‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ passed by U.S. Congress


To increase the number of scholarships for Pakistani women in higher education under merit and needs-based programme, the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ has been passed by the U.S. Congress.

On 1st January by a voice vote, the bill was passed by the United States Senate. For the bill to get signed into law, the bill now heads to the White House for U.S. President to sign.

Across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria, the bill requires the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarships under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022.

To enhance and expand the scope of access to education programmes in Pakistan the bill also requires USAID to consult with and leverage investments by the Pakistani private sector and Pakistani diaspora in the United States.



To upgrade power distribution system in Bengaluru ADB approves $100 million loan


To modernise and upgrade the power distribution system in Bengaluru city, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a USD 100 million (around Rs 730 crore) loan.

ADB will provide a USD 90 million loan without sovereign guarantee, besides the USD 100 million sovereign loans for the project to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM), one of the five state-owned distribution facilities in Karnataka.

Points to be noted:

Chief Minister of Karnataka: B.S. Yediyurappa;

Governor: Vajubhai Vala.

President of ADB: Masatsugu Asakawa;

Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.

ADB Established: 9 December 1966.

Bajaj Auto becomes world’s most valuable two-wheeler company


Indian multinational Bajaj Auto, the two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturing company has become the most valuable two-wheeler company in the world, as on 1st January 2021, it crossed a market capitalization of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore.

On the very first day of the year 2021, Bajaj’s share price on National Stock Exchange closed at Rs. 3,479 per share, which led to a market capitalization of more than Rs. 1,00,670.76 crore.

Thus, in the two wheeler segment Bajaj Auto is the most valued company, but also the first-ever two-wheeler company in the world to have reached this market cap milestone.

Important points to be noted:

Headquarter of Bajaj Auto: Pune, Maharashtra.

Managing Director of Bajaj Auto: Rajiv Bajaj.



Pankaj Mithal appointed as the new Chief Justice of J&K, Ladakh Court


On January 04, 2021 Justice Pankaj Mithal sworn in as the new Chief Justice (CJ) of the Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh in Jammu.

In view of the retirement of chief justice Gita Mittal, Chief justice Mithal has been appointed to the post. By Lieutenant Governor of J&k, Manoj Sinha, Chief Justice Mithal was administered the oath of office.



Ashish Pethe elected as the new Chairman of Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC)


The national apex body of the gems and jewellery industry, the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), has announced the appointment of Ashish Pethe as the new chairman and Saiyam Mehra as vice chairman for a tenure of two years.

Pethe has been closely associated with Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council and was the Zonal Chairman West, which he will continue even after acquiring this new position.

An authorised independent person (Chief Election Authority) conducted the entire e-Voting election process, and the voting platform was created by a digital agency, both appointed by Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council.

Points to be noted:

All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council is headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra.

In 2005, all India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council was founded.

Sanjay Kapoor elected as the All India Chess Federation president


Sanjay Kapoor was elected president of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) and Bharat Singh Chauhan retained the secretary’s post.

Representing Uttar Pradesh Chess Association, Sanjay Kapoor defeated incumbent PR Venketrama Raja in a close contest.

As against 31 votes of Raja, Kapoor received 33 votes. By 35-29 Chauhan beat Ravindra Dongre. Six vice-presidents and six joint secretaries were also elected, apart from the president, secretary and treasurer.

Important takeaways:

All India Chess Federation is headquartered at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai.

All India Chess Federation Founded: 1951.



National Metrology Conclave 2021 inaugurated by PM Modi


Through video conferencing on January 04, 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the National Metrology Conclave 2021.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi organised the National Metrology Conclave 2021, to mark its 75th year of inception. This year’s theme was ‘Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also dedicated ‘National Atomic Timescale’, and ‘Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya’ to the nation, during this conclave, and laid the foundation stone of the ‘National Environmental Standards Laboratory’.



51st IFFI’s International Jury to be headed by Argentine filmmaker Pablo Cesar


Eminent filmmakers from across the world to be the International Jury for 51st edition of International Film Festival of India.

According to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Jury will have Pablo Cesar of Argentina as the Chairman, Abu Bakr Shawky of Austria, Priyadarshan of India, Prasanna Vithanage of Sri Lanka and Rubaiyat Hossain of Bangladesh.

Pablo Cesar being an Argentine filmmaker, has contributed to the African cinema by making the critically acclaimed films like Equinox, Los dioses de agua and Aphrodite, the Garden of the Roses, the Garden of the Perfumes.