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Important Current Affairs 23rd January 2019

National News

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


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


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


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

Economy

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

Science

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

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Important Current Affairs 3rd January 2019

National

 Cabinet gives ex post facto approval to India's Approach for COP 24, Katowice, Poland
•    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating stand of India at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Katowice, Poland from 2-15 December 2018.
•    The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
•    The key focus of meeting was to finalize guidelines for implementation of Paris Agreement in post 2020 period. India's approach was guided by principles and provisions of UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBPR-RC).


PM to inaugurate Indian Science Congress at Jalandhar
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress at Jalandhar on January 3, an annual congregation that witnesses deliberations by top scientific minds of the country.
•    The theme for ISC-2019 is ‘Future India-Science and Technology’ and it will be hosted by the Lovely Professional University (PLU), Jalandhar from January 3-7


Cabinet approves restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority 
•    Union Cabinet has approved the restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana.
•    National Health Authority will be chaired by Union Health Minister to enable the decision making at a faster pace, required for smooth implementation of the scheme.
•    National Health Authority will have full accountability, authority and mandate to implement the Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process.


Assam CM welcomes Cabinet decisions on Assam Accord
•    Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has welcomed the Union Cabinet's decision to implement the Assam Accord signed in 1985.
•    The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the setting up a high-level committee for implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord and measures envisaged in the Memorandum of Settlement, 2003 and other issues related to the Bodo community.


Cabinet approves amendment to Trade Unions Act, 1926
•    The Cabinet has approved amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926 to make provisions regarding recognition of trade unions.
•    The approval will facilitate recognition of Trade Unions at Central and State level.
•    The proposed bill will ensure that the nomination of workers’ representatives in tripartite bodies by the government will become more transparent.

Economy and Banking

Cabinet approves first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking 
•    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the scheme of amalgamation for amalgamating Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks.
•    The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with the amalgamated bank being India's second largest Public Sector Bank.
•    The amalgamation will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies.
 

Obituary

Ramakant Achrekar dies in Mumbai 
•    Ramakant Achrekar, childhood coach of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, died on Wednesday. 
•    Achrekar, 87, who is known to shape Tendulkar's career, took his last breath at his Shivaji Park residence in Dadar, Mumbai.
•    Besides Tendulkar, he also coached some prominent players in Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.
 

Space Science

China's lunar rover Chang'e 4 makes historic landing on dark side of Moon 
•    Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, a historic first landing on a mission seen as an important step for China's space programme.
•    Chinese state television said the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the "soft landing" at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the dark side of the moon.
•    Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon but none has landed on it.
 

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SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket months after explosion

SpaceX launched its first rocket since a big explosion last year, when one of the private spaceflight’s rockets annihilated a $200m satellite in a spectacular and costly setback.
●    Saturday’s launch was SpaceX’s first since September, when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its launchpad at Cape Canaveral in southern Florida. 
●    The explosion destroyed the rocket and its payload, an Amos 6 communications satellite that Facebook wanted to use to provide internet to parts of Africa.
●    The accident grounded SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets, which had been steadily building a record of landings.
●    On Saturday the Falcon 9 rocket landed successfully on a barge in the Pacific Ocean, the first landing on a new drone ship there, prompting the engineers to burst into cheers.
●    Commissioned by the telecom company Iridium, the rocket carried 10 communications satellites into space, the first of an intended satellite “constellation” the Virginia-based tech giant means to use to replace its current global network of phone and data relays. 
●    Iridium has contracted SpaceX for $468m over seven launches.
 

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NASA to send first African-American to space station in 2018

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 4 January 2017 announced the assignment of veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018.
●    Epps will become the first African-American space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018.
●    Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration mission. 
●    He will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 55. 
●    Later, he will be assigned as commander on Expedition 56.
●    On the other hand, Epps will join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and remain on board for Expedition 57.
●    Jeanette Epps was selected by NASA in 2009 as an astronaut.
●    She served as a CIA technical intelligence officer for seven years before being selected as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.

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China launches Telecommunication Technology Test Satellite

China has successfully launched a telecommunication technology test satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
●    The satellite was launched late last night by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
●    China plans to conduct a "record" number of 30 space launch missions this year as part of its efforts to expand its ambitious space programme.
●    The record-breaking number space launches will be launched by Long March-5 and Long March-7 rockets, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said earlier.
●    Long March-5 is China's largest carrier rocket. 
●    The successful test launch of the vehicle in November in South China's Hainan Province will pave the way for space station construction.

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Earth-like snow, ice features found on Pluto

Scientists have found evidence of Earth-like snow and ice features on Pluto, using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on our planet and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices.
●    The groundbreaking research, done in collaboration with researchers at NASA and Johns Hopkins University, indicates that these icy features may exist on other planets where environmental conditions are similar.
●    The identification of the ridges of Tartarus Dorsa as Penitentes suggests that the presence of an atmosphere is necessary for the formation of penitentes, which would explain why they have not previously been seen on other airless icy satellites or dwarf planets.
●    Pluto’s ridges are much larger — 500 metres tall and separated by three to five kilometres — as compared to their meter-sized earthly counterparts.

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NASA's Curiosity discovers purple rocks on Mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has captured an up—close image of the red planet’s mountainous landscape, with purple-coloured rocks littered across the foreground.
●    The image captured from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Curiosity Mars rover shows purple—hued rocks near the rover’s late—2016 location on lower Mount Sharp.
●    The scene’s middle distance includes higher layers that are future destinations for the mission.
●    Variations in colour of the rocks hint at the diversity of their composition on lower Mount Sharp, NASA said.
●    The purple tone of the foreground rocks has been seen in other rocks where Curiosity’s Chemical and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument has detected hematite.

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China launches advanced weather satellite Fengyun-4

China has successfully launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation weather satellites into geostationary orbit. 
●    It was launched onboard of Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. 
●    The launch marked the 242nd mission of China’s Long March series of rockets.  
●    Fengyun-4 is the first of China’s second-generation weather satellites and also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in highest orbit.
●    It will make high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of atmosphere, space environment and clouds of China and surrounding regions.
●    It will help in improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts. 
●    The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) is the primary user of the satellite. 
●    Earlier China had successfully launched 14 weather satellites, of them seven are still in orbit.

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ISRO successfully places remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A

ISRO successfully launched its own earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A on 7 December 2016. 
