Current affairs (19TH JANUARY)
PM MODI FLAGGED OFF TRAINS CONNECTING STATUE OF UNITY
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off eight trains connecting the Statue of Unity in Kevadiya, Gujarat with different regions of the country through video conferencing.
- PM Modi informed that it was the first time in history that so many trains from different locations were flagged off for a common destination.
- The eight trains flagged off will connect Kevadiya with Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Rewa, Chennai, and Pratapnagar.
- PM also inaugurated other railway projects in Kevadiya, including Dabhoi-Chandid gauge converted broad gauge rail line, Chandod-Kevadiya new broad gauge rail line, Pratapnagar-Kevadiya newly electrified section, and new station buildings of Dabhoi Junction, Chandod and Kevadiya.
UAE & BAHRAIN AS MAJOR STRATEGIC PARTNERS
- The United States has recently designated the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the “major strategic partners” of the country.
- This has been announced before the formal transition of the president’s office from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
- This announcement of “major strategic partners” was done by Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary.
- Designation as strategic partners will strengthen the existing partnership between the United States, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Both the countries have been designated for their commitment to countering violent extremism across the region, exceptional security partnership, and exemplified by their hosting thousands of United States airmen, soldiers, marines, and sailors.
- Also, both the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have been a part of various United States-led coalitions in the last 30 years. It also represents the commitment to the security and economic cooperation of the countries.
- The designation also reflects their determination, extraordinary courage, and leadership in entering into the Abraham Accords.
- The Jebel Ali port of UAE is the busiest port of call for US warships outside of the U.S. Kingdom of Bahrain also hosts around 5,000 American troops and is home to the 5th Fleet of the U.S. Navy.
PAKISTAN PERMITS DUBAI TO HUNT HOUBARA BUSTARD
- Pakistan has issued special permission to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Dubai Ruler; the crown prince, and 5 members of the royal family for hunting houbara bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season.
- After the permission, 11 members of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family reached the Panjgur district in Balochistan, Pakistan for hunting the highly vulnerable and internationally protected houbara bustard under Pakistan’s foreign ministry license.
- This is not the 1st time that Pakistan has allowed royals from the Gulf for hunting houbara bustard.
- Such hunting expeditions have been for four decades and have continued even the Supreme Court of Pakistan imposed a blanket ban on the killing of the houbara bustard in the year 2015.
- The houbara bustard is a terrestrial bird found in parts of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
- The Asian houbara (Chlamydotis macqueenii) and North African houbara (Chlamydotis undulata) are separate species. After breeding in central Asia during spring, the Houbara bustards migrate south to spend the winter in Pakistan.
KERALA GOVT. ONE SCHOOL ONE IAS SCHEME
- Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has inaugurated the ‘OneSchool One IAS’ scheme which has been rolled out under the Vedhik Erudite Foundations Scholarship Programme.
- According to a notification released an institution considered by top academics and retired IAS and IPS officers in the state is conducting the programme which seeks to refute the general notion that the civil service is for the elite class only.
- The programme will be providing free training to the students who are economically backward but are academically brilliant aspirants of civil service and other competitive exams.
- The scheme is supported by sponsors, which expects an enrollment of 10,000 boys and girls across the state.
- The beneficiaries of the programme will be selected by a panel which will be headed by the heads of the respective educational institutions.
- Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan.
- Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.
RAMCHANDRA GUHA'S BOOK 'COMMONWEALTH OF CRICKET'
- Ramchandra Guha’s latest book ‘The Commonwealth of Cricket’ would be launching virtually in the Tata Literature Live (The Mumbai Lit fest) this month.
- His latest book juxtaposes his life with his abiding love for the game & this conversation could not come at a better time with India and Australia in the midst of an enthralling test series.
- In his upcoming book, ‘The commonwealth of cricket: The most subtle and sophisticated game known to mankind’, Guha has penned down his personal account of being intimately involved with the game starting from the time he was a child growing up in Dehradun to his days in college, from his encounters with the best Indian and foreign cricket players to becoming part of the BCCI.
- As he traces his multifaceted encounters with the game through anecdotes, memoirs and evocative portraits of cricketing legends, he charts the extraordinary social and historical changes that cricket underwent in India and the world
HARSH VARDHAN CHAIRS 148TH SESSION OF WHO BOARD
- Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally chaired the 148th session of WHO Executive Board, through Video Conference.
- The 148th session of the Executive Board has been organised from 18-26 January 2021.
- The meeting provides a platform to bring together all member states to set the directions and agenda and continue striving for the objective of Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
- Also, the WHO has declared the Year 2021 as the Year of Global Solidarity and Survival.
- Headquarters of WHO: Geneva, Switzerland.
- Director-general of WHO: Tedros Adhanom.
YONEX THAILAND OPEN BADMINTON TOURNAMENT 2021
- Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin bolstered her chances of defending her title in Tokyo later this year after claiming the Thailand Open in Bangkok over top seed Tai Tzu-Ying.
- The Yonex Thailand Open Super 1000 badminton tournament was held from 12 January 2021 to 17 January 2021. It was the first badminton tournament of 2021 by Badminton World Federation (BWF).
- Men’s Category: Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) defeated Angus Long (Hong Kong) to clinch the Men’s Singles Title.
- Women’s Category: Carolina Marin (Spain) defeated Tai Tzu-Ying (Taiwan) to bag the Women’s Singles Title.
- Winners of Doubles Title: In the Men’s Doubles, Taiwan’s Lee Yang & Wang Chi-Lin beat Malaysia’s Goh V Shem & Tan Wee Kiong to bag the Doubles Title.
- In the Women’s Doubles, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii & Apriyani Rahayu defeated Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul & Rawinda Prajongjai to clinch the Doubles Title.
- Winners of Mixed Doubles: Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai defeated Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan & Melati Daeva Oktavianti to clinch the mixed doubles title.
JANUARY 23RD TO BE CELEBRATED AS 'PARAKRAM DIWAS'
- The birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on January 23, as ‘Parakram Diwas’ every year, the Ministry of Culture announced.
- The day is celebrated to honour and remember Netaji’s indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation.
- Earlier this month, the Ministry of Culture held a high-level committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a befitting manner.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit West Bengal on January 23 to attend Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary celebrations at the Victorial Memorial in Kolkata. The PM is also likely to visit National Library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore.