Current Affairs
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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 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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Important Current Affairs 10th January 2019

Rankings and Indices

India to become world's third largest consumer market by 2030: WEF 
•    A report by World Economic Forum today said that India is set to become the world's third largest consumer market behind only USA and China by 2030.
•    The report said consumer spending in India is expected to grow from 1.5 trillion US dollar at present to six trillion US dollar by 2030.
•    The report said that with the annual GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent, India is currently the world's sixth largest economy.
•    The report titled 'Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Market - India' also noted that growth of the middle class will lift nearly 25 million households out of poverty.
 

International Relations

Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian counterpart
•    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif
•    The two leaders held a wide-ranging discussion on important bilateral issues and shared perspectives on the regional situation.
•    On the sidelines of Raisina dialogue, Mrs Swaraj also met Foreign Minister of Mongolia Damdin Tsogtbaatar.
•    Mrs Swaraj had a productive meeting with her Mongolian counterpart and took stock of positive developments in a relationship in areas of energy, renewable energy, development partnership, capacity building and culture.


US-China talks to resolve trade war concludes in Beijing on positive note 
•    The extended US-China talks to resolve the trade war between the two greatest economy concluded in Beijing on a positive note on Wednesday.
•    After the talks concluded, Ted McKinney, US Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs said the discussions went just fine, without elaborating.
•    Meanwhile, confirming the conclusion of the trade talks, China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that the extension of the talks indicates that both sides are serious about this consultation.
 

National News

Govt launches Web- Wonder Women Campaign 
•    The government launched Web- Wonder Women Campaign to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women who have influenced and impacted society through social media.
•    The Campaign aims to recognize the fortitude of Indian women stalwarts from across the globe who have used the power of social media to run positive campaigns to steer a change in society.
•    The Campaign invites entries from across the world till 31st of this month. Indian-origin women, working or settled anywhere in the world, are eligible for nomination.
 

Sports

Hockey India removed Harendra Singh as coach of India Men's Team 
•    Indian men's hockey coach Harendra Singh was sacked from the position and offered the task of helming the junior squad by the national federation.
•    Hockey India said that it will be inviting applications for the position of chief coach and in the interim the team will be overseen by Hockey India High Performance Director David John and current Analytical Coach, Chris Ciriello.
•    Harendra Singh was brought in as men's coach in May 2018 after Sjoerd Marijne was moved back to the women's camp
 

International News

US Secretary of State arrives in Baghdad to meet PM 
•    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday arrived in Baghdad on a surprise visit to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
•    Pompeo also met other Iraqi officials, including the speaker of parliament Muhammad Al Halbusi.
•    The US Secretary of State's visit to Baghdad is part of his West Asia tour.
•    Mr. Pompeo plans to reassure allies about America's commitment to the region despite US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.


Congo: Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi wins presidential election
•    In Congo, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the long-delayed presidential election.
•    The electoral commission announced today that Tshisekedi has won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast.
•    If Tshisekedi’s victory is confirmed by the constitutional court, Democratic Republic of Congo will see its first peaceful democratic transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
 

Appointments

N. Ram appointed president of Alliance for Media Freedom 
•    N. Ram, chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited, has been appointed president of the Alliance for Media Freedom (AFMF), a cross-media advocacy and action group of media organisations, promoters and journalists.
•    The Alliance, which is dedicated to work for the cause of media freedom, media independence and the safety of the last journalist, adopted a charter that underlines the importance of creating enabling conditions to safeguard free speech guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
•    The Alliance which has been functioning informally for the last seven months in the cause of media freedom and independence, resolved to take steps to formalise and institutionalise its existence.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th January 2019

National News

Customers cannot be charged for availing tokenisation service: RBI 
•    The Reserve of India (RBI) has allowed all card payment networks to offer tokenisation service. However, the central bank has made it clear that no charges should be recovered from the customer for availing this service.
•    Tokenisation involves a process in which a unique token masks sensitive card details. The token is then used to perform card transactions in contact-less mode at Point Of Sale (POS) terminals, Quick Response (QR) code payments, etc.
•    The RBI has allowed card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any token requestor, that is, a third party app provider. A card holder can avail these services by registering the card on the token requestor’s app and after giving ‘explicit consent’.
 

Sports

Sharath-Manika duo shocks Manav-Archana, takes title 
•    Sharath Kamal, featuring in the mixed doubles event after 11 years, partnered Manika Batra to outclass the top-seeded pair of Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath in an all-Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) final and clinch the first individual title of the 11Sports 80th inter-State and National table tennis championship.
•    The tournament was held at J.N. Indoor Stadium of Cuttack


Egypt to host 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
•    Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between 15th June and 13th July. Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad made the announcement in Senegalese capital Dakar yesterday.
•    The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacement for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.
•    Egypt will stage the biennial showpiece of African football for the fifth time
 

Economy and Banking

Nandan Nilekani to head five-member RBI panel on digital payments 
•    The Reserve Bank of India has appointed a five-member panel headed by Nandan Nilekani to suggest ways to improve digital payments. 
•    The committee will submit its report in 90 days from its first meeting.
•    Former Deputy Governor of RBI H.R. Khan, former Vijaya Bank MD and CEO Kishore Sansi, former Secretary of Information and Technology Aruna Sharma and Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad, are the other members of the panel.
•    The panel would assess the current levels of digital payments in financial inclusion, suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments, provide a road map for increasing customer confidence to use digital transactions, and suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments.


