrah, Malda & Sealdah Divisions. Eastern Railway has commissioned double line in Nimtita-Dhulianganga (11.38 km), Sujnipara-Nimtita (6.72 km) of Malda Division, Mile 5B-New Alipore (1.67 km) of Sealdah Division, Lalbagh Court Road-Khagraghat Road (7.40 km) and Debipur-Rasulpur 3rdline (13.96 km) of Howrah Division at a cost of approx. Rs. 550 Crores. With this, throughput of the section has increased and flexibility in operation has been enhanced. The punctuality of coaching trains has been improved due to this work by about 5%.
    • Shri Piyush Goyal also flagged off Train No 13064 Balurghat Howrah Express through video link. The frequency of the train number 13063/64 Howrah- Balurghat- Howrah Intercity Express has been increased from bi weekly to five days a week. This train fulfills the demand of people of Dakshin Dinajpur district for better connectivity with Kolkata.
    • Brief: Phase I of East-West Metro
    • East – West Metro is a 16.5 kms long stretch which connects Howrah on the West bank of River Hooghly with Salt Lake city on the East bank. The project is being executed by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL). 10.8 kms of the stretch is underground and 5.75 kms will be on elevated viaduct. It is India’s first ever transportation project where trains will ply under the mighty river, Hooghly. This project will be immensely helpful in easing the traffic congestion of Kolkata – a 300 years old city and also in reducing vehicular pollution. Phase-I of  East – West Metro which was inaugurated today is a 5.3 kms long stretch having 6 elevated stations.
    • Features of the Project:
    • The first ever transportation tunnel under any river in India.
    • Platform Screen Doors to prevent accidents or intentional fall.
    • Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) having enhanced safety features like anti- collision and automatic train control mechanism.
    • Passenger friendly features like lifts, escalators, concept of barrier free movement, designated parking for differently-abled, State of the art absorptive type noise barriers provided near hospitals/schools to reduce the train generated noise for comfort of the public.
    • Estimated budget for Phase- I is Rs 2431 Cr. out of the total project cost of Rs 8574.98 Cr.
    • Emergency Announcement and Fire Detection Mechanism in all coaches.

     

    1. Finance Commission constitutes Group on Defence and Internal Security

     

    • The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a Group on Defence and Internal Security with the following composition.
    1. i)                   Shri N.K. Singh, Chairman, Fifteenth finance Commission   –  Chairman.
    2. ii)                Shri A. N. Jha, Member, Fifteenth Finance Commission  – Member.

    iii)             Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs – Member.

    1. iv)              Secretary, Ministry of Defence – Member.
    2. v)                Secretary(Expenditure),  Ministry of Finance – Member.
    • The mandate of the Group on Defence and Internal Security will be ‘to examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up, and if so, how such a mechanism could be operationalised.’

     

    1. India’s Organic Food Business expected to reach
      75,000 Crores by 2025

     

    • With an aim to empower women and promote organic produce, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is organizing a National Organic Festival with a special focus on women entrepreneurs, said Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries(FPI).
    • Announcing the 3-day long Food festival, during a press meet in New Delhi today, FPI Minister shared that more than 150 women Entrepreneurs and Self Help groups (SHG’s) from all over the country will be exhibiting their organic products in various segments such as fruit & vegetables, ready to eat Products, Spices and condiments, Honey, cereals, dry fruits etc..  Smt. Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary in the Ministry was also present.
    • In order to boost the organic products and promote women entrepreneurship in the area of production and processing of organic products, the MoFPI and Ministry of Women and Child Development (Mo WCD) have joined hands for organising a three-day festival from February 21-23, 2020 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
    • The festival cum exhibition that is being held under the theme “Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential” will be inaugurated by Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries. Women entrepreneurs and SHGs from all over the country will be exhibiting their organic products in various segments such as fruit & vegetable, ready-to-eat products, spices and condiments, honey, cereals, dry fruits, beverages, medicinal plants, oil and value-added products like jam, jelly, murabba, chutney etc. Entrepreneurs and SHGs from 24 states are participating in the festival.
    • Apart from showcasing the organic products, the event will focus on facilitating business linkages and empowering women entrepreneurs through pre-arranged B2B and B2G meetings. Other softer elements of the exhibition will include, organic food quiz, live culinary sessions, Chef speaks, cultural events, nukkad natak etc.
    • Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal shared that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) have recently signed an MoU to help women entrepreneurs get connected with Government financial schemes like MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency), Startup India and also meet the compliance needed for being competitive in the global market.
    • Skill development capacity building training programs for women entrepreneurs and SHGs will be organized to facilitate post-harvest management, value addition and new innovations towards enhancing production efficiency as well to impart comprehensive knowledge about various aspects of the supply chain of organic products. Training on packaging, marketing and innovations on renewable energy will also be imparted to help the producers cater to a broader consumer base. Training on organic certification and FSSAI regulations will be organized as well to familiarize producers with the regulatory processes.
    • Awareness sessions for consumers on benefits of incorporating organic in daily diet will be held. Also, success stories of entrepreneurs will be highlighted in an exclusive segment. For facilitating business linkages and empowering women entrepreneurs through financial inclusion pre-arranged B2B and B2G meeting will be organized during the exhibition, said the Union Minister.
    • Talking about the benefits of the Organic food, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal said: “How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have much more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts”
    • India’s Organic Market Potential
    • With 9th largest World’s Organic Agricultural land and largest number of producers India is fast growing in the organic food segment. India produced around 1.70 million MT (2017-18) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Oil Seeds, Sugar cane, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Medicinal Plants, Tea, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Coffee etc.
    • On the demand side, increasing disposable incomes, increasing awareness around health and wellness and increasing acceptability are driving the growth in the organic food segment which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% during the period 2016-21.
    • At the same time the demand for Indian organic food products is on constant increase worldwide with India exporting organic products worth $ 515 million in 2017-18 with organic products being exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, Japan etc. The major demands under the organic product category are for oil seeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, medicinal plant products etc.
    • As per the Indian Organic Sector – Vision 2025 report, India’s organic business has immense potential to reach the INR 75,000 crore mark by 2025 from INR 2,700 crore (in 2015).

