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Read the most important current affairs of 20 January 2024. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on ‘My School-My Pride’ Scheme , Jeevan Dhara II Plan, Novel: “Conversations with Aurangzeb.”
Top 20 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 20 January 2024
1.PM Launches Khelo India Youth Games 2023 In Chennai, Tamil Nadu
- The 13th edition of the Khelo India Youth Games was inaugurated with great enthusiasm by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- The opening ceremony witnessed not only the commencement of the much-awaited sporting event but also the launch and foundation stone laying of significant projects in the Broadcasting sector, valued at around Rs 250 crores.
- The highlight of the ceremony was the lighting of the Games’ torch, symbolizing the official inauguration of Khelo India Youth Games. The torch was handed over by two athletes and placed on the cauldron, marking the beginning of an exciting sporting extravaganza.
2.PM Initiates 8 AMRUT Projects Worth Rs. 2,000 Crores In Solapur, Maharashtra
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, marked a historic day in Solapur, Maharashtra, by laying the foundation stone for 8 AMRUT projects and dedicating over 90,000 completed houses under PMAY-Urban.
- The event also witnessed the distribution of PM-SVANIDHI benefits to 10,000 beneficiaries, showcasing the government’s commitment to inclusive development.
- The inauguration of 15,000 houses in the Raynagar Housing Society, Solapur, is particularly noteworthy, benefitting handloom workers, vendors, power loom workers, rag pickers, Bidi workers, drivers, and others.
- The Prime Minister also initiated the distribution of the 1st and 2nd instalments to 10,000 beneficiaries of PM-SVANIDHI in Maharashtra.
3.UNDP And EU Allocate $420,000+ For Deforestation, Food Security, Climate Change to Papua New Guinea
- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) have allocated grants totaling over US$420,000 (approximately 1.6 million PGK) to support initiatives aimed at combating deforestation, improving food and nutrition security, and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
- The official handover of these grants took place during a workshop held at the Takeanda Museum in Wabag, Enga Province, on 17 January 2024. These grants are set to benefit communities across six districts in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.
- Beyond the grant distribution, participants received crucial guidance on monitoring and reporting the outcomes of their initiatives. The workshop also focused on enhancing the effective implementation of diverse project activities.
4.Solar Power Stations Inaugurated at Egyptian World Heritage Sites
- In a ceremony at the Manial Palace, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA), in collaboration with the Industrial Modernization Center and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, officially inaugurated solar power stations at five renowned Egyptian world heritage sites and museums.
- This initiative is part of the Egypt PV project, a groundbreaking effort aimed at fostering the market for rooftop small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems in Egypt. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the European Union, the project operates under the auspices of the UNDP in partnership with Egypt’s COP27 Presidency.
5.Himachal Pradesh Launches ‘My School-My Pride’ For Education Transformation
- In a progressive move aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, the state of Himachal Pradesh has unveiled the ambitious ‘My School-My Pride’ campaign under the ‘Apna Vidyalay’ programme.
- This initiative is set to revolutionize the quality of education in government schools, providing a holistic approach to student growth and development.
- Under the ‘Apna Vidyalay’ programme, stakeholders are not only encouraged to contribute their time and expertise but also make monetary contributions for infrastructure development, sponsor events, provide scholarships, and support the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme.
6.Gole Mela Festival Commenced At Jagannath Temple, Udhampur
- The beautiful town of Udhampur witnessed a glorious spectacle today as the sacred precincts of the Jagannath Temple came alive with the vibrant celebrations of the much-anticipated ‘Gole Mela.
- The annual ‘Gole Mela’ has become synonymous with a collective expression of faith, drawing people from diverse backgrounds to come together in celebration.
- The festival venue was transformed into a lively fairground with an array of stalls, each offering a unique experience. From traditional handicrafts showcasing local artistry to delectable delicacies that tantalized the taste buds, the stalls added a festive charm to the surroundings.
7.Defence Minister Unveils 35 BRO Projects In Border Regions
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 35 projects, including 29 bridges and six roads, constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven states and union territories, with a total cost of ₹670 crore.
- These include eleven projects in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Ladakh, eight in Arunachal Pradesh, three in Uttarakhand, two in Sikkim, and one each in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh.
