Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 22nd January 2024

1. The growth of India-Bangladesh ties 

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned to power in Bangladesh for a historic fourth straight term earlier this month after her party, the Awami League, secured two-thirds of the seats in the January 7 national elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first world leaders to congratulate Ms. Hasina, illustrating the close bilateral relationship between the two countries. 

How have ties flourished? 

  • The foundation of India's relationship. with Bangladesh was laid in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. India provided critical military and material support to assist Bangladesh in its fight for independence from Pakistan. Despite this, relations soured within a few years as military regimes took control. There was a rise in anti-India sentiment in the mid-1970s over issues ranging from boundary disputes and insurgency to the sharing of water. The instability continued for a few decades until Sheikh Hasina came to power in 1996 and scripted a new chapter in bilateral ties with a treaty on the sharing of Ganga waters. Since then, India and Bangladesh have built cooperation in trade, energy, infrastructure, connectivity and defense. 

What about economic cooperation? 

  • Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh has grown steadily over the last decade. Bangladesh has emerged as India's largest trade partner in South Asia, with bilateral trade reaching $18 billion in 2021-2022 from $10.8 billion in 2020-21, though there was a dip in 2022-23 due to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. India is also the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh, with exports amounting to $2 billion in Indian markets. In 2022, both nations concluded a joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). 
  • The agreement, typically designed to reduce or eliminate customs duties on traded goods and simplify trade norms, is anticipated to open up broader social and economic opportunities. The CEPA gains additional significance as Bangladesh is set to lose its Least Developed Country (LDC) status after 2026, thereby losing its duty-free and quota-free market access in India. Dhaka will be eager to finalize a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Delhi, and also pursue the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This dual approach raises concerns for India. 

What about infrastructure? 

  • As a "major development partner" of Bangladesh, India is funding several infrastructure and connectivity projects. Since 2010, India has extended Lines of Credits worth over $7 billion. PM Modi and Sheikh Hasina made history last year when they inaugurated the Akhaura-Agartala rail link that connects Bangladesh and the northeast through Tripura. The link has given India access to Chattogram and Mongla ports in Bangladesh for the movement of cargo. It is likely to boost small-scale industries and develop Assam and Tripura. 
  • In the energy sector, Bangladesh imports nearly 2,000 megawatts of electricity from India. The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity focuses on connecting major transport projects in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, thereby establishing a shipping network. India's attention will primarily be directed towards the Matarbari Port, located about 100 km from Tripura, which Bangladesh is building. The port will establish a crucial industrial corridor linking Dhaka and the northeast part of India. 

What are the points of tension? 

  • The looming Teesta dispute will take center-stage in the agenda of the Hasina-led government. The issue revolves around the sharing of Teesta's waters, with Bangladesh seeking an equitable distribution. Another contentious matter is the Rohingya issue. The Hasina government aims for the peaceful repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, but it's talks with the military junta have been unsuccessful so far. Bangladesh seeks India's cooperation to influence Myanmar, but the Modi government, which has ties with the junta, asserts that it will deport Rohingyas from its mainland. Cross-border terrorism and infiltration are additional threats to internal security. The rise of majoritarian forces adds another layer to the complex landscape. While violence against Muslims has increased in India in the past few years, PM Hasina has stood at the forefront to condemn the attacks and express displeasure over comments by Indian leaders on "illegal" immigrants. 
  • PM Modi and Sheikh Hasina made history last year when they inaugurated the Akhaura Agartala rail link. connects Bangladesh and the northeast through Tripura. 
  • Adding to India's concerns is the deepening relationship between Bangladesh and China, marked by substantial Chinese Investments in infrastructure in recent years 
  • What about global ties? The U.S. has been vocal in its criticism of the Awami League government, exerting pressure on Sheikh Hasina over "democratic backsliding". In 2021, the Biden administration slapped sanctions on a Bangladeshi anti-crime and anti-terrorism task force, citing human rights violations, and escalated tensions by announcing a policy to restrict visas for Bangladeshis it believed to be responsible for undermining the election process in the country. Adding to India's concerns is the deepening relationship between Bangladesh and China, marked by the substantial Chinese investments in infrastructure in recent years. China built 12 highways, 21 bridges and 27 power and energy projects in Bangladesh, as per the 
  • Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh. However, Ms. Hasina has maintained that her government is "very much careful" about its partnership with China