     

    1. Advisory Council of Fifteenth Finance Commission

    • The sixth meeting of Advisory Council to the Fifteenth Finance Commission was held today. The meeting was chaired by Shri N.K. Singh, Chairman, XVFC and attended by the Members of the XVFC, Members of the Advisory Council, other special invitees and eminent scholars.
    • The agenda of the meeting included the following.
    1. Seeking the views of the participants on the report of the XV-FC for the year 2020-21, the formula for horizontal devolution of Central taxes and other recommendations contained in the Report.
    2. Views on the outlook for nominal GDP growth for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26, tax buoyancy and other macro-economic parameters relevant for the commission for the aforesaid period.

     

    • While discussing about the framework for vertical and horizontal devolution of taxes, the methodological innovations made in the Report were favourably commented upon.
    • The options for nominal GDP growth and resource mobilization, as well as, the downsides and upsides to different possibilities therein were discussed in detail, particularly in the light of emerging global trends and patterns discernible in high-frequency, domestic indicators.
    • The centrality of strengthening the administration and technology platform of GST in ensuring fiscal balance of the Centre and the States was also emphasised.
    • Apart from the Chairman, Members and the officers of the XVFC and the Members of the Advisory Council, namely, Dr. Indira Rajaraman, Dr. Arvind Virmani, Dr M. Govinda Rao, Dr Prachi Mishra, Dr Sudipto Mundle and Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, the meeting was also attended by eminent bureaucrats and scholars like Dr. Bibek Debroy, Shri. Ratan P Watal, Shri Amitabh Kant, Shri. Atanu Chakraborty, Dr. T. V. Somanathan, Dr. Anantha Nageswaran, Dr. Shankar Acharya, Dr. Abhijit Sen, Dr. Ajit Mishra, Dr. Manoj Panda, Mr. Swaminathan A. Aiyar and Shri. T. N. Ninan.

     

    1. “Arth-Ganga” will channelize economic activity along the banks of Ganga River

    • Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge), Chemical, and Fertilizers while addressing the press conference highlighted that Inland Waterways is one of the most important pillars of “Arth-Ganga”project, which will result into inclusive growth and play a key role in generation of enormous employment opportunities in the National Waterways stretch.
    • During the address Minister Mandaviya stated that, “Almost half of the Indian population lives around Ganges River belt in which about 1/5th of all India’s freight originates and 1/3rd terminates in the states around Ganges Belt.”
    • Ministry of Shipping has taken several initiatives in last few years which has resulted into substantial growth in-terms of increasing Inland Cruises from 3 to 9, Cargo from 30,00,000 MT to 70,00,000 MT, and Vessels in-flow from 300 to 700.
    • A lot of activities like developing of small jetties by Ministry of Shipping have been carried out for the beneficial for small communityespecially for farmers, traders and general public in the 1400km stretch of National Waterway – 1 from Banaras to Haldia. The Farmers will get a better return for their produce as the transportation of goods would become easier and cost effective by this. It will improve ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’.
    • Also, during the address Minister Mandaviya said that Ministry of Shipping is developing Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) Freight Village and Sahibganj (Jharkhand) Industrial Cluster-cum-Logistics Park with an objective of creating synergy with Inland Waterways at the cost of Rs. 200 crores. This will create enormous direct and indirect employment, giving an economical boost in this particular area.
    • ShriMandaviyaalso added that, India as a nationis always supporting Nepal in its economic transformation. National Waterway – 1 will act as a main conduit of connection with Nepal in a trilateral manner,i.e. from Varanasi toNautanwa(280km), KaughattoRaxaul (204km) andSahibganjto Biratnagar (233km). Earlier Nepal was connected by Kolkata and Visakhapatnam Ports for transporting cargo. Now, Inland Waterways, particularly NW-1 will be allowed under Treaty for Transit of Cargo between Government of India and Government of Nepal. It will save logistic cost anddecongest Kolkata Port as well.

