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Important Current Affairs 13th February 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

2019 Asia LPG Summit held in New Delhi

Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for petroleum and natural gas, inaugurated the 2019 Asia LPG summit in New Delhi. The summit has been organized jointly by the major Indian oil marketing companies (OMCs) Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleumtogether with the World LPG Association (WLPGA) at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.

  • This two-day event will focus on ‘LPG – Energy for Life.’ India is the 2nd largest consumer of liquified natural gas (LPG) in the world.

Cabinet approves establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a proposal seeking the establishment of ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’ to conserve, protect and develop India’s cattle population. The proposal was first made by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while presenting the interim Budget on February 1.

  • The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will work in collaboration with veterinary, animal sciences or agriculture universities, departments or organisations of the central/state government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of cows, organic manure, and biogas.
  • The creation of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for the conservation, protection, and development of cows and their progeny will provide the policy framework and direction to the cow conservation and development programmes in the country and for ensuring proper implementation of laws with respect to the welfare of cows.

Government approves setting up of 12,000 MW solar power projects

The government approved a proposal for setting up of 12,000 MW of solar power projects by state-run producers. The producers will be provided with a viability gap funding support of Rs 8,580 crore for self-use or use by both central and state government entities.

  • The CCEA decided that 12,000 MW or more of grid connected solar PV power projects would be set up by government producers in 4 years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, thereby creating investment of about Rs 48,000 crores.

Smriti Irani launches India Size project in Mumbai

Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai. A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.

  • India size project will benefit manufacturers, consumers and generate data which will help tap into the potential of the sector. The Minister also launched a Study of Apparel Consumption in India. The report of this study would be ready for release by July 2019.

Maharashtra govt sets up panel to review welfare schemes for tribals

The Maharashtra government has set up a committee to review various schemes being implemented for the welfare of tribals in the state. The 17-member committee, headed by former MLA and Shramjeevi Sanghatna president Vivek Pandit, will undertake study of various works done for providing employment opportunities, minimum wages and proper livelihood to tribals, as per a recent government order.

  • It will suggest measures to ensure that children in tribal regions were not deprived of education.

♦ Industrial production grows at 2.4% in December 2018

  • Industrial output growth remained subdued at 2.4% in December 2018 on account of contraction in the mining segment and poor show by the manufacturing sector.
  • Factory output as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 7.3% in December 2017, according to the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on February 12.
  • The industrial growth for November 2018 was revised downwards to 0.3% from the provisional estimate of 0.5% released in January 2019.
  • During April-December 2018, industrial output grew at 4.6% against 3.7% in the same period of the previous fiscal.

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♦ Kusum Scheme to Promote Use of Solar Energy Among Farmers Under Considration

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has formulated a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’. The Scheme is currently under the process of seeking approval.
  • The proposal on KUSUM Scheme provides for :-

(i)   installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of Capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas;

(ii)   installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to grid; and

(iii)   solarisation of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and also enable them to sell surplus solar power generated to DISCOM and get extra income.

♦ PM to address CREDAI YouthCon-19 Today

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will address the CREDAI YouthCon -19, on 13 February 2019, at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. The event is organized by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).
  • The Prime Minister will also visit the exhibition organized by CREDAI.
  • YouthCon is the annual Youth Conclave of CREDAI, held to bring together the future of the real estate Industry in India.
  • Established in 1999, CREDAI is the apex body representing real-estate developers from over 200 cities in India.

♦ NITI Aayog signs SOI with MSDF to document Systemic Transformation in Education

  • The NITI Aayog and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) today signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to codify, document and share best practices to improve learning outcomes in public school education through systemic reforms, based on their collective experiences of working with various state governments in India.
  • The SOI was signed in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, by Mr. Alok Kumar, Adviser (HRD), NITI Aayog and Mr. BarunMohanty, Managing Director (International), MSDF.
  • The NITI Aayog was established with the core mandate of promoting cooperative and competitive federalism through evidence-based policy reform and knowledge inputs. Since its inception, NITI Aayog has placed learning outcomes as a key focus area for establishing sustainable education systems.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NATO’s 70th anniversary meeting to be held in UK in December

NATO’s next meeting of Heads of State and Government will take place in London this December, marking the 70th anniversary of the military pact. Stoltenberg also highlighted that London was home to NATO’s first headquarters, adding that the UK is one of the alliance’s 12 founding members.

  • Extra info.:
    NATO Members: 29
    Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO

Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who meet the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance.

  • The Macedonia-NATO accord follows a deal with Greece ending a 27-year-old dispute over Macedonia’s name. The accord must now be ratified by allied governments.
  • Extra info.:
    Macedonia Capital: Skopje
    Currency: Macedonian denar

♦ Fifth International Dam Safety Conference to be Held on 13-14 February at Bhubaneswar

  • The 5th International Dam Safety Conference–2019 is being held during 13 and 14 February 2019 in Bhubaneswar as a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) as a part of institutional strengthening.
  • Dam Safety Conferences are being organized as an annual event in different DRIP States in collaboration with the Implementing Agencies and leading academic institutes to provide a common platform for all stakeholders including non-DRIP States. Dam professionals, academicians, scientists, as well as industries both from within the country and from around the world to deliberate on all aspects related to dam safety and the solutions that worked best in addressing dam safety concerns.

♦ UAE introduces Hindi as third official language

  • While praising the decision of the UAE court, External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj in a tweet said, “We thank Abu Dhabi for declaring Hindi as one of the official languages in their judicial system. This will make the justice delivery system simpler and more accessible to our people.”

Indians, reportedly form the largest immigrant community in the UAE, with more than three million living in Dubai. The landmark decision undertaken by the judicial department will benefit a major chunk of workers, who mostly come from Hindi speaking regions of central and north India, Gulf News reported

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

RBI Policy full text: MPC cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25%

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect.

  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.5 per cent. The MPC also decided to change the monetary policy stance from calibrated tightening to neutral.

Awards and Honors

  • Pat Cummins won the coveted Allan Border Medal at the Australian Cricket Awards on 11 Feb 2019.
  • Glenn Maxwell took the T20I award and Matthew Wade bagged the Domestic Player of the Year award
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Important Current Affairs 12th February 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi Inaugurates Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve Facility.


•     Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the 13.3 million metric ton capacity Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh
•    He also inaugurated Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited’s Vashishta and S1 development project located in the Krishna-Godavari Offshore Basin.
•    Mr. Modi also laid the foundation stone for setting up of a new terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at Krishnapatnam.


Centre allocates Rs 59 crore for Asiatic Lion conservation in Gujarat's Gir.


•    The Ministry of Environment launched a three-year Asiatic Lion Conservation Project in collaboration with the state of Gujarat. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) allocated Rs 59 crores, which will focus on better management of the lion habitat, disease control and veterinary care for them.
•    Gujarat government also implemented Rs 80 crore that will be spent on specialised veterinary hospitals and full-fledged ambulances for lions.


Himalayan Cloud Observatory Set Up In Tehri.
•    A Himalayan Cloud Observatory is set up in Tehri district of Uttarakhand with a motive to forecast and monitor cloudburst incidents in the Himalayan region and help to minimize the damage.
•    The Observatory is established in the SRT campus, in Tehri and is in the testing period. This is the second observatory in the country to monitor cloud activities by the Indian Science and Technology Department and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur that can function in high-altitudes.

 Great Indian Bustard Announced As The New Mascot For COP-13.
•    Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, announced the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to be held in Gujarat in 2020. He also revealed that the bird has been fondly named by the ministry as 'Gibi'.
•    CMS-COP 13 is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats. It has over 120 participating countries.

 Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurated 13th PETROTECH 2019 In Greater Noida.
•    The 13th International Oil and Gas Conference – PETROTECH – 2019 got underway at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries are expected to participate in the three day Conference.
•    The theme of the conference is 'Collaborating For Sustainable and Secure Energy Access for all'. 

 Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Lays Foundation Stone of Mega Food Park in Mathura.
•    Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal laid the foundation stone of a Mega Food Park at Chhata-Barsana road in Mathura. The Park will provide direct and indirect employment to five thousand persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers.
•    The Mega Food Park is being set up in over 57 acre of land at a cost of around 121 crore rupees. The Centre has also approved financial assistance of 50 crore rupees to the project. 

MOU Signed Between EIL and Mongolia for Project Management Consultancy for Oil refinery.
•    A MoU was signed between Engineers India Limited (EIL) and Mongolia for Project Management Consultancy for oil refinery. EIL is a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 
•    The agreement was signed on the sidelines of PETROTECH-2019 event at Greater Noida, UP. The MoU is for Project Management Consultancy services for construction of an oil refinery plant in Mongolia by EIL. 

INTERNATIONAL

ADB Debuts in Offshore Philippine Peso Bond Market.
•     The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised 5.2204 billion Philippine pesos ($100 million) from a new issue of local currency bonds in the international market. Currency-linked bonds are denominated in the local currency but settled in US dollars. 
•    The bonds pay a fixed interest rate of 5.25% and have a final maturity of 4 years. ADB issued bonds in the Philippine domestic capital market in 2005 and 2007 but this issue is the first time it has mobilized Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency-linked structure.

