1. PM Modi flagged off Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Vande Bharat Express
- PM Modi flagged off the Vande Bharat Express train that connects Secunderabad (Telangana) with Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) on 15th January 2023.
- As per the Railway officials, it will cover a distance of around 700 km in 8 hours and 30 minutes.
- It is the eighth Vande Bharat Express to be introduced by Indian Railways.
- The first Vande Bharat train was launched in 2019, between New Delhi and Varanasi.
- It will enhance the ease of living, and benefit the economy.
2. Union Minister Jitendra Singh launched Geospatial Hackathon
- Dr. Jitendra Singh (Union Minister for Science and Technology) has launched Geospatial Hackathon to promote Innovation and Start-Ups in India’s Geospatial ecosystem.
- This hackathon also aims to promote partnerships among the public and private geospatial.
- It was jointly launched by the Survey of India, the Ministry of Science and Technology, IIIT Hyderabad, and Microsoft India.
- There will be two sets of challenges - (1) Research Challenge and (2) Start-Up Challenge
3. Congress MP, Santokh Singh Chaudhary passes away
- Congress MP, Santokh Singh Chaudhary passed away at 76 due to a heart attack in Punjab.
- He was a Cabinet Minister of Punjab and a member of parliament from Jalandhar (Lok Sabha constituency).
- He won the 2014 Indian general election and the Indian general election in 2019.
- He was a cabinet minister from Phillaur in 1992, 1997, and 2002.
- He lost two assembly elections in 2007 and 2012.
- He was cremated in his native village in Jalandhar, Punjab.
National & International Appointments
4. FSIB recommends names for MD posts of Bank of Baroda, Bank of India
- The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) has recommended names for the posts of managing directors of the Bank of Baroda and Bank of India.
- Debadatta Chand has been recommended for the position of MD & CEO at the Bank of Baroda.
- While Rajneesh Karnatak was selected for MD & CEO at the Bank of India.
- The final decision on the FSIB recommendation would be taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Modi.
5. Rajasthan becomes first State to implement blindness control policy
- Rajasthan has become the first State in India to implement a blindness control policy to ensure the “right to sight”.
- This drive aims to reduce the rate of blindness and bring light into the lives of people suffering from visual impairment
- The prevalence rate of blindness was 1.1% in 2020, aimed to bring it down to 0.3% through the policy
- The State government would mandatorily run keratoplasty centres for cornea transplants and eye banks in medical colleges
6. Indian Army Day 2023: 15th January
- India has observed the 75th India Army Day on January 15.
- This day was observed to mark Field Marshall, K M Cariappa, who took over as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, replacing his British predecessor in 1949.
- The 75th Army Day Parade was held at the MEG and Centre in Bengaluru.
- The event featured a fly-past by the Army Aviation Dhruv and Rudra helicopters and Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30Mki
- 29th Chief of the Army Staff: General Manoj Pande
7. GeM celebrates the success of 'Womaniya on Government eMarketplace'
- The Government eMarketplace (GeM) has organized an event to celebrate the success of “Womaniya on GeM” in New Delhi.
- This event was organized in partnership with the Self-Employed Women’s Association, Bharat.
- Presently, over 1,44,000 Udyam-verified women Micro, Small Enterprises are registered on GeM, known as “Womaniya”.
- This initiative was launched in 2019 to encourage women entrepreneurs' participation and SHG from the informal sector on GeM.
National & International Appointments
8. Clare Lombardelli appointed as OECD Chief Economist
- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) appointed UK Treasury Adviser, Clare Lombardelli as the next Chief Economist, with effect from 2 May 2023.
- She has 20 years of experience in economic analysis and policy-making in the United Kingdom.
She started her career as an economist at the Bank of England.
- She has also worked at 10 Downing Street, and as a technical advisor for the International Monetary Fund.
- OECD HQ: Paris, France
Science & Technology
9. EU inaugurated first mainland satellite launch port
- European officials and Carl XVI Gustaf (Swedish King) have inaugurated the first mainland orbital launch complex of the European Union at Esrange Space Centre near the city of Kiruna, Sweden.
- Aim: To bolster the capacity to launch small satellites into space with a new launchpad in Arctic Sweden.
- The new facility should complement the EU’s current launching capabilities in French Guiana.
- European Commission President: Ursula Von der Leyen
10. ICG Ship ‘Kamla Devi’, Last vessel of FPV Series Commissioned at Kolkata
- The fifth and last vessel of the series of Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship ‘Kamla Devi’ was commissioned at Kolkata, West Bengal.
- It was designed, built, and delivered by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd.
- ICGS Kamla Devi:
- It is 48.9 meters long and 7.5 meters wide with a displacement of 308 Tons.
- It has three engines and water jets.
- It is capable of a top speed of 34 knots and an endurance of over 1,500 nautical miles.