- The challenging weather conditions and inhospitable terrains make these projects a testament to the dedication of the Border Roads Organisation. Singh asserted that while soldiers protect the country in uniform, border-area residents contribute in their own unique way.
8.SEBI Chairperson Launches CDSL’s Multi-Lingual Initiatives for Investor Ease
- In celebration of its silver jubilee year, Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL), Asia’s first listed depository, took a significant step towards inclusivity and accessibility in the capital market landscape.
- CDSL introduced a revolutionary upgrade in investor Consolidated Account Statement (CAS), enabling investors to receive statements in their preferred language among 23 diverse Indian languages.
- This initiative, titled ‘Apka CAS – Apki Zubaani,’ aims to provide easier accessibility, offering investors a consolidated view of their securities held in a demat account in a language of their choice.
- A unique multi-lingual chatbot, ‘CDSL Buddy Sahayta 24*7,’ on the CDSL website seeks to simplify investors’ journeys towards ‘Atmanirbharta’ or self-sufficiency.
- Starting with support in four languages, the chatbot provides round-the-clock assistance, becoming a constant companion for investors navigating the complexities of the securities markets.
9.LIC Introduces Jeevan Dhara II Deferred Annuity Plan
- Unveiled by LIC Chairman Siddhartha Mohanty, the new Jeevan Dhara II plan offers a non-participating, individual savings, deferred annuity option.
- Jeevan Dhara II offers life cover during the deferment period, enhancing the financial security of policyholders. The plan provides higher annuity rates as policyholders age, ensuring a secure and stable income stream in later years.
- Guaranteed Annuity from Inception: Prospective policyholders can enjoy the assurance of a guaranteed annuity right from the inception of the plan.
- With 11 annuity options available, individuals can choose the one that best aligns with their financial goals and preferences. The plan allows for a minimum entry age of 20 years, making it accessible to a broad range of individuals.
10.PM Modi Inaugurates Boeing’s Global Engineering & Technology Centre Campus near Bengaluru
- On January 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Boeing’s state-of-the-art global engineering and technology centre campus near Bengaluru.
- The Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre (BIETC) campus, situated at Hightech Defence and Aerospace Park in Devanahalli, boasts a investment of Rs 1,600 crore, positioning it as Boeing’s largest such venture outside the United States.
- The campus, strategically located on the city outskirts, spans 43 acres and is expected to serve as a pivotal hub for collaborations with startups, the private sector, and government entities in India. It is envisioned to play a crucial role in the development of next-generation products and services for the global aerospace and defence industry.
11.Maharashtra Secures Investments of Rs 3.53 Trillion at Davos
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced the signing of 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during his visit to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
- The state government successfully sealed investment MoUs amounting to Rs 3.53 lakh crore (USD 44 billion) across various sectors, including electronics, IT, data centers, gems and jewelry, agriculture, automobile, and renewable energy. An additional expression of interest for Rs 1 lakh crore investment was also received, catapulting the total potential investment to Rs 4.5 lakh crore (almost USD 57 billion).
- This substantial investment has the potential to generate around two lakh jobs, contributing significantly to employment across diverse industries.
Summits & Conferences News
12.India Launches “Alliance for Global Good-Gender Equity and Equality” at World Economic Forum
- In a significant move on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, India has unveiled the “Alliance for Global Good-Gender Equity and Equality.”
- The initiative has gained support from influential entities, with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Invest India joining as crucial partners.
- The idea for this alliance stems from the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, aligning with India’s commitment to women-led development championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.
13.Bengaluru, Delhi airports get best airport award at Wings India
- At the prestigious Wings India Awards 2024, both the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi were jointly awarded the ‘Best Airport of the Year’.
- This accolade celebrates world-class operators and individuals who have significantly contributed to the aviation industry, especially during challenging times. The award ceremony was held in Hyderabad.
- Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport was specifically recognized with the ’25 MPPA Traffic Award’ in the Airports category for handling more than 25 million passengers annually.
14.Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2024
- The Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2024 was declared, with the awards set to be presented by President Droupadi Murmu at a formal event at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on January 22.