INS Trikand Participates In Exercise ‘Cut class Express 2019’.
•    INS Trikand, the frontline warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multi-national training exercise ‘CUTCLASS EXPRESS 2019’. The annual Exercise Cutlass Express is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF).
•    It is the eighth iteration of the annual multinational maritime exercise and was held in the vicinity of Djibouti, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Hindi Included As 3rd Official Court Language in Abu Dhabi.
•    Abu Dhabi has decided to include Hindi as the third official languageused in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.
•    The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced that it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including Hindi.


Multinational Maritime Exercise ‘Aman 19’ Commenced In Karachi.
•    The 5-day multinational maritime exercise ‘AMAN-19’ in which 46nations participated from all over the world was formally commenced at Pakistan Navy Dockyard, with a colorful flag hoisting ceremony.
•    Principal aim to conduct this exercise is to facilitate a forum of understanding of each other’s maritime concepts and operation cultures and to produce ways and means to confront common threat at sea.


AWARDS

Yes Bank Wins The Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018.
•    Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 announced Yes Bank as the winner in ‘Innovation in Data Science’ category for their industry-first project ‘Yes EEE (Engage Enrich Excel)’ at Panaji, Goa.
•    It was hosted by the Government of Goa. Aegis Graham Bell Awards (AGBA) Promotes innovations and entrepreneurship in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain.

BAFTA Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List Of Winners.
•    Netflix drama 'Roma' won the top prize at the 72nd edition of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA awards. 
•    However, with seven BAFTAs in its kitty, director Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite emerged the top winner in 2019.

Deepa Mehta to Be Feted With Lifetime Achievement Award.
•     Acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Mehta is best known for her Elements Trilogy - 'Fire', 'Earth' and 'Water'.
•    The Canadian Screen Awards are awards given annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television recognizing excellence in Canadian film, English-language television, and digital media productions.

Grammy Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List of Winners.
•    The 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles. 
•     The show was hosted by Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.

Appointments:


Ruchira Kamboj Appointed India's Ambassador to Bhutan.
•    Ruchira Kamboj was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Bhutan. She is serving as the High Commissioner of India to South Africa since 2017.
•    Kamboj has previously served as the Ambassador/PR to Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, Paris.


Egypt’s President El-Sissi Elected as Chairman of African Union.
•    Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been elected as the chairman of the African Union at the continental body’s summit in Ethiopia.
•    El-Sisi’s election brings an end the one-year chairmanship of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.


BANKING

RBI Doubles The Limit Of Bulk Deposits From Rs. 1 Crore To Rs 2 Crore.
•     Reserve Bank of India decided to treat deposits to over Rs.2 crore as ‘bulk’ as they doubled the limit for the same from the earlier Rs.1crore.This move will enhance the operational freedom of Banks.
•    According to current RBI rules, last reviewed in January 2013, banks have the option of not permitting premature withdrawals of ‘large rupee term deposits’ of INR 1 crore and above. National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited (NAFCUB)has suggested this proposal.

SPORTS

Corentin Moutet Clinched Chennai Open ATP Challenger Title.
•     In Tennis, France’s Corentin Moutet has clinched the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tournament title after beating Andrew Harris of Australia in the singles final.
•    It was the second Challenger title for Moutet, who received 80 ATP points, while Andrew got 48 ATP points.

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Important Current Affairs 10th February 2019

NATIONAL


Great Indian Bustard (GIB) announced as the new mascot for the 13th UN Convention on the CMS COP-13.
•    Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on Friday announced the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to be held in Gujarat in 2020.The Government also launched a website for the COP-13.
•    CMS-COP 13 is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats. It has over 120 participating countries. So far, 12 COPs (Conference of Parties) have been convened.
•     COP-13 will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 15 – 22 February, 2020

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu launches two schemes in Mumbai.
•    On February 9, 2019, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu launched two schemes, the Hirkani Maharashtra chi and District Business Plan Competition in Mumbai.
•    OVER VIEW OF SCHEMES:
    Under Hirkani Maharashtra chi, women’s SHGs will display their business plan at taluka level. Ten groups will be selected from each taluka and Rs. 50,000 will be given to each SHG to implement their idea. Five SHGs at district level will be selected and Rs. 2 lakh will be given to each SHG to take the idea forward.
    Under District Business Plan Competition, competitors at district level will display ideas, out of which five ideas will be selected from agriculture, social service, education and Work order worth Rs. 5 lakh will be given to the 5 selected ideas to implement the same.

Health Ministry conducts 8th round of National Deworming Day campaign.
•    On February 8,2019,The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) conducted its eighth round of National Deworming Day (NDD) with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or parasitic intestinal worms so that there will be no longer be public health problem.
•    The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) envisioned an open-defecation-free India which holds the capacity to reduce the overall worm burden in a community.


