Current Affairs – January 31, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for January 31, 2021.

India

President launches first round of Pulse Polio Programme 2021

President Ram Nath Kovind on January 30, 2021 launched the countrywide Pulse Polio Programme for 2021 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Polio National Immunization Day (NID), also known as the “Polio Ravivar”, will be observed on January 31.

73rd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi observed Martyrs’ Day

The 73rd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was observed as Martyrs’ Day on January 30, 2021. He was assassinated on this day in 1948.

ISRO Chief inaugurates satellite developed by engineering students in Coimbatore

ISRO Chief K. Sivan inaugurated a private satellite, developed by a group of 12 students of Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Coimbatore at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore. The academic satellite will be launched on February 28 from Sriharikota Range by PSLV C-15. The satellite will study Internet of Things (IoT) among other subjects.

Economy & Corporate

Nepal awards 679 MW Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s SJVN

A meeting of the Investment Board Nepal (IBN), whose Chair is Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, decided to award the 679-Megawatt Lower Arun Hydropower Project to Indian public sector company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) under the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) delivery method.

14 new minor forest produce (MFP) items included under MSP scheme

The government has decided to include 14 new minor forest produce (MFP) items under the mechanism for marketing of minor forest produce through minimum support price (MSP) scheme to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces. Newly included items are Tasar Coccoon, elephant apple dry, bamboo shoot, Malkangani seed and wild dry mushroom among others.

World

EAM S. Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken hold talks on phone

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken have spoken over phone during which the two leaders discussed issues of mutual concern, including COVID-19 vaccination efforts, regional developments and next steps in expanding bilateral ties, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on January 29, 2021.

U.N. urges countries to repatriate children of Islamic State extremists from Syria

The U.N. counterterrorism chief is urging countries to repatriate the 27,000 children stranded in a massive camp in northeastern Syria, many of them sons and daughters of Islamic State extremists who once controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Vladimir Voronkov told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on January 29, 2021 that “the horrific situation of the children in Al Hol (camp) is one of the most pressing issues in the world today.”

UN Chief receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in New York City

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Guterres, 71, received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at a New York City public school on January 28, 2021.

Bangladesh sends 3rd atch of Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char Island

The third batch of Rohingya refugees living in camps at Cox’s Bazar district sailed for relocation at the newly developed facility at the Bhashan Char island in Bangladesh on January 29, 2021. Rohingya are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh after fleeing the military crackdown in the Rakhine province of Myanmar in August 2017.

Russia: Vladimir Putin signs bill to extend nuclear treaty with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 29, 2021 signed a bill into law ratifying a five-year extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the US. The validity period of the New START will be extended by five years to February 5, 2026.

Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, who warned of ozone hole, dies at 87n

Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, who warned of ozone hole and was awarded the 1995 Nobel Chemistry Prize, died at the age of 87 on January 28, 2021. Crutzen’s science clearly drove political action. A 1987 treaty, known as the Montreal Protocol, led to a worldwide phase-out of ozone-eating chemicals, including the chlorofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and other applications.

Sports

Ladakh: First Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival concludes

In Kargil Ladakh, the first ever Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival, 2021 concluded at Munskit Chumik Zanskar on January 30, 2021. The Festival featured various cultural and sports activities like ice hockey, snow skiing, horse riding, yak riding, ice climbing, snow sculpture, archery matches.

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