- This year, 19 children from various parts of the country have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. The Ministry of Women and Child Development revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will engage with the recipients on January 23. Additionally, these children will be featured in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2024.
15.Skyways Air Services wins Best Cargo Services Award at Wings India Awards
- Skyways Air Services Pvt Ltd has been recognized for its outstanding cargo services at the prestigious Wings India Awards held in Hyderabad.
- Skyways Air Services Pvt Ltd stood out for its cargo services, earning the Best Cargo Services Award. This accolade highlights the company’s efficiency and innovation in handling cargo, thereby contributing significantly to the aviation industry.
- The Wings India Awards are a significant event in the aviation industry, acknowledging the contributions of various stakeholders. This year’s event, held at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, showcased major announcements and developments in the civil aviation sector.
16.PepsiCo India Appoints Marketing chief Jagrut Kotecha as new CEO
- PepsiCo India, in a strategic realignment, has appointed Jagrut Kotecha as its new CEO, succeeding Ahmed El Sheikh. This move comes as Ahmed El Sheikh transitions to the role of CEO for PepsiCo’s Middle East Business Unit.
- Kotecha, currently the Chief Commercial Officer for PepsiCo in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA), is set to take the helm of PepsiCo India’s operations in March 2024.
- Jagrut Kotecha, with over three decades of experience at PepsiCo, has made significant contributions to the company’s growth. His PepsiCo journey began in 1994 in the Sales and Marketing team in India. Climbing the corporate ladder, Kotecha assumed various roles, including Regional Sales Manager and Marketing Manager for Western Snack.
17.National Farmers Society, IndiaAI, Wadhwani Foundation Signs MoU For AI-Driven Agriculture
- A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been recently inked between the National Farmers’ Welfare Programme Implementation Society, IndiaAI (Digital India Corporation), and Wadhwani Foundation.
- This collaborative effort aims to propel India to the forefront of AI-driven digital agriculture, leveraging the expertise and support of the Wadhwani Foundation in formulating and executing a robust AI strategy.
- The Wadhwani Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to accelerating economic development, will play a pivotal role in providing critical support for the development and implementation of AI-driven initiatives in the agriculture sector.
18.Tata Group Secures IPL Title Sponsorship for Next 5 Years
- Tata Sons Private Limited has successfully utilized its Right to Match card, retaining the prestigious title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the upcoming five seasons, spanning 2024 to 2028.
- This development follows the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) release of an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for Title Sponsor Rights in late December 2023.
- In 2022, Tata Group had initially replaced Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo as the IPL title sponsor for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, contributing INR 365 crore per season. With their current decision to retain the title sponsorship, the group is poised for an extended and prominent association with the world’s most lucrative cricket league.
Books & Authors News
19.“Conversations with Aurangzeb”: A Novel by Charu Nivedita
- “Conversations with Aurangzeb” is a novel by Tamil literary icon Charu Nivedita, translated into English by Nandini Krishnan.
- This book represents a unique fusion of historical narrative and satirical commentary, offering readers a fresh perspective on both historical and contemporary themes.
- The novel is a part historical, part satirical piece that begins with a writer’s attempt to conduct seances with the spirit of Shah Jahan for a new book.
20.Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha: World’s largest lock, 1265 kg laddoo Prasad Arrive in Ayodhya
- As the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya gears up for its Pran Pratishtha (consecration) ceremony, it has received two unique offerings: the world’s largest lock, weighing 400 kg, and a colossal 1,265 kg laddoo Prasad.
- Crafted by Satya Prakash Sharma, a 65-year-old locksmith from Aligarh, the lock is a remarkable piece of artistry. Measuring ten feet in length and four and a half feet in width, the lock was made over six months.
- Nagabhushanam Reddy, owner of Sri Ram Catering Services in Hyderabad, prepared the massive laddoo Prasad. Reddy, inspired by his faith, had pledged to prepare 1 kg of laddoo for each day of his life as a mark of devotion.
- The preparation of this gigantic laddoo involved 25 men working tirelessly for three days. The laddoo was transported to Ayodhya in a refrigerated glass box, ensuring its preservation for up to a month.
20 JANUARY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2024 | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR