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Important Current Affairs 30th March 2020

National

Government constitutes 11 groups to boost healthcare amid COVID-19 outbreak

• The Central Government recently constituted 11 empowered groups for integrated response to Coronavirus pandemic in India. Of these 11 groups, one will be chaired by NITI Aayog CEO, one by  NITI Aayog member and 9 will be chaired by Secretary-level officers.

• These groups have been set up under the Disaster Management Act.

DRDO to set up ‘multi-patient ventilators’ for serious COVID-19 patients

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will soon develop the 'multi-patient ventilators' for critical Coronavirus patients. These ventilators will provide life support system to several patients at a same time through single unit.

• The development of these ventilators is already under process to meet the potential demand in case COVID-19 outbreak goes out of control.

Govt approves Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19

• Government has approved Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’ as announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package. The following conditions exists:

• The scheme will provide an insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh for ninety days (90) to a total of around 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers. It will also include accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19.

• The insurance provided under this scheme would be over and above any other insurance cover being availed of by the beneficiary.

Banking and Economy

SBI raises $100 million via green bonds

• State Bank of India has raised USD 100 million green bonds, the first such bond by any state-owned bank in this fiscal.

• The bonds were priced at 3M Libor + 80 basis points. This is the third set of green bond issue by SBI, aggregating USD 700 million.

• The proceeds will be used to fund the non-convention energy sector. These bonds will be issued through SBI’s London branch and shall be listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Science and Technology

SpaceX wins NASA award for planned lunar space station

• A new space capsule from SpaceX has been picked up by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to ferry cargo and supplies to the agency’s planned lunar space station.

• Hence, with a $7 billion NASA contract, SpaceX will use its biggest rocket, Falcon Heavy to send spacecraft named as “Dragon XL” to the Lunar Gateway.

• This is an outpost that NASA is planning to build and that will orbit the moon sometime within the next decade.

Obituary

Air Vice-Marshal Chandan Singh Rathore passed away

• Air Vice Marshall Chandan Singh Rathore passed away at his Jodhpur residence on March 29, 2020. He had served in the Indian Air Force at the time of the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

• The Air Vice Marshall had planned and executed helicopter operations during India’s 1971 war with Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh.

• He had flown 8 missions into the enemy territory during the war to supervise the progress of lifting two companies of troops in the Sylhet area by the Indian Air Force.

• He will be awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest military award, posthumously for his acts of bravery in the presence of the enemy.

Sports

International Table Tennis Federation suspends events till June 30, freezes world rankings

• The International Table Tennis Federation has suspended all of its planned events till June 30, 2020 in the wake of the rapid spread of coronavirus across the globe.

• The federation has also frozen the world rankings list due to the current uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

• The body will now evaluate all implications regarding the postponement of the events and the current travel restrictions and make the necessary adjustments.

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Important Current Affairs 9th January 2020

INTERNATIONAL NEWS 

3 of world’s 10 fastest-growing urban areas are in Kerala: Economist ranking

•    On January 08,2020 latest ranking based on fastest growing urban regions/ fastest growing cities in the world was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
•    As per the report 3 of the cities in Kerala were ranked in the top 10 places. Malappuram city of Kerala was ranked 1st in the list, while Kerala’s Kozhikode and Kollam cities were ranked in the 4th and 10th place respectively.
•    List preparation: The list was compiled on the basis of the data provided by the United Nations Population Division (UNPD).
•    Top rankers: Malappuram was followed by Can Tho region in Vietnam at 2nd spot and Suqian in China in the 3rd spot.
•    Other indian cities: Thrissur city of Kerala was ranked at the 13th spot with a growth rate of 30.2%. Surat (Gujarat) was ranked at 27th spot and Tiruppur (Tamil Nadu) at the 30th spot.
•    Growth rate: Malappuram grew 44% from 2015 to 2020. In the past 5 years, Kozhikode had a growth rate of 34.5%, while Kollam had 31.1%.
•    About the Economist Intelligence Unit:
Fact- EIU, is a part of the popular Economist Magazine, provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
Founded- 1946.
Headquarters- London, England.
Managing Director(MD)- Robin Bew.

