GK Update 26th & 27th January 2021

1. Republic Day 2021: India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day

  • The nation celebrated the 72nd Republic Day with a grand military parade and exhibition of its history, cultural diversity and strategic weaponry at the Rajpath, Delhi. This day is celebrated by all Indians and 26th of January has been declared as a national holiday by the government of India.
  • The Republic Day Parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. The National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute.
  • The Indian Republic Day is celebrated all across India with lots of patriotism and fervour. At Rajpath, in Delhi, magnificent parades by regiments of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, police, and paramilitary forces are witnessed. India’s defensive prowess is on display too, with the latest missiles, aircraft, and weapon systems.

2. Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wins second term

  • The incumbent President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has won a second five-year term after winning the 2021 Portuguese presidential election with a landslide victory.
  • The 72-year-old former leader of the Social Democratic Party won 61 per cent of the total votes. He is serving as the President of the country since 9 March 2016 and would start his second term on March 9, 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Portugal Capital: Lisbon; Currency: Euro.

3. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan launches ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ for Girl Child

  • In Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched a new scheme ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ on 24 January, to mark the occasion of National Girl Child Day.
  • The scheme has been launched under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme for the empowerment and growth of the girl child.
  • The CM also announced scholarships worth Rs 6.47 crore for 26,099 girls under Ladli Laxmi Yojana.
  • ‘PANKH Abhiyan’ is a year-long programme. The letter in the PANKH scheme stands for:

‘P’ – protection
‘A’ – awareness of their rights
‘N’ – nutrition
‘K’ – knowledge
‘H’ – health.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Governor: Anandiben Patel.

4. UP becomes first Indian State to have 2 Expressway airstrips

  • In Uttar Pradesh, a new 3,300-metre-long airstrip has been constructed near Kurebhar on Purvanchal Expressway.
  • With this new airstrip, Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India having two airstrips on expressways.
  • Uttar Pradesh also has an airstrip on Lucknow-Agra Expressway. Airstrips on expressways are designed to facilitate emergency landing and take-off of fighter planes.
  • Uttar Pradesh government is trying to connect the entire northern part of the country with expressways.
  • The Hindon and Agra airbases of the Indian Air Force will be able to use the runway of all three expressways if needed.
  • Also, these airstrips of Uttar Pradesh can serve the Air Force to respond against China and Pakistan in case of any war.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Uttar Pradesh Capital: Lucknow.
  • Uttar Pradesh Governor: Anandiben Patel.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath.

5. Indian Navy conducts exercise AMPHEX – 21 with Army and Air Force

  • A large-scale tri-service joint amphibious exercise AMPHEX – 21 was held in Andaman & Nicobar group of islands. The exercise involved the participation of troops of Army, Navy as well as the Indian Air Force.
  • The exercise was aimed at validating India’s capabilities to safeguard the territorial integrity of its island territories. The joint force executed multi-domain, high-intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
  • The exercise involved multi-faceted maritime operations by synergised employment of amphibious assault ships, surveillance platforms, execution of maritime airstrikes and complex manoeuvres at sea.

6. DRDO successfully conducts maiden test launch of Akash-NG Missile

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha.
  • Akash-NG is a new generation Surface-to-Air Missile for use by Indian Air Force (IAF) with an aim of intercepting high manoeuvring aerial threats. The launch met all the test objectives by performing high manoeuvres during the trajectory.

7. FICCI survey forecasts 8% GDP contraction in FY21

  • The gross domestic product (GDP) of India is expected to contract by 8 per cent in 2020-21, according to the latest Economic Outlook Survey of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
  • Apart from this, FICCI expects the economy to perform much better in the financial year 2021-22 with a GDP growth rate of 9.6 percent in FY22.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Founded: 1927.
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Headquarters location: New Delhi.

8. IMF revises India’s growth forecast to -8% in FY21

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pegged the Indian economy to contract by 8 per cent in the current financial year 2020-21, in its latest World Economic Outlook, released on 26 January 2021.
  • The IMF expects GDP of India to rise to 11.5 per cent in the next financial year i.e. 2021-22.
  • Apart from this, the IMF projected the global growth to contract at 3.5 per cent in 2020.
  • The global economy is projected to grow by 5.5 per cent in 2021 and 4.2 per cent in 2022 as per the IMF.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IMF Headquarters: Washington, D.C. U.S.
  • IMF Managing Director and Chairman: Kristalina Georgieva.
  • IMF Chief Economist: Gita Gopinath.

9. UN projects Indian economy to grow at 7.3% in CY-2021

  • India’s economic growth is forecast to be 7.3 per cent in the Calendar Year 2021 by the UN.
  • The Indian economy is estimated to contract by 9.6 per cent in the Calendar year 2020, as per the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021, produced by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
  • In addition to this, the global economy is estimated to shrink by 4.3 per cent in 2020. The UN has estimated the Global GDP to recover to 4.7 per cent in 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Headquarters location: New York, United States.
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Head: Liu Zhenmin.
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Founded: 1948.

