Current Affairs
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 23rd January 2019

National News

Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya celebrate 47th Statehood Day 
The states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya celebrated their 47th Statehood Day on 21st January. The states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya became full-fledged states on January 21, 1972.
State Reorganisation of North-East 
At the time of Independence, India’s North-East region composed of three kinds of entities mentioned below:
Assam Province of British India. 
Princely states of Manipur and Tripura.
North East Frontier Province (NEFA).


PM pays tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti 
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti.
“I bow to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti. He was a stalwart who committed himself towards ensuring India is free and leads a life of dignity. We are committed to fulfilling his ideals and creating a strong India”, the Prime Minister said.


PM to inaugurate the Subhash Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort 
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Subhash Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort, New Delhi on 23 January 2019.  
The Museum on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army provides a detailed account of Subhash Chandra Bose and the history of Indian National Army. It also showcases various artefacts related to Subhash Chandra Bose and INA. The artefacts include wooden chair and sword used by Netaji, medals, badges, uniforms and other artefacts related to INA.


The Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) achieved best ever performance in the year 2018 
The Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) is Indian Railways’ centre of excellence for procurement of modern and advanced machine tools, building ‘State of the Art’ rolling stock maintenance and manufacturing facilities for modernizing Indian Railway workshops.
Timely procurement of modern M&P and completion of works has been given a big boost during the last quarter which will significantly improve the outcome by use of technology. This will support Indian Railways drive for modernization of its rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance infrastructure, and soon, to come in terms of the National Policy for Advance Manufacturing (NPAM) and Industry 4.0.
 

Economy

IMF growth Prospects for India 
The World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given the following prospects about the growth trends for India:
•    IMF has retained its growth projection for the country at 7.5 per cent for 2019-20 and said it is likely to accelerate to 7.7 per cent in 2020-21. This brings cheers for India as the world growth rates have been revised downwards.
•    India will remain the fastest-growing economy in the world, at least for the next two years.
•    India’s growth rate is poised to pick up in 2019, benefiting from low oil prices and a slower pace of monetary tightening than previously expected as inflation pressures ease.
•    The projection by IMF is higher than the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) estimate of 7.2 per cent and lower than the RBI’s estimate of 7.4 per cent. IMF’s estimates are in line with the World Bank’s estimate of 7.3 per cent.
 

Science

Triple drug therapy 
Nagpur recently launched a pilot project to administer triple drug therapy with the long term aim of eradicating lymphatic filariasis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending three drug treatment to accelerate the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis.
The treatment, known as IDA, involves a combination of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine citrate and albendazole. It is being recommended annually in settings where its use is expected to have the greatest impact.
Lymphatic filariasis - Caused by infection with parasitic worms living in the lymphatic system.
 

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Important Current Affairs 22th January 2019

National News

Logo for Tripura tea unveiled 
The Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb unveiled the official logo of Tripura Tea. The Tripura Tea logo features Neermahal, the iconic landmark of Tripura.
About Neermahal
Neermahal was built by then Tripura King Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman Manikya in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake, as his summer residence. It is located in Melaghar, around 53 km west of Agartala.
This is the largest water palace in India and one of two water palaces in India. The other water palace of India is located at Jal Mahal in Rajasthan.

Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor Inaugurated
The Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor. During the inauguration, investments worth over Rs 3,038 crore in this defence corridor were announced. Lockheed Martin, a global security giant, also announced its intention to invest in the corridor.
About the Corridor
•    The important features about the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor are:
•    It is also called as Tamil Nadu Defence Production Quad as the nodal cities of Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli form a quadrilateral with one of them at the centre.
•    The five nodal cities already have existing defence ecosystem in the form of ordnance factory boards, vendors working with defence PSUs, and other allied industries.
 