World's most powerful passports in 2020: Indians don't need prior visa in 58 countries says Henley Passport Index released on 8th January 2020.

•    Report on India:
India ranks at 84th place which is tagged along with Mauritania and Tajikistan, which is a drop by 2 places as it ranked 82nd in 2019
India provides visa free access to 58 countries.
Visa free visits: Some of the countries where Indian passport holders can visit without a prior visa include Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Macao, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Iran and Qatar tc
•    General Report:
Mobility scores: The index measures the strength of all the passports around the world, based on mobility scores which denotes the number of destinations that could be accessed by the passport-holders of a specific country, without a pre-departure visa. 
IATA covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
Japan tops the list, provides visa-free access to 191 countries.
o    Top 10 countries: The countries in the top 10 list and no of destinations that could be visited without a prior visa is listed below in brackets:
    Singapore ranks 2nd (190);Germany and South Korea at 3rd (189); Finland & Italy at 4th (188);
    Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain at 5th (187); France and Sweden at 6th (186);
    Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland at 7th (185); Belgium, Greece, Norway, United Kingdom(UK) and the United States of America (USA) at 8th (184);
    Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand at 9th (183); Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia ranked at 10th place (181).
o    Worst passport: Afghanistan’s passport is the world’s worst passport with mobility score 26 while India’s neighbouring country Pakistan’s is the fourth worst with mobility score 32. Afghanistan was followed by Iraq (mobility score-28) and Syria (mobility score- 29) having World’s worst passport.


NATIONAL NEWS

MILAN 2020: Visakhapatnam gears up to host International Naval event.
•    The City of Destiny, Visakhapatnam, is set to host the International Naval event ‘MILAN’ in March 2020.
•    MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise to enhance professional interaction between participating foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
•    The theme of the exercise is ‘Synergy Across the Seas’.
•    Of the 41 navies invited, confirmations from over 30 navies have been received towards their participation in MILAN 2020

MHA issues revised norms for mutual legal assistance treaties.
•    On 8th January 2020, The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued revised guidelines to expedite the delivery of mutual legal assistance and justice in criminal matters with other countries under the government’s policy of zero tolerance for crime at all.
•    In this regard, India has signed Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with 42 countries in November 2019 for cooperation in criminal matters & the MHA is also designated ‘Central Authority of India’ for it.
•    The guidelines, issued in December 2019,are steps to speed up the delivery of justice. The revised guidelines will provide investigative agencies with step-by-step guidelines on drafting and moving request letters ,mutual legal aid requests or Letters Rogatory (LR) and summon requests, notices and other judicial documents
•    Aim: By incorporating various legal and technological developments in recent years, its goal is to make documentation more concise, focused and suited to international needs in this regard. Concerns raised by various courts have also been taken into consideration for fast and timely receipt of documents of people living abroad.
•    India is also the signatory of various international conventions like the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
•    Mutual Legal Assistance:
It  is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with each another with the aim to provide and obtain formal assistance in prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime to ensure that the criminals do not escape for want of evidence available in various countries.

 Over eight crore farmer families benefitted under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme, with more than Rs 48 thousand 937 crore released under the scheme till date
 

