Current Affairs – January 26, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for January 26, 2021


President approves conferment of 119 Padma Awards

President of India approved conferment of 119 Padma Awards on January 25, 2021. The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards.

  1. Padma Vibhushan (7): Shinzo Abe (Public Affairs, Japan), S P Balasubramaniam Posthumous (Art, Tamil Nadu), Dr. Belle Monappa Hegde (Medicine, Karnataka), Narinder Singh Kapany Posthumous (Science & Engineering, USA), Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (Others- Spiritualism, Delhi), B. B. Lal (Others- Archaeology, Delhi), Sudarshan Sahoo (Art, Odisha).
  2. Padma Bhushan (10): Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra (Art, Kerala), Tarun Gogoi Posthumous (Public Affairs, Assam), Chandrashekhar Kambara (Literature & Education, Karnataka), Sumitra Mahajan (Public Affairs, Madhya Pradesh), Nripendra Misra (Civil Service, UP), Ram Vilas Paswan Posthumous (Public Affairs, Bihar), Keshubhai Patel Posthumous (Public Affairs, Gujarat), Kalbe Sadiq Posthumous (Others-Spiritualism, UP), Rajnikant Devidas Shroff (Trade & Industry, Maharashtra), Tarlochan Singh (Public Affairs, Haryana).
President approves conferment of 455 Gallantry & other Defence Decorations

The President has approved awards of 455 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of 72nd Republic Day celebrations. These include one Mahavir Chakra, 05 Kirti Chakras, 05 Vir Chakras, 07 Shaurya Chakras.

  1. Mahavir Chakra (1): Colonel Santosh Babu (posthumous), Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment.
  2. Kirti Chakra (5): Sanjiv Kumar (posthumous), Subedar, 4th Parachute Regiment, Pintu Kumar Singh, Inspector/GD, CRPF (posthumous), Shyam Narayan Singh Yadava, Head Constable/GD, CRPF (posthumous), Vinod Kumar, Constable, CRPF (posthumous), Rahul Mathur, Deputy Commandant, CRPF.
  3. Vir Chakra (5): Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren (posthumous), Havildar K Palani (posthumous), Sepoy Gurtej Singh (posthumous), Havildar Tejinder Singh and Naik Deepak Singh (posthumous).
  4. Shaurya Chakra (7): Major Anup Sood (posthumous), 21st Battalion, Rashtriya Rifles; Rifleman Pranab Jyoti Das, 6th battalion, Assam Rifles; Paratrooper Sonam Tshering Tamang, 4th battalion The Parachute Regiment (Special forces); Arshad Khan (posthumous), Inspector, J&K Police; Ghulam Mustafa Barah (posthumous), SGCT, J&K Police; Naseer Ahmad Kolie (posthumous), Constable, J&K Police; Bilal Ahmad Magray (posthumous), Special Police Officer, J&K Police
President approves conferment of 40 Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2020 for 40 persons. The awards include Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak to one person, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak to eight persons and Jeevan Raksha Padak to 31 persons. Muhammed Muhsin of Kerala has been awarded with Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak posthumously.

National Voters’ Day celebrated on Jan 25

The National Voters’ Day (NVD) was celebrated on January 25, 2021 to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. The Day is celebrated on the 25th of January every year since 2011, to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI) that was set up on the 25th January 1950. The theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day is ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’.

Akash-NG (new-generation) surface-to-air missile test fired

India on January 25, 2021 successfully test-fired the Akash-NG (new-generation) surface-to-air missile from an integrated test range off the Odisha coast. The missile will be used by the Indian Air Force to intercept high-manoeuvring low radar cross-section aerial threats.

Revamped website about gallantry award recipients launched

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on January 25, 2021 unveiled a revamped website that provides information about gallantry awards in India and their recipients since Independence. Along with portal, he also launched a gallantry award quiz competition and an e-magazine ‘Shauryawaan’.

e-EPIC (Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme launched

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the e-EPIC (Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme on the occasion of National Voters’ Day (NVD) on January 25, 2021. e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites.

Integrated Weapons System Design Centre inaugurated in Hyderabad

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Integrated Weapons System Design Centre at DRDO’s APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex in Hyderabad on January 25, 2021. The facility would enhance the capability in design and development of command-and-control systems for surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems.

Himachal Pradesh celebrates 50th Statehood day on Jan 25

Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 50th Statehood day on January 25, 2021. It was on this day, the year 1971 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi addressed people at the historic Ridge Maidan of the Shimla, the Summer capital of Himachal.

Economy & Corporate

FDI in India rose 13% to $57 billion in 2020: UNCTAD

Foreign Direct Investment into India rose by 13 per cent in 2020, boosted by interest in the digital sector, and while fund flows “declined most strongly” in major economies such as the UK, the US and Russia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India and China bucked the trend, the UN has said. An ‘investment trends monitor’ issued by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) on January 24, 2021 showed that FDI in India rose 13% to $57 billion in 2020. Global FDI collapsed in 2020 by 42% to an estimated USD 859 billion from USD 1.5 trillion in 2019.

Nitin Gadkari approves levy of “Green Tax” for older, polluting vehicles

The government has proposed to levy a “green tax” on old polluting vehicles, in a bid to control the rising levels of pollution in the country. Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has approved the proposal, a government statement said on January 25, 2021. According to the proposal, transport vehicles older than eight years could be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of fitness certificate, at the rate of 10 to 25 % of road tax, while personal vehicles to be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of registration certification after 15 years.

Finance Minister inaugurates Chennai Bench of NCLAT

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Chennai Bench of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) through virtual mode on January 25, 2021. The Chennai Bench of NCLAT shall have jurisdiction to hear the Appeals arising out of the orders passed by the benches of NCLT having jurisdiction of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.


Estonia: Reform Party’s Kaja Kallas to become first woman PM

Estonia’s two biggest political parties have signed a deal to form a new government that will be led by a female prime minister for the first time in the Baltic country’s history. The new government will be replacing the previous Cabinet that collapsed into a corruption scandal. The party councils of the opposition Reform Party and the ruling Center Party are expected to vote in favour of joining a Cabinet headed by Reform Party’s prime minister-designate and chairwoman Kaja Kallas.

Oxfam releases ‘Inequality Virus Report’ at WEF in Davos

Indian billionaires increased their wealth by 35% during the lockdown to ₹ 3 trillion, ranking India after U.S., China, Germany, Russia and France, according to Oxfam’s ‘Inequality Virus Report’ released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 25, 2021.

Jayati Ghosh in UN’s high-level advisory board on economic, social affairs

Indian development economist Jayati Ghosh is among 20 prominent personalities appointed by the United Nations to a high-level advisory board that will provide recommendations for the U.N. Secretary-General to respond to the current and future socio-economic challenges in the post-COVID-19 world. Ghosh, 65, is a professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University for nearly 35 years and has authored several books.

Portugal: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa re-elected president

Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was returned to office for a second term on January 24, 2021.




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