30-31 January 2020 Current Affairs

Coronavirus | WHO | Economic Survey 2020 | New IBM Chief | New Foreign Secretary | NHAI InvIT |

Posted on Feb 01, 2020 05:57 IST in Current Affairs.

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1) The World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 January 2020 declared the coronavirus outbreak a public-health emergency of international concern. This is which instance of the WHO declaring an international public-health emergency? – Sixth (The WHO gained the power to declare an international emergency in 2005 and since then it is just the sixth instance of declaration of a public-health emergency. The first was in 2009 in response to the H1N1 swine flu, followed by polio in 2014 and the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks in 2016. It declared a public emergency for another Ebola outbreak in 2019)

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2) How much GDP growth has been predicted for the upcoming year in the Economic Survey 2020 that was tabled in the Parliament on 31 January 2020? - 6-6.5% (Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 31 January 2020 tabled the Economic Survey 2020 prepared by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian, which predicted a GDP growth of 6-6.5% for the upcoming financial year. The government has estimated growth at 5% for 2019-20, which would be lowest in 11 years)

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3) Which Indian-origin executive was on 30 January 2020 named as the new Chief Executive Officer of American IT giant IBM? - Arvind Krishna (Indian-origin technology executive Arvind Krishna has been elected Chief Executive Officer of American IT giant International Business Machines (IBM). He is currently IBM Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software and will succeed Virginia Rometty. 57-year old Krishna had joined IBM in 1990 and has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Krishna joins the club of Indian CEOs of top global companies that includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo's former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen)

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4) Who took over as the new Foreign Secretary on 29 January 2020? - Harsh Vardhan Shringla (Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who last served as India's envoy to the US, took charge as new Foreign Secretary on 29 January 2020. He is the 33rd person to occupy this top foreign service post in India and replaced Vijay Gokhale who was occupying the post since January 2018. Shringla is a 1984 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service)

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5) Indian Railways has commissioned the country's first governmental waste to energy plant in which state during January 2020? – Odisha (Indian Railways has commissioned country’s first governmental waste to energy plant in Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop located at Bhubaneswar. This workshop falls under East Coast Railway. The waste to energy plant uses a patented technology called POLYCRACK, is first-of-its-kind in Indian Railways and fourth in India. It is world’s first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feed stocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water)

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6) Union Minister Nitin Gadkari unveiled NHAI’s InvIT offer on 29 January 2020. What is the primary objective of this offer? – To tap alternative funding sources to boost public spending in the roads sector (The InvIT offer is part of govt. plans to tap alternative sources of financing to boost public spending in the roads and infrastructure sector amid declining private sector interest in the build, operate and transfer model, where the entire initial cost is borne by them. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will initially raise Rs. 15,000-20,000 crore through the maiden offer of InvIT)

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