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Web portal to block stolen/ lost mobile phones launched by Government

Government launched a web portal, ‘Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)’, in Delhi to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen/ lost mobile phones. It has been undertaken by the Department of Telecom (DoT) for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.

It will facilitate – request for blocking of stolen/ lost mobile phone; blocking of such mobile phones across mobile networks; sharing of traceability data with the Police; and unblocking of recovered and found stolen/ lost mobile phones.

Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System launched by Election Commission

The Election Commission has launched a Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System to enable applicants to track the status of the applications. The Commission had amended the guidelines for registration last month.

Applicants, applying for the party registration from 1st of this month will be able to track the progress of applications and will get the status through SMS and e-mail. An association seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of its formation.

S. S. Deswal got additional charge of CRPF

S.S. DESWAL has got additional charge of the Central Reserve Police force.

Currently, as on 1 January 2020 he is serving as the Director-General of Indo Tibetan Border Police.

India sets records for highest number of babies born globally on New Year’s Day: UNICEF

According to UNICEF, an estimated 392,078 babies were born around the world on New Year’s Day, with India recording the highest number of these births worldwide at 67,385. China comes in second with 46,299 births.

Globally, over half of these births were estimated to have taken place in eight countries – India (67,385), China (46,299), Nigeria (26,039), Pakistan (16,787), Indonesia (13,020), United States of America (10,452), Democratic Republic of Congo (10,247) and Ethiopia (8,493).

“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future, but the future of those who will come after us,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore stated

RBI launches ‘MANI’ app for visually challenged to identify denomination of currency notes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a mobile app ‘MANI’ (Mobile Aided Note Identifier) for the visually challenged to identify the denomination of a note by using the application, which can also work offline. Through the downloaded app, users can scan the notes using the camera, the audio output will give the result in Hindi and English.

The app, which is available both on Android and iOS operating systems, was launched by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and other officials on Wednesday, 1st Jan 2020.

CRPF DG Bhatnagar retires, ITBP chief given additional charge

ITBP Director General S S Deswal has been given the “additional” charge to head country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF as its serving DG, R R Bhatnagar, retired on Tuesday.

An order issued by the Union home ministry said Deswal, a 1984-batch Haryana cadre IPS officer, will hold the CRPF charge, till the appointment and joining of the successor or until furtherorders, whichever is earlier.

Bhatnagar, is retiring after heading the Central Reserve Police Force for over 2.5 years. He was appointed CRPF Director General (DG) in April, 2017.

Railway Board re-appoints Vinod Kumar Yadav as Chairman for one year

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved re-employment of Vinod Kumar Yadav as Chairman, Railway Board for a period of one year w.e.f January 1, 2020.

He has been reappointed as Chairman Railway Board, in the rank of Ex-Officio Principal Secretary to Government of India.

Centre appoints Rohan Shah as Governor on ERIA Board

Ministry of Commerce and Industry has appointed Rohan Shah, a practicing counsel at the Supreme Court, as India’s Representative and Governor on the board of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (“ERIA”), for a period of three years. The Board of ERIA meets once in every six months in Jakarta and then in Japan.

Shah had previously been associated with India’s WTO trade negotiations as an Industry Representative, including, with Arun Jaitley (the then Minister of Commerce) at Cancún in 2003. India’s previous nominees as Governor have included Ratan Tata, Rajiv Kumar (currently Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog) and economist Ajit Ranade.

Sanjay Gupta of ‘Jagran’ to be honoured with Lokmanya Tilak journalism award

Sanjay Gupta, the editor-in-chief of ”Jagran”, will be honoured with the ”Lokmanya Tilak National Journalism Award” for his contribution to the field of journalism. The award, instituted by the Kesari Maratha Trust, will be conferred on in Pune, coinciding with the 139th Foundation Day of ”Kesari” — the newspaper started by Lokmanya Tilak.

The award consists of Rs 1 lakh and a memento. Earlier, this award has been conferred upon well-known journalists and editors such as Vir Sanghvi, N. Ram, H. K. Dua, Vinod Metha and Siddharth Varadarajan.

India’s second spaceport to be in TN’s Thoothukdi: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earmarked 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu, to set up its second launch centre after the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. The country’s premier space agency is in the process of acquiring the land for a yet-to-be-named new launch centre. ISRO chairman K Sivan stated that the new centre was part of ISRO’s capacity-building exercise.

The new launch centre will be initially for missions involving launching small satellites and small satellite launch vehicles (SSLVs). To carry forward the industry production of space systems, ISRO incorporated New Space India Limited (NSIL) under the Department of Space and efforts in realising PSLVs from industry have already been initiated.

Indore tops national cleanliness rankings for first two quarters

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has announced the results of the 1st and 2nd quarters of the Swachh Survekshan 2020. The rankings were based on collection, transportation, processing and disposal of waste.

Indore has topped the cleanliness charts for two consecutive quarters among cities with over 10 lakh population while kolkata was the worst performer. Jamshedpur has topped the cleanliness charts for two consecutive quarters among cities with 1 lakh to 10 lakh population.

