9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 26th, 2020

NISHTHA:National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement

News:Union Minister of Human Resource Development has inaugurated NISHTHA programme for the teachers of Jammu and Kashmir.


About NISHTHA Programme:

  • NISHTHA is a capacity building programme for improving the quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training.
  • Aim:To train teachers and school principals at the elementary stage so that they can encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
  • The training will be conducted by Key Resource Persons(KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs.

Coverage:The programme aims to build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering

  • all teachers and heads of elementary Government schools
  • faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training(SCERTs) and District Institutes of Education and Training(DIETs) and
  • Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs

Expected outcomes of the programme:

  • Improvement in learning outcomes of the students.
  • Teachers are trained to use Art as pedagogy leading to increased creativity and innovation among students.
  • Integration of ICT in teaching learning and assessment.
  • Transformation of the Heads of Schools into providing academic and administrative leadership for the schools for fostering new initiatives among others.

Hemorrhagic Septicaemia

News:Recently,40 buffaloes had died of haemorrhagic septicaemia in Odisha’s Kendrapara.


About Hemorrhagic Septicaemia:

  • Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) is a contagious bacterial disease caused by Pasteurella multocida.
  • It affects cattle and water buffaloes with a high mortality rate in infected animals.
  • The symptoms include swishing tails, undigested food in faeces and reduced milk yield.
  • The disease spreads through a) Direct contact between animals and b) Contaminated feedstuffs or water.

Government announces Padma Awards winners

News:Government has announced 141 Padma Awards on the occasion of 71st Republic Day.


About Padma awards:

  • The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours after the Bharat Ratna announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
  • The award is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements in all fields of activities/disciplines.

Categories of Padma awards:

  • Padma Vibhushan: For Exceptional and distinguished service.
  • Padma Bhushan: For Distinguished service of high order.
  • Padma Shri: For distinguished service in any field.

Padma awards committee:

  • The committee is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.The Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary.It includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and 4-6 eminent personalities as its members.

Additional information:

About Bharat Ratna:

  • Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of India instituted in the year 1954.
  • It is given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order.

Ashuganj-Akhaura road project

News:India and Bangladesh has signed an agreement to upgrade the 50 km long road between Ashuganj and Akhaura in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway.


About the project:

  • The project is part of the $2 billion line of credit extended by India to Bangladesh in 2016.
  • It will boost connectivity between Bangladesh and North-eastern part of India which will also facilitate sub-regional connectivity among South and South-east Asian countries.

Dhanush,India’s first indigenous long-range artillery gun

News:The Dhanush gun system was showcased for the first time at the 71st Republic Day parade.


About Dhanush:

  • Dhanush is the first indigenous long-range artillery gun developed by Ordnance Factory Board(OFB) and manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory.
  • The gun is a 155 mm-45 caliber gun with a maximum range of 36.5 km and the capability of automatic alignment and positioning.
  • It is equipped with inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, onboard ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system.

Additional information:

About Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)

  • Ordnance Factory Board(OFB) is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.
  • It is engaged in research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land and sea systems.

Indian Railways’ first waste to energy plant commissioned

News:The first waste to energy plant of Indian Railways has been commissioned by the East Coast Railways(ECoR).


About the waste to energy plant:

  • The waste to energy plant converts waste collected from the garbage disposal units into carbon powder, diesel and gas using Poly Crack Technology.
  • The diesel oil is to be sold by the Railways to other stakeholders for commercial purposes.
  • The gas and carbon powder are to be used in brick manufacturing. Further,the plant also does not leave any waste at the end.

Additional information:

About Poly crack technology:

  • Poly crack technology is a process which converts multiple feed stocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.
  • The benefit of this process is that it does not require pre-segregation. However, it requires a larger area for processing.

Note:This is the fourth waste to energy plant in the country.The first was set up by Infosys at Bangalore in 2011.The second one was established at Moti Bagh, Delhi in 2014 and third one was set up at Hindalco in 2019.

President approves conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series

News:President has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2019 on 54 persons.


About Jeevan Raksha Padak:

  • Jeevan Raksha Padak awards are given to a person for meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person.
  • The awards are given in three categories namely a) Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak b)Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak and c)Jeevan Raksha Padak.
  • The Persons of all walks of life are eligible for these awards.It can also be conferred posthumously.

Additional information:

About Tatrakshak Medals:

  • Tatrakshak awards are given by the President to the Indian Coast Guard personnel for their act of conspicuous gallantry and distinguished meritorious service.
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