International news

Indians can visit Nepal and Bhutan producing Aadhaar as Id Proof 
The Union Home Ministry has tweaked the travel document norms for visiting Nepal and Bhutan. As per new norms, Indian can travel to Nepal and Bhutan by producing Aadhaar as Identity proof but this is only for those Indians aged under 15 and over 65 years.
Indians other than in those age brackets will not be able to use Aadhaar to travel for Nepal and Bhutan.


World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on Homeopathy
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, will inaugurate the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the ‘Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products; Advancing global collaboration’ organised on 23-25 January 2019 at Goa.
Themes for the Forum 2019
The forum is organised by Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, under the Ministry of AYUSH. The themes of the forum are:
•    Regulatory collaborations.
•    Converging on minimum regulatory & legal standards.
•    Advancing safety and quality standards.
•    Regulatory trend towards standardization and minimizing complexity.
•    Recognizing homeopathy as a distinct holistic medical system and Veterinary homoeopathy.
 

Awards

Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research awarded to C N R Rao 
The first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research has been awarded to C N R Rao. The award will be presented to Rao by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi ruler of Ras Al Khaimah emirate during the International Workshop on Advanced Materials at Ras Al Khaimah on February 25.
C N R Rao
Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao popularly known as C N R Rao is an Indian scientist who has made significant contributions in material research.
He has authored over 1,600 research papers and 50 books. His areas of research include transition metal oxides and other extended inorganic solids, metal-insulator transitions, nano-materials including nanotubes and graphene, artificial photosynthesis and hydrogen generation by photocatalysis and thermal means.


Ranjani Murali won Womans Voice Award at AKLF 2019
US Based Indian poet Ranjani Murali was awarded the “Woman’s Voice Award” on the last day of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF). The main Objective of the award is to recognize and encourage creative writing by women in India. The Award carried a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh along with a citation. Ranjani Murali’s second book “Clearly you are ESL” won the Great Indian Poetry Collectives (GIPCs) Editor’s Choice award.

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Important Current Affairs 21th January 2019

National News

Madhu Babu Pension Yojana

The government of Odisha announced a hike of Rs 200 per month in the social security pension under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY).

The Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY) is a pension scheme under the Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for the disabled, old age persons in the state of Odisha. The Scheme was instituted by merging the two pension schemes i.e. namely, Revised Old Age Pension Rules, 1989 and Disability Pension Rules, 1985.

Beneficiaries of the Scheme

The Beneficiaries of the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana are:

• Person of 60 years of age and above.

• A widow (irrespective of age).

• A leprosy patient with visible signs of deformity (irrespective of age).

National Museum of Indian Cinema Inaugurated (national news)

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) at Films Division of India premises in Mumbai.

National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC)

The National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) aims to conserve the film heritage of India. The important aspects of NMIC are:

• NMIC is housed in two buildings, the New Museum Building and the 19th-century historic palace Gulshan Mahal – in the Films Division campus in Mumbai.

• The museum provides a glimpse of the evolution of Indian cinema in a storytelling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artifacts, interactive exhibits, and multimedia expositions.

• Posters have been on display at NMIC to map the journey of Indian cinema over the last century.

RailTel project turning railway stations into digital hubs (National News)

The Indian Railways (IR) has one of the world’s largest public WiFi networks in RailWire WiFi.  As a measure to PM’s Digital India initiative, across 746 railway stations in India RailWire WiFi has been set up with around 2.6 crore users logins in a month, and over 9,491 Tetra Byte (TB) of aggregated data consumption under RailTel project.  The network, provided by RailTel, a ‘Mini Ratna’ central PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) under the Ministry of Railways, is not only one of the largest but also one of the fastest public WiFi networks. RailTel has provided high-speed WiFi at 414 A, A1 and C category railway stations across the country, in association with Google as the technology partner. Free WiFi services to commuters are being provided under ‘RailWire’, RailTel’s retail Broadband initiative.

Prime Minister to inaugurate 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention in Varanasi on 22 January, 2019

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh tomorrow on 22 January, 2019.

For the first time, the three day long convention is being organized in Varanasi from 21-23 January, 2019. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 is "Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India".

In reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora to participate in Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations, the 15th PBD Convention is being organised from 21 to 23 January 2019 instead of 9th January. After the Convention, participants will visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on 24th January. They will then proceed to Delhi on 25th January and witness the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi on 26th January 2019.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas: 

The 1st PBD was celebrated on 9th January, 2003 in New Delhi. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, had returned to India from South Africa.

PBD now celebrated once in every two years, provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and reconnect with their roots.  During the Convention, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is conferred on the selected overseas Indians for their significant contributions to various fields both in India and abroad.

India’s richest 1% get richer by 39% in 2018; just 3% rise for bottom-half: Oxfam

Indian billionaires saw their fortunes swell by 2,200 crore a day last year, with the top 1 per cent of the countries richest getting richer by 39 per cent as against just 3 per cent increase in wealth for the bottom-half of the population, an Oxfam study said on Monday.

Globally, billionaires’ fortunes rose by 12 per cent or $ 2.5 billion a day in 2018, whereas the poorest half of the world’s population saw their wealth decline by 11 per cent, the international rights group said. Between 2018 and 2022, India is estimated to produce 70 new dollar millionaires every day, Oxfam said. “It (the survey) reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax dodging on the other,” Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said.

India to soon have own standard of apparel size: Smriti Irani 

Union minister Smriti Irani on January 20 said Indian textiles and garments industry would soon get its own country-specific apparel size.

“In the apparel export segment, one of the biggest challenge is that the UK has its size, the US has its size, and Europe has its size of measurement. But, India does not have it , she said. Irani said the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has alloted over Rs 1,800 crore in the last 4.5 years to Gujarat for upgradation of technology in the textile sector.

Awards News

Indian-American Gurinder Singh Khalsa,presented with the prestigious Rosa Park Trailblazer award

Indian-American philanthropist and entrepreneur, Gurinder Singh Khalsa(45), has been presented with the prestigious Rosa Park Trailblazer award for his campaign that forced US authorities change their policy towards headgear of the Sikh community.

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Important Current Affairs 20th January 2019

Space News

ISROs top priority is Gaganyaan
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that working on the human space flight programme Gaganyaan and launching a major student outreach apart from the scheduled missions is its top priority.  A separate Human Space Flight Centre has been formed in ISRO. The Gaganyaan project will come under it and that’s how we will target the first unmanned mission in December 2020.  Dr. Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, announced a Young Scientist Programme (YSP) and termed it their most important project to reach out to students. He also said that ISRO is planning to spread its wings in new areas. This year ISRO has planned 32 missions, including 14 launch vehicles, 17 spacecraft and one demo.
 

National News

Tamil Nadu State Cabinet approved the building rules 
Tamil Nadu State Cabinet cleared the Combined Development Regulation and Building Rules. The salient features of the building rules include simplified application forms for planning permission, standardization of development rules and elimination of the scope for discretion on the part of planning authorities.  The State Law Department is carrying out a scrutiny of the Rules. Once the law department approves the Rules, the final order will be issued by the State’s Housing and Urban Development Department.  The State Cabinet also gave its nod to provisional allocations for various departments and the process of preparation of the Budget speech. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chaired the meeting, which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam and others.


India para-powerlifter fails dope test, banned for 4 years 
Indian para-powerflifter Vikramsingh Adhikari has been handed a four-year ban by the International Paralympic Committee for a second anti-doping violation.  The 39-year-old Adhikari, who took part in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, returned positive for Clomiphene in a urine sample provided on 28th February 2017 following his participation at the 8th Fazza 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai.  Paralympic Committee of India Vice-President Gursharan Singh said that the latest result was that of the 'B' sample test. Clomiphene, which can be used to accelerate testosterone secretion, is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency 2017 Prohibited List under the category S4. Hormone and Metabolic Modulators is prohibited both in and out-of-competition.