2. Asia ascendant Japan's partly successful moon landing sees Space Race with Asia in lead 

  • On January 19, the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), launched in September, was expected to soft-land on the moon. Shortly after the stipulated time, reports from JAXA indicated the lander had touched down but its solar panels were not producing power, forcing the craft to bank on its batteries. However, SLIM, it said, appeared to be transmitting data, and checks of its other compo- nents did not indicate any damage meaning Japan had become the fifth country to soft-land a robotic spacecraft on the moon. SLIM, like Chandrayaan-3, was tasked with a lunar soft-landing and deploying a rover mission (with two small rovers) but its primary mission was pioneering. Thus far, interplanetary spacecraft to the moon and Mars have been assigned suitable landing areas several hundred meters wide. SLIM however was designed to land within a 100 sq. m area, and thus its nickname "moon sniper". In a press conference in which they confirmed the controlled descent, JAXA officials also said it could be a month before they could ascertain if SLIM had successfully executed its pinpoint landing. 
  • SLIM's partial success (for now) comes a day after a moon-landing mission built by Astrobotic, a private U.S. company, and funded by NASA, reentered the earth's atmosphere following a propellant leak. SLIM also happened roughly a month ahead of a landing attempt by another American company and four ahead of China's ambitious sample-return mission from the moon's far-side. JAXA's lessons from SLIM are expected to inform the planned Lunar Polar Exploration Mission, an India-Japan collaboration with India expected to provide the lander. Precision landing is valuable because it allows lunar missions to begin closer to a place of interest, where there may be a smaller patch suitable for landing, instead of landing further away and roving to the area. And the moon's surface around its south pole is mostly rough terrain. There are now five countries with the demonstrated ability to land robotic spacecraft on the moon. These plus the European Space Agency are the world's major spacefaring entities. No other such entity has a robotic lunar mission planned in the near future. Both the U.S. and Russia also last demonstrated their abilities in a bygone era, although the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services programme will be making frequent attempts, as with the Astrobotic mission. As such, the new Space Race is currently being led by Asian countries. 

3. Start of a new cycle in resurgence of our nation: Murmur 

  • On the eve of the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, President Droupadi Murmu, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, said the celebratory atmosphere across the country was an "uninhibited expression of the eternal soul of India". 
  • "As you [Mr. Modi] prepare yourself to go for Pran Pratishtha of Prabhu Shri Ram's murti (idol) at the new temple built at his birthplace in Ayodhya, I can only contemplate the unique civilisational journey that will be accomplished with each step taken by you in the hallowed precincts," Ms. Murmu wrote. 
  • Referring to the 11-day rigorous anushthan that the Prime Minister has undertaken, she said it was not only a sacred ritual but also a supreme spiritual act of sacrifice and submission to Lord Ram. Sending ely heartfelt wishes, the President said, "The nationwide celebratory atmosphere around the inauguration of the grand temple of Prabhu Shri Ram at Ayodhya Dham is an uninhibited expression of the eternal soul of India. We all are fortunate to witness the commencement of a new cycle in the resurgence of our. 
  • The temple, Ms. Murmu said, will bring closer to people the universal values that Lord Rama represents such as courage, compassion, and constant focus on duty. 
  • "Prabhu Shri Ram signifies the best aspects of our cultural and spiritual heritage. Above all, he rергеsents the good which is in constant battle with evil. His life and principles have influenced many episodes of our history and inspired nation builders," she said. 
  • The President said Mahatma Gandhi derived strength from Ramanama till his last breath and quoted him as saying: "Though my reason and heart long ago realized the highest attribute and name of God as truth, I recognise truth by the name of Rama. In the darkest hour of my trial, that one name has saved me and is still saving me.” 

