Sri Lanka to buy 500 buses from India

  • Sri Lanka will purchase 500 buses from India for USD 15 million by utilising the line of credit extended to it during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa‟s visit to New Delhi.
  • The new buses for Sri Lanka Transport Board would be procured to strengthen the country‟s public transport, according to a memo approved by the Cabinet this week.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November announced a financial assistance of USD 450 million to Sri Lanka including USD 50 million to fight terrorism after he held “fruitful” talks with the island nation’s newly elected President Rajapaksa.
  • In his first overseas tour after taking over the reins of Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa traveled to India on a three-day visit.

Centre mulls mobile test labs at 21 ports

  • The Ministry of Agriculture is considering introducing mobile testing labs at 21 ports across the country to ensure imported fertilisers reach farmers on time after a quality check.
  • As per the Ministry of Agriculture data, India imported 188.43 lakh tonne of fertilizers during 2018-29.
  • Currently, imported fertilisers are tested by Faridabad-based Central Fertilizer Control and Quality Institute (CFCQI) as well as three regional centres that come under the agriculture ministry.
  • As per the Fertiliser (Movement Control) Order, imported fertilisers are permitted for distribution only after testing the commodity.
  • However, due to delay in testing on part of CFCQI, consignments get stuck at ports.
  • There were instances in the past, when some consignments were released without waiting for the test reports on pressure to meet farmers‟ demand in a particular season.

The Centenary Celebrations of National College, Tiruchirappalli

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu called for collective efforts by all stakeholders to make India 100 percent literate in the near future.
  • Inaugurating the Centenary celebrations of National College at Tiruchirappalli, in Tamil Nadu, the Vice President expressed disappointment over the fact that India still has 18-20% illiterate population, even after 70 years of independence.
  • Observing that literacy was a step towards empowerment, he called for stepping up the pace of literacy campaigns, especially those that have an impact on adult literacy.
  • Expressing his concern that none of the premier Indian Universities figured in the top 300 global list of institutions, the Vice President said that though India was home to premier institutions like IISc, IIT, IIM, only 56 institutions were featured in the 500 universities that made it to the „Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020‟.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Mars is losing water quicker than expected

  • Once, Mars was a warm planet that could potentially support life and water on its surface. But something changed about 3.5 billion years ago and it lost most of its atmosphere.
  • Only a thin atmosphere exists today, allowing gases like water vapor to escape. And if water were to be on the surface now, it would instantly evaporate.
  • In the Martian upper atmosphere, sunlight breaks water molecules down into hydrogen and oxygen, which then pass from the thin atmosphere into space.

Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy

  • Shafali Verma‟s flashy 85 helps India ‘C’ beat India „B‟, clinch title
  • India “B‟ posted 131 for six in their allotted 20 overs after opting to bat at the Barabati Stadium.
  • In reply, India ‘C’ chased down the target with as many as 28 balls to spare.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2020

  • This day is celebrated every year on January 09.
  • The purpose of celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is to recognize the overseas Indians who have contributed to the development of India.
  • This day was first celebrated in 2003.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated on January 09 because Mahatma Gandhi returned India from South Africa on January 09, 1915.
  • Mahatma Gandhi is considered as the greatest migrant who not only led India’s freedom struggle but also changed the lives of Indians forever.

NEWS HINTS

  • ISRO’s astronaut training hub to be established in Challakere, Karnataka
  • External affairs ministry declared the setting up of new emerging and strategic technologies (NEST) division.
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