Business and Economy- Current Affairs
Government Makes FASTags Mandatory for all Vehicles in the New Year
In order to ease bottlenecks at highway toll counters and enhance digital payments, the ministry of road transport and highways has made FASTags mandatory for all vehicles from January 1, 2021. Further the ministry has said that a hybrid lane for collecting toll fee will be open till February 15, 2021 after which 100 per cent cashless fee collection will be operational. Vehicles using the non-FASTag lanes will be have to pay double the normal toll fee in a bid to discourage cash transactions.
Monolith Spotted in India
Symphony Forest Park Authorities spotted a monolith in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The structure is constructed with metallic sheets covering its three sides. Some numbers etched on the monolith possibly hint at protection of nature and wildlife. Previously, 30 countries including United States, Romania, France, Poland, United Kingdom, and Colombia have spotted monoliths. The shiny metal structures have been mysteriously appearing, and disappearing, across the world. There are various theories and interpretations about the monoliths. But most people referred this as a work of fine art put up by artists.
Nation and Politics- Current Affairs
TiHAN: First Test Bed of India for Autonomous Navigation System Launched at IIT-Hyderabad
Education minister launched first test bed of the country at IIT-Hyderabad. The facility named TiHAN (Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation System) will focus on addressing various challenges hindering the real-time adoption of unmanned autonomous vehicles for both terrestrial and aerial applications.
CBSE Exams to be Held in May and June Months in 2021, Results in July
Dates for class 10 and 12 CBSE board exams announced on 31 December 2020. The CBSE will conduct the exams from May 4 to June 10 in 2021. Practical exams will begin from March 1. Moreover, the board may declared the results of the exams by July 15. This unexpected crisis delayed the examination schedule by around 3 months as CBSE conducts exams in February-March in usual situation.
Science and Technology- Current Affairs
First Meteor Shower of the Year on January 2 and 3
Meteor shower will illuminate the sky in the New Year weekend. First peak of the quadrantids meteor shower of 2021 from January 2 to 3 will start the year on a good note. As per the reports, there is chance to spot between 60 to 200 meteors per hour traveling at 25.5 miles per second during the window of six hours in this weekend.
Sports, Arts and Books- Current Affairs
New Zealand vs Pakistan: Neil Wagner Bowls 21 Overs with Broken Toes
New Zealand pace bowler Neil Wagner battled through the pain of two broken toes in the first test against Pakistan. But Coach Gary Stead said he would miss the second match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starting on Sunday. Wagner needed pain-killing injections during the test. On the second day at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui Neil struck his foot while batting. After this, the hosts won the match by 101 runs.
Pt Satish Vyas was conferred upon Tansen Samman at the World Music Festival
96th Tansen Music Festival has begun in Gwalior city of Madhya Pradesh. The organizers awarded renowned santoor player, Pandit Satish Vyas with the prestigious Tansen Samman in the inaugural ceremony. Moreover, the festival is strictly following every precautionary measures for COVID-19.
This festival also honored the Bhopal-based institution Abhinav Kala Parishad with Raja Mansingh Tomar award. The festival pays tribute to Tansen who was one of nine gems in Akbar’s court.
World- Current Affairs
WHO Nods for Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine’s Emergency Use
On Thursday the World Health Organization (WHO) granted emergency validation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This decision of WHO paves the way for countries at a worldwide level to quickly approve its import and distribution. However, Britain already launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on December 8. Later, the United States, Canada and EU countries followed the same suit. WHO said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the first to receive its “emergency validation” since the novel coronavirus first broke out in China a year ago.
First Case of South African Coronavirus Variant in France
France detects its first positive case of South African Coronavirus strain. South African authorities detect the 501.V2 variant and believed that this strain can be more easily transmissible like another version in Britain. A man who had returned from South Africa to his home in the Haut-Rhin region which borders Switzerland found positive with the new mutation of COVID-19.
New York’s Times Square Empty on New Year’s Eve
Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, and entertainment center in the US. As police fenced off a perimeter to maintain social distancing, the normally bustling streets of New York’s Times Square were vacant on New Year’s Eve. Times Square is always full of bright lights and numerous billboards and advertisements. New year’s eve doubles the energy of the celebration in Times Square completely. But because of the pandemic and to maintain its precautionary measures the place was found empty.
Donald Trump Extends Immigrant, Work Visa Restrictions till March
US President Donald Trump has extended the visa sanctions on countries. He did this on the countries that are refusing to repatriate their citizens who violated laws in the United States. The bans which were issued in April and June were set to expire on December 31 but will be extended until March 31, 2021.