Current affairs (31ST DECEMBER)
NITIN GADKARI ANNOUNCES MULTI-MODEL LOGISTICS PARK
- Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has announced that a multi-modal logistics park in Assam.
- It will be constructed in Silchar and the Balacherra-Harengajao section of the Silchar-Saurashtra Highway will be completed in March 2022.
- Mr Gadkari made this announcement at a public meeting at Zero Point on the East-West Corridor at Madhurmukh at Rangpur.
- The Union Minister for Road Transport laid the foundation stone of 20 projects and inaugurated seven projects worth Rs 2,366 crores for Assam with a total length of 439 km.
- The logistics park will be constructed in Silchar and construction works of East-West Corridor would be expedited and two new bridges would come up over the Barak river.
- Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to send a proposal for ₹ 250 crore project in the Corporate Social Responsibility Fund for the Barak Valley.
- The water transport system of Brahmaputra would be strengthened, the Union Minister said that dredging work on Barak river has also been completed.
Chief Minister of Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal
Governor: Prof. Jagdish Mukhi.
Folk Dance of Assam: Bihu dance, Bagurumba, Bhortal Dance, Jhumur dance.
BIHAR WINS DIGITAL INDIA AWARD FOR TRANSFERING INDIA
- The Chief Minister Secretariat of Bihar, the Disaster Management Department besides the National Informatics Centre (NIC) of the state have jointly been chosen as winners in the “pandemic category” Digital India Awards 2020.
- Bihar government’s initiative to transfer financial assistance directly to the accounts of beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic has made its departments winners of the Digital India Awards, instituted by the central government, this year for innovative steps in e-governance.
- More than 21 lakh stranded workers outside Bihar were provided financial assistance through the “Bihar Sahayata Mobile App”.
- The Digital India Awards, instituted under the aegis of the National Portal of India, serve the purpose of bringing to the fore innovative digital solutions and thereby inspiring emulation by all government entities.
- Chief Minister of Bihar: Nitish Kumar
- Governor of Bihar: Phagu Chauhan.
INDIA'S FIRST HOT AIR BALLOON WILDLIFE SAFARI
- India’s first hot air balloon wildlife safari in a tiger reserve was launched in the world-famous Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve by Madhya Pradesh forest minister Vijay Shah.
- Now like Africa’s forests, tourists in India will also enjoy hot air balloon wildlife safari. The state was planning to introduce this service in Pench, Kanha and Panna tiger reserves as well.
- The activity will be restricted to the buffer area and people can watch tigers, leopards, Indian sloth bear and other wild animals from a height.
- It is the first in any tiger reserve in the country. The service is being operated by Jaipur-based Sky Waltz and company.
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
- Governor of MP: Anandiben Patel.
DRDO'S SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020
- Senior scientist Hemant Kumar Pandey has been honoured with DRDO’s ”Scientist of the Year Award” for his contribution in developing several herbal medicines, including the popular drug Lukoskin meant for the treatment of leucoderma.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had recently facilitated the scientist at an event here with the prestigious award that comprises a certificate and cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
- The scientist has developed six herbal drugs so far, Lukoskin used for treating leucoderma or Vitiligo, a condition in which white patches get developed on the skin, has been most widely appreciated and found huge acceptance in the market.
- A recipient of several prestigious awards for his contribution in the field of herbal medicine, Pandey has been undertaking research at the Defence Research and Development Organisation”s (DRDO) lab Defence Institute of Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand for the past 25 years.
- Apart from Lukoskin, Pandey has developed drugs for the treatment of eczema and toothache as well as an anti-radiation cream, most of which are already being sold in the market following the transfer of technology (ToT).
DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
LATE JUSTICE RAJINDAR SACHAR'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
- The family of Late Justice Rajindar Sachar in association with The Indian Society of International Law and The Indian Law Institute is organizing the book launch “In Pursuit Of Justice: An Autobiography” written by Late Justice Rajindar Sachar. The book has been posthumously published.
- Justice Rajindar Sachar was a socialist, an egalitarian, a defender of civil liberties, a deeply engaged citizen of India, and, above all, a humanist.
- A man who believed in standing for the last man in the line, he was ‘armed’ with a moral compass that never wavered. He joined the Delhi High Court in 1970 but was transferred out of Delhi for voicing his opposition to the Emergency.
- During those dark days, he shared a close bond with justice H.R. Khanna, the lone voice of dissent in a Supreme Court that chose to side with Indira Gandhi.
- Brought back to Delhi after the Emergency, he rose to become the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.
INAUGURATION OF INDIA'S HIGHEST METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE
- Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the meteorological centre (MC) of the India Meteorological Department at Leh in Ladakh via video conferencing.
- The centre would provide localized weather forecasts in the region, which would result in strengthening the weather-related early warning system for the region.
- The meteorological centre at Leh is the second MC located in the Himalayas. The first such facility is based in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.
- The facility is located at a height of 3,500 metres, which makes it the highest meteorological centre in India. This new MC will provide short-range (three days,) medium-range (12 days) and long-range (one month) forecast for Leh and Kargil districts of the Union Territory.
- Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh: Radha Krishna Mathur.
UNION CABINET APPROVED EXPORT OF AKASH MISSILE SYSTEM
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to export indigenously-developed Akash Missile System.
- The Cabinet has also approved to set up of a committee for faster approvals of exports. The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces.
- Akash is a short-range Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms to protect vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from air attacks.
- It was inducted in IAF in 2014 and in the Indian Army in 2015.
HARSH VARDHAN NOMINATED TO THE BOARD OF 'GAVI'
- Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has been nominated as the board member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).
- The seat is currently held by Myint Htwe of Myanmar. Dr Vardhan will represent the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/ Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board.
- Dr Vardhan will assume the charge with effect from January 1, 2021, and serve till December 31, 2023.
- The vaccine alliance GAVI is an international organisation that provides a forum for balanced strategic decision-making, innovation and partner collaboration.
- It was created to improve access to new and underused vaccines for numerous vaccine-preventable diseases for children who live in the world’s poorest countries.
- The GAVI board is responsible for the strategic direction and policy-making oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
- GAVI Headquarters location: Geneva, Switzerland.
- GAVI Founded: January 2000.