4. Government-funded science institutes contributed to Ram Temple: Minister 

  • Several institutes which come under the Council of Scientific and Industrial of Research (CSIR) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have been closely involved in various aspects of the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday, enumerating the contributions institutions. of the statement. 
  • The CSIR-Central Building Research Institute in Roorkee "majorly contributed towards the structural design of the main temple, designing surya tilak mechanism, design-vetting of temple foundation, and monitoring the structural health of the main temple", Mr. Singh said. The surya tilak refers to a ray of sunlight made to fall on the idol's forehead on a designated day in this case, Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram that usually falls in March or April. 
  • The DST-Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru provided "technical support to triangulate the sun rays and the idol's position for the surya tilak. 
  • "Gearbox and reflective mirrors/lenses have been arranged such that sun rays will be deflected to Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) using well-known principles of tracking sun's path," he said. 
  • Another CSIR institute made "tulips bloom" for the ceremony. "The Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur has recently developed an indigenous technology through which tulip could be made available throughout the year, without waiting for its season," Mr. Singh said. 
  • The CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad gave significant inputs on the design of the temple's foundation and seismic safety. 
  • The temple was designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.

5. NISAR Mission on track for a launch soon: NASA official 

  • The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission, designed to observe natural processes and changes in earth's complex ecosystems, is on track for an "early 2024" launch, a senior official at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said on Sunday. 
  • The final tests on the earth-observing mission are scheduled for this week, Paul A. Rosen, Project Scientist for NISAR at JPL, told The Hindu. "As we speak, everything except the acoustic tests has been completed. The vibration test was completed yesterday [January 20]. Final tests are planned this week. We are on track," Dr. Rosen said. 
  • Dr. Rosen and several of his NASA-JPL colleagues associated with NISAR are scheduled to speak at the Global Science Festival Ker- ala underway here on Monday. 
  • Designed as a low-earth or- bit observatory, the NISAR Mission is unique in several respects, not least the enormous amount of reliable, high-resolution data expected from it over a three-year mission life. "The volume of data will be enormous, and it helps us to have a reliable set of measurements over any spot on the earth where we want to do science or monitoring applications, forest management, agriculture monitoring or even just looking at an approaching hurricane," Dr. Rosen said. 
  • The open science and open data policy makes the mission unique in its scope, he said. 
  • "The data will be placed on our respective data servers in India and the U.S. and they will be made open to the public essentially as soon as they are extremely eager to find ways to collaborate on earth science, planetary science and human space (programmes). There is a very, very strong interest processed to a validated data product. For many SAR (synthetic aperture radar) missions, this is simply not the case," he said. 
  • The mission will use a synthetic aperture radar to scan earth's land and ice covered regions twice every 12 days in ascending and descending passes. Capable of penetrating cloud cover and operating day and night, NISAR is expected to revolutionize earth-observing capability. It is also expected to be a reliable data source for disaster monitoring and mitigation. 
  • This single observatory solution is equipped with a long wavelength band (L- Band) SAR payload system provided by NASA and a short wavelength band (S- Band) ISRO payload. Operating together, they will supply, the ISRO says, "spatially and temporally consistent data for understanding changes in earth's ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, groundwater and natural hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides." 
  • "For those disasters that evolve over slightly longer periods of time or where you can actually plan an observation, like a hurricane approaching, for those things, you have a reliable data source," Dr. Rosen said. 
  • He feels that NASA and ISRO are interested in taking their collaboration in space forward. "Both sides I think are extremely eager to find ways to collaborate on earth science, planetary science and human space (programmes). There is a very, very strong interest," he said. 
  • Dr. Rosen will speak on "NISAR, an international radar system of systems for groundbreaking earth science" at the festival on Monday. 

6. Museveni regrets Indians expulsion by Idi Amin in 1970s 

  • Nearly 52 years after Ugandan dictator Idi Amin expelled the Indian community from his country, President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni on Sunday called that move a "mistake" and expressed gratitude to the Indian community of Uganda for the service that they rendered over the decades. President Museveni's comment which came at the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit held in the capital Kampala was a rare expression of regret about an event that has long been considered one of the traumatic incidents that struck the Indian diaspora in the 20th century. 
  • "Uganda was moving very well in the 1960s and then we had a man called Idi Amin... He came and took over the government. We decided to fight him. But in a very short time he expelled our Asians... who had come from Asia and settled here," Mr. Museveni said. 
  • In August 1972, Amin ordered the expulsion of Indians and other South Asians who were an integral part of Ugandan life till that point. In the end, around 80,000 Indians and thousands of Pakistanis and Bangladeshi citizens were expelled from Uganda. In recent years, several Indians who traced their roots to Uganda under Amin have come into prominence including former U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel. 
  • Speaking at the NAM summit, President Museveni recalled the contribution of Indians in building the economy of Uganda, and said the convention center where the 19th NAM summit was held this year was also built by one of those who were affected by Amin's decision. 
  • "When we came into government, we brought them back and gave back properties of our Asian citizens that Idi Amin had taken. We had a hot debate in the Parliament but we said 'no', they must get back their properties," said Mr. Museveni. 