Bengaluru will host the 107th edition of the Indian Science Congress

Bengaluru will host the 107th edition of the Indian Science Congress. It will be the ninth time the city will host the annual convention. University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bengaluru will host the event.

The congress has chosen ‘science and technology: rural development’ as its theme for the 107th edition. A Farmer’s Science Congress will take part in it for the first time, hence providing a platform for innovative farmers.

There will also be a ‘Women’s Science Congress’, ‘Children’s Science Congress’, ‘Science Communicator’s Meet’, and ‘Science Exhibition: Pride of India’. The convention will see the participation of over 15,000 delegates, including 8,000 students from across the country and 74 scientists from abroad.

RPF renamed as Indian Railway Protection Force Service

The Indian Railways has renamed its security force RPF (Railway Protection Force) as Indian Railway Protection Force Service. The ministry has accorded organised Group A status to RPF and renamed it.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is a security force, enacted by the Indian Parliament for “the better protection and security of railway property”. The force is under the authority of the Indian Ministry of Railways.

28th World Book Fair to focus on Gandhi as writer

The annual New Delhi World Book Fair, in its 28th edition, will focus on how Mahatma Gandhi influenced generations of writers through his writings. The fair, organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with ITPO, will be inaugurated by Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The theme for World Book Fair 2020 is ‘Gandhi: The Writers’ Writer.

Commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi, the theme pavilion, inspired by Sabarmati Ashram, uses hand-spun materials as wall-cladding. Besides an exclusive exhibition of 500 books on and by Gandhi in different languages, it will also host 30-panel discussions, book launches and performances related to the theme.

Integrated helpline number 139 launched by Indian Railways for passengers

The Indian Railways has integrated its helpline numbers into a single number — 139 taking over all the existing helpline numbers, for quick grievance redressal and enquiries by passengers during their train journeys.

The Helpline 139 will be available in twelve languages. It will be based on Interactive Voice Response System and will provide easy access to all mobile users.

A new campus of NFSC in Nagpur inaugurated by Home Minister

Union Home Minister Amit Shah dedicated the new campus of National Fire Service College (NFSC) under the Ministry of Home affairs. NFSC campus spread across 42 acres is fully equipped with the international standards. The four-year Bachelor level course in Fire Engineering approved by the All India Council for Technical Education along with the short and long-term courses in Emergency Management, Medical Life Support Management, and Disaster Management will be taught in this college.

In the same function, the Minister also laid the foundation stone for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Academy which will be established near Suradevi village of Nagpur. 15 President’s Fire Service medals for gallantry were also awarded by the Minister to the awardees including Fire Service Officers and Firemen from different parts of the country.

Govt approves release of Grant-in-Aid of Rs 2.6 cr to J&K Pollution Control Board

Environment and Forests Ministry has approved the release of Grant-in-Aid of 6 crore rupees to J&K Pollution Control Board. Under this scheme, the JK PCB shall provide financial assistance to 3742 number of Eco Clubs of registered schools in both the regions of J&K along with 96 Eco-Clubs for registered Colleges.

The environment education, awareness and Training scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India for National Green Corps (Eco-Clubs) which was closed for over a decade has been revived for J&K.

Malavath Poorna scales the highest mountain in Antarctica

Malavath Poorna, 18-year-old girl from Telangana has conquered Mt Vinson Massif, the Antarctica continent’s highest mountain peak (4,987 mts). She has become the first and youngest tribal woman in the world to set foot on the six tallest mountain peaks across six continents.

So far, Poorna scaled Mt Everest (Asia, year 2014), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa, 2016), Mt. Elbrus (Europe, 2017), Mt. Aconcagua (South America, 2019) Mt. Cartsnez (Oceania region, 2019) and Mt. Vinson Massif (Antarctica, 2019).

Visakhapatnam to host 14th Global Healthcare Summit in 2021

Visakhapatnam will host the prestigious three-day 14th Global Healthcare Summit from January 3, 2021 organised by American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).

The focus of the Summit is an Indian-centric approach, with special events such as global impact and India’s contribution in providing cost-effective medicines and addressing shortage of healthcare professionals

The conference will see the participation of over 500 doctors from the US, Australia, Britain and other countries. The brochure of the summit was released by MP M.V.V. Satyanarayana.

India to Host 36th International Geological Congress

India will host the 36th International Geological Congress, from March 2-8 2030 aimed at the development of Earth Sciences, in the National Capital Region (NCR). The theme of the science programme at the 36th IGC is ‘Geosciences: The Basic Science for a Sustainable Future.’

The IGC is a geosecientific event held under aegis of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). India is the only Asian country to host the Congress twice. The 22nd session of IGC was held in New Delhi in 1964.

The “Olympics of Geosciences,” the event will witness debates and discussions on a wide range of issues affecting the world, such as sustainable development, climate change, water and mineral resources.

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