10. SpaceX breaks ISRO’s Record by launching 143 Satellites

  • SpaceX successfully launched its ambitious rideshare mission called Transporter-1, carrying 143 small satellites, and created a new record of launching many satellites from a single rocket.
  • With this launch, SpaceX broke the record set by ISRO in February 2017 for deploying 104 satellites onboard PSLV in a single mission.
  • The SpaceX used two-stage Falcon 9 rocket for the mission, from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The 143 satellites included 133 commercial and government satellites and 10 Starlink satellites of SpaceX.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SpaceX founder & CEO: Elon Musk.
  • SpaceX president & COO: Gwynne Shotwell.
  • SpaceX Founded: 2002.
  • SpaceX Headquarters: California, United States of America.

11. India Ranks 7th in Global Climate Risk Index 2021 of Germanwatch

  • India has been placed among the top 10 most affected countries by climate change, in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 published by the Bonn-based environmental think tank Germanwatch. India ranked as the seventh worst-hit country in terms of climate change in 2019.
  • The Global Climate Risk Index 2021 is the 16th edition of the annual report and has taken into account the data available for 2019 and from 2000 to 2019.
  • The index analyses and ranks to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of climate-related extreme weather events (storms, floods, heatwaves etc.)
  • Top 3 countries: Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Bahamas were the top three most affected countries in 2019 respectively.
  • Top 3 Countries most affected in the past 20 years: Between 2000-2019, Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the countries most affected by the impacts of such weather events.

12. China surpasses United States as largest recipient of FDI

  • China was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, according to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  • China overtook the United States to gain the top position in 2020. The country attracted $163 billion inflows in 2020, compared to $134 billion attracted by the United States.
  • However, in 2019, the United States had received $251 billion in inflows and China received $140 billion.
  • Overall, the global FDI had fallen by 42% in 2020, attracting an inflow of an estimated $859 billion, compared to $1.5 trillion in 2019.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • UNCTAD Headquarters location: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • UNCTAD Head: Mukhisa Kituyi.
  • UNCTAD Founder: United Nations General Assembly.
  • UNCTAD Founded: 30 December 1964.

13. Ministry of Home Affairs Padma Awards 2021 announced

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced a list of 119 personalities who will be conferred the Padma Awards by President Ram Nath Kovind this year.
  • These awards cater to various disciplines including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.
  • While ‘Padma Shri’ is awarded for distinguished service in any field, ‘Padma Bhushan’ is awarded for distinguished service of a high order.
  • On the other hand, ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. Among the 2021 awardees, 29 are women, one is a transgender,10 are foreigners/NRIs/OCI and 16 have passed away.
  • There will be no recipient of the Bharat Ratna in 2021. The Padma Awards shall be formally conferred by the President in the Rashtrapati Bhawan in March or April.

14. 51st International Film Festival of India Concludes

  • The 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held from 16 January to 24 January 2021 at Shyamaprasad Stadium near Panaji in Goa.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held in hybrid mode, there was the physical and virtual screening of 50 films out of 224 films across various categories.
  • Bangladesh was a country of focus at the festival. Four films of Bangladesh was included in ‘country of focus’ section.

The winners of the IFFI awards are listed below:

  • Golden Peacock Award for Best Film: Into the Darkness
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Male): Tzu-Chuan Liu, The Silent Forest
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Female):  Zofia Stafiej, I Never Cry
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best Director: Chen-Nien Ko, The Silent Forest
  • Best Debut Director Award: Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Valentina
  • Special Mention Award: Kripal Kalita, Bridge
  • Special Jury Award: Kamin Kalev, February
  • ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award: Ameen Nayfeh’s 200 Meters
  • Indian Personality of the Year Award: Biswajit Chatterjee
  • Lifetime Achievement: Vittorio Storaro (Italian cinematographer).

15. Rajendra Kumar Bhandari wins Subhash Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021

  • The Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021 has been conferred upon Dr Rajendra Kumar Bhandari in the Individual category and Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) in Institutional category.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and a certificate for an institution and Rs 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
  • The Government of India announces the award every year on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, to recognise and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organisations in India in the field of disaster management.

16. International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed on 27 January every year since 2006 to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War.
  • A genocide occurred during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945.
  • The theme of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021 is “Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution after the Holocaust”. 
  • United Nations designated the day in 2005 to serve as a date for the official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.

17. International Customs Day: 26 January

  • The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.
  • This year International Customs Day theme: “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience”.
  • The day was instituted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to commemorate the day in 1953 when the inaugural session of the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) was held in Brussels, Belgium.
  • In 1994 the CCC was renamed World Customs Organization (WCO).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Customs Organization headquarter: Brussels, Belgium.
  • World Customs Organization Membership:  182 countries.
  • World Customs Organization Secretary-General: Kunio Mikuriya.

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