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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 21st January 2020


Hyperloop project

Why in news?

The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project,may be scrapped by the state government.

What is the Hyperloop technology?

  • It is system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes.
  • It envisages tube modular transport system that runs free of friction.
  • It uses linear Induction motors in it to control speed of pods.
  • It would also be thrice or four times as fast as a bullet train, with an average speed that would be twice of an aircraft.

How it works?

  • The high speed is achieved as the pods, which carry passengers, move using magnetic levitation.
  • The speed increases further due to the near-vacuum conditions inside the tubes, which reduce resistance to the pod as it travels within the tube.

Note:Magnetic levitation is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields.


  • Once developed fully, it could make the transportation of people and goods easier, faster and less
  • Hyperloop departures could happen with a low frequency of a pod every 20 seconds which is not possible in railways.
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)

Why in news?

A rare migratory eagle sighted near Vijayawada.

Steppe Eagle:

  • It belongs to the family
  • IUCN status:Endangered
  • It is the second-largest migratory eagle speciesto India.
  • Cultural significance:The Steppe Eagle appears on the flag of Kazakhstan, it is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt.
  • Habitat and ecology:It inhabits areas of steppe and semi-desert, and is recorded breeding up to 2,300 m in mountainous region.
  • In winter, steppe eagle breeds in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. 
Universal Immunisation Programme (U.I.P.)

Why in news?

As the Union Budget approaches, all eyes will be on allocations for the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

Universal Immunisation Programme:

  • Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).
  • The first three vaccines in the programme were BCG (against TB). DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) and cholera.
  • The programme gained momentum in 1985 and was expanded as Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90.
  • The two major milestones of UIP have been the elimination of polio in 2014 and maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination in 2015.

Diseases Protected by Vaccination under UIP:

  • Under UIP, immunization is providing free of cost against 12 vaccine preventable diseases:
  • Nationally against 9 diseases -Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B
  • Sub-nationally against 3 diseases - Rotavirus diarrhoea, Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Japanese Encephalitis

Vaccines under UIP:

  • BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin)
  • DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus Toxoid)
  • OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine)
  • Measles
  • Hepatitis B
  • TT (Tetanus Toxoid)
  • JE vaccination (in selected high disease burden districts)
  • Hib containing Pentavalent vaccine (DPT+HepB+Hib) (In selected States)

New vaccines:

  • Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
  • Rotavirus vaccine (RVV)
  • Measles Rubella (MR) vaccine
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)
  • Tetanus and adult diphtheria (Td) vaccine
Irrawaddy Dolphins

Why in news?

Dolphin census: 146 Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Odisha's Chilika.

More about the News

  • The dolphin census was simultaneously taken up in Chilika and off Odisha coast.
  • The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) is elated that the direct sighting of 146 dolphins meant that its population in the lake would stabilise well above 150.
  • The Census was carried out using Hydrophone monitoring technique.
  • A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound.

Irrawaddy Dolphins

  • Irrawaddy dolphins are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the
  • The total population of these aquatic mammals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500.
  • Of these, more than 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins have been reported from Bangladesh
  • Dolphin distribution in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoon population.
  • IUCN status: Endangered

To know more about Chilika Lake visit the

White Rhino

Why in news?

Explained: How IVF is reversing an imminent extinction of White Rhino.

More about the news

  • Researchers had created another embryo the third of the nearly extinct northern white rhino using In-Vitro fertilization.
  • Presently, there are only two northern white rhinos in the world.

White Rhino

  • The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinocerosis the largest extant species of rhinoceros and second largest land mammal.
  • It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species.
  • The white rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhinocerosand the much rarer northern white rhinoceros.
  • They are found in two different regions in
  • White Rhinoceros are classified as Near Threatened in IUCN redlist.
  • Northern White Rhino as Critically Endangered
  • Southern White Rhino as Near Threatened
  • There is also the black rhinoceros in Africa, which too, is fighting for survival, and at least three of whose subspecies are already extinct.
  • The Indian rhinoceros is different from its African cousins, most prominently in that it has only one horn.
  • There is also a Javan rhino, which too, has one horn, and a Sumatran rhino which, like the African rhinos, has two horns.

In vitro Fertilization (IVF)

  • It’s one of the more widely known types of Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART).
  • IVF works by using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg, and help the fertilized egg implant in uterus.
  • IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish.
  • In vitro means outside the body.
Youth Co: Lab

Why in news?

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a three day long Youth Co:Lab -national innovation challenge in Delhi.

More about

  • Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP earlier, aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.
  • Four winning teams in the event will represent India at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Innovation Challenge in Malaysia slated to be held in April this year.
  • The event saw the participation of more than 60 teams.

Youth Co: Lab

  • Youth Co:Lab was created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation.
  • It aims to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship. 
  • By developing 21st century skills, catalysing and sustaining youth-led start-ups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and centre in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges. 
  • With presence in over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Youth Co:Lab was launched in India last year in October, in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. 
  • It will enable young students from all over the country and all over the world to participate in ideation and coming up with innovative solutions to many of the problems faced by the word aligned with the SDGs.

Halwa Ceremony
Why in news?

Printing process for Union General Budget 2020-21 commences with Halwa Ceremony.

More about

  • Union General Budget 2020-21 is to be presented on 1stFebruary, 2020.
  • To maintain the secrecy of Budget, there is a “lock-in” of the officials involved in making the Budget.
  • Budget Press, situated inside North Block, houses all officials in the period leading up to the presentation of the Union Budget.
  • These officers and staff will come in contact with their near and dear ones only after the Budget is presented by the Union Finance Minister in Parliament.
No 222 Squadron
  • No 222 Squadron, the Tigersharks were inducted at Air Force Station Thanjavur.
  • Thanjavur was chosen as the base for induction of the SU 30 MKI squadron because of its strategic location and complimented Southern Air Command.
Integrated Check Post
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will jointly inaugurate the second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar with Prime Minister of Nepal, Shri K.P. Oli. 
  • It is built with Indian assistance to facilitate trade and people’s movement across India – Nepal border.