 Voter verification and Information Programme was launched by Election Commission.
•    On 8th February 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens to verify their details, change the details, new registration and corrections. The programme focus on 2019 General Election.
•    The ECI has set up helpline centres in all districts in India. The voter helpline number is 1950 and they are well equipped with to help callers with latest information.
•     VVIP technology was launched during 2day training cum workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technology which was held in New Delhi.
•    ECI also launched a ‘PwD app’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to request to change in address, change in particulars and new registration by using mobile application.
•     Voter Helpline app was also launched which will help voters to check their names in electoral roll, submit online forms, application status checking and complaints filing.

Two day Bengal Global Summit held in Kolkata.
•    On February 7, 2019, the fifth edition of West Bengal Global Business Summit was inaugurated by state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It is a two day summit held in Rajarhat, Kolkata.
•    West Bengal bagged over Rs. 40,000 crore worth of investment proposals from Reliance, Group, ITC and others multinational companies on the first day of the business summit.
•     The summit came to an end with West Bengal government signing 86 agreements entailing business proposals worth 2.84 lakh crore.
•    West Bengal with a Gross State Domestic Product of USD 155.32 billion is the 4th largest contributor to India’s GDP and 6th contributor to India’s manufacturing GDP.

Assam’s Finance Minister presented 1,193 crore Deficit Budget.
•    Assam’s Finance Minister, Himanta Biswas has presented the fourth Deficit Budget of the state for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the legislative assembly which amounts to 1,193 crore.
•    This budget is the 2nd digital budget of the state
•    The total revenue of the budget in comparison with previous has increased by 20% and the total expenditure has crossed 70,000 crore.
•    The budget mainly focuses on dimensions of social security and capital expenditure.
•    Brides will be given one tola gold belonging to families having income of less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
•    Students who passes in 12th class examination with first division will be given e-bike
•    Widows below 45 years will be given immediate support of Rs. 25,000.
•    Rice would be sold at Rs.1 per kg to benefit poor families.
 

INTERNATIONAL


Multinational Maritime Exercise ‘Aman 19’ commenced in Karachi.
•    The 5-day multinational maritime exercise ‘AMAN-19’ in which 46 nations participated from all over the world was formally commenced at Pakistan Navy Dockyard, with a colourful flag hosting ceremony.
•    Pakistan’s Naval Chief, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi welcomed the participations of Exercise AMAN-19, the 6th episode of the AMAN initiative.
•    Principal aim to conduct this exercise is to facilitate a forum of understanding of each other’s maritime concepts and operation cultures and to produce ways and means to confront common threat at sea.
•    Commander Pakistan fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi genially welcomed the eminent participating nations for a mutual resolve with motto “Together for Peace”.
•    The exercise will have 2 phases- Harbour phase and sea phase.
 

BANKING AND FINANCE


Asian Development Bank raised $100 million in international market.
•    On 8th February 2019, The Asian Development Bank raised $100 million from peso-linked bonds in the international market. It was their maiden issue of Philippine peso.
•    The move will help to reduce foreign exchange risk for ADB’s borrowers and support its growing local currency lending operations in Philippines.
•    J P Morgan was the sole lead manager and bonds were fully placed with institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
•    Earlier in 2005 and 2007 ADB issued bond in the Philippine domestic capital market but it was the first time to mobilize Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency linked structure.
•    ADB is an international development finance institution and a regional development bank with a motto to fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.


RBI Doubles the limit of bulk deposits from Rs. 1 crore to Rs 2 Crore.
•    On 7th February 2019, Reserve Bank of India decided to treat deposits to over Rs.2 crore as ‘bulk’ as they doubled the limit for the same from the earlier Rs.1crore. This move will enhance operational freedom of Banks.
•     RBI also proposed banks would maintain their bulk deposits interest rate cards in the core banking system for supervisory review.
•    The right to offer differential rate of interest in bulk deposits as per their requirements and Asset Liability Management (ALM) projections is vested with banks.
•     For a similar maturity period interest rate on bulk deposits are marginally higher than smaller amount fixed deposits.
•    National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited (NAFCUB) has suggested this proposal.
•    The decision in proposal for setting up an Umbrella Organization (UO) for urban cooperative banks in pending with RBI.


RBI fines Allahabad Bank Rs 1.5 crore for not monitoring fund use, fraud reporting delay.
•    On Feb. 8 2019, Allahabad Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 crore on them for not monitoring end use of funds, delay in classification and reporting of fraud and non-adherence with RBI guidelines during restructuring of accounts in respect of one of its borrowers.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


Himachal’s growth rate projected at 7.3% in current financial year.
•    Economic Survey Report for 2018-19 has projected the growth rate in Himachal Pradesh to be around 7.3% for the current financial year, 2018-19, while the per capita income is estimated at Rs 1, 76,968. Economic growth was 6.5% in the last fiscal, highest in last 3 years.
•    Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in current fiscal has increased to Rs 1, 36,542 crore and estimated to be about Rs 1, 51,835 crore in 2018-19.
 