Crime in India increased by 1.3% in 2018: NCRB
•    On January 09, 2020 National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) report on Crime in India for the year 2018 was released. The report finds that over 50 lakh crimes have been registered in 2018 which is 1.3% more than that of 2017.
•     The report findings in detail are as follows:
•    The report stated that Uttar Pradesh (UP) accounted for the maximum number of economic offences in 2018 with 22,822 cases recorded. It was followed by Rajasthan (21,309 cases), Maharashtra (14,854 cases), Telangana (10,390 cases) and Bihar (9,209 cases) in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th rank respectively.
•    Crimes in 2018: Totally 50,74,634 cognizable crimes were committed in 2018. It included 31,32,954 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 19,41,680 Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes.
•    IPC crimes: crimes under IPC have increased by 2.3% and stood at 61.7% in 2018.
•    SLL crimes: Crimes under SLL have declined by 0.1% compared to 2017 and stood at 38.3% in 2018
About National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB):
Founded- 11 March 1986.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Motto- Empowering Indian Police with Information Technology
Director- Ramphal Pawar, IPS (Indian Police Service).

BANKING AND ECONOMICS


 Indian economy likely to grow to USD 7 tln by 2030 : Deutsche Bank
•    Deutsche Bank has predicted India’s economy to grow to $7 trillion by 2030, which is two and half times more from about $3 trillion now, making India the world’s third largest economy.
•    In its research report titled, Imagine 2030, it said that the nominal GDP growth is likely to average just over 10% through the next decade.
•    Deutsche Bank Headquarter: Frankfurt, Germany.

SBI lowers GDP estimates for FY20 to 4.6% from 5%.
•    The state-run largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has lowered its GDP growth forecast of India for FY20 to 4.6 percent from the previous estimate of 5 percent.
•    According to the latest SBI Ecowrap report, the growth rate is predicted to remain below 6 percent for the two years in a row.
9.    CCI report on 'Market Study on E-commerce in India' released.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI)  released a report titled “Market Study on E-commerce in India:Key Findings and Observations” after it was initiated by CCI in April 2019 for better understanding a functioning of e-commerce in India. The study was also launched to identify impediments (obstructions) to competition.
Findings:
o    Revenue sector:  Revenue from the e-commerce sector is expected to increase from $39 billion in 2017 to $120 billion in 2020,  growing at an annual rate of 51%, the highest in the world.
o    Internet sector:  The no.of internet users have increased from 445.96 million in 2017 to 665.31 million in 2019 and is also expected to increase to 829 million in 2021.
o    Goods sector:  E-commerce in the goods category in India has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% in the last 7 years, and is expected to grow by 18.6% till 2022
o    Food sector: The food tech industry in India is estimated to grow at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of more than 12% between 2016 and 2021.
83% of the respondent restaurants reported to have an online presence. Their online sales accounted for on an average nearly 29% of the respondent restaurants’ revenue.
Market Study on E-commerce in India:
o    The study is a combination of secondary research, questionnaire survey, group discussions, one-on-one meetings etc covered in 3 categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services and food services.
o    Participation: 16 online platforms, 164 business entities and 7 payment system providers participated in the study. 11 industry associations, representing different stakeholder groups, also participated in the study.
o    Key issues discussed in the study: Issues that directly or indirectly have a bearing on competition were discussed. These include issues of lack of platform neutrality, unfair platform -to-business contract terms, exclusive contracts between online marketplace platforms and sellers/service providers, platform price parity restrictions and deep discounts.
o    Transparency measures for e-commerce platforms: The transparency measures include
    Search ranking- General description of the search ranking parameters should be drafted in plain and intelligible language with up to date prescriptions.
    Collection, use and sharing of data-  A policy on the data should be set.
    User review and rating mechanism-  This has to be done to ensure information symmetry, which is a prerequisite for fair competition.
    Revision in contract terms- The contract should be revised in a timely manner and revision should not be implemented before expiry of a notice period.
    Discount policy-  A clear and transparent policy on discounts should be brought up. 
About Competition Commission of India(CCI):
Founded- 14 October 2003.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Chairperson- Ashok Kumar Gupta.
First executive- Dhanendra Kumar.

