1. National Youth Day being observed today
- National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas) is celebrated in India on 12th January on the birthday of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda (156th).
- According to Ramakrishna Mission, the theme for 2019 is “Youth and Nation Building”
- Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has unveiled the tallest bronze statue of Swami Vivekanand at Ranchi Lake.
- Renowned sculptor and a recipient of Padma Bhushan Ram V Sutar has designed the 33 feet bronze figurine at a whopping cost of Rs. 15 crores.
2. TCS appoints Daniel Hughes Callahan as Independent Director
- India’s largest IT services company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has appointed Daniel Hughes Callahan as an Additional and Independent Director for a period of five years.
- He was the Chief Administrative Officer (CEO) and Head of Operations and Technology at Citi group and was a member of Citi’s Operating Committee until November 2018.
- Callahan has broad experience in driving strategic change across large global organisations and dealing with multiple stakeholders in local and national governments and regulatory bodies.
3. Su Tseng-chang appointed as Taiwan PM
- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has appointed Su Tseng-chang as Prime Minister, during a Cabinet reshuffle following the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s heavy losses in local elections.
- Su is a former premier appointed in 2006 by then-President Chen Shui-bian.
- She was a chairman of Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party for two terms.
Books & Authors
4. Malala pens new book on refugee girls titled ‘We are Displaced’
- Nobel Peace Prize winner, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is coming up with a new book, charting her experiences travelling the world and visiting refugee camps.
- The Title of the 244-page book is ‘We Are Displaced’, priced at Rs 399.
- Malala’s experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement – first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved.
Science & Defence
5. ISRO announces Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Siva has announced setting up of Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru to make India’s maiden human mission to Space a reality.
- Gaganyaan project (Headed by- R. Hutton), will send three astronauts to orbit the Earth for three to seven days at about 400 kilometres.
- The space agency has tied up with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and L&T among other firms to manufacture the industry-made PSLV launch vehicles.
- The Rs. 10,000-crore project is slated to happen before December 2021 and will be preceded by two unmanned trials.
6. NIC Command and Control Centre inaugurated
- The Union minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad has inaugurated the National Informatics Centre (NIC)’s Command and Control Centre (CCC) and its Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.
- National Informatics Centre hosts over 10,000 e-Governance applications and offers Data Centre and Cloud services to the Government.
- The Command and Control Centre is set up as a specialized facility with a nationwide view of ICT infrastructure for effective monitoring and management of the performance & availability of all these critical services.
- The Command and Control Centre will increase the agility of NIC’s nationwide ICT infrastructure.
7. Urea fertilizer prices reduced by 11% in UP
- The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has reduced the prices of urea fertilizer by 11% in the interest of the farmers.
- The decrease in prices of Urea is due to the reduction in additional VAT levied on natural gas.
- Now, the bag of 45 kilograms of urea will be available at the cost of Rs. 266.50 instead of Rs. 299.
- 50-kilogram Urea bag will cost rupees 295. Our correspondent reports that this is an important step in the direction of the government’s effort to double farmers income by 2021.
8. Finance Minister to present interim Budget for 2019-20 fiscal on 1st February
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the interim Budget for 2019-20 fiscal on 1st of February 2019.
- The budget session of the Parliament to be held from 31st January to 13th February.
- The work for preparation of interim Budget has already commenced and is now gaining momentum.
9. Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza launched
- The Union Government has launched the Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP) to bring Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises closer to each other on a single AI enabled platform.
- This is a partnership by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) with Municipal Governments of Guiyang and Dalian.
- SIDCOP, which is a boundary-less marketplace offers this opportunity for Chinese enterprises in order to assist them in operational optimization and adopting industry best practices in business solutions.
- This platform could be useful to connect with top providers from India and help Chinese enterprises source the right solution providers for their projects.
10. Union Government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
- The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched by Union minister for environment, forests and climate change, Harsh Vardhan with an initial budget of Rs. 300 crores for the first two years.
- The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
- The Centre stepped up its efforts to combat air pollution by launching a five-year action plan with a tentative target of 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024, with 2017 as the base year.
- The approach for NCAP includes collaborative, multi-scale and cross-sectoral coordination between the relevant central ministries, state governments and local bodies.
11. EC panel submits the report on digital media and campaigning during last 48 hours before polls
- The Election Commission appointed Committee headed by Umesh Sinha (Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner) has submitted its report on digital media and campaigning during last 48 hours before polls to the Sunil Arora (Chief Election Commissioner).
- The recommendations of Committee will be considered by the Commission in detail for follow up action.
- The panel was mandated to review and suggest modifications in the provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act dealing with campaigning in the last 48 hours and related provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.
12. Egypt to host 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
- According to Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad, Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between 15th June and 13th July 2019.
- The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as a replacement for original hosts Cameroon.
- Cameroon was dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.
- Egypt only entered the running to host the Cup of Nations when fellow north African country Morocco announced they would not bid to do so.