Raisina Dialogue begins in New Delhi
•    Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg has pitched for promoting Ocean economy and said that resources in the ocean should be used properly.
•    Delivering her inaugural address at Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Tuesday evening in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ms. Solberg said, rapid climate changes in the Arctic area will have a far-reaching global impact and the world has a responsibility to protect the ocean.
•    Calling for promoting blue economy, Ms. Solberg said, ocean-based industries help provide jobs. She also said there is a need to improve the health of the oceans.
 

International Relations

EAM Sushma meets Australian, Spanish counterparts 
•    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Australian and Spanish counterparts in New Delhi.
•    Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, who is on her maiden visit to India, will give the Ministerial Address on ‘The Arrival of Global Politics' at the Raisina Dialogue.
•    Mrs Swaraj also met Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Fontelles. The two leaders had a good discussion on various aspects of bilateral relations, including trade and investment, security and renewable energy.


India, Norway agree to combat international terrorism
•    India and Norway have agreed to closely collaborate on ocean economy and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
•    The two countries also decided to step up bilateral trade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held delegation-level talks with his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg in New Delhi today.
•    They discussed ways to give new energy and direction to bilateral ties. The two countries also signed a MoU for holding an India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
 

International News

Gautemala to withdraw from UN-backed anti-corruption commission 
•    Guatemala has said it is withdrawing from a UN-backed anti-corruption commission. It has given the UN body's staff 24 hours to leave the country. 
•    President Jimmy Morales accused the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, commonly known as CICIG, of polarising the country and putting its security at risk.
•    The CICIG was formed in 2006 upon the request of the Guatemalan government to combat high rates of impunity for crimes.
 

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Important Current Affairs 8th January 2019

National News

AAI bans single-use plastic items at 129 airports across country 
•    Airports Authority of India (AAI) has imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 129 airports across the country.
•    In a statement, the AAI said various steps have been taken to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side.
•    The AAI said, on the basis of a third-party assessment carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI), 16 of its airports have been declared as Single-Use Plastic Free.
•    Single-use plastic items are used only once and then thrown in the trash.


Private FM channels to broadcast AIR News from today 
•    Private FM channels will be able to broadcast All India Radio News from today. Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore will launch the sharing of news at a function.
•    The Minister said, the radio has gained popularity again due to 'Mann Ki Baat' Programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
•     Colonel Rathore said, AIR FM covers 50 per cent of population in the country and private FM channels are being given opportunities in different cities and towns.


Maharashtra to host 2nd edition of Khelo India Youth Games 
•    Maharashtra is all set to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games which will officially begin tomorrow in Pune.
•    More than 9000 players from different states will participate in 18 different games at Khelo India Youth Games.
•    It has already been announced that Youth Olympic Gold Medallist in shooting Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhari, as well as weight lifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga will be among the cream of India’s youth sporting talent competing at these games.


Navy’s new air base in north of Port Blair 
•    Later this month, the Indian Navy will commission a new airbase 100 miles north of Port Blair in the strategically located Andaman and Nicobar islands.
•    The base, INS Kohassa, will be commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on January 24.
•    This will be India’s fourth air base and the third naval air facility in the archipelago, which are more closer to Southeast Asia than to the Indian mainland, overlooking key sea lanes of communication and strategic choke points.
 

Appointments

India born Gita Gopinath joins IMF as Chief Economist 
•    India born Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund as its chief economist.
•    She has become the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. 
•    Gopinath succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Obstfeld retired on December the 31st.
•    She is the 11th Chief Economist of IMF.
 

International Relations

India secures extradition of bookie Sanjeev Chawla 
•    India secured another legal victory in the U.K. as a judge at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court has said that the extradition of alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla can proceed, and referred the case to Home Secretary Sajid Javid for a final decision.
•    The extradition of businessman Vijay Mallya was ordered last month.
 

International News

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to step down on February 1 
•    In a surprise move, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Monday announced that he will step down from his position on February 1 - much before the end of his term in 2022.
•    Kim, 58, has been in this position for over six years now.
•    The president of the Washington-based World Bank has always been an American citizen nominated by the United States, which is the largest shareholder of this multilateral financial institution.
•    Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective February 1.


Sheikh Hasina sworn in as Bangladesh Prime Minister for fourth term 
•    Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as Bangladesh’s Prime Minister for a record fourth term Monday after a crushing election victory marred by deadly violence and claims of widespread rigging.
•    Ms. Hasina, 71, has presided over record economic growth in the South Asian country of 165 million people but critics have accused her of creeping authoritarianism.
•    Her ruling Awami League party and its allies won the December 30 elections by a landslide, securing 288 seats in the 300-seat parliament compared to just seven for the main opposition.
 