 Sunteck Realty jumps 6% on tie-up with SBI
•    On January 08, 2020 the State Bank of India(SBI) has announced a new scheme named Residential Builder Finance with Buyer Guarantee (RBBG). 
•    This new scheme’s purpose is to safeguard home buyers financially by issuing guarantee for completion of projects to customers availing SBI Home Loans. 
•    The ongoing home projects of SBI customers will be financed by the bank itself.
•    Home price range:  Housing segment with home price of up to Rs. 2.50 crores in 10 cities will be focused in the RBBG scheme initially.
•    Residential builder finance with buyer guarantee:
a.    Builders loan availability: Under the scheme, all reputed builders fulfilling the bank criteria can avail loan ranging between Rs 50 crores and Rs 400 crores. The criteria also include star rating and CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) score.
b.    RERA act: The buyer guarantee will be available for RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Act, 2016) registered projects and a project will be considered stuck after it crosses the RERA deadline.    
c.    Amount refund: The lender would refund the entire principal amount in case the developer fails to deliver the project within the assured deadline. The refund scheme will be valid till the occupation certificate is procured by the builder.

Zero-Budget Natural Farming: AP govt inks Rs 711 cr loan pact with German bank
•    On January 8, 2020 Andhra Pradesh government signs a loan pact for Rs.711 crore with Kfw, Germany Development bank for expanding the climate-resilient Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in the state for the next five years.
•    Key Points:
a.    To take up the insurance scheme Andhra Pradesh government will spend Rs 304 crore in addition to encourage 2.39 lakh farmers in 591 village panchayats.
b.    ZBNF already covers about 1.28 lakh hectares in 3,011 villages of Andhra Pradesh and the financial assistance from German bank helps to cover about 2 lakh hectares in the addition.
c.    The helpline number “1800 599 3366” was also launched for enquiries related to the insurance scheme.
d.    The state government under takes ZBNF along with the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVV) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’s (PKVY) of the Centre government and technical supported by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives.
•    About Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF):
ZBNF is a method of Chemical-free agriculture practice which aims to bring down the cost of production to zero and doubles the farmer’s income. ZBNF was also highlighted in budget 2019 for doubling farmer’s income by 2022
•    About Kfw:
Founded- 1948
Headquarters- Frankfurt, Germany
•    About Andhra Pradesh:
Chief Minister- Jagan Mohan Reddy
Governor- Biswabhushan Harichandan
Capital City- Amaravati
State Tree- Neem tree
State Flower- Water lilies
State Animal- Blackbuck
State Bird- Indian roller

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION


Indian-origin author's debut novel wins book award in UK
•    India-born author Jasbinder Bilan has bagged the coveted UK Costa Book Award 2019 in children’s book category for her debut novel ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’.
•    Jasbinder now lives near Bath, largest city in the county of Somerset, England, with her husband and her two sons.
•    The Costa Book Awards are a set of annual literary awards recognising English-language books by writers based in Britain and Ireland.
•    The award is presented across five categories namely First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.


APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS


 State-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has appointed M Nagaraj as CMD.

•    On January 8,2020 State-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has appointed M Nagaraj as company’s Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) for a period of 3 months.
•    M.Ravi kanth was the former Chairman and Managing Director of HUDCO.
•    Nagaraj is also Director(Corporate Planning) of the company.
•    The shares of Hudco were trading at Rs.37.40 a piece on BSE(Bombay Stock Exchange).
•    HUDCO provides loans for housing and urban infrastructure projects.
•    Static about HUDCO:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Founded- 25 April 1970.

 Former Allahabad HC chief justice Dilip B Bhosale quits as Lokpal member.

