Today's top news

1.  *Celebrations have begun for the festival of harvest across the country.*  The harvest festival is referred to different names in different parts of the country such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makara Sankranti in Gujarat, West Bengal, and Karnataka and Bihu in Assam. The festival of harvest, Lohri, is being celebrated today in North India especially in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh.

2. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their greetings and wishes to the citizens on the occasion of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parva.

3. *Magh Mela to begin in Prayagraj from Makar Sankranti;* which is one of the world's biggest religious congregations that takes place at the 'Sangam' in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj. 

4. *Basic tax exemption limit may be raised in Budget 2021* . The exemption limit for an individual income tax payee to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2.50 lakh.

5. *Bird flu: Sale of chicken, egg-based dishes banned at restaurants in parts of Delhi* 

6. *PM Modi to launch COVID-19 vaccination drive*  is all set to launch the mega vaccination drive virtually on January 16. PM Modi will also be launching the CoWIN application on the same day. *States to get 1.1 cr COVISHIELD, 55 lakh COVAXIN doses by Jan 14* 

7. *The Supreme Court has put a stay on the implementation of three new farm laws until further orders.* “The implementation of the three farm laws 1) Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; (2) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (3) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020,

8. *The Centre has also accepted the fact that Khalistan supporters have infiltrated the farmers' protest against the three farm laws.* 

 9. *Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday spoke on the completion of five years of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana* . The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, with an aim to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers suffering.

10.  *Madhya Pradesh hooch tragedy* :  Atleast six more people died after consuming spurious liquor in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district on Wednesday (January 13, 2021), taking the total death toll to 20.  While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a review meeting on the situation on Wednesday and issued orders for the removal of the collector and superintendent of police.

11.  Public and Private Health Facilities across the country were on January 12, 2021 felicitated with Centre’s Kayakalp award for high standards of Sanitation and Hygiene. The government had launched a National Initiative ‘Kayakalp’ on 15th May 2015 to ensure hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness in Public Health Facilities in the country.

12. Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, who is currently under treatment at Goa Medical college after meeting with an accident, has been taken off from ventilator support and shifted to high flow nasal oxygen. Union Minister of State for Defence, had met with an accident near a village in Ankola Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka on Monday.

13. Seer Swami Harshanandaji Maharaj of the Ramakrishna Math at Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, dies aged 91, PM Narendra Modi shares condolence message.

14. *Cold wave grips Delhi, mercury dips to 3.2 degrees Celsius* 

15. *Delhi govt allows schools to reopen for classes 10, 12 from January 18* .  The schools have been asked only to call students with the consent of the parents and follow all the Covid-19 precautions.

16. *Government of Odisha has waived the examination fees for matriculation students of the ongoing academic session.* 

17. In a big boost for the Indian Air Force and PM Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative, the *Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday cleared the purchase of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).* The Rs 48,000 crore deal will be the biggest ever in the indigenous military aviation sector.

18.  *Women will be inducted as pilots in the Army Aviation Corps from next year, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said* 

19. *DRDO develops India's first indigenous machine pistol ASMI* , it is set to replace 9 mm pistols of Indian Army.

20. *'Shakti': Indian Army major makes world's first flexible bulletproof vest for both male and female combatants.* 

21.  *150-m crossborder tunnel detected by BSF along IB in J&K* during an anti-tunnelling operation in Bobiyaan village of Hirnagar sector.

22. *Suspected Militants Lob Grenade at CRPF Party In Srinagar’s Rainawari Area,* No Casualty Reported.

23. *Coronavirus Cases:10,502,332* 
Deaths: 151,670
Recovered: 10,135,046

 1. *BSF to erect High Tech 'BOLD-QIT'(Smart Fence) on Indo-Bangla border along North Bengal.* 

2. *India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Wednesday made a previously unannounced visit to Afghanistan* for talks on strategic issues with the leadership in Kabul against the backdrop of a spike in violence blamed on the Taliban. 

3. *India, Turkmenistan agree to deepen Cooperation In UN, Multilateral Arena.* 

4. *Bangladesh Armed Forces delegation in India to participate in Republic Day parade* 
A contingent of 122 members of Bangladesh Armed Forces have reached Delhi yesterday to participate in the 2021 Republic Day parade there in commemoration of Bangladesh's 50th anniversary of independence. Together We Fought, Together We March, proud of 50 years of a friendship beyond strategic partnership.

5. *The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently announced that the new Foreign Trade Policy. 2021-26 is to come into effect from April 1, 2021* The policy will aim to boost exports.
It will enhance ease of doing business.

6. *India, Vietnam hold security dialogue, commit to elevate engagement between their armed forces* .

7. *India and Turkmenistan on Wednesday reviewed bilateral ties and agreed to enhance cooperation in the UN and multilateral arena* . The 4th round of Foreign Office Consultations were held between India.