7. 81% of citizen responses have affirmed the idea of simultaneous polls: Ministry 

  • The Ram Nath Kovind-led high-level committee on "one nation, one election" has received over 20,000 responses from citizens and 81% of them have "affirmed" the idea of simultaneous polls, a Law Ministry statement said on Sunday. 
  • The Ministry issued a press statement after the committee held its third meeting here. The next meeting will take place on January 27. 
  • "Altogether 20,972 responses were received out of which 81% affirmed the idea of simultaneous election," the statement said. 
  • Suggestions were also d invited from 46 political parties and so far, 17 parties have responded. 
  • Mallikarjun Kharge had written to the panel, asking it to abandon the idea as it was "undemocratic and violative of the basic structure of the Constitution". 
  • The Law Ministry said the views of the Election Commission were also noted by the committee. 
  • "Additionally, the chairman of the HLC on simultaneous elections, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, has initiated consultations with eminent jurists, former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and High Courts, former Chief Election Commissioners of India, heads of Bar Council of India, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and СІП," read the statement. 
  • Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chairman, 15th Finance Commission, K.K. Singh, former Secretary- General, Lok Sabha, Subhash C. Kashyap, and Sanjay Kothari, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner, were among those who at- tended the meeting. 
  • Secretary of the HLC, Niten Chandra, briefed the panel about various followup actions on the decision taken at previous meetings. 

8. India's invitation to Taliban envoy in UAE is 'routine, no change in stance, say officials 

  • The invitation from the Indian Embassy in the UAE to the Acting Afghan Ambassador and Taliban envoy Badruddin Haqqani for the Republic Day reception is "routine", official sources said, reacting to criticism that the Modi government is 'normalizing' the Taliban regime, especially those responsible for terror attacks on Indian missions in the past. 
  • The sources said that the invitation had gone out as a routine practice to all diplomatic missions accredited by the UAE government, with the exception of Pakistan (with whom India's diplomatic ties are frozen). In addition, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi addressed the invitation to the envoy of the Embassy of the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan", not the Islamic Emirate, and the sources pointed out that the Afghan Embassy in UAE still flies the Republic tricolor. India too has allowed the Embassy in Delhi, closed down in protest by the previous Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, to be reopened by Afghan Consuls who are more engaged with the Taliban regime, but the flag on the embassy has not changed to the Taliban regime (The Haqqani network was held responsible for several attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan, including the 2008 Kabul Embassy car bombing in which 58 people were killed, including two senior Indian diplomats and two Indian security forces personnel. 
  • The invitation to a member of the group, addressed as "His Excellency Badruddin Haqqani", that was reported on social media by Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary raised eyebrows among the Indian diplomatic community 
  • However, in several countries, including Russia, China and Central Asian states, Taliban representatives have been accredited as Acting Ambassadors and the Taliban's black-and-white "Islamic Emirates" flag has been hoisted as opposed to the Republic's black, green and red tricolor.] 
  • In December 2023, China even accepted Taliban appointee Bilal Karimi as a fully accredited Ambassador, becoming the first country to do so. 
  • The Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to a question on whether In- dian embassies in Beijing, ic Moscow and other coun- tries would also invite the Afghan envoys accredited by host governments who have been appointed by the Taliban. 

9.The Pran Pratisha In Ayodhya Ram Mandir 

  • Pran Pratishtha is a fundamental and deeply spiritual ritual in Hinduism, especially significant in the context of the much-awaited inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. 
  • This ancient ceremony involves the consecration of a deity’s idol, in this case, Lord Ram, infusing it with divine energy and life. The Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla at the Ram Mandir is not just a ritual; it’s a historic moment that resonates with millions of devotees worldwide. 
  • Pran Pratishtha is an elaborate ritual that involves several steps, each imbued with spiritual significance. The process begins with a purification ceremony of the idol, which is then adorned with sacred clothes and ornaments. Following this, the idol is installed at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. 