•    On January 9, 2020 Lokpal Member and the Former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale has resigned from his post due to some personal reasons. 
•    He was appointed by Lokpal Chairman Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose on March 27, 2019. 
•    63-years-old Bhosale was the acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from 2015-2016 .
•    He also served as a judge of the high courts of Bombay and Karnataka.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

New data relay satellites to keep Gaganyaan crew in touch with Earth 
•    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to launch its own satellite communication system called Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS) for tracking and communication of its space assets.
•    The IDRSS will have a constellation of two geo satellites, which will be deployed in phases.
•    The first satellites will be launched into low-Earth orbit by the end of 2020, ahead of the unmanned Gaganyaan test flight, while the second satellite will be launched in 2021, before the manned mission is embarked in 2022.
•    IDRSS will help ISRO’s ground control room to uniformly monitor India’s spaceflights and communicate with them at any given point of time, and can be used in both low orbit missions and farther missions such as those to the moon, Mars and beyond.
•    The first beneficiary of IDRSS would be the prospective crew members of the Gaganyaan mission of 2022 who can be fully and continuously in touch with mission control throughout their travel.

Railway stations to have smart cameras for facial recognition
•    On January 8, 2020 Face recognition technology developed using Artificial Intelligence (IP) has been installed in Bengaluru, Manmad and Bhusawal stations as test cases. 
•     The objective of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is to link the facial recognition system with existing databases and identify the criminals. 
•    Indian Railways is also in the process of installing Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at railway stations.
•    Key Points:
o    In the last budget Rs 250 crore was allocated to Indian Railways from Nirbhaya funds for installation of VSS in 983 railway stations.
o    RailTel, a miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways are working for install Internet Protocol (IP)-based VSS and facial recognition system in the railway stations.
o    In the first phase of installation VSS is being installed at 200 stations and as on date work has been completed at 81 stations across India.
o    Under VSS, four types of  full HD cameras namely Dome type, Bullet type, Pan Tilt zoom type and Ultra 4k-HD cameras will be installed. Each HD camera at the station consumes approximately 1TB of data and 4k camera consumes 4 TB data per month.
o    South Western Railway (SWR) has recently installed Video Surveillance system at 6 major stations namely Ballari, Belagavi, Vasco-Da Gama , Bengaluru, Bangarpet and Hassan. Thus SWR completes the work at the end of the year 2020 in 20 stations.
o    Western Railways has installed in 10 stations namely  Bhavnagar Terminus, Udhna, Valsad, Veraval, Nagda, Navsari, Vapi, Viragam, Rajkot and Gandhidham,
•    About Indian Railways:
    Founded- April 16, 1853
    Headquarters- New Delhi
    Ministry of Railway- Piyush Goyal
    Chairman of Railway Board- Vinod Kumar Yadav
17.    China : Long March 3B launches TJSW -4
•    China has successfully launched a new communication technology experiment satellite, Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing -5 (TJSW-5) by its Long March-3B (also known as CZ [Chang Zheng]-3B) carrier rocket.
•    The mission lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, a southwestern Chinese province.
•    It was the 324th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.
o    Key Points:
i.The satellite ,entered into space, will be used in communication, radio, television and data transmission, as well as high throughput technology test.
ii.Earlier in December 2019, China launched its heaviest and most advanced communications satellite, Shijian-20 with its largest new carrier rocket Long March-5 (also known as CZ-5) from Wenchang Space Launch Center (WSLC) in south China’s Hainan Province.
•    About TJSW (Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing):
It is a series of satellites are officially Communications Engineering Test Satellites, built by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology(SAST) and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
•    About Long March-3B carrier:
It has the capacity to launch 11,200 kg satellite to a low Earth orbit or a 5,100 kg cargo to a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

 India's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant likely to be commissioned by early 2021.
•    On January 8,2020 The manufacturing of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is likely to be commissioned by early 2021. 
•    Vikrant is currently under phase three of construction which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment like power generation, propulsion and machinery.
o    Key Points:
i.This carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi, Kerala.
ii.The third phase of construction will go till acceptance of harbour, sea trials and aviation trial will also take a year and it will be fully operated by 2022.
iii.The first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant complemented with Mikoyan MiG-29k aircraft will be showcased as part of the Navy’s tableau during the ceremonial parade on Rajpath, New Delhi on the Republic day.
o    About Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL):
Founded- 1972.
Headquarters- Kochi, Kerala
Chairman and Managing Director(MD)– Shri Madhu S Nair.
o    About Indian Navy :
Chief of the Naval Staff- General Admiral Karambir Singh.
Founded- 5th September 1612.
Navy Day- December 4.