Sports

Sunil Chhetri Becomes Second Highest International Goal-scorer 
•    On January 6, 2019, Sunil Chhetri made history by becoming the second highest international goal-scorer among active players with 67 goals from 105 matches.
•    He went past Argentine great Lionel Messi who has scored 65 goals from 128 matches. 
•    Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest scorer with 85 goals from 154 matches.
 

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Important Current Affairs 7th January 2019

Sports

Scripting history, India scores maiden series win in Australia 
•    India scripted history winning the first ever series on Australian soil beating the home team 2-1 after the fourth and final Test ended in a tame draw due to inclement weather.
•    It is a rare first Down Under for India since Lala Amarnath's side visited the country back in 1947-48 months after independence to face Sir Don Bradman's 'Invincibles'
•    India has also become the first ever Asian team to win a Test series in Australia.
 

Awards

'Bohemian Rhapsody' wins best film
The Golden Globes 2019 was held at the The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Complete list of winners
Film
•    Drama- “Bohemian Rhapsody”
•    Actress, Drama- Glenn Close, “The Wife”
•    Actor, Drama- Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
•    Comedy or Musical- “Green Book”
•    Actor, Comedy or Musical- Christian Bale, “Vice”
•    Actress, Comedy or Musical- Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
•    Actress-Supporting Role- Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
•    Actor-Supporting Role- Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
•    Foreign Language Film- “Roma”
•    Best Director- Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
•    Screenplay- Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”
•    Animated- “Spider-Man- Into the Spider-Verse”
•    Original Score- Justin Hurwitz, “First Man”
•    Original Song- “Shallow,” “A Star Is Born”
Television
•    Drama- “The Americans”
•    Actress, Drama- Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
•    Actor, Drama- Richard Madden, “Bodyguard”
•    Musical or Comedy- “The Kominsky Method”
•    Actress, Musical or Comedy- Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
•    Actor, Musical or Comedy- Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
•    Limited Series or Movie Made for Television- “The Assassination of Gianni Versace- American Crime Story”
•    Actress, Limited Series or Movie Made for Television- Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
•    Actor, Limited Series or Movie Made for Television- Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace- American Crime Story”
•    Actress, Supporting Role, Limited Series or Movie Made for Television- Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
 

National news

Polavaram project enters Guinness Book of World Record for concrete pouring 
•    The Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh on Monday entered the Guinness Book of World by pouring 32,100 cubic metres of concrete in 24 hours. 
•    The concrete work to make the spillway began at 8 am on Sunday and concluded at 8 am this morning. 
•    The project beat the existing record of 21,580 cubic metres which was achieved by Abdul Wahed Bin Shabib, RALS Contracting LLC and Alfa Eng. Consultant (all UAE), in Dubai between May 18 and 20 in 2017.
 

Economy and banking

Banks get a breather on bad loans 
•    For the first time since the bad loan saga began to play out six years ago, Indian banks have reported a decline in the proportion of loans gone bad for the half-year ended September 2018.
•    Their aggregate Gross Non-Performing Asset (GNPA) ratio dipped from 11.5% in March 2018 to 10.8% in September 2018. The GNPA ratio captures the proportion of loans in a bank’s books on which borrowers haven’t repaid dues for more than 90 days.
 

International news

Malaysia’s king abdicates in historic first 
•    Malaysia’s king has abdicated in a historic first for the country that ended weeks of speculation about his future after he took medical leave.
•    Sultan Muhammad V’s decision marks the first time a king has abdicated in the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1957.
•    Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a unique arrangement where the throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the nine Malaysian States headed by centuries-old royalty. The rotating monarchy system has been in place since independence from Britain in 1957, and Sultan Muhammad V is the first monarch to have renounced the throne.
 

International relations

U.S., China hold crucial talks to ease trade war 
•    Delegates from the US and China on Monday began the crucial face-to-face negotiations here to ease a bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies amid growing concerns about China’s slowing economy and its impact on American businesses.
•    The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other’s goods.


OVL makes oil discovery in Colombia 
•    ONGC Videsh Ltd., the overseas arm of State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) has made a second oil discovery in Colombia that has increased prospects of its onland block in the South American nation.
•    OVL is the operator of the block with 70% stake while Petrodorado South America S A Sucursal (PDSA) of Colombia holds the remaining 30%.
•    The well was spudded on November 7, 2018, and the company completed drilling on December 15, 2018.


Norwegian PM arrives in New Delhi 
•    Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg has arrived in New Delhi on a three-day state visit to India. 
•    She was accompanied by senior officials from her government and a large business delegation. 
•    She will participate in the Indo-Norwegian Business Conference.
•    She will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on the visiting dignitary.
•    The Norwegian Prime Minister will deliver the Inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue.
 

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