Japan tops the Henley Passport Index 2023.

  • According to the Henley Passport Index 2023, released by Henley & Partners, Japan with 193 destinations topped the list.
  • While, Singapore and South Korea with 192 destinations ranked second, followed by Germany and Spain (190 destinations); Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg (189 destinations).
  • India has ranked 85 with 59 destinations worldwide.
  • Bottom: Afghanistan
  • The list was prepared on the basis of data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

PM Modi inaugurates 26th National Youth Festival at Hubbali in Karnataka.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 26th National Youth Festival, organized in Hubballi, Karnataka from 12th -16th January 2023.
  • This festival is held every year to provide exposure to our talented youth at the national level.
  • It is being held on National Youth Day (12th January), which is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
  • Theme of this event: Viksit Yuva - Viksit Bharat
  • The event also included folk dances and songs.

Petta Thullal organised with ritualistic fervour in Kottayam.

  • Petta Thullal, the ritualistic sacred dance by the Ambalappuzha group, was held at Erumeli town in the Kottayam district, Kerala.
  • Reason: To celebrate the victory of Lord Ayyappa over demon princess Mahishi.
  • This event marks the beginning of the last leg of the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage season.
  • The devotees started the ceremonial dance after sighting the sacred eagle (Krishna Parunthu) in the sky from Kochambalam.

Indian High Commission to establish Hindi Chair at Sabaragamuwa University.

  • The Indian High Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a Hindi Chair at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.
  • The MoU was signed between Gopal Baglay (High Commissioner) and Prof. Udaya Rathnayake (Vice Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University).
  • Aim: To help in familiarizing students with India, its history, and culture as well as pave way for popularising Hindi by deputing Indian faculties.

Centre renamed Integrated Food Security Scheme.

  • The government of India has named the new Integrated Food Security Scheme as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).
  • Prior to this, the Union Cabinet had approved this scheme for providing free food grains to Antodaya Ann Yojna (AAY) and Primary Household (PHH) beneficiaries.
  • This scheme came into effect on 1st January 2023.
  • Under PMGKAY, free foodgrains will be provided to all PHH and AAY beneficiaries, as per entitlement under National Food Security Act.

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