Current Affairs of 3rd January 2020

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1. HRD Minister to inaugurate 28th edition of World Book Fair in New Delhi

Union Minister for Human Resources Development Ramesh Pokhriyal will inaugurate the 28th edition of the annual World Book Fair tomorrow at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The book fair organized by National Book Trust will be held from 4th January till the 12th of this month in the national capital. 

As part of Mahatma Gandhiji’s 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations, the theme of this fair is Gandhi: The Writers’ Writer. The theme underscores the influence of Gandhi on Indian literature and some major authors of India and abroad and also brings into focus the aspects of Gandhi as a writer, editor, journalist, publisher, printer, a mass communicator par excellence.

The fair will be open to the public daily from 11 A.M. to 8 P.M. Other features of the fair will include – Theme Pavilion, Authors’ Corner, Seminars, Braille Books, Children’s Pavilion and Foreign Countries’ Pavilion. 

2. Smriti Irani launches ‘Meri Dilli, Mera Sujhav’ Campaign

Union Minister Smriti Irani launched a Meri Dilli, Mera Sujhav Campaign with a view to gather suggestions from the people of the national capital for the formulation of party’s manifesto for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Delhi.

The campaign will be run for the next 14 days in all 70 Assembly Constituencies for this purpose. Mrs Irani also launched a website and mobile number 6357171717 on which people can record their suggestions.

Speaking after launching the campaign, Mrs Irani said, a total of 49 video vans will reach all the assembly seats to gather public opinion for incorporating their suggestion in the manifesto.

3. Indian Railways launches integrated helpline number 139 for passengers

Indian Railways launches integrated helpline number 139 for passengers

The Indian Railways has integrated its helpline numbers into a single number – 139 for quick grievance and enquiries by passengers during their train journeys.

The new helpline number 139 will take over all the existing helpline numbers. It will be easy for passengers to remember this number and connect with Railways for all their needs during train travel.

The Helpline 139 will be available in twelve languages. It will be based on Interactive Voice Response System. A call can be made on this number from any mobile phone and not just smartphones, thus, providing easy access to all mobile users. 

4. RBI launches app to help visually impaired persons to identify the denomination of Indian Banknotes

Description: Image result for RBI launches app to help visually impaired persons to identify denomination of Indian Banknotes

The Reserve Bank has launched a mobile application for aiding visually impaired persons to identify the denomination of Indian Banknotes.

The “Mobile Aided Note Identifier – MANI” is capable of identifying the denominations of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series banknote by checking the front or reverse side of the notes, including half, folded notes under a broad range of light conditions.

The apex bank has informed that the application is free and can be downloaded from the Android Play Store and iOS App Store, adding that the app does not require internet and works in offline mode.

RBI has clarified that the mobile application does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit.

5. General Bipin Rawat proposes the creation of Air Defence Command by June 30

Chief of the Defence Staff, CDS General Bipin Rawat has directed various branch heads to come up with recommendations for inter-service synergy and jointness in a time-bound manner. After assuming charge as CDS, General Rawat held a meeting with important functionaries of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff on Wednesday.

He also directed that a proposal to create Air Defence Command be prepared by 30th of June this year. He also set out priorities for the execution of synergy by 30th June and 31st December this year. Some of the areas identified for jointness and synergy include the creation of common logistics support pools in stations where two or more services have their presence.

Emphasizing collegiate system of functioning, General Rawat directed that all three services and Coast Guard must be consulted and their views obtained in a time-bound manner. However, decisions will be taken to ensure optimization of resources. Efforts will be made to cut out infructuous ceremonial activities, which are manpower intensive.

6. PM Modi inaugurates 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon scientists to follow four steps – innovate, patent, produce and prosper to lead the country towards faster development. He was speaking after inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru on 2nd Jan 2020.

 India climbed to the third position globally in the number of peer-reviewed science and engineering publications which is growing at a rate of about 10 per cent as compared to the global average of four per cent.

7. Senior NCP leader D P Tripathi passes away

Senior NCP leader D P Tripathi passes away

Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader and former MP, D P Tripathi passed away in Delhi on 3rd January 2020 after a prolonged illness. He was 67.  He was born in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh Tripathi was active in students’ movement during his college days.

8. 14 scientists awarded Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for 2018-19

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology have awarded Swarna Jayanti Fellowships to 14 scientists to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.

The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by Government of India to commemorate India’s 50th year of Independence.

The awardees are supported by Department of Science & Technology, for fellowship and research. This will cover all the requirements for performing the research and include a fellowship of Rs 25,000/- per month as well as a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years in addition to their salary.  Out of the 443 applicants, 14 scientists have been finally selected this time for this scientist specific fellowship. 

The Awardees are – Click here

9. India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners, fishermen

India and Pakistan exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in jails through diplomatic channels. India handed over lists of 267 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen to Pakistan, who are in India’s custody.

Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 55 civilian prisoners and 227 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians. External Affairs Ministry said that this is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged on 1st January and 1st July every year.

India has emphasised on the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats from Pakistan’s custody.
Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 4 Indian civilian prisoners and 126 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan. Pakistan has also been asked to provide immediate consular access to 14 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and 100 Indian fishermen who are in its custody.

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