10.Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy Inaugurates Five New Galleries At Salar Jung Museum In Hyderabad 

  • In a momentous event, Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, G. Kishan Reddy, inaugurated five new galleries at the renowned Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad. 
  • 1) Indian Sculpture Gallery:Featuring nearly 40 artifacts, some dating back to the 2nd Century B.C., including a fragment from Bharhut with a lotus medallion and the Kakatiya period’s ‘Anantsayana Vishnu.’ 
  • 2) Bidriware Gallery: Showcasing 300 unique objects, including exquisite ‘huqqa’ bases and ewers. 
  • 3) Lamp and Chandelier Gallery: Displaying 180 antique objects from around the globe. 
  • 4) European Bronze Gallery: Housing over 100 bronze statues. 
  • 5) European Marble Gallery: Featuring 50 outstanding marble sculptures. 
  • These galleries not only enrich the museum’s repertoire but also offer visitors a captivating journey through the diverse realms of Indian and global artistry. 

11.Union Ayush Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal Lays Foundation Stone For Groundbreaking ‘Ayush Diksha’ Centre In Bhubaneswar 

  • In a momentous occasion, the Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, laid the foundation stone for ‘Ayush Diksha,’ a pioneering center dedicated to the development of future Ayush professionals. The ceremony took place at the Central Ayurveda Research Institute campus in Bhubaneswar. 
  • The ‘Ayush Diksha’ center is set to become a hub for the advancement of human resources in Ayush, with a primary focus on Ayurveda professionals. The institution aims to foster collaboration with prominent national institutes to enhance capacity, strengthen human resources, facilitate research and development, and achieve self-sustainability for revenue generation. 

12.Ladakh’s Culture Glows At Mamani Food Festival In J&K 

  • The vibrant Mamani Ethnic Food Festival of Purig, held annually at Heritage Village Styangkung Barsoo, stands as a triumphant celebration of culinary diversity, cultural heritage, and community unity. 
  • Organized by the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation in collaboration with Nyarpa Committee Styangkung, this annual festival has become a cornerstone in preserving and reviving the rich traditions of the Ladakh region. 
  • The Yokma Group clinched the first prize, followed by the Aziz Group in the second position, and the Yokma Akhone group in the third position. 13.Foundation Day: Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya – Jan 21, 2024 
  • January 21st, 2024, marks a momentous occasion for the northeastern region of India – the 52nd anniversary of statehood for Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya. 
  • Statehood Day is celebrated with great fervor across all three states. Cultural programs, parades, musical performances, and traditional dances showcase the rich heritage of each region. 
  • On January 21, 1972, the states of Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Re-organisation) Act, 1971. The princely states of Tripura and Manipur were merged with India in October 1949. Let us delve into the details of the State Reorganisation of the Northeast. 

14.Indian Army Launches Operation Sarvashakti To Eliminate Terrorists 

  • In response to escalating terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army is launching Operation Sarvashakti, a strategic initiative aimed at curbing the influence of Pakistani proxy terrorist groups. 
  • Focused on the Pir Panjal mountain ranges in the Union Territory, this operation seeks to eliminate terrorists operating in the sensitive Rajouri Poonch sector. 
  • Operation Sarvashakti aims to conduct combined counter-terrorist operations on both sides of the Pir Panjal ranges. The Srinagar-based Chinar Corps and the Nagrota-headquartered White Knight Corps will execute simultaneous operations to neutralize terrorist threats. Coordinated efforts involving the Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF, Special Operations Group, and intelligence agencies are crucial components of this operation. 

15.Government Budgeting In India – The Process And Constitutional Requirements 

  • A budget is a comprehensive report presented by the government, consolidating revenues and outlays. It serves as the annual financial statement of a government, detailing its revenue and expenditure. 
  • The term ‘Budget’ is not explicitly mentioned in the Indian Constitution; instead, the corresponding term used is ‘Annual Financial Statement’ (Article 112). 
  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, enacted in 2003, aims at better budget management. It mandates certain documents to be presented in Parliament annually, alongside the Budget, regarding the country’s fiscal policy. 

