Daily Current Affairs for MBA Exams: 22nd January 2020

By Neeraj Mishra|Updated : January 22nd, 2020

1. Citizenship Act: SC refuses to grant a stay

  • The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday refused to pass any interim order to stay the operation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) till it hears the Central government on the pleas challenging the validity of Citizenship Amendment Act.
  • The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde granted four weeks time to Centre to file reply on the pleas. The bench headed by SA Bobde also directed all the high courts to not pass any order on CAA.
  • The court also said that it will separately hear the cases challenging the validity of the Act that got notified on 10 January pertaining to Assam and Tripura.
  • The court hinted at setting up a larger five-Judge Constitution Bench to hear the case and the matter will be listed after five weeks for interim orders.
  • As many as 143 petitions were filed, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, challenging the constitutional validity of the Act. Some pleas had sought a stay on the implementation of the legislation.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.


  • Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Source: The Live Mint

2. India advances 8 places to 72nd spot on Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020


  • India has moved up eight places to the 72nd position in the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index.
  • Global Talent Competitiveness Index measures and ranks countries based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.
  • Switzerland topped this year's ranking, followed by the United States, its highest position yet, while Singapore is the third most talent-competitive country.
  • Other countries in the top 10 include Sweden at the 4th position, Denmark (5th), the Netherlands (6th), Finland (7th), Luxembourg (8th), Norway (9th) and Australia (10th).


  • The GTCI report was launched by INSEAD, a partner and sponsor of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Tent in Davos, Switzerland on 22nd January.

The findings of the Global Talent Index for India are:

  • India's key strength relates to growing (44th) talent, due to its levels of lifelong learning (40th) and access to growth opportunities (39th)," the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report noted.
  • The country's highest-ranked sub-pillar is employability, but the ability to match labour market demand and supply stands in contrast to the country's poor "mid-level skills", which result in a mediocre score in vocational and technical skills, the report said.
  • India's greatest challenge is to address its weak ability to attract and retain talent, where strengthening the role of minorities and women would raise the level of internal openness, it added.
  • The report further said that India's GTCI score and GDP per capita are both lower than the corresponding medians of its other emerging market economies such as BRICS - Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa.
  • "Thus, the country's talent competitiveness is in line with what would be expected given its income level," the report noted.

Highlights of the report

  • The report noted that the gap between high income, talent-rich nations and the rest of the world is widening. More than half of the population in the developing world lack basic digital skills.
  • This year's GTCI report explores how the development of artificial intelligence (AI) is not only changing the nature of work but also forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems.
  • China was ranked at the 42nd place, Russia (48th), South Africa (70th) and Brazil (80th).

3. India falls to 51st spot in EIU's Democracy Index

  • According to The Economist Intelligence Unit - India slipped 10 places to 51st position in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking.
  • The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Iceland and Sweden.
  • Other countries in the top 10 include New Zealand at the fourth place, Finland (5th), Ireland (6th), Denmark (7th), Canada (8th), Australia (9th) and Switzerland (10th).
  • North Korea was at the bottom of the global ranking at 167th place.
  • The index is based on five categories - electoral process and pluralism; the functioning of government; political participation; political culture; and civil liberties.
  • Based on their total score, the countries are classified as one of four types of regime: "full democracy" (scores greater than 8); flawed democracy — scores greater than 6 and less than or equal to 8; hybrid regime — scores greater than 4 and less than or equal to 6; authoritarian regime — scores less than or equal to 4".
  • Meanwhile, China's score fell to 2.26 in the 2019 index, and the country is now ranked 153rd, close to the bottom of the global rankings.
  • Among other emerging economies, Brazil was ranked 52nd with a score of 6.86, Russia stood at 134th with a score of 3.11.
  • Meanwhile, Pakistan was ranked 108th on the overall list with a score of 4.25, while Sri Lanka was at 69th place with a score of 6.27, Bangladesh (at 80th with 5.88 score).

The findings of the 2019 Democracy Index's India are:

  • India's overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in the Index that provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories.
    "On India the report said, the country dropped ten places in the Democracy Index's global ranking to 51st.
  • The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country,".
  • India was included in the "flawed democracy" category.