AWARDS AND RECOGNIZATION


Yes Bank wins the Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for ‘Innovation in Data Science’.
•    On Feb. 1 2019, Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 announced Yes Bank as winner in ‘Innovation in Data Science’ category for their industry-first project ‘Yes EEE (Engage Enrich Excel)’ at Panaji, Goa. It was hosted by the Government of Goa.

Sena Medals awarded to 92 army men, including Lance Naik Wani.
•    Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C (General Officer Commanding), Northern Command, presented Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards to army officers, other ranks and next of kin (for posthumous awards).
•    The army commander presented 1 Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 76 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 7 Sena Medals (Distinguished) and 8 Vishist Seva Medals.
•    Lance Naik Wani was conferred with the Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), received by his wife on his behalf. The brave soldier had sacrificed his life while combating terrorists at Batagund Village in Jammu & Kashmir in November 2018.
•    20 units were also awarded for their overall outstanding performance in the Command Theatre in the year 2018.
 

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION


Radheyshyam Julaniya to replace Rahul Bhatnagar as Union Sports Secretary.
•    IAS officer (Madhya Pradesh cadre), Radheyshyam Julaniya will replace Rahul Bhatnagar as the Union Sports Secretary.
•    Bhatnagar has been released by the Sports Ministry and is set to join the Ministry on Panchayati Raj.
•    Notable achievements of the Sports Ministry during the tenure of Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar include opening of the National Sports University, Khelo India Youth Games, hosting international tournaments like Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar and World Women’s Boxing Championship in New Delhi.
 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired in Balasore, Odisha.
•    India test-fired Helina, a helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile, with a hit range of 7-8 km, from the Odisha Coast on Friday.
•    Helina was launched from an Army chopper and the weapon system was tested for its full range at 12:55 PM near the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in the Balasore District of Odisha.
•    Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Helina is said to be one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. It is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode.
 

SPORTS


Rohit Sharma becomes 1st Indian to smash 100 sixes in T20 Cricket.
•    Indian opener Rohit Sharma became the first man from his country to smash a century of sixes in T20I cricket in the second T20 between India and New Zealand held in Eden Park in New Zealand.
•    He made his T20I debut against England but played his first innings against South Africa in 2007 T20I.
•    Rohit Sharma surpassed Martin Guptill to become the highest scorer in T20 Internationals with 102 sixes.


Ricky Ponting has been appointed the assistant coach of Australia for 2019 World Cup.
•    On 8th February 2019, Cricket Australia appointed Ricky Ponting as assistant coach for Australia’s cricket team for 2019 World Cup. He had won world cup for three times.
•    The main coach for Australian Cricket team is Justin Langer. Ponting was appointed after David Saker’s resignation from the post.
•    Ricky Ponting worked as assistant for Australia’s T20 in 2017 and 2018. The current batting coach for the team is Graeme Hicks.
•    ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales from 30th May to 14th July 2019.
•    Ponting play 375 ODI’s and 168 tests for Australia. He won the World Cup for the 1st time in 1999 before captaining and in 2003 and in 2003 and 2007.
 

OBITUARY


British actor Albert Finney, five time Oscar nominee died at age of 82.
•    On February 9, 2019, five time Oscar nominated actor Albert Finney died at the age of 82 due to chest infection in London.
•    The veteran actor was best known for his roles in Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Annie.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th February 2019

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


NASA: 2018 4th warmest year on record.
•    The global surface temperatures on the Earth in 2018 were the 4th warmest since 1880.
•    This was found in an independent analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
•    The global temperatures in 2018 were 0.83 degree Celsius
2018’s temperatures rank behind those of 2016, 2017 and 2015.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


IRDAI imposes fine on United India Insurance.
•    Imposed a fine of Rs 9 lakh on state-owned United India Insurance Co Ltd for violating certain procedures.
•    3 violations were found during the inspection, of which 2 attracted the fine.
•    UIIC is headquartered in Chennai, while IRDAI is in Hyderabad.

SBI fined by RBI.
•    RBI slapped Rs 1 crore penalty on SBI, country's largest lender on 7th Feb 2019 for violating norms.
•    RBI levied the penalty in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 47 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
•    SBI was charged for not monitoring the end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers.


