Daily Current Affairs : January 25, 2020
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Tribal Affairs Ministry proposes 6th Schedule Area status to Ladakh
- Union Tribal Affairs Ministry has proposed 6th Schedule Area status to Union Territory of Ladakh.
- Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said that his ministry has sent the proposal to the Union Home Ministry to declare the 6th Schedule status to Ladakh.
- Tribal Affairs Minister also assured that his ministry will take all necessary measures to preserve and enrich the rich legacy of Ladakh.
- Environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk had last month appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to preserve the culture and identity of Ladakh.
Income Tax searches detect undisclosed foreign assets worth ₹1,000 crores
- Income Tax Department has conducted searches on a group which has been on their radar for having substantial undisclosed foreign assets.
- The searches led to the detection of undisclosed foreign assets of more than Rs. 1000 crore.
- The operation conducted on 19th of this month covered 13 premises in the National Capital Region of the group.
- The search operation has so far resulted in seizure of unaccounted assets valued at around Rs. 25 crores.
- The Department said that evidence seized during the search reveals that a large amount of black money was stashed abroad by the group, through the mechanism of Trusts, formed in early 1990s in tax havens.
- The investigation has successfully lifted the veil, leading to the detection of undisclosed foreign assets of over 1000 crore rupees apart from domestic tax evasion of more than Rs. 35 crores.
- Foreign assets include investment in a Hotel in UK, immovable properties in UK and UAE and deposits with foreign banks.
ISRO to send robot ‘Vyommitra’ to space on unmanned Gaganyaan
- Before orbiting astronauts on India’s first manned mission to space in December 2021, the Indian Space Research Organisation will send ‘Vyommitra‘, a ‘lady robot‘ in the unmanned Gaganyaan spacecraft.
- ISRO Chairman K Sivan told reporters the half humanoid will simulate human functions in space and also interact with the environment control life support system.
India opens its first Mahatma Gandhi convention centre in Niger
- External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou jointly inaugurated the first convention centre established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) is a landmark for India-Niger friendship, as also a symbol of India’s firm commitment towards Africa.
- It is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth Anniversary was observed last year.
- The convention centre has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union member states and other high-level conventions.
India, Bangladesh sign agreement to upgrade Ashuganj-Akhaura road into 4-lane highway
- India and Bangladesh signed an agreement on Thursday to upgrade the 50.58-kilometre long road between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway.
- The deal to upgrade the 39 km long road between Ashuganj river port to Dharhar area was signed between the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) of Bangladesh and an Indian Company Afcons Infrastructure Limited.
- The RHD and an India-Bangladesh joint venture firm will take up the work of upgrading the remaining part of the road from Dharhar to Akhaura.
- The project is part of the dollar 2 billion second line of credit extended by India to Bangladesh in 2016.
- The project will boost connectivity between Bangladesh and North-eastern part of India which will facilitate sub-regional connectivity among South and South-east Asian countries.
Katerina Sakellaropoulou becomes Greece’s first woman president
Greece’s parliament elected Katerina Sakellaropoulou as the first woman president on January 22, 2020.
The 63-year-old was elected to the top post in a historic vote, which saw 261 of the total 294 MPs vote in favour of her.
Katerina will succeed Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose 5-year term is scheduled to end in March.
Until now, she was serving the head of Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State.
Madhya Pradesh govt made the reading of Preamble of Constitution mandatory in schools
- In Madhya Pradesh, state government has made the reading of Preamble of the Constitution mandatory in schools on every Saturday.
- The Department of School Education stated that orders in this regard have been issued to District Education Officers.
- The order issued by the School Education department said that the Preamble to the Constitution will be read out by the headmaster or teacher in all the schools after prayer on every Saturday.
- The same will be read out by the students later.
‘Women with Wheels’ Cab Service Operated by Women for Women Begins At IGI Airport
- ‘Women with Wheels‘, a cab service operated by women for women has started at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday.
- A Vadera, CEO, Sakha Consulting Wings Pvt Ltd, says, “We give driving training and self-defence training to women. We have cab services, provide women chauffeurs on demand and for short duration“.
Russia to be focal theme of 44th Kolkata book fair
- The 44th International Kolkata Book Fair will begin from January 29 next year and Russia will be the focal country, the organizers announced.
- Around 22 countries from Asia, Europe and Latin America would take part in the 12-day mega event, known over the decades for its huge footfall.
- It will be inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
- The fair would conclude on February 9, Publishers and Booksellers Guild officials told the media here in the presence of Consul General of Russia in Kolkata, Alexey Idamkin.
- The fair would be held at the Central Park in Salt Lake this year, too, and stalls of approximately 600 publishers and 200 small magazines will be set up.