Maharashtra touches 200 medals in Khelo India Youth Games 2019 
In the Khelo India Youth Games 2019, Maharashtra touched a new milestone of 200 medals. Haryana defeated Delhi and is currently securing the second position. Haryana, who topped the medals tally at last year’s Games, bagged an incredible 10 gold medals along with eight silver and 15 bronze yesterday. They with 48 gold medals, 45 silver and 54 bronze, are second in the medals’ tally, pushing Delhi with 47 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze to the third spot. Maharashtra, who also had a good day with eight gold medals, five from boxing, two from tennis and one from table tennis, reached 200 medals with 76 gold with 57 silver and 67 bronze.
 

International News

Rio named as World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO)
The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has been named as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a programme launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. Earlier Paris and Melbourne secured the position.  According to UNESCO, the World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning, and architecture. As one of the oldest cities in Brazil, Rio has a mix of modern and colonial architecture, with world-renowned sites like the statue of Christ the Redeemer and contemporary constructions like the Museum of Tomorrow.
 

Sports News

Ankita Raina won the ITF womens tennis tournament title
India's Ankita Raina defeated Arantxa Rus, the top seed and World No.122, of the Netherlands. She secured 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the $25,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) women’s tennis tournament in Singapore.  Results: $25,000 ITF women, Singapore: Final: Ankita Raina bt Arantxa Rus (Ned) 6-3, 6-2.
 

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Important Current Affairs 19th January 2019

National News

Visit of the Prime Minister of Denmark to India for Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019

The Prime Minister of Denmark, H.E. Mr Lars Løkke Rasmussen, is visiting India on 18-19 January, 2019 for "Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit-2019” where Denmark is participating as a Partner Country. Prime Minister Rasmussen is accompanied by a business delegation including CEOs of major Danish companies.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Rasmussen held bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar on 18 January 2019. The two Prime Ministers had earlier met during the first India- Nordic summit in Stockholm in April 2018.

Prayagraj Kumbh Mela becomes effective platform for Information dissemination on Welfare schemes

A number of exhibitions by Bureau of Outreach and Communication [BOC] of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and State Departments have been setup to Inform, Educate & Communicate about various Welfare schemes implemented by the Government.

BOC has set up a very high tech exhibition at Triveni Road in sector 1 at Kumbh's exhibition ground. Most of the panels are on Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat, Swatchh aur Samridh Bharat, Bapuaur Sardar Ke Sapno Ka Bharat etc. These exhibitions are digital and interactive in nature. Displays on lives of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and Iron Man of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel are inspiring the visitors to go into details through digital panels. Some posters depicting achievements of Government are also exhibited with photographs.

India to host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2019 to address the issues of land degradation and desertification. The event will be participated by more than 100 countries and it is likely to be held in the month of October 2019.

Nagpur, the city of Oranges to host the 4-day 2nd World Orange Festival for the first time

 The 4-day 2nd world Orange Festival commenced in Nagpur, the city of oranges, for the first time. The festival will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export.

Appoints

Raja Krishnamoorthi is appointed as a new member of HPSCI for the 116th Congress (Appoints)

Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democratic lawmaker, has been appointed as a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence. He is the first South Asian to serve in the powerful body tasked to strengthen U.S.’s national security. Mr.Krishnamoorthi, 45, who represents Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House. Along with him Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont has been appointed as new Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) for the 116th Congress. The HPSCI oversees the activities and budget of the 17 intelligence agencies of the U.S.

International News

India and Mongolia Sign a Powerful MoU at ICMEI 

The Embassy of Mongolia and International Chamber of Media and Entertainment Industry (ICMEI), India have further strengthened the relationship between India and Mongolia by signing a MoU in the field of art and culture. The MoU was signed in the presence of H.E. Gonchig Ganbold Ambassador of Mongolia to India and Dr. Sandeep Marwah, President ICMEI. The MoU will enable the two countries to work together on different segments including print, radio, television, cinema, animation, Performing and Fine Arts, tourism, hospitality, education, environment, solar energy, skill development, PR events and advertising, Fashion and Design, and Journalism. During the event, the deserving students from Mongolia were handed over the first scholarship of a short-term course of Asian Academy of Film and Television which also includes boarding and lodging for three months.
 