RBI Monetary Policy of February.
•    RBI cuts key lending rate (repo) by 0.25 pc to 6.25 pc
•    Reverse repo rate cut to 6pcs, bank rate to 6.5pc, CRR unchanged at 4pc
•    Headline inflation estimates revised down to 2.8 pc in Q1, 3.2-3.4 pc in first half of next fiscal
•    Projects GDP growth to accelerate to 7.4 pc next fiscal, from 7.2 pc in 2018-19
 

Suresh Prabhu addresses interactive session.
•    An interactive session on the Indo-Africa Strategic Economic Co-operation was held in New Delhi on 6th Feb 2019.
•    It was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
•    The bilateral trade between Africa and India has increased from $7 billion in 2001 to $78 billion in 2014 and then $60 billion in 2017.
•    Suresh Prabhu is the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation.
 

AWARDS AND HONORS


Yes Bank wins Data Science Innovation Award.
•    Yes, Bank was announced as the winner of the 9th edition of Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for its ‘Yes Engage Enrich Excel (EEE)’ project in data science.
•    Its EEE program is an industry-first analytics tool that aids the Bank’s relationship managers with top 3 talking points to engage with their customers.
•    Aegis Graham Bell Award promotes innovations and entrepreneurship in the ICT domain.

Sanjiv Chadha awarded in UK.
•    The State Bank of India’s UK Chief Mr Sanjiv Chadha has been honoured with the ‘Freedom of the City Of London’.
•    The award was given by the city of London Corporation in recognition of his contribution to promoting bilateral relations
•    The previous Indian recipient of the honour is Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of India. Other recipients include author J K Rowling and actor Dame Judi Dench.
 

APPOINTMENTS


Pradeep Singh became Civil Aviation Secretary.
•    The government appointed Air India Chief Managing Director and Chairperson Pradeep Singh Kharola as the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
•    Kharola will take over from Rajiv Nayan Choubey.
•    He is an IAS officer of Karnataka cadre from the 1985 batch, who was named chairperson of Air India in November 2017.

NATIONAL


Nitin Gadkari laid foundation of NH project.
•    Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, laid the foundation for 5 National Highway projects of length 632 km in Ayodhya on 8 Feb 2019
•    The estimated cost is Rs. 7195 crore and the project will establish direct connectivity from Ayodhya to Ambedkar Nagar and Chitrakoot.
•    He will also visit Prayagraj to inaugurate Phase 2 of River Information System on National Waterway-1.

Ujjwala Utsav observed by Oil industry.
•    Ujjwala Utsav was observed by the Oil industry in New Delhi on 7th Feb 2019
•    It was observed to celebrate the stellar role played by all stakeholders in making PMUY scheme a success.
•    PMUY anthem - 'Ujjwala Bharat Ujjwala' composed by Kailash Kher was also launched on the occasion.
 

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Important Current Affairs 3rd February 2019

National News

22nd AIIMS to come up in Haryana
The 22nd AIIMS would come up in Haryana. The announcement was made regarding this at the Interim Budget 2019. The AIIMS would be established at Manethi village in Haryana’s Rewari district.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is the autonomous institutions set up under the act of parliament. The All India Institute Of Medical Sciences Act, 1956 provides for the establishment of AIIMS  as Institute of National Importance.

India’s Mithali Raj Becomes First Woman Cricketer to Play 200 ODIs 
India’s One-day International (ODI) captain Mithali Raj has become the first woman to play 200 ODI matches with her appearance in the match against New Zealand. The record for largest number of games played by a Woman Cricketer was already in the name of Mithali Raj. Mithali Raj had achieved the milestone when she played her 192 ODI of the career, going past Charlotte Edwards’ record of 191 appearances.
The 36-year-old Mithali Raj is playing the game at the international circuit for almost twenty years and she is also the fourth-highest among the cricketers as a whole, as Mithali is just behind Sachin Tendulkar (463), Sanath Jayasuriya (445) and Javed Miandad (233).


Bharathi appointed as the MD and CEO of Corporation Bank
The government has appointed P.V.Bharathi as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Corporation Bank. Earlier she has served as the Executive Director of Canara Bank. Corporation Bank is public-sector banking The company headquartered in Mangaluru, India. She took charge on February 1, 2019. The bank has a pan-Indian presence.  The bank has a network of 2,600 fully automated CBS branches, 3,040 ATMs, and 4,724 branchless banking units across the country.

International News

5 countries elected as non-permanent members of UNSC
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium as non-permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They will have two-year term beginning January 1, 2019.
These five non-permanent members were elected according to the following pattern
•    Two seats for Group of African states and Group of Asia-Pacific states,
•    One for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states
•    Two seats for Western European and other states.


International World Cancer Day celebrated on 4th February 
The world celebrates the World Cancer Day on 4th February. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The aim is to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. The main goal is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer and is an opportunity to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer.