BOOKS AND AUTHORS


Amit Shah releases a book 'Karmayoddha Granth'
•    Union Home Minister Amit Shah released a book titled ‘Karmayoddha Granth’ which depicts the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
•    ‘Karmayoddha’ means a man with a beating heart for people, a statesman, a hard taskmaster, an able administrator and an ideal leader who leads by example.


SUMMITS AND MOU’S


The MoU on electoral cooperation between Election Commission of India and Electoral Commission of Mauritius renewed

•    On January 08, 2020 the Election Commission of India(ECI) has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) on cooperation in the field of electoral management with the electoral commission of Mauritius. 
•    The renewal was done at Port Louis of Mauritius and was signed by India’s Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) Sunil Arora and Mohammed Irfan Abdool Rahman, Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius.
•    The MoU was previously in existence from April 2013-April 2018.
•    About Mauritius:
Capital- Port Louis.
Currency- Mauritian rupee.
Prime minister- Pravind Jugnauth.

SBI and Sunteck Realty Limited (SRL) signed MoU:

•    On January 08,2020 SBI and real estate development company Sunteck Realty Limited (SRL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the residential housing sector under the public sector lender’s RBBG scheme with tagine “Sapna Aapka – Bharosa SBI Ka” to the home buyers. 
•    Under this MoU three projects will be constructed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region of Maharashtra.
•    Home buyers can choose their dream homes from SBI approved projects in 10 cities enhancing trust and transparency.
•    About State Bank of India(SBI):
Formation- 1 July 1955.
Chairperson- Rajnish Kumar.
Headquarters- Mumbai.
Tagline- The banker to every Indian; With you- all the way; A bank of the common man; Pure banking, nothing else.

DAYS


January 2020 Important Days
Date     Name of important Days
1 January    Global Family Day
8 January    African National Congress Foundation Day
9 January    NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
11 January    Death anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
12 January    National Youth Day
15 January

15 January    Indian Army Day
Makar Sankranti
23 January    Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti
24 January    National Girl Child Day
25 January    National Voters Day
25 January    National Tourism Day
26 January    Republic Day
26 January    International Customs Day
28 January    Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai
30 January    Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas
30 January    World Leprosy Eradication Day

1 January – Global Family Day
It is celebrated as a day of peace and sharing. Its aim is to unite and spread message of peace by considering and promoting an idea that Earth is a one Global Family so as to make world a better place to live for everyone.
8 January - African National Congress Foundation Day
South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was founded in 8 January 1912 by John Langalibalele Dube in Bloemfontein. Behind this the primary motive was to give voting rights to black and mixed race Africans or to unite African people and spearhead the struggle for fundamental political, social and economic change.
9 January – NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
NRI or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas observed every year on 9 January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. This day also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January, 1915.
11 January – Death anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
He was the second Prime Minsiter of Independent India. He popularised the slogan 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' He actively participated in the India's freedom struggle. Due to cardiac arrest he died on 11 January, 1966.
12 January – National Youth Day
The birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda also called Swami Vivekananda Jayanti is celebrated every year on 12 January. He was born on 12 January, 1863. The government had decided to observe it as National Youth Day because the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth. He had given speech at the Parliament of the World's religions in Chicago and glorified India's name.
15 January – Indian Army Day
Every year 15 January is observed as Indian Army Day because on this day in 1949 field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief.
15 January -- Makara Sankranti 
Makara Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya. It is observed each year in January. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. 
Observances: Kite flying.
Date: Wednesday, 15 January, 2020
Celebrations: Kite flying, bonfires, fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization
Featured in religions: Hinduism
Significance: Harvest festival
Also called: Magha, Môkôr Sôngkrānti, Mela, Maghi, Bhogi
 