     

    1. National Workshop on Disaster Risk Financing, Insurance and Risk Transfer held in Mumbai

     

    • National Workshop on Disaster Risk Financing, Insurance and Risk Transfer was held at Insurance Institute of India in Mumbai today. The one day workshop was jointly organized by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)and Insurance Institute of India (III).
    • Member Secretary, NDMA, Shri.V. V. Sarma; Secretary General, Insurance Institute of India, Shri Deepak Godbole; Executive Director, NIDM, Major General Manoj Kumar Bindal; and CMD, GIC Re, Mr. Dervesh Srivastava inaugurated the workshop.
    • In his video message, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P. K. Mishra highlighted:
    • Prime Ministers 10-point agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction
    • Report of 15thFinance Commission Report
    • Importance of insurance not only for financial resilience but also as a tool for mitigating impact of disasters
    • Mishra also congratulated NIDM and III for their collaborative effort for taking up the initiative and in creating a milestone for Disaster Risk Financing.
    • The intensity and frequency of natural calamities and disasters are rising every day and developing countries are the most affected. In order to face the economic and fiscal shocks caused by major disasters, a robust disaster risk management programme is essential.
    • The workshop has been aimed to impart understanding of disaster risk financing and creation of action plans for implementation by state governments, local authorities and insurance companies. Accordingly, three technical sessions were conducted: Disaster Risk finance and Insurance for the option of Risk Transfer; Challenges in Implementing Insurance for building Disaster Risk Resilience; and State Government Perspectives and Designing Action Plan for the Future.
    • ‘Let us not work in silos’ was the sentiment of the workshop which was evident from the active participation of representatives and delegates from Government Organisations, State Disaster Management Authorities, Insurance and  Re-Insurance companies, Insurance experts, World Bank, UN Institutions, Financial Institutions and also organisations working on Catastrophe Financial Resilience from across the country.

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Indian-origin UK Minister Alok Sharma to lead UN climate summit

                   

    • Indian-origin Alok Sharma was today named the new UK Minister in charge of the crunch UN climate talks to be hosted by Britain athis November.
    • Agra-born Sharma has been promoted to the post of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.
    • He will take charge of the crucial summit ‘COP26′ as its former president was removed amid controversy just weeks ago.
    • Claire Perry O’Neill, a former energy Minister, had openly criticised Mr Johnson soon after her sacking.

     

    1. WHO says ‘way too early’ to predict end of novel coronavirus

                 

    • World Health Organization has cautioned it is too early to say whether COVID-19 might have peaked or when it might end. Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s Health emergencies programme, told reporters that it is too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now.
    • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the number of newly reported cases from China has stabilised in the past week but that has to be interpreted with extreme caution. He said, this outbreak could go in any direction.
    • Mr Tedros also praised Cambodia for agreeing to take in the Westerdam, a US cruise ship that has been rejected at several Asian ports over coronavirus fears. He said this is an example of the international solidarity that they have consistently been calling for.

     

    1. UN Security Council adopts resolution for “lasting ceasefire” in Libya

     

    • UN Security Council has adopted a resolution calling for a “lasting ceasefire” in war-torn Libya, where a fragile truce has been in place since January.
    • The text, drafted by Britain, was approved by 14 votes out of 15, with Russia abstaining. The resolution affirmed the need for a lasting ceasefire in Libya at the earliest opportunity, without pre-conditions. It also expressed concern over the growing involvement of mercenaries in Libya.
    • Libya, Africa’s most oil-rich nation, has been mired in chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime leader Moamer Kadhafi.
    • Since April 2019, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord has fought back against an offensive by military commander Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
    • A ceasefire was agreed on January 12, but there are still near-daily clashes near Tripoli and arms continue to flow into the country.

    SPORTS NEWS

     

    1. Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh named Player of the Year 2019 by IHF

    • The Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh was today named Player of the Year for 2019 by the International Hockey Federation.
    • Manpreet, a midfielder, became the first Indian to win the accolade since the awards were introduced in 1999.
    • He beat competition from Belgium’s Arthur van Dorren and Lucas Villa of Argentina, who came second and third.

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