- The third private train of the IRCTC would run between Indore and Varanasi, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said.
- The overnight train would have the same rakes as those of the Humsafar Express.
- In the last few months, the IRCTC has started operating private trains on two routes – Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai.
Govt announces Jan Aushadhi centres in all districts in Budget 2020
- Presenting the Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21, Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman announced a proposal to expand government-run Jan Aushadhi Kendras to all districts in the country.
- The Jan Aushadhi Kendras are essentially pharmacy centres that provide people with the generic medicines they require at affordable prices.
- Generic medicines are chemically composed of the same compound as a brand- name drug.
- One common example of a generic drug is paracetamol, which can be found in a number of compositions and combinations, including Dolo and Crocin.
- The Finance Minister stated that this decision would allow for easy and widespread access to medication for all.
India to host G-20 summit in 2022
- Presenting the Budget 2020 in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India will host G20 presidency in the year 2022 and Rs 100 crores have been allocated for preparation.
- The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.
- This holds both opportunities and challenges for India, the opportunity to set the global economic governance agenda and make it inclusive, and the challenge of taking on the massive task as G20 President in 2022.
100 more airports to be developed by 2025 under UDAN scheme
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government plans to set up 100 more airports by 2025 under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as UDAN or Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik.
- Under the program, airlines compete to win subsidies for operating flights linking small airports with the bigger ones.
- The scheme, launched in October 2017, is now in its fourth phase. At present, 232 routes across 43 cities and towns connect 137 small cities under the RCS.
- Currently, state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages 125 airports in the country including 11 international airports.
- Sitharaman also proposed launching a separate Krishi UDAN scheme, which will improve connectivity with the country’s northeast region.
Maldives re-admitted into Commonwealth
- Maldives, which left the Commonwealth in 2016 at the height of political turmoil in Male and re-applied to join the group following the election of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as president in 2018, has been re-admitted.
- Maldives became the Commonwealth’s 54th member-state, marking the end of a process that began in December 2018, when the new president wrote to the secretary-general Patricia Scotland, expressing the country’s interest in re-joining.
- After due diligence, which included country assessment and consultations in accordance with the rules and procedures agreed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Kampala in 2007, Maldives has been re-admitted, the London-based secretariat said.
Adichanallur as iconic site
- The Tamil Nadu government welcomed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement that Adichanallur will be developed as an iconic archaeological site with on-site museums.
- Adichanallur, an extensive urn burial site, spread over 114 acres, is located on the banks of Tamirabarani river, in Thoothukudi district.
- The site was first discovered by Fedor Jagor of Berlin Museum in 1876. Later, British archaeologist Alexander Rea too excavated many urns till 1905.
- He also discovered gold diadems with parallels from Mycenae; bronze objects, notably lids with exquisite finials depicting many animal forms, iron objects, besides thousands of potsherds.
- The excavation was resumed during 2003-05. More than 160 urns within 600 sq.metres have been exposed.
Indian Coast Guard Day
- The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its foundation day on 1 February.
- The ICG is an armed force of India which protects maritime interests and enforces maritime law. Where the ICG is headed by a Director-General, Vice-Admiral rank of the Indian Navy.
- The Director-General is assisted by other officers who are responsible for various duties and responsibilities.
- But the Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 as an independent armed force of the Parliament of India.
Nethra Kumanan Is First Indian Woman to Win Sailing World Cup Medal
- She bagged bronze in the second round of the Hempel World Series.
- Sailors from around the globe convened in South Florida this week with North American Olympic qualification at stake with the Tokyo 2020 Games only six months away.