Noted banker Sunil Mehta on January 27, 2020 assumed charge as the Chief Executive of the Indian Bank's Association (IBA). He succeeds V.G. Kannan, who demitted office as Chief Executive of IBA on December 31, 2019. Mehta, recently retired as the Managing Director and CEO of the Punjab National Bank. Mr. Mehta holds M.Sc. in Agriculture and MBA in Finance. He is also the holder of CAIIB from Indian Institute of Bankers, Mumbai.
Michael Debabrata Patra
Michael Debabrata Patra was appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in January,2020 for a three year term. Prior to be elevated on the post of deputy governor, Mr. Patra was the Executive Director in the RBI Monetary Policy Department. The RBI, currently headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, can have a maximum four deputies. Apart from Patra, N. S. Vishwanathan, B. P, Kanungo and M. K. Jain are the other three Deputy Governors in RBI at present. Patra joined the RBI in 1985.
ISRO’s Communication Satellite GSAT-30 was successfully launched by European Space Agency’s heavy lift launch Vehicle Ariane-5 (VA251) at Kourou in French Guiana on January 17, 2020. The 3,357 kg GSAT-30 will replace INSAT-4A for communication purposes. GSAT-30 is equipped with 12 normal C band and 12 Ku band transponders with a mission life of 15 years; it is configured on ISRO's enhanced 1-3K bus structure. It is the first Indian satellite in space in 2020. GSAT-30 will provide DTH service, connectivity to VSATs for ATM, stock exchange, TV uplinking and teleport services and e-governance applications.
India was placed on 76th rank out of 82 Countries in the world on the WEF’s first global Social Mobility Index, 2020, released on January 20,2020 India got the rank with a score of 42:7. The index has been prepared on 5 Dimensions - Health, Education (access, quality and equity), Technology, work (opportunities, wages and conditions), Protections and Institutions (Social protection and inclusive institutions). Denmark emerged on top of the index with a score of 85-2 followed by Norway and Finland on second and third positions respectively.
- What is India’s rank on EIU’s Global Democracy Index, 2019 ?
India was ranked on 5st position, moving down 10 places on the Global Democracy Index 2019 released by the Economist Intelligence unit in January 2020. India’s score down from 7-23 out of 10 in 2018 to 6-90 in 2019 edition, is its lowest ever since the first edition of the index in 2006. The index has been prepared on five parameters or categories—electoral process and pluralism; functioning of government; political culture; political participation and civil liberties, carrying 165 independent states and two territories. Norway was adjudged the most democratic country in the world in the index with a score of 9-87.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra
Noted Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and her husband businessman Raj Kundra were honoured with the Champion of Change award for 2019 for their efforts towards encouraging people to take up the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to Shilpa and her husband on January 20, 2020 in New Delhi. Social activist Arushi Nishank also got the Champions of Change award 2019 for her initiative towards cleaning river Ganga — ‘The Sparsh Ganga Initiative’.
- Which State won the ‘Best Tableau’ honour among ‘States and UTs' in the Republic Day parade, 2020?
Assam’s tableau was adjudged the best among the States and Union Territories that took part in the Republic Day parade, 2020 on January 26, 2020 in New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on January 28 awarded Assam for the best tableau based on the theme ‘Land of Unique Craftsmanship and Culture.’ The tableaux of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh were named joint second best. The Ministry of Jal Shakti and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) won the joint best tableaux award from among six ministries and departments that participated in the parade.
Indian Women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal on January 30, 2020 won the World Games Athlete of the Year Award, 2019, becoming the first-ever Hockey player to win the honour. Rani received 199,477 votes to win the honour based on polling by sports fans worldwide. Rani was also chosen for Padma Shri, this year.
- Which Sports Federation was de-recognised by the Sports Ministry of India?
The Rowing Federation of India
The Sports Ministry of India on January 22, 2020 de-recognised the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) on panda of violating the Sports Code of 2011 during its elections in December 2019. In the RFI elections, Rajlaxmi Singh Deo and MA V. Sriram were elected as its President and Secretary-General respectively. The Ministry found violations of the Sports Code by RFI in four areas. The RFI elections allowed proxy voting while there was no such provision in the model election under the Sports Code, 2011. The RFI also allowed three votes per its affiliated unit in the elections, flouting the two votes per affiliated unit norm. Moreover only 18 State/UT units took part in the elections, falling short of the least number of participant units. The Sports Ministry also asked the Indian Olympic Association to form an ad hoc committee to discharge the functions of the RFI.