Obituary

Padma Shri R.B.Patil passed away
Padma Shri R.B. Patil, 93-year-old, passed away in Hubballi. He established North Karnataka’s first comprehensive centre for cancer in 1977 from voluntary donations.  Dr.Patil completed his education in England and continued to see patients until recently before his health deteriorated. The mortal remains of the surgeon were kept at his nursing home in Vidyanagar, Hubballi, for people to pay tributes.

Award


P.S.Krishnan is to receive K.Veeramani Award
K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2018 will be conferred on P.S. Krishnan, former Secretary, Government of India. Dravidar Kazhagam leader Veeramani will felicitate the awardee at a function in New Delhi. About the award: Periyar International Inc., (USA) gives an annual award for outstanding contributions to Social Justice, which is named his honor.  Mr.V.P.Singh, former Prime Minister of India, was the first recipient of the award. K.Veeramani is an Honorary Associate of Rationalist International.
 

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Important Current Affairs 30th January 2019

National News

NGMA to organize 1st edition of Night at the Museum 
•    National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) New Delhi will today organize the first edition of Night at the Museum.
•    The event will be organised in collaboration with the India Art Fair from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
•    NGMA will conduct guided tour of its prestigious permanent collection which is on display at the permanent gallery.
•    Highlight objects include works of art of Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher-Gil, Raja Ravi Verma, Nandalal Bose and Jamini Roy.


Four highway projects worth over Rs 3000 cr launched in Rajasthan
•    In Rajasthan, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of four National Highway projects worth over 3 thousand 237 Cr. rupees.
•    These include three projects in Bikaner and one in Nagaur District.
•    24 thousand Km Highways will be constructed in first phase of Bharatmala Project.
•    Foundation stone of two projects were laid down in the function, which include National Highway from Raisinghnagar to Poogal and Khajuwala to Poogal and Poogal to Naukha-Bap sections of NH-911.


All religion prayer organized at Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram in Gujarat
•    Gujarat is paying rich tribute to its son of soil father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary today.
•    All religion prayer has been organized at Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram this morning. 
•    Several functions have been organized at Kirti Mandir in Porbandar- the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
•    People will also observe two minutes silence at 11 am in respect to the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.


India improves its global corruption ranking in 2018: Study
•    India has improved its ranking on a global corruption index in 2018 by three points and moved to 78th position with a score of 41.
•    In the list of 180 countries, China and Pakistan lagged far behind at 87th and 117th position, respectively.
•    According to the rankings released by an anti-corruption watchdog, Denmark is the least corrupt country followed by New Zealand while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are the most corrupt countries in the world.


Obituary

Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passes away in New Delhi 
•    Former Defence Minister and Anti-Emergency Crusader George Fernandes passed away in New Delhi. He was 88.
•    One of the most prominent leaders of the socialist movement in the 1970s, George Fernandes was a senior Janata Dal leader before he founded the Samata Party. 
•    He was elected to the Lok Sabha 9 times and once to the Rajya Sabha.
•    He also served as Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Industry. 
•    George Fernandes was also a trade unionist, agriculturist, and journalist. As President of the All India Railwaymen's Federation he led the Railway strike involving 1.5 million workers in 1974, resulting in thousands being sent to jail.


International News

UAE, Saudi central banks launch common digital currency called 'Aber' 
•    The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called "Aber", which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.
•    It will establish an additional means for the central financial transfer systems of the two countries and enable banks to directly deal with each other in conducting financial remittances.
•    Through this digital currency, both the United Arab Emirates Central Bank (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) are studying the impact on the improvement and reduction of remittance costs and the assessments of risks.


Myanmar parliament approves step toward charter change
•    Myanmar's parliament has voted to create a committee to propose amendments to the country's military-enacted constitution, which grants the armed forces the power to block any change.
•    The proposal to form the committee was presented by a member of the ruling National League for Democracy party of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which took power in 2016 after more than five decades of military or military-backed rule.
•    The 2008 constitution gives the military control of national security ministries and 25 per cent of legislative seats, enough to prevent any constitutional changes, which require the support of more than 75 per cent of lawmakers.


Awards

Hindi writer Chitra Mudgal among 24 honoured with Sahitya Akademi Award 
•    Renowned Hindi writer Chitra Mudgal, Dogri writer Inderjeet Kesar, Kannada writer KG Nagarajappa and Kashmiri story writer Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq were among 24 writers, who were honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award 2018.
•    President of the Sahitya Akademi Chandrasekhar Kambar presented these awards at a function in New Delhi.
•    The awards were given for 24 different languages. The award was given to Chitra Mudgal for her book 'post box no 203 Nalla Sopara', which was based on the life of a transgender.
•    Inderjeet Kesar got the award for his Dogri novel- Bhagirath based on challenges faced by human beings. 
•    K. G Nagarajappa bagged the award for Anushreni- Yajamanike which is a collection of Kannada essays. 
•    Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq received the award for his collection of 18 Kashmiri short stories - Aakh.
 