4. First glimpse of 'Vyommitra', the humanoid for Gaganyaan revealed 

  • The Indian Space Research Center (ISRO) on 22nd January released a video of the humanoid Vyommitra being sent to the unmanned space mission Gaganyaan.
  • ISRO scientist Sam Dayal said that this humanoid would try to behave like a human and report back to us. We are doing this as an experiment.
  • In 1984, Rakesh Sharma went to space in a Russian spacecraft. This time Indian astronauts will go into space in India’s spacecraft.

Key points-

  • ISRO Chief Sivan said – Human-like robots will be sent into space in December 2020 and July 2021 before the final mission of Gaganyaan. It will be a human-looking humanoid robot.
  • Other countries have sent animals to space before such missions.
  • Humanoids will help in performing tests related to body temperature and pulsation. Sivan said that by the end of January, 4 selected astronauts will be sent to Russia for training for the Gaganyaan mission.

What are humanoids?

  • Humanoid is a kind of robot, which can move like a human and can also understand human gestures.
  • Humanoids can also answer questions through artificial intelligence programming.

Source: Dainik Bhaskar

5. Khelo India Youth Games conclude; Maharashtra tops the Medal Tally 

  • The third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games - KIYG 2020 - concluded today at the Surusajai Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.
  • Maharashtra topped the medal tally with 245 medals including 75 gold.
  • Haryana is in second place with 63 gold and Delhi is in the third position with 36 gold.


  • Khelo India Games 2020, the third instalment of the event has played host to some exciting talent this season, and with youngsters making a mark across sporting disciplines, this edition has produced some quality athletes.
  • First edition was hosted by New Delhi in 2018, while Pune hosted the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Games in 2019.
  • Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) held annually are the national level multidisciplinary grassroots games in India held for two categories (under-17 years school students & under-21 college students).
  • Every year the best 1000 kids will be given an annual scholarship of Rs. 500,000 for 8 years to prepare them for the international sporting events.

Source: News on Air

6. President confers Bal Shakti Puraskar to 49 children

  • Ishan Sharma who saved a Russian tourist from two robbers, Omkar Singh who holds the world record for the youngest theoretical author and youngest pianist in India Gauri Mishra were among those who were given the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020 by President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday.
  • Kovind conferred the awards to 49 children in the age group of 5-18 years at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan here.
  • The 49 awardees also included 12-year-old Darsh Malani, who has performed over 50 magic shows worldwide and 11-year-old Manoj Kumar Lohar has been awarded for his mastery in "tabla vadan".


  • The Bal Shakti Puraskar is given to children in the fields of innovation, social service, scholastic, sports, art and culture and bravery and carries a medal, a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a certificate and a citation.

Source: The Economic Times

7. Sri Lanka ranks first in the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative list

  • Sri Lanka has ranked first among 97 countries globally on breastfeeding rate according to a new survey conducted by the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi).
  • Sri Lanka’s rank is based on its performance on ten indicators of policies and programs. 
  • WBTi uses to color- code and rank countries. Sri Lanka has scored 91 out of 100 points and earned a green colour code, which implies best level of performance.
  • The WBTi congratulating Sri Lanka said its status is the result of persistent efforts since 2005 to pursue improvements.
  • It said Sri Lanka has demonstrated high level of commitment towards health and nutrition of mothers and babies.
  • Experts at the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India in Delhi developed the WBTi and launched it worldwide.
  • So far,  120 countries have been involved in WBTi and 97 have completed assessments.

About World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi):

  • WBTi was launched in 2004. WBTi assists countries to assess the status of the participating countries.
  • It will also benchmark the progress in implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding in a standard way.
  • The WBTi assists countries to measure strengths and weaknesses on the 10 parameters of policy and programmes that protect, promote and support optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. 

Source: News on Air

8. Govt approves raising FDI in Bharti Airtel to 100%

  • The telecom department has approved raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in Bharti Airtel to 100% from an earlier 49%, a provision that can help the telco draw more overseas funds.
  • The company also has the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that allowed foreign investors to hold up to 74% stake in the company.
  • Currently, foreign ownership in Bharti Airtel is 44.28%, after the share placement.
  • Currently, Sunil Mittal and family owns around 52% in Bharti Telecom, which in turn owns less than about 40% stake in Bharti Airtel after the recent share sale. SingTel owns 48% in Bharti Telecom.