Defence 

India-Myanmar Joint Training Exercise Begins In Chandimandir

Second edition of the India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19, commenced at Chandimandir Military Station, that houses the headquarters of the Western Command, Chandigarh.  The aim of this joint training programme, spread over six days, is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations under the UN flag.

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Important Current Affairs 18th January 2019

National News

Indigenous attack helicopter crosses milestone 
•    The indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter has crossed a milestone, successfully firing an air-to-air missile at a moving target, and it is now ready for induction. 
•    The helicopter has been developed by  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
•    This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out an air-to-air missile engagement. None of the helicopters in the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability.
•    During the tests conducted recently at the integrated test range at Chandipur, Odisha, the helicopter scored a direct hit on an aerial target and destroyed it. The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen Glacier.


2nd World Orange Festival begins in Nagpur today 
•    The second World Orange Festival will be organised in Nagpur from today to 21 of this month.
•    The festival, while offering its famed oranges to the world, will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export.
•    Agricultural experts and scientists from various countries will participate in the workshops and guide farmers.


Prabhu inaugurates 10th edition of India Rubber Expo 2019 
•    Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 10th edition of the India Rubber Expo - 2019 in Mumbai
•    The three-day event being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre is one of the most anticipated events in the rubber industry’s calendar.
•    Stating that the National Rubber Policy will be unveiled soon to address issues concerning the sector and also to boost productivity, Mr Prabhu said the rubber industry can also contribute significantly in India’s efforts to become a 5 trillion dollar economy.


PM Modi to inaugurate National Museum of Indian Cinema 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai
•    The state-of-the-art Museum has been built at a cost of over 140 crore rupees.
•    The objective of the Museum is to take its visitors through an absorbing journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artifacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.


PMRPY crossed milestone of one crore beneficiaries 
•    The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana, PMRPY has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries as on the 14th of this month. 
•    The Centre's flagship scheme launched on 7th August, 2016 incentivises employers to promote employment generation.
•    An official release said one lakh 24 thousand establishments have benefitted from the scheme. 
•    Under the scheme, government pays full employers’ contribution of 12 per cent towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme for a period of 3 years to new employees registered with EPFO, with salary up to 15,000 rupees per month.


ISRO to share its expertise in space sector, train 45 countries in nano-satellite making 
•    India will train participants from 45 countries in nano-satellite making through a new capacity building programme. 
•    The programme named Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training by ISRO (UNNATI) was flagged off by Minister of State in Deparment of Space Jitendra Singh in Bengaluru.
•    ISRO will train 90 officials from 45 countries in three batches. The first batch will have 30 participants from 17 countries. 
•    The programme is the space agency's initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE50) in 1968.


Rakesh Asthana, three others moved out of CBI 
•    In a first move before the appointment of the new CBI Director, the Modi administration shunted out four top officials, including controversial Special Director Rakesh Asthana, from the country’s premier investigation agency with immediate effect.
•    Besides Mr. Asthana, booked in a bribery case by then CBI Director Alok Verma, the others removed are A.K. Sharma, M.K. Sinha and Jayant Naiknavare.
 

Sports

Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian athlete to be nominated in Laureus World Comeback of Year Award 
•    Ace Indian female wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian athlete to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.
•    She has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years. 
•    The Awards will be presented in Monaco on the 18th of next month.
 

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Important Current Affairs 17th January 2019

Awards

WCD shortlists 26 children for National Award this year 
•    The Women and Child Development Ministry have shortlisted 26 children for the national award this year for their bravery, social service and exceptional achievement in the fields of innovation, sports and arts.
•    The National Selection Committee, under the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, finalised the names of awardees for Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019.
•    The Committee also finalised the names of two individuals and three institutions for Bal Kalyan Puraskar.