16.Sony Terminates $10 Billion Merger Deal With Zee Entertainment 

  • On January 22, Sony issued a notice terminating the merger agreement with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited, formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd. The $10-billion deal, signed on December 22, 2021, faced challenges in meeting closing conditions within the specified timeframe. 
  • The definitive agreements outlined a provision that mandated discussions for extending the merger’s end date if it did not close within 24 months after the signature date. However, as closing conditions were not met by the specified end date, termination of the agreement became an option. 

17.WHO Releases Guidelines For Multi-Modal Generative AI In Healthcare 

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued comprehensive guidelines for the ethical use and governance of Large Multi-Modal Models (LMM) in healthcare. 
  • These advanced generative AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, Bard, and Bert, have rapidly transformed healthcare delivery and medical research by processing diverse data inputs like text, videos, and images. 
  • The WHO document identifies five key applications of LMMs in healthcare, including diagnosis and clinical care, patient-guided use, administrative tasks, medical education, and scientific research. However, risks such as the generation of false or biased statements and issues related to data quality and bias are noted. 

18.Four DISCOMs Secured A+ Rating In The Latest CSRD Report For Exceptional Consumer Service 

  • In a significant development, four electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have achieved the prestigious A+ rating in the latest Consumer Service Rating of Discoms (CSRD) report.
  • Out of the 62 DISCOMs evaluated, Delhi emerged as the frontrunner, with three companies securing the top A+ rating. The notable achievers include BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL), and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL). 
  • Adding to the accolades, Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) from Uttar Pradesh has also earned an A+ rating, showcasing a dedication to outstanding customer service and operational excellence. This achievement underlines the efforts of DISCOMs in the region to enhance their service quality. 

19.19th NAM Summit In Kampala, Uganda 

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently provided a glimpse into the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, which commenced in Uganda. 
  • The two-day summit, under the theme ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,’ brings together over 120 developing countries, signifying a crucial moment in history. 
  • The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), founded in 1961 during the Cold War based on the Panchsheel principle, traces its roots back to the concept that emerged in 1955 at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference in Indonesia. 

20.Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya Claims Bronze At France’s Grand Prix 

  • Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya, secured a bronze medal at the prestigious Grand Prix De France Henri Deglane wrestling tournament held in Nice, France. 
  • Dahiya’s absence from the international scene during the entire 2023 season was attributed to injuries he sustained during practice. The setback, which included Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries to his right knee in February, forced him out of the Asian Championships in April 2023. 
  • Dahiya’s return to the mat at the Grand Prix De France Henri Deglane was met with anticipation and excitement. Competing in the 61kg freestyle category, he showcased his resilience and skill throughout the tournament. 

21.Khelo India Youth Games 2024, Full Medal Tally 

  • The Khelo India Youth Games 2024 has kicked off in Tamil Nadu, showcasing the nation’s young sporting talent in a celebration of skill, determination, and sportsmanship. 
  • With over 5,600 athletes nationwide, this sixth edition of KIYG promises to be a spectacular event, running from January 19 to 31. Hosted in four vibrant cities – Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, and Coimbatore – the games are a testament to India’s commitment to nurturing sports at the grassroots level. 
  • This year’s KIYG witnesses the participation of athletes from all 36 States and Union Territories of India, reflecting the diverse and widespread engagement in sports across the nation. Tamil Nadu, as the host, boasts the largest contingent with 559 athletes, setting the stage for an exciting competition. 

22.SpaceX Launches Ax-3 Mission To ISS With First Turkish Astronaut Onboard 

  • In a historic event, SpaceX successfully launched the Ax-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on January 18. 
  • The Crew Dragon capsule, named “Freedom,” was propelled into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket, marking the third mission organized by Houston-based Axiom Space. 
  • The Ax-3 mission, led by former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, boasts a diverse crew. Alongside mission pilot Walter Villadei and European Space Agency astronaut Marcus Wandt, it includes Alper Gezeravcı, Turkey’s inaugural astronaut. Axiom highlights this mission as “the first all-European commercial astronaut mission” to the ISS.

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