  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country.

Source: The Economic Times

9. France to train Indian flight surgeons for Gaganyaan mission

  • According to the official sources, France will train Indian flight surgeons to enable them to monitor the health of astronauts selected for the ambitious human space mission Gaganyaan.
  • The two-week training is a critical aspect of the Gaganyaan project that is aimed at sending three Indians to space by 2022.
  • A memorandum of understanding on the matter is expected to be signed later this week when French space agency CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall arrives in Bengaluru.
  • The flight surgeons, who will be Indian Air Force doctors specialising in aviation medicines and responsible for the health of astronauts before, during and after the flight, will be shortlisted soon, an official from India's space agency ISRO added.
  • Those shortlisted will then undergo two weeks training in France.
  • The four shortlisted astronauts -- all test pilots from the Indian Air Force -- are currently in Russia for an 11-month training programme.
  • Brigitte Godard, a flight surgeon with the European Space Agency, was in India in July and August last year to start the training of physicians and engineers.


  • India and France share robust ties in the area of space.
  • France has a well-established mechanism for space medicine.
  • It also has the MEDES space clinic, a subsidiary of CNES, where space surgeons undergo training.
  • The two countries had signed a joint vision for space cooperation in March 2018, months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Gaganyaan project.

Source: The Economic Times

10. India joins WEF reskilling initiative as a founding member

  • On 22nd January, India joined as a founding government member the World Economic Forum's Reskilling Revolution.
  • Founding governments include Brazil, France, India, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, UAE and the US.
  • Business partners include PwC, Salesforce, ManpowerGroup, Infosys, LinkedIn, Coursera Inc. and The Adecco Group.
  • LinkedIn will be a data partner for the Reskilling Revolution initiative.
  • The WEF also released on Wednesday a report titled 'Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy'.
  • It worked with LinkedIn, Coursera Inc and Burning Glass Technologies to map seven emerging professional clusters and 96 fastest-growing jobs within them.

About the World Economic Forum's Reskilling Revolution

  • World Economic Forum's Reskilling Revolution is an initiative to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030.
  • The scheme aims to future-proof workers from technological change and helps economies by providing new skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • "The best way to foster a more cohesive and inclusive society is to provide everybody with a decent job and income. Here in Davos, we are creating a public-private platform to give one billion people the skills they need in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Source: The Economic Times

11. India's first Mahatma Gandhi convention centre in Niger

  • Union Minister S Jaishankar & Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou jointly inaugurated the first convention centre in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre is a landmark for India-Niger friendship and a symbol of India's firm commitment towards Africa.
  • It witnesses high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union member states and other high-level conventions.
  • It is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth Anniversary was observed last year.
  • The convention centre has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union member states and other high-level conventions. 
  • Mr. Jaishankar, the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit the West African country, arrived on 20th January in Niamey on the first leg of his three-day two-nation trip to Niger and Tunisia.
  • The tour is his first outreach to the African continent after becoming Foreign Minister last year.


  • Earlier, Mr. Jaishankar met Prime Minister Brigi Rafini during which the two leaders discussed bilateral ties.
  • He also met his counterpart of Niger, Kalla Ankourao and held discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues.
  • The bilateral relations have expanded significantly in recent years. India has provided Lines of Credit to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water. 

Source: News on Air

12. Mumbai to stay open 24x7 from January 27

  • The Maharashtra cabinet on 22nd January approved its 'Mumbai 24 hours' policy allowing malls, multiplexes and shops to remain open round-the-clock in the city from January 27.
  • Noting that London's 'night economy' was five billion pounds, state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray told reporters here after the cabinet meeting that the government's decision could help generate more revenue and jobs, in addition to the existing 5 lakh people working in the service sector.
  • In the first phase, shops, eateries and theatres in malls and mill compounds situated in non-residential areas will be allowed to remain open.

Source: The Times of India


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