WHO Goodwill ambassador Yohei Sasakawa to get Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018
•    Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018 will be conferred on Yohei Sasakawa who is Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization for Leprosy Elimination.
•    The award will be given to Mr Sasakawa in recognition of his work towards the eradication of the disease in India and across the world.
•    Ekal Abhiyan Trust has been chosen for the award for the year 2017 while Akshaya Patra Foundation and Sulabh International will share the award for 2016. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari bagged the award for 2015.
 

Space News

ISRO schedules its first launch this year on Thursday next week
•    National space agency ISRO has scheduled its first launch this year on Thursday next week. PSLV C-44 will lift off from the spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, carrying a student satellite called Kalamsat and an imaging satellite known as Microsat-R.
•    One of the specialities of the mission this time would be the configuration of the rocket. 
•    It will carry only two strap-on motors by the sides of the first fuel stage at the bottom.
•    This is the first time the launch vehicle is built in this configuration, known as PSLV-DL. 
•    Furthermore, after parking the satellites in the intended orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be taken to a circular orbit in space for carrying out certain experiments by the scientists.
 

National News

Government to set up over 460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country 
•    The government will soon set up over 460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country.
•    The government is spending about 25 thousand crore rupees on these schools.
•    Eklavya Model Residential Schools have expanded into a major education system in the country after Vidyalaya and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.


15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Varanasi from January 21-23 
•    The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be organised in Varanasi from January 21-23, 2019.
•    This year, the participants will also have the opportunity to participate in Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi. Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, will be the Chief Guest of the Convention.


Magnitude 6 quake jolts Nicobar Islands region 
•    A strong earthquake of magnitude 6 hit the seismologically prone Andaman and Nicobar Islands on January 17
•    There was no tsunami alert issued as sea levels around the Andaman Nicobar archipelago showed no major rise
•    The earthquake hit the region at 8.43 am and its epicentre was Nicobar Islands region.


SBI, other banks agree to finance Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor
•    A consortium of banks led by StateBank of India has agreed to provide finance for Nagpur-Mumbai 'SamruddhiCorridor' expressway project.
•    SBI has agreed to lend the highest amount, 8,500 crore rupees.
•    Other lenders include Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank ofMaharashtra as well as the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.
•    The estimated cost of the project, being constructed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, is around 50,000 crores, of which around26,000 crores are required for the construction of the expressway. 
•    The corridor will have 25 toll plazas, and the toll will be collected for 40 years.
 

Sports

India’s Satyarup becomes world’s youngest mountaineer to climb 7 peaks, 7 volcano summits
•    Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta today conquered Antartica's highest point, Mount Sidley. 
•    With this feat, he became the first Indian and youngest man to climb the seven highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents.
•    According to the in-Reach Satellite, Communicator Satyarup was carrying, he summited Mount Sidley at 6. 28 in the morning Indian Standard Time at a temperature of minus 40-degree Celsius.
•    He achieved the feat at the age of 35 years and 262 days. Australia's Daniel Bull had done it at the age of 36 years 157 days.
 

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Important Current Affairs 16th January 2019

National News

Pariksha Pe Charcha: PM to interact with students, teachers & parents on Jan 29 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with students, teachers and parents on 29th of this month.
•    The 2nd edition of the Pariksha Pe Charcha will be an interesting conversation with students, parents and teachers on exams, life and more. 
•    He urged students to participate in the unique contest on MyGov open forum and get a chance to be at the event in Delhi.
•    Students can register on MyGov.in open forum and participate in the contest. The competition is only for students studying from classes 9 to 12, graduate and undergraduate college students, their parents and teachers.


9th International Micro irrigation conference begins in Aurangabad today 
•    In order to promote Micro irrigation amongst farmers, Ministry of Water resources and River development is going to organize the 9th International Micro irrigation conference from today in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
•    The conference will focus on the theme of “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”.
•    The conference will discuss, deliberate and strategize with eminent stakeholders including farmers, to create awareness about the use of Micro Irrigation on a large scale.
•    740 delegates including 100 foreign delegates from 56 countries and as many 100 Agricultural scientists will also attend the conference.


