Current Affairs of 25th December 2019

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1. India’s first Transgender University to come up in UP

The country’s first university for the transgender community will be opened in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district to facilitate its members to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get a Ph.D. degree.

The university, which will come up in the Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district, is being built by the Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust). It is the first of its kind in the country where members of the transgender community will be able to get the education and the process has already been initiated. From January 15 next year, two children who are brought up by the community members will get admission and from February and March, other classes will start.

2. Digital Radio to be launched in 2024

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the NDA government is bringing Digital Radio in 2024. Addressing the annualAkashvani awards function in New Delhi yesterday, Mr. Javadekar said, the audio of digital radio will be more clear and its reach will be higher. The Minister said, All India Radio is an institution which is a part of people’s lives, be it music, news or entertainment.
Prasar Bharati Chairman, Dr. A Surya Prakash said, Akashvani has one of the largest news gathering and dissemination apparatus in the world.
Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said, Prasar Bharti is looking forward to a change in the format of these awards so that it brings out the hidden talent of the people. AIR was established in 1936 and is officially known as Akashvani since 1956. It is the national public radio broadcaster of India and is a division of Prasar Bharati, which is India’s largest public broadcasting agency. AIR is the sister service of Prasar Bharati’s Doordarshan television Network.

3. 120th birth anniversary of Shaheed Udham Singh being celebrated

Nation pays homage to the great revolutionary, Shaheed Udham Singh on his 120th birth anniversary today. He was born on this day in 1899 in Sangrur district of Punjab.
Udham Singh was present in the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar on the fateful Baisakhi Day of 13 April 1919. He avenged the massacre by killing General O’Dwyer in March 1940 and was hanged by the British in London.

4. All villages to have free WiFi services by March 2020

Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that free WiFi services will be provided to all villages across the country through Bharatnet till March next year.
Inaugurating Digital Village Gurawara in Rewari in Haryana, Mr. Prasad said, the Ministry has already connected one lakh 30 thousand gram panchayats through Bharatnet. He said the target is to take this to two lakh 50 thousand gram panchayats. Mr. Prasad also said the target of the government is to convert at least 15 percent of villages to the digital village in the next four years.

5. Good Governance Index’ launched by MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh

The MoS (PP) Dr. Jitendra Singh launched the ‘Good Governance Index’ at an event organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day, here today. The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

On the occasion, the Minister also launched the 15th edition of Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP). He released the Handbook for the Retiring Central Government Employees and the Smart Card facility for Department Canteen of DoPT. The MoS (PP) also released a booklet on major initiatives/achievements of DoPT and Strategic Initiatives of the Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare (DoPPW).

Addressing on the occasion, Secretary, DoPT & DARPG, Dr. C. Chandramouli said that these measures reflect that the Ministry is equipping the employees to understand how to use digital platforms in functioning. He added that Government is also committed to the welfare of its ex-employees and it is taken care of by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare.

The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors: 1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 2). Commerce & Industries, 3). Human Resource Development, 4). Public Health, 5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 6). Economic Governance, 7). Social Welfare & Development, 8). Judicial & Public Security, 9). Environment and 10). Citizen-Centric Governance. These ten Governance Sectors are measured on a total of 50 indicators. Difference indicators are given different weightage under one Governance Sector to calculate the value. E.g. Under Agriculture & Allied Sector, there are 6 indicators with different weightage, namely: Growth rate of agriculture and allied sector (0.4), growth rate of food grains production (0.1), growth rate of horticulture produce (0.1), growth rate of milk production (0.1), growth rate of meat production (0.1) and crop insurance (0.2). 

6. CDRI and Cipla collaboration for the development of new drugs

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI) have signed an agreement for collaboration to jointly develop new drugs for treating various medical conditions and repurposing of drugs for India and global markets with Cipla Limited.

According to Dr. Tapas K Kundu, Director of CDRI, This is a great moment for CSIR-CDRI, the premiere drug development and research institute of the country to establish collaboration for the affordable healthcare program and repurposing of drugs not only for India but also for the global markets in collaboration and active participation from Cipla. In my view, this is one of the unique efforts of a government institution and of a pharmaceutical industry which de novo generated from this soil and spread all over the world for the affordable healthcare for human beings.

Cipla’s association with CSIR and CDRI has been ongoing since 1942 and Cipla has benefited over the years from the expertise developed at the labs of CDRI and IICT. Two stalwarts of the CSIR with whom Cipla has been closely associated in the past have been Dr Nitya Anand and Dr. AV Rama Rao. Now Cipla and CDRI, are embarking on a futuristic program under the auspices of CSIR for the development of newer drugs not only for India but globally. Earlier also CDRI and Cipla have worked together for new drug discovery purpose. In the year 1995, chandonium iodide drug used against neuromuscular blockers and gugulipid drug for hypolipidemic are some of the drugs developed under one such venture.

7. World’s longest mountain tunnel under Rohtang Pass named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The government on 25th December 2019 named the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a tribute to him on his 95th birth anniversary.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government has fulfilled a long-pending demand to name the tunnel after the former prime minister.

The construction of the ₹4,000-crore tunnel will be completed by 2020.

The historic decision to construct the strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken in 2000 when Vajpayee was the prime minister.

The 8.8-km-long tunnel will be the world’s longest above an altitude of 3,000 meters and will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometers. The project is being implemented by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). BRO overcame major challenges due to difficult terrain and weather in laying the most difficult stretch of the 587-meter in the Seri Nalah Fault Zone.

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