1. India-2021 census to begin on 1st April.
• The Census India-2021 exercise is schedule to start on 1st April 2020 and conclude on 30th September 2020.
• Also, for the first time, the Census India-2021 will be conducted through a mobile phone application, instead of the traditional pen and paper method as used earlier.
2. Tamil Nadu: Famous chariot festival of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple being held today.
• The annual chariot festival of the Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple in Tamil Nadu began on 09 January 2020.
• The ten-day festival involving pulling of the chariot is held every year in the state in the Tamil month falling in December – January.
• Suchindram Temple, also known as Sthanumalayan Temple is located in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
• The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma in a single form called Sthanumalayan, where Sthanu means Trimurti – Brahma ,Vishnu and Shiva.
3. Central Govt To Set Up 1023 Fast Track Special Courts For Speedy Disposal of POCSO and Rape Cases
• On January 09,2020 24 states and union territories (UTs) have joined together to set up a total of 1,023 ‘fast-track special courts’ (FTSCs) to dispose of over 1.60 lakh cases of rape of children below the age of 12 years and women pending in various courts across the country.
• This has been done to bring out fast and time bound completion of trial of these cases for which Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted.
• The FTSC will be set up as part of National Mission for Safety of Women (NMSW).
• Project cost: Total financial implication of the project is over Rs 767.25 crore.
• Operational courts: 216 POCSO courts have already been operationalized in 12 States under the scheme.
• Courts for POCSO cases: Out of the 1023 FTSCs, 289 courts were proposed in 2019 to be set up exclusively for POCSO Act related cases in Districts having more than 100 such cases.
• Cases to be heard in a year: Each FTSC is expected to dispose of 41-42 cases in each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year
4. India's first “fully solar powered” railway section between Nandyal-Yerraguntla
• On January 9, 2020 the Nandyal-Yerraguntla section in Guntakal Division of Andhra Pradesh has been declared as the first solar section in South Central Railway.
• In 2016 August Indian Railways opened Nandyal-Yerraguntla section in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
• All the 8 stations in the Nandyal-Yerraguntla section has been provided with solar panels which are capable of meeting all the power needs in these railway stations.
• Anticipated savings in terms of revenue is around Rs 5 lakh per annum and it also helps in reducing carbon footprint to the tune of 49 metric tonnes per annum.
• By 2021-22 ,Indian Railways has planned to source about 1000 MegaWatt (MW) Solar Power and about 200 MW of wind power across Zonal Railways & Production Units
5. Chenab Bridge: Indian Railways on track for world's highest railway-arch bridge in J&K
• On January 9,2020 Government of India set a new deadline for the completion of the world’s highest railway bridge- Chenab bridge. Kashmir will be connected to the rest of India by Indian railways by December 2021.
• Konkan railway is the implementing agency of this project.
• The Chenab bridge will be 35m taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris,France.
• Once completed, it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China.
• The massive arch-shaped structure being constructed in hostile-terrain, have used over 5462 tonnes of steel will be 359 meters above the chenab river bed.
• It is designed to withstand the wind’s speeds of up to 260km per hour.
• The 1.315-km-long ‘engineering marvel’ will connect Bakkal (katra) and Kauri (Srinagar).
• The bridge forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
• The project was declared as a national project in 2002.
• About Chenab River:
i.The Chenab river is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi in the upper himalayas in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Republic of India.
ii.In its upper reaches it is also known as Chandrabhaga.
iii.It is the tributary of the Indus river.
iv.The total length of Chenab river is about 960 km.
• Konkan Railway:
Chairman and Managing Director- Shri. Sanjay Gupta.
Headquarters- (C.B.D) Central Business District Belapur, Navi Mumbai.
6. Forest Committee approves scheme to 'trade' in forests.
• On January 09, 2020 the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) which is an apex body that considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships etc and also issues granting of forest clearances has approved Green Credit Scheme that would allow forests to be traded as a commodity..