PM Modi Inaugurates 13-Km Long, Two-Lane Kollam Bypass In Kerala 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially declared open the much-awaited Kollam bypass on National Highway-66 on Tuesday.
•    The 13-km-long, two-lane bypass, with a project cost of Rs. 352 crore, will cut the travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala and is expected to decongest the traffic in Kollam town.


Doordarshan's channel 'DD Science' along with internet-based channel 'India Science' launched today
•    Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harshvardhan today launched DD Science and India Science channels in New Delhi. 
•    DD Science is Doordarshan's first ever daily slot on Science and Technology, while India Science is an internet-based channel.
•    Doordarshan reaches over 3 crore houses in the country and would be an impactful medium for popularisation of science.
•    Addressing the gathering, CEO Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati said these channels dedicated to science will enhance the spirit of enquiry in children.


ISRO starts Human Space Flight centre 
•    Gaganyaan, the great Indian human leap to space by 2022, will soon get cracking under a new Human Space Flight Centre and a dedicated team around five months after it was first unveiled. 
•    A team of 800 to 900 people is to be deployed over time to carry it out.
•    Indian Space Research Organisation named Unnikrishnan Nair, who led its Advanced Space Transportation Programme at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, as the man to steer it - as also the director of the new centre.
•    R.Hutton, who has helmed the PSLV light lift vehicle programme, also from Thiruvananthapuram, is the project director in that set-up.


International News

Iran launches satellite which failed to reach orbit in final stage 
•    Iran launched a satellite this morning, however, it failed to reach the orbit in the final stage.
•    The Payam satellite was successfully launched with the Basir satellite carrier.
•    The satellite failed to reach the required speed on detachment from the rocket in the third stage.


Sports

Gukesh becomes country’s youngest Grandmaster 
•    D. Gukesh completed the formalities to be the sport’s youngest Grandmaster, at present.
•    He defeated Dinesh Sharma in the ninth round of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament for his third and final GM norm.
•    The country’s 59th GM is also the youngest after breaking the record of state-mate R. Praggnanandhaa set in June last year.
•    For the record, Gukesh reached the landmark at the age of 12 years, seven months and 17 days. Praggnanandhaa did it in 12 years, 10 months and 13 days.
•    Sergey Karjakin’s record, set in 2002, stays intact at 12 years and seven months.
 

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Important Current Affairs 15th January 2019

National News

PM Modi greets soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families on occasion of Army Day
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families on the occasion of Army Day.
•    Mr Modi said, he bows to their indomitable courage and bravery.


2-day Global Aviation Summit 2019 to take off in Mumbai today 
•    A two-day Global Aviation Summit 2019 will take off in Mumbai today. 
•    This will be the first-of-its-kind event in the world with participation from more than 86 countries.
•    India is among the fastest growing aviation sector. 
•    Vision 2040 for aviation sector and the Air Cargo Policy will also be unveiled during the summit.
•    The Global Aviation Summit with a theme “Flying for all - especially the next 6 Billion”, being organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with FICCI.


World's largest religious and cultural human congregation - Kumbh Mela begins in UP 
•    The world's largest religious and cultural human congregation -Kumbh 2019 began at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh early this morning. 
•    The Mela commenced with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. 
•    According to the Mela's administration, 75 lakh to one crore devotees have taken the Royal bath since early morning.


SC issues notice to Centre against order allowing agencies to monitor computers 
•    The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the government's notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system.
•    A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul yesterday sought the Centre's response within six weeks and said it would hear arguments on the interim stay after the parties are served the notices.


Sports

Shakil Ahmed sets world record in indoor rowing
•    Asian Cup gold medallist Shakil Ahmed has added one more feather to his cap when he set up a world record in indoor rowing by completing one lakh metres in above-40 years category in Kolkata. 
•    Shakil began his record-setting indoor rowing feat in Salt Lake stadium complex at 8 a.m. yesterday and achieved the milestone of covering one lakh metres of simulated distance in 10 hours.


