Daily GK Update: 30th January 2020

Surajkund Mela: All about the world’s biggest craft fair

  • This mega affair will start on February 1 and will continue till February 17, and preparations are on in full swing. The famous International Surajkund Crafts Mela sees enthusiasts from all over the world and from across the country.
  • Amid the celebrations, Union Minister of State for Railways and Communication Manoj Sinha released a special postage stamp of the Indian Postal Department on Kumbh Mela on February 02, 2019.
  • The mela is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs.

Source: India Today

Indian National Commission for Co-operation with UNESCO (INCCU)

  • To promote understanding of the objects and purposes of UNESCO among the people of the Republic of India;
  • To serve as a liaison agency between the Government of India and the institutions concerned with the working for the advancement of education, science and culture;
  • To co-operate with the Government departments and with services, organizations and institutions concerned with questions within UNESCO’s competence;
  • To encourage participation of national, governmental and non-governmental institutions and various individuals in the formulations and execution of UNESCO’s programmes so as to secure for UNESCO all the intellectual, scientific artistic or administrative assistance that it may require;

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development

Indian Railways implementing Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) of Rolling Stock (RFID Project)

  • Indian Railways is amongst the largest Railway systems in the world, addressing a significant part of the country’s transportation needs, both in the passenger and freight segment. It carries about 23 million passengers per day and over 3 million tons of freight every day over 65000 route kilometers. It has major growth plans and needs to improve service levels and operating efficiency.
  • As a part of this endeavour, the RFID project has been taken up which aims to automatically and accurately track and trace rolling stock as they move across the country with a special focus on improving their safety and reliability. Two works for RFID project have been sanctioned by Railway Board for a total of Rs. 112.96 Crores.

Source: Press Information Bureau

India-Bangladesh joint exercise ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ to be conducted in Meghalaya from Feb 3

  • The ninth edition of joint military training exercise between India-Bangladesh — SAMPRITI-IX will be conducted at Umroi, Meghalaya from February 3 to February 16.
  • “As part of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military training exercise SAMPRITI-IX is being conducted at UMROI, Meghalaya, India from February 3 to February 16, 2020,” a defence ministry release said.
  • The statement stressed that Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh and will be the ninth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.

Source: Business Standard

Assam tops in budgetary practices, followed by Odisha, Andhra: Survey

  • Assam has emerged as the top state in terms of best practices followed in budget formulation, followed by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, says a survey by Transparency International.
  • The survey was based on four parameters — public disclosure, budgetary process, post budget fiscal management and efforts to make budget more transparent and citizen friendly.
  • The states which figured lower in the ranking were Goa, Maharashtra and Punjab.
  • “It is ironical that being a ‘Union of States’, state budgets in India have never received such importance as claimed by Union Budget.

Source: The Economic Times

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

  • January 30, 2020 is the inaugural World Neglected Tropical diseases Day, whose objective is to raise awareness on these diseases affecting more than one billion people in tropical countries.
  • This world day is the occasion to welcome these new players, congratulate the pioneers and encourage more and more to join and work all together to achieve the ambitious and motivating vision of the London declaration on NTDs
    In December 2012, BIOASTER, the not-for-profit French Technology Research Institute, dedicated to infectious diseases and microbiology was born.
  • Since our inception, we’ve been working on Neglected Tropical Diseases, through collaborative projects. Dengue, Chagas disease or Onchocerciasis have been addressed with various partners.


Telangana tops country in sustainable growth goals: UN Development Programme

  • Telangana has emerged as the best performing state in promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index 2019, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India.
  • The state has improved its performance over 2018 in eight out of 17 SDGs. In decent work and economic growth, India’s youngest state moved to 82 percent from 75 percent in the previous year.
  • In industry, innovation and infrastructure, it has jumped to 61 percent from just 16 percent in the previous year. In SDG of sustainable cities and communities, it improved from 44 percent to 62 percent.
  • Telangana also made a huge jump in clean water and sanitation, moving up from 55 per cent to 84 per cent. In affordable and clean energy, it recorded 93 percent performance against 63 percent earlier.

Source: The News Minute


  • Assam Rifles builds war memorial in Nagaland for 357 martyrs Mumbai, Jan 29 (PTI) The Assam Rifles has constructed a combined war memorial in Nagaland for the 357 Army and Assam Rifles personnel killed while fighting insurgency in the northeastern state, a senior Assam Rifles officer said on Wednesday.
    The memorial has been built at Mokokchung, which is also the cultural and intellectual centre of Nagaland.
  • “This memorial is the first of its kind in Nagaland, which also has the famous Second World War Cemetery at Kohima.
  • Christened “Veer Samriti”, the memorial is spread over 13,500 sq ft and was built by 44 Assam Rifles,” the officer told PTI.
  • Nagaland has seen decades of insurgency, leading to loss of lives for the security forces and Naga insurgents.

Source: The Week

World Sustainable Development Summit organized by TERI first time in New Delhi

  • The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2020, flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI), was inaugurated by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), on January 29, 2020, at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
  • The three-day event will address the theme, ‘Towards 2030 Goals: Making the Decade Count’. As a leading forum on sustainability issues, the Summit will announce the launch of the Indo-Swiss partnership on tackling air pollution, and also release a plethora of reports including a roadmap for zero-carbon steel sector and tapping the potential for floating solar plants in India. WSDS 2020 will also host the SEED India Hub, a collaboration of TERI with UN Environment, UN Development and IUCN to support eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in India.

Source: The Energy and Resource Institute

Uttar Pradesh’s Chandauli district tops Niti’s ranking in Dec

  • Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of aspirational districts ranked by the government think tank Niti Aayog in December.
  • Belangir (Odisha) and YSR (Andhra Pradesh) have been placed at the second and third positions, respectively, Niti Aayog said in a tweet.
  • Sahibganj (Jharkhand) has been ranked at the fourth spot and Hailakandi(Assam) at the fifth place.
  • The delta rankings took into account incremental progress made by over 112 aspirational districts across six developmental areas in December 2019.

Source: Business Standard