• Green Credit scheme:
o Agencies identifying lands: The scheme allows agencies like private companies, village forest communities etc to identify lands for forest cultivation and ensures plantations are grown.
o Compensatory forest land: After 3 years, these identified lands would be considered as compensatory forest land after meeting forest department’s criteria.
o Industry approaching agencies: An industry that needs forest land could approach these agencies and pay them for such forested land. This would then be transferred to the forest department & also recorded as forest land.
o Current system:In the current system the industry should find appropriate non forest land equal to that which would be razed for industrial purposes
BANKING AND ECONOMICS
7. World Bank cuts India's FY20 growth estimates to 5% from earlier 6%.
• World Bank (WB) released its January 2020 Global Economic Prospects report on 08 January 2020.
• The WB report has cuts India’s GDP growth for financial year 2020-21 to 5% from its previous estimate of 6 percent.
• Also, for fiscal 2021-22, GDP projection has come down to 5.8 percent,
• The Global economic growth in 2020-21 is expected to rise to 2.5%.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
8. 4 Indian airports receive international recognition for reducing carbon emissions.
• On January 10, 2020 the Airports Authority of India(AAI) has announced that 4 Indian airports have received international recognition for reducing the carbon emission level as per the standards set by Airports Council International (ACI) for the grading.
• The 4 airports are as follows:
o Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (West Bengal)
o Biju Patnaik International Airport (Odisha)
o Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (Uttar Pradesh)
o Trivandrum International Airport (Kerala)
• The reduction in emissions was achieved by constituting Carbon Management Plan(CMP) and reducing carbon emissions at airports as per the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Program. ACI’s grading system is based on 4 categories. They are mapping, reduction, optimization and neutrality
9. Prof. MS Swaminathan & Dr. G Muniratnam chosen for Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Awards.
• Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan and veteran social worker, Dr. Gutta Muniratnam have been chosen as the first recipients of ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence’ and ‘Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service’’ respectively.
• The announcement for the awards was made during the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of Muppavarapu Foundation and Sankranthi Sambaralu (festivities) organized in Hyderabad on 09 January 2020.
• The Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence is instituted by the Muppavarapu Foundation.
• Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service has been launched by the Swarna Bharat Trust.
• Each award carries a cash prize of Rupees Five Lakh and citation.
• Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has been awarded for his distinguished contributions to the field of agriculture.
• Dr G Muniratnam, Founder Secretary of Tirupati-based Rashtriya Seva Samiti, was awarded for his extraordinary contribution in improving quality of people’s lives through social service.
10. TTFI to host ITTF EC Meeting in New Delhi.
• The two-day Executive Committee meeting of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) began in New Delhi on 10th January 2020.
• This is the second time that India is hosting such a meeting.
• Previously such meeting of the ITTF was held in New Delhi in 1987.
• The EC meeting is being chaired by ITTF President Thomas Weikert to discuss the development of table tennis in India, among other issues.
• The other members in the Executive Committee of the ITTF comprises deputy president Khalil Al-Mohannad, Secretary General Raul Calin, seven executive vice-presidents and CEO Steve Dainton.
• International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) headquarter- Lausanne, Switzerland.
11. Former MP Gopinath Deo Dies At 76 In Odisha After Illness
• On January 10, 2020 Odisha’s Gajapati dynasty head and the former MP Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deo passed away due to prolonged illness in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
• He was 76.He was born on March 6, 1943 in Paralakhemundi town of Gajapati district in Odisha.
• He was member of Indian National Congress (INC) representing the Berhampur parliamentary constituency.
• He later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1998 and moved to Biju Janata DAL (BJD) in 2009.
12. Minati Mishra Passes Away at 91
• Eminent Odishi dancer and Padma Shri awardee Minati Mishra passed away in Switzerland. She was 91.
• Born in Cuttack, Minati was a recipient of Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 1975, and the Padma award in 2012.
January 2020 Important Days
Date Name of important Days
1 January Global Family Day
8 January African National Congress Foundation Day
10 january NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
World hindi day
11 January Death anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
12 January National Youth Day
15 January Indian Army Day
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.
10 January : World Hindi Day
The World Hindi Day is celebrated every year on 10 January since 2006 to create awareness for the promotion of Hindi in the world, to introduce Hindi as an international language among other things.Former Prime Minister of India Shri Manmohan Singh declared World Hindi Day to be observed on 10 January in the year 2006.Since then, the day is observed by Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Embassies abroad.
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 do not occur overnight but happen after a prolonged period of undiagnosed disease.