India falls to 51st position in EIU’s Democracy Index
- India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 on the Index that provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories.
- On India, the report said, the country dropped ten places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking to 51st.
- The primary cause of democratic regression was the erosion of civil liberties in the country.
- The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Iceland and Sweden. Other countries in the top 10 include New Zealand at the fourth place, Finland (5th), Ireland (6th), Denmark (7th), Canada (8th), Australia (9th) and Switzerland (10th).
India pips US to become 2nd largest smartphone market in 2019
- Riding on Chinese brands, the Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally-reaching 158 million shipments in the calendar year 2019 with 7 percent growth, a report from Counterpoint Research.
- While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 percent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 percent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.
National Voters’ Day being celebrated on Jan 25
- The 10th National Voters’ Day (NVD) will be celebrated today.
- The theme for NVD-2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’.
- The theme sets the tone for year-long activities with a focus on voter education and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process.
The Day is celebrated on 25th January every year since 2011.
- It is celebrated at over ten lakh locations across the country including polling stations, district and state headquarters, to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on 25th January 1950.
- President Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the 10th National Voters’ Day function which is being organized by the Election Commission of India at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi.
National Girl Child Day is celebrated on 24 January
- National Girl Child Day is celebrated on 24 January.
- The day aims to create awareness about the rights of the girl child in India.
- It aims to improve the condition of girls in society.
- The day aims to provide support and facilities to the girls of the country in every respect.
- It also aims to create awareness about the inequalities, discrimination, exploitation faced by the girls in the society.
International Day of Education: 24 January
- International Day of Education is celebrated globally on 24 January annually to celebrate the role of education in bringing global peace and sustainable development.
- The theme of 2020 International Day of Education is “Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace”.
- On 3rd December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming January 24 as International Day of Education.
- The first International Day of Education was held in 2019.
BANKING AND BUSINESS NEWS
Vodafone m-pesa’s certificate of authorisation cancelled by RBI
- The Reserve Bank of India said it has cancelled the Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) of Vodafone m-pesa on account of voluntary surrender of authorisation.
- Following the cancellation of the CoA, the company cannot transact the business of issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments, the central bank said.
RBI raises investment limit for FPIs in government and corporate bonds
- The Reserve Bank of India raised the investment limit for FPIs in government and corporate bonds, a move that is likely to bring in more foreign funds in the country.
- According to the current norms, short-term investments by a foreign portfolio investor (FPI) should not exceed 20 per cent of the total investment of that FPI in either central government securities (including treasury bills) or state development loans.
- The same norms are applicable on investments in corporate bonds. The short-term investment limit has now been increased from 20 per cent to 30 per cent in both the cases, the RBI said in a circular.
Reliance Jio the First Telecom to Launch UPI Payments Feature
- India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio is all set to join the UPI bandwagon. Reliance Jio has rolled out a UPI payments facility for selective users. This feature is available in the MyJio app and can be acquired through an update.
- Remarkably, the MyJio app also allows “hassle-free payments” through Paytm, PhonePe, JioMoney, and the recently launched JioAutoPay (for recurring payments).
Budget 2020: Nomura Expects India’s Fiscal Deficit for FY20 Likely to Slip To 3.7%
Due to significantly lower nominal growth, a slowdown in tax revenue growth and lower than expected disinvestment proceeds, Nomura the government is likely to reveal a fall in fiscal deficit by around 0.4 percent to 3.7 percent for the current fiscal year at the upcoming Union Budget 2020 presentation.
For the fiscal year 2019-20, the government had budgeted fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP (gross domestic product).
Adhiban, Narayanan register impressive wins in Gibraltar chess
- Indian Grandmasters B Adhiban and S L Narayanan registered impressive wins in the third round of the Masters’ category of the ongoing Gibraltar chess festival.
- Adhiban and Narayanan scored superb wins over Martin Petrov of Bulgaria and Tingjie Lei of China while young GM Raunak Sadhwani securing 1.5 points shared the point with higher-ranked David Navara.
- Apart from Adhiban and Narayanan, there are a few other Indians on 2.5 points, including Vaibhav Suri and Karthikeyan Murali. Young Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa beat International Master Padmini Rout to take his tally to 2.
Khelo India Youth Games: Maharashtra crowned champion
- Maharashtra maintained its supremacy in Khelo India Youth Games by improving upon its last year’s performance and finishing at the top of the table with a massive haul of 256 medals, comprising 78 gold, 77 silver and 101 bronze.
- Maharashtra — which received the winner’s trophy from Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameshwar Teli and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in a glittering closing ceremony — was followed by Haryana (200, 68 gold) and Delhi (122, 39 gold).
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