1. Oxford declared ‘Samvidhaan’ the Hindi word of 2019
Oxford University Press (OUP) has marked ‘Samvidhaan’ (Constitution) the Oxford Hindi Word of 2019.
- OUP stated that it got widespread attention in the year which was a signatory to the spirit of the Indian Constitution being embraced across segments of the society.
- The Oxford Hindi Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood or bias of the previous year.
- Oxford Dictionaries named “climate emergency” as its 2019 Word of the Year in Nov 2019.
2. SC permitted center to introduce African cheetah to suitable habitat in India
To introduce the African cheetah to a suitable habitat, the Supreme Court has allowed the Centre in India.
- The apex Court’s decision followed a petition filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) seeking permission for the introduction of the African cheetah as rare Indian cheetah is almost extinct in the country.
- The government plans to import cheetahs from African countries like Namibia and bring them back to India.
- In 2013, the top court had rejected the plea seeking relocation of African Cheetah at Kuno National Park.
3. Jitendra Singh launched Bhuvan Panchayat V3 web Portal
Union Minister of State for PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh has launched the Bhuvan Panchayat V3 web Portal that will intensify network application of gram panchayats.
- The Portal will function with the help of satellite technology developed by ISRO.
- An easy to use web portal developed for web geoportal, database visualization, data analytics, generation of automatic reports, model-based products and for the benefit of Gram Panchayat members and other stakeholders.
- The targeted audience for this portal is Public, PRIs and different stakeholders belonging to the gram panchayats.
4. Qatar appointed Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdelaziz Al Thani new PM
Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdelaziz Al Thani has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of Qatar.
- He will succeed Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
- The former Prime Minister has submitted his resignation.
- The state-run Qatar News Agency has promulgated that no reason for the change has been specified.
5. Taranjit Singh Sandhu elected India’s ambassador to US
Senior diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu was appointed India’s Ambassador to the US.
- Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is currently posted as High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka.
- He succeeds Harsh Vardhan Shringla as India’s envoy in Washington who has been named India’s next foreign secretary.
6. India’s Esow Alben won gold in men’s Keirin individual event of Six Day Berlin Tournament
In Cycling, India’s Esow Alben has bagged a gold in the men’s Keirin individual event of the Six-Day Berlin Tournament.
- Czech Republic’s Tomas Babek, who won a silver in the 2017 World Championship, came in second while Maximilian Lev of Germany took home the bronze.
- Keirin event is a six-day track cycling race. Each cyclist competes on every day of the competition.
7. World’s biggest meditation center opened in Hyderabad
To mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Sri Ram Chandra Mission and the Heartfulness Institute, the Meditation Center was unveiled as the largest center in the world.
- The center can support one lakh meditators at one time.
- Built on 30 acres, a meditation center with a central hall and eight peripheral halls to accommodate 1,00,000 people will provide meditation training free of charge.
- It is dedicated to the first guide of Heartfulness Lalaji Maharaj affectionately known as Daaji, the present guide of Heartfulness, in the presence of many eminent people.
8. 30 January as Martyr’s Day
Five days are indicated as Martyrs Day in India to honor those who laid down their lives for the nation.
- The first fall accordingly on January 30, the day when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948.
- Mahatma Gandhi performed a significant role in India’s struggle for Independence.
- He brought forth the awe-inspiring method of non-violent protest, satyagraha and spread peace and harmony even in dissatisfaction.
The other 4 Martyr’s perceived in India are:
- 23 March: Day to remember the deaths of Sukhdev Thapar, Bhagat Singh, and Shivaram Rajguru.
- 21 October: Police Martyrs Day. This day signifies the ambush of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrol party at the Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh by the Chinese forces.
- 17 November: the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai.
- 19 November: It praises the birthday of Rani Lakshmibai and honors those who gave their lives in the rebellion of 1857.
9. To raise the upper limit for termination of pregnancy to 24 weeks, Cabinet approved Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill
Union Cabinet has approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- The bill will amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
- The limit of termination of pregnancy increased from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
- For Medical termination of pregnancy, permission will be needed, from two doctors and one of them must be a government doctor.
- The proposed amendments are a step towards the safety and well-being of the women and many women will be benefitted from this.
10. Google declared $1 million grant to promote news literacy in India
Technology giant Google announced a USD 1 million grant to promote news literacy among Indians.
- The money will be given to Internews, a global non-profit, which will select a team of 250 journalists, fact-checkers, academics and NGO workers for the project.
- The announcement, part of a USD 10 million commitment worldwide to media literacy, comes at a time when news publishers, especially on the digital front, have been found to have indulged in spreading misinformation.
- A curriculum will be developed by a team of global and local experts, who will roll out the project in seven Indian languages.
11. Harsh Vardhan Shringla selected as new Foreign Secretary
Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been elected as a new foreign secretary succeeding in Vijay Gokhale.
- He is a 1984-batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service.
- In the course of a diplomatic career spanning 35 years, Shringla has operated a variety of positions in New Delhi and abroad and is deemed an expert on India’s neighbourhood.
- He has also commanded the United Nations Political and SAARC divisions in the ministry.