Stephen Constantine steps down as coach of Indian football team 
•    Stephen Constantine has decided to step down as the head coach of the Indian football team following team's exit from 2019 AFC Asian Cup. 
•    India went down fighting against Bahrain in their last Group A match on Monday.
•    The 56-year-old Constantine, who had earlier coached India from 2002 to 2005, was handed over reins of the team again in 2015. He guided India to the Asian Cup after a gap of eight years.


Economy and Banking

Reserve Bank of India slaps Rs 1 crore penalty on Bajaj Finance 
•    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on Bajaj Finance Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), for violating "fair practices code".
•    This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the NBFC with its customers
•    Bajaj Finance is into businesses such as consumer finance, SME finance and commercial lending.
 

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Important Current Affairs 14th January 2019

International Relations

India, 5 Central Asian nations back inclusive peace process in Afghanistan 
•    India and the five Central Asia nations have backed an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. The understanding was reached at the first ever India-Central Asia Dialogue in Uzbekistan capital Samarkand yesterday.
•    The Dialogue was chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov. It was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.
•    Ms Swaraj reiterated India's commitment to the economic reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan.
 

National News

Gujarat becomes 1st state to implement 10% quota to EWS
•    Gujarat Government has announced that the benefits of 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker sections of general category in educational institutions and government jobs will be applicable from midnight tonight.
•    However, it is pertinent to mention here that the benefits of the fresh quota will not be applicable for which the process had begun before January 14, 2019, like for which the process of written, oral, computer proficiency or preliminary tests have already been conducted.


Puducherry To Ban Single-Use Plastic From March 1
•    Puducherry government has decided to ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products in the Union Territory from March 1
•    Neighbouring Tamil Nadu government had announced in June, 2018 that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019
 

Appointments

Jaideep Govind appointed Secretary General, NHRC 
•    Senior IAS officer Jaideep Govind has been appointed the Secretary General of National Human Rights Commission.
•    He was posted as Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministries of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation.
•    He has held various important posts in the Government of India, including the charge of Human Rights Division in the Home Ministry.
 

International News

UN experts urge Pakistan not to execute mentally ill prisoner
•    UN experts have urged Pakistan not to carry out arbitrary execution of mental illness prisoners. 
•    The execution of Khizar Hayat, sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a colleague, was suspended by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Saturday, just three days before the 55-year-old was due to be hanged.
•    The UN experts said, Hayat, who has spent more than 15 years in custody, has been kept in solitary confinement since 2012, urging the government to halt the execution and questioning the veracity of his conviction.
 

Sports

Bengaluru Raptors win Premier Badminton League title
•    Bengaluru Raptors have won their first ever Premier Badminton League title. 
•    In the title clash played at Bengaluru last night, Bengaluru edged out Mumbai Rockets, with a 4-3 win.
•    Star player Kidambi Srikanth, Vu Ji Trang and the Men's Doubles pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Satiawan won their matches for Bengaluru guiding them to victory.


Abhinav Shaw becomes youngest gold medallist in shooting 
•    At the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune today, ten year old Abhinav Shaw became the youngest gold medallist in shooting.
•    He teamed up with Mehuli Ghosh to help West Bengal win the 10m air rifle mixed team event. Delhi's Devanshi Rana bagged gold in Under-21 girls 25m pistol event.
•    Maharashtra once again dominated the gymnastics arena at the Games to wrap up the Under-21 category with a whopping nine medals on the last day of gymnastics events.
 

Awards

First-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award presented to PM 
•    The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today received the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award, at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi.
•    The Award focuses on the triple bottom-line of People, Profit and Planet. It will be offered annually to the leader of a Nation.


Namita Gokhale wins Sushila Devi Literature Award 
•    Writer Namita Gokhale has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel "Things to Leave Behind".
•    She was awarded in the 'Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author' category at the inaugural edition of Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF)
 

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