- Katerina Sakellaropoulo was elected the first woman President of
High Court judge and human rights-environment activist Katerina Sakellaropoulo was on January 22, 2020 elected the first woman President of Greece in the Parliamentary vote where 261 lawmakers supported her Presidential candidature in the 300-seat Greece Parliament. The ruling conservative New Democracy Party nominated her for the post. She got support of the opposition ‘Syriza’ party, paving her easy election as the President. Katerina has also been the first woman to serve as the President of the Council of State, the country’s top administrative court.
Japan continues to hold the world's strongest passport for third straight year as it again emerged on top of the Henley Passport Index, 2020 released in January, 2020 based on data from the International Air Transport Association (AITA). Japanese passport holders can access 191 destinations across the globe on visa free or visa-on-arrival facility. Singapore finishes close second again as in 2019 with 190 destinations with a visa-free or visa on arrival on Singaporean passport. Afghanistan's passport was adjudged the weakest one in the world on the Henley Passport Index, 2020, Indian passport was ranked 84th in the list.
- Which country operationalised world’s largest radio telescope ?
China on January 11, 2020 operationalised the world’s largest radio telescope with a diameter of 500 metres in Guiyang city, the capital of Guizhou province. Dubbed as “China's Sky Eye”, the five-hundred metre Aperture, Spherical Radio /Télescope(FAST) is a single-dish telescope with a receiving area of around 30 football fields. FAST is capable of receiving a maximum of 38 gigabytes of information per second. It will gradually open to astronomers around the globe, providing them with a powerful tool to unfold the secrets of the universe.
- Which country retained its top rank on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, 2020 ?
Switzerland retained its top rank on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), 2020 with a score of 81-26, released by INSAED, a partner and sponsor of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) tent, on January 22, 2020. The USA and Singapore secured second and third ranks respectively. The GTCI measures and ranks countries based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent. India was placed on 72nd spot in the current GTCI, moving up eight places in comparison to its previous rank in 2019.
- Which two countries shared the top spot as the least corrupt country on the Global Corruption Perception Index,2019?
Denmark and New Zealand
Denmark and New Zealand were adjudged the least corrupt countries of the world as they shared the top spot on the Global Corruption Perception Index, 2019, released by the anti-corruption watchdog the Transparency International on January 23, 2020. Denmark and New Zealand jointly claimed the top rank with a score of 87 each out of 100. Denmark was the top rank holder last year also. Finland (86) follows close second. The corruption index uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). India was ranked 80th position with a score of 41 in the current index moving down two ranks. Last year India was ranked 78th.
- Who dominated the 62nd Grammy Awards 2020 by sweeping five Grammys ?
Emerging singer Billie Eilish stole the limelight at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards 2020 by sweeping five Grammys including top four ones on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles. She got the Album, Record, Song of the year Grammys and also claimed Best New Artist honour. She became the first artist to win the top Grammys since Christopher Cross in 1981. Her album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go ?” won the Album and Pop vocal Album of the year Grammys. She also won Grammys of song and Record of the year categories for ‘Bad Guy’. She shared the Song of the year Grammy with her brother Finneas O'Connell as he was the co- writer of the song.
- Who have been honoured with the Tyler Prize, 2020 ?
Pavan Sukhdev and Gretchen C. Daily
Eminent environmental economist and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador Pavan Sukhdev from India and US conservation biologist Gretchen C Daily were chosen the joint winners of the Tyler Prize for 2020 for their great work in the field of environment on January 27, 2020. Sukhdev got the honour for his ‘green economy’ work while Gretchen won it for her work on bringing the economic consequences of environmental degradation and loss to the attention of corporate and political decision-makers. The duo will receive the honour on May 01, 2020. Tyler prize is generally referred to as the “Nobel Prize for environment”. It is administered by the university of Southern California. Sep.