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Important Current Affairs 26th January 2019

Sports

Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title
•    Japan's Naomi Osaka won her maiden Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title at Melbourne.
•    In the Final, Osaka, seeded fourth, defeated eighth placed Czech Petra Kvitova, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to become the first Asian player to achieve the world number one ranking.
•    She will surpass Romania's Simona Halep at the top of the rankings on Monday and become the youngest number one since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
•    The Japanese also created history by becoming the first player since 2001 to win back-to-back Grand Slam titles. Osaka, who won the US Open last year, broke American Jennifer Capriati's 2001 record.
 

National News

Assam Rifles creates history by showcasing "Nari Shakti" at parade 
•    The all-women Assam Rifles contingent created history this year by participating for the first time in a Republic Day parade.
•    Contingents of the Navy, India Army Service Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals were all led by women officers.
•    Capt Shikha Surabhi from the Corps of Signals became the first woman to perform bike stunts, alongside her male teammates as part of daredevils.
•    For the first time, a lady officer, Lt. Bhavana Kasturi. led a contingent of the India Army Service Corps and Capt Bhavna Syal, a third-generation officer in the armed forces, led the transportable satellite terminal's contingent.


SC upholds constitutional validity of Insolvency laws 
•    The Supreme Court has upheld the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, IBC's constitutional validity in its ‘entirety’ and rejected petitions challenging the bankruptcy laws. The decision is a setback to defaulting promoters hoping for a chance to remain in control of their firms.
•    A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha refused to tweak any of the provisions of the IBC, which was challenged in a batch of petitions filed by several companies.
•    Justice Nariman, who penned the verdict, said the experiment contained in the Code passes constitutional muster. Lauding the working of IBC, the court said the economy's rightful position has been regained and the defaulters' paradise is lost by the IBC.


PM Modi dedicates Kochi Refinery project to Nation 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated to the nation the Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex of BPCL at Kochi in Kerala. 
•    Prime Minister also laid a foundation stone for Petrochemical Complex. 
•    PM also inaugurated Mounded Storage Vessel at IOCL LPG bottling plant, Kochi.
•    PM also laid the foundation stone for Skill Development Institute at Ettumanoor.
•    Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex will be a modern expansion complex and transform Kochi refinery into the largest PSU Refinery in India with world class standards. It will be equipped for the production of cleaner Fuels for India. It will double the production of LPG & diesel and commence production of feedstock for petrochemical projects in this plant.


Piyush Goyal named interim Finance & Corporate Affairs minister
•    Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has been given additional charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs ministry in view of indisposition of Arun Jaitley
•    President, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, directed that during the period of Jaitley's indisposition, the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Corporate Affairs
 

Awards

Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh Bhupen Hazarika awarded Bharat Ratna 
•    Social activist Nanaji Deshmukh, Music maestro Bhupen Hazarika and former President Pranab Mukherjee have been awarded with country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna.
•    The President also approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards, including 4 Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards. 
•    Folk artist Teejan Bai, President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh, Industralist Anil kumar Manibhai Naik and theatre actor Balwant Moreshwar Purandare will be honoured with Padma Vibhushan.
•    Former CAG V K Shunglu, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Foreigner John Chambers are among those who will be given Padma Bhushan. Journalist Kuldip Nayar will be honoured with Padma Bhushan posthumously.
•    For Padma Shree, Actor Manoj Bajpayee, Prabhu Deva, cricketer Gautam Gambhir, footballer Sunil Chhetri, Archer Bombayla Devi Laishram, archaeologist K K Muhammed are among those chosen for the awards this year. Actor Kader Khan has been awarded Padma Shree posthumously.


President Ram Nath Kovind confers Ashoka Chakra on Nazir Wani 
•    Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, a militant-turned-soldier who laid down his life fighting a group of terrorists in Shopian in Kashmir in November, was awarded the Ashoka Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind
•    The award — India’s highest peacetime gallantry honour — was received by Wani’s wife and mother at the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. Wani is the first Kashmiri to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra.
•    Lance Naik Wani joined the Army’s 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2004.
•    Ashoka Chakra is the highest peacetime military decoration for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
 

Space

NASA's Opportunity rover completes 15 years on Mars 
•    The US space agency said it has travelled 45 kilometres and logged its 5,000th Martian day back in February 2018. John Callas, project manager for Opportunity, however, said that at present the agency does not know the rover's status.
•    The six-wheeler rover had landed in a region of Mars called Meridiani Planum on January 24, 2004. The solar-powered rover went silent since a global dust storm in June last year.
•    However, Opportunity's mission continues, in a phase where mission engineers at NASA laboratories are sending commands to as well as listening for signals from the rover.
 

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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 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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