Current affairs (21ST JANUARY)
JOE BIDEN TAKES OATH AS 46TH US PRESIDENT
- Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. He swore the oath of office moments after Kamala Harris, who became America’s first woman vice president, turning the page on Donald Trump’s tumultuous four years.
- At 78, Biden is the oldest president in US history and only the second Roman Catholic president.
- Biden, who was vice president under Barack Obama and first ran for president in 1987, plans to kick off his tenure with a flurry of 17 orders.
- Biden will immediately rejoin the Paris climate accord and stop the US exit from the World Health Organization and set new paths on immigration, the environment, Covid-19 and the economy.
- Biden, who is the oldest president in American history, took the oath by placing his left hand on his 127-year-old family Bible, which was held by his wife, Jill Biden. He used the same Bible during his swearing-in as vice president and seven times as senator from Delaware.
- Lady Gaga, in a poofy dress that was Valentine red, sang the national anthem and Tom Hanks prepared for a televised evening appearance with the new president.
PM MODI AS CHAIRMAN OF SOMNATH TEMPLE TRUST
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi was appointed the new chairman of the trust which manages the world-famous Somnath Temple at Prabhas Patan town in Gujarat’s Gir-Somnath district, becoming the second PM to hold the post.
- After former PM Morarji Desai, Narendra Modi is the second Prime Minister who has been appointed the chairman of the temple trust.
- As per trust records, PM Modi has become the eighth chairman of the trust. As per the records, Desai had served as the chairman between 1967 and 1995.
- The post of the Somnath Trust’s chairman fell vacant after the death of the incumbent, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, in October last year.
- Patel had served as the chairman for 16 years (2004-2020). Other trustees include BJP leader LK Advani, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat-based scholar JD Parmar and businessman Harshvardhan Neotia.
CM OF BIHAR INAUGURATED FIRST EVER BIRD FESTIVAL
- The Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has inaugurated the first-ever bird festival of the state, ‘Kalrav’, at Nagi-Nakti bird sanctuary, located in Jamui district.
- The festival was organized by the state environment, forest and climate change department to create awareness among people about birds, especially the migratory birds.
- He will also launch the logo of the bird festival and also release a coffee table book on the birds available at the sanctuaries.
- The Nagi- Nakti Bird Sanctuaries have been the home of a wide variety of indigenous species of birds and of migratory birds that turn up during the winters from places like Eurasia, Central Asia, the Arctic Circle, Russia and Northern China.
- Over 136 species of birds have been spotted at these sanctuaries. Not just that, around 1,600 bar-headed geese, which is about 3% of the global population of this variety, have been seen here, as per a report of the Wetlands International and because of this rare phenomenon, the Birdlife International, a global body, has held the Nagi Dam Bird Sanctuary to be globally important for the conservation of birds’ population and has declared it as an important bird area.
INDIA TO PROCURE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT FROM RUSSIA
- The Government of India is set to procure 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft from Russia.
- Apart from this, the Centre will also purchase the upgrades of the existing fleets of aircraft from Russian state-run defence export arm Rosoboronexport.
- The new set of 21 MiG-29 will add to existing 59 such jets already with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the 12 Sukhoi-30MKIs, on the other hand, will add to the existing fleet of 272 such fighter aircraft.
DUTCH PM MARK RUTTE WITH HIS CABINET RESIGNED
- The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte and his entire Cabinet has resigned recently over the childcare subsidies scandal, in which thousands of families were wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.
- However, the Rutte government will stay on in a caretaker role until parliamentary elections in March 2021.
- The resignation brings to an end a decade in office for Rutte, although his party is expected to win the election, putting him first in line to begin talks to form the next government.
- If he succeeds in forming a new coalition, Rutte would most likely again become prime minister.
KIREN RIJIJU GIVEN ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF AYUSH MINISTRY
- Ministry for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju has been given the additional charge of the Ayush Ministry.
- He will hold the fort till Shripad Yesso Naik recovers from an accident. The President has directed that this arrangement may continue till Shri Shripad Yesso Naik resumes his work related to Ministry of AYUSH.”
- The President, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that during the hospitalisation and treatment of Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH); and Minister of State in Ministry of Defence, following a road accident.
- His portfolio related to Ministry of AYUSH, be temporarily assigned to Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State (Independent Charge) in addition to his existing portfolios.
FIRST WOMAN FIGHTER PILOT IN REPUBLIC DAY PARADE
- Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth will become the 1st woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade.
- She will be a part of the Indian Air Force’s tableau in the 2021 Republic Day Parade that will showcase mock-ups of the light combat helicopter, light combat aircraft, and the Sukhoi-30 fighter plane.
- At present, Bhawana is posted in Rajasthan and flies the MiG-21 Bison fighter plane. Bhawana is also one of the first women fighter pilots to be inducted into the Indian Air Force in the year 2016.
- She was inducted into IAF in 2016 along with Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi. Since then 10 women have been commissioned as fighter pilots in IAF.
- Induction of Bhawana and other two women fighters was an experimental scheme of induction of women in IAF’s combat stream introduced in the year 2015.
- The newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft will also be featured in the 2021 Republic Day parade. The aircraft will culminate the flypast by forming the ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation.
- 38 IAF aircraft and 4 Indian Army planes will participate in the flypast of 26th January. The flypast will be divided into two blocks. 5 Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF in September 2020.
15TH INDIA DIGITAL SUMMIT 2021 COMMENCED
- The India Digital Summit, the flagship event of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is one of the biggest conferences for the digital industry.
- Honourable Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is the chief guest, will deliver the inaugural address at the Summit.
- The summit, in its 15th year, will bring thought leadership on various digital initiatives that will cover Policies, Business, Investment, Advertising, Digital Commerce, Start-ups Ecosystem, Emerging Tech, and other Digital Trends.
- The theme for this year’s summit, which is being held virtually, is ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Start of New Decade’ in line with the government’s ‘Make for the World’ Initiatives.
- The staggering increase in the total number of internet users in rural India recently presents us with the unique opportunity to establish India as a global powerhouse of Digital Growth.