23 January - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa. He was one of the most prominent Indian freedom fighter. His army was known as Indian National Army (INA) or Azad Hind Fauj. He also led an Indian national force from abroad against the Western powers during World War II.
24 January- National Girl Child Day
On 24 January every year National Girl Child Day is celebrated to highlight the inequalities faced by a majority of the girls in India, importance of education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care and safety of girl children etc.
25 January- National Voters Day
Every year on 25 January National Voter's Day or Rashtriya Matdata Diwas is celebrated to encourage young voters to take part in the political process. In 2011 first time this day was celebrated to mark Election Commission's Foundation Day.
25 January- National Tourism Day
Every year on 25 January National Tourism Day is celebrated in India to raise the awareness and educate people about the importance of tourism and the role it plays in the Indian economy.
26 January- Republic Day
On 26 November, 1949 Indian Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution the supreme law of the land and replaced the Government of India Act 1935. It came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system. This day marks with the largest parade took place at Rajpath, Delhi every year.

26 January – International Customs Day
International Customs Day (ICD) is celebrated every year on 26 January by Custom Organisation to recognise the role of custom officials and agencies in maintaining border security. It also focuses on the working conditions and challenges that custom officers face in their jobs.
28 January- Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January, 1865 in Punjab. He was a prominent nationalist leader who played an important role in India’s struggle for freedom. He also earned the title of 'Punjab Kesari' or 'the Lion of the Punjab'. He initiated the foundation of Punjab National Bank. He died on 17 November, 1928, due to serious injuries. The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar, Haryana is named after Lala Lajpat Rai.
30 January – Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas
30 January is celebrated as Martyr's Day or Shaeed Diwas every year in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and sacrifice of three revolutionaries of India. As, on 30 January, 1948, the 'Father of Nation' was assassinated. And on 23rd March 3 heroes namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar of the nation were hanged to death by British.
30 January – World Leprosy Eradication Day
World Leprosy Day is observed on 30 January every year to focus on the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. As, we know that disabilities 

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'Yatri Mitra' in Aid of Assistance Seeking Rail Passengers to be Launched

In an initiative to improve the railway travel experience of elderly, differently-abled and ailing passengers, the Ministry of Railways has announced the launch of ‘Yatri Mitra Seva’ to simplify access to wheelchairs, battery operated cars and porter services. The scheme will be operational at all major railway stations.
•    ‘Yatri Mitra’ or ‘Passenger Friend’ can be an assistant or any other person nominated for the purpose. 
•    In a communication sent to all Zonal Railways, the Railway Board said the IRCTC may provide the service ‘free of cost’ through some NGO, charitable trust, PSUs, etc.
•    Once the service is booked, the IRCTC will ensure that the ‘Yatri Mitra’ is made available at the coach when the passenger arrives at the designated railway station.
•    The ‘Yatri Mitra’ would contact the passenger on the mobile number given at the time of booking and confirm the expected time of arrival.
•    In Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations, there are about 30 wheelchairs and five battery operated cars.

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Premium Railway Fares hiked upto 50 % in New Dynamic Pricing Model


Passengers travelling by Rajdhani, Shatadbi and Duronto trains will have to shell out between 10 and 50 per cent more under a dynamic surge pricing system to be introduced from September 9, aimed at raking in Rs 500 crore more during the current financial year.
•    The base fare for the three premium trains will be on flexi fare system, Railway Board Member.
•    There are total 42 Rajdhani trains, 46 Shatabdi and 54 Duronto trains and railways expect to garner about Rs 500 crore from the new fare structure in these trains.
•    The passenger revenue target for the current fiscal is Rs 51,000 crore as against Rs 45,000 crore in the last fiscal, an increase of Rs 6000 Cr for 2016-17.
•    For II AC and Chair Car, the maximum hike will be 50 percent while for III AC, it will be 40 percent.

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