Today's top news

   

1. *Thousands of devotees took a holy dip at Prayagraj in the Sangam* -- the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati rivers --on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti.

2. *PM Modi will launch the pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, 2021 at 10:30 AM via video conferencing.* 

3. *The farmer unions reaffirming their decision to carry out a tractor parade on January 26,* Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday stated that the kisans had planned to take out their parallel procession from Red Fort to Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. 

4.  *After the Union government said it is examining WhatsApp's new privacy policy and terms of use, WhatsApp has come out saying it is open to answering any questions from the government on the issue.* The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform, which has over five billion downloads, has said it is aware that the company will have to "compete" for users' trust with rivals such as Signal.

5. WhatsApp head Will Cathcart  asserted that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read users' messages or hear their calls with others on the messaging platform. He also clarified that the changes will not impact WhatsApp Payments as that has a separate privacy policy governing it.

6. *Kashmir's famous Dal Lake froze on Thursday as a severe cold wave in the valley continued with Srinagar recording the coldest night in 30 years* .Srinagar recorded a low of minus 8.4 degree Celsius, the coldest temperature recorded in the city since 1991.

7. *Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government had made all preparations for the Covid-19 vaccination programme that rolls out across India from Saturday* and that he had reviewed the situation. Delhi had received 2.74 lakh vaccines from the Centre, of which 1.2 lakh will be used for health care workers. Each individual receives two doses of the vaccine, according to the schedule.

8. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati has asked partymen to celebrate her birthday on Friday as ''Jankalyankari Day'' by the BSP with simplicity by extending help to the poor.

9. *The Union government has rescheduled the national polio vaccination programme from January 17 to January 31 in the wake of phase-I of the Covid-19* inoculation that rolls out in a few days. As is the tradition, the Polio Ravivar (Polio Sunday) drive will be flagged of by President Ramnath Kovind who will administer the "drops" to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan a day before the drive. Launched in 1995.

10. *The health condition of Union minister Shripad Naik, who is undergoing treatment at a Goa hospital following an accident, has improved and he is responding to the treatment* , a senior official from the hospital said.

11. *New 6-Km Metro Line Inaugurated In Bengaluru, Public Access From Today*: A new stretch of Bengaluru's Namma Metro train service was inaugurated yesterday, on the occasion of Makara Sankranti, and will be thrown open to the public from Friday. The stretch on Green Line connects the existing Yelachenahalli Metro Station to the Silk Institute Metro Station on Kanakapura Road -- a highway out of Bengaluru.

12. The Narcotics Control Bureau on Thursday conducted searches at the city-based residence of Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan, who has been arrested in a drugs case.

13. *The Budget session of Parliament will begin on January 29* with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind to the joint sitting of both the Houses and the Union Budget will be presented on February 1

14.  *Bharat Biotech’s Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella interacted exclusively with Zee News on Thursday (January 14).* Dr Krishna Ella said, "the vaccine is only for those above 18 years, not for children as the research has to be done in the case of covid vaccine for children."

15. *The government's ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday* and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said

16. *Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave resigned from his post with immediate effect on Thursday* saying he has forfeited his right to continue.

17. *Indian Army to get home made drones:* Ex-IITians' company bags ₹130-cr order from Indian Army to make drones. An "undisclosed quantity" of a high-altitude variant of SWITCH unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will soon be in the possession of the Indian Army after it signed a contract with ideaForge at a cost of approximately $20 million

18. *CISF restores bag containing jewellery items, worth approximately INR 75,000/- at MG Road Metro Station, Delhi* : The the bag, jewellery items worth approximately INR 75000/- with valid bill, ID card & a contact number was found. It belongs to Mr Atul Kumar, aged about-31 yrs, R/O Mumbai. He thanked CISF and appreciated the honesty displayed by CISF personnel.

19. *Fifth Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day was celebrated yesterday* as a recognition of the services rendered by the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE who retired on 14 Jan 1953.

20.  *Coronavirus Cases:*  10,526,577
Deaths: 151,924
Recovered: 10,159,805

*✈INTERNATIONAL NEWS*
  
 1. *PM Modi will interact with startups and address ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’ on 16th January 2021* at 5 PM via video conferencing. The Summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Startup India initiative, launched by the Prime Minister on 16 January, 2016.

2. Participation from over 25 countries and more than 200 global speakers, the Summit will be the largest startup confluence organised by the Government of India since the launch of the Startup India initiative. The Summit is being organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

3.  *The Union Cabinet recently approved India-UAE Memorandum of Understanding for Scientific and Technical Cooperation.* : The MoU provides sharing of knowledge between the countries. It will also allow to share information of data from satellites, radar, tide gauges, meteorological stations.

4. *Defence Minister Rajnath Singh warned the volatile neighbours Pakistan and China that India has the will power and capability to handle adversaries if provoked.*

5.  *For the first time in 55 years, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that no foreign dignitary would attend the Republic Day Parade on January 26,* given the COVID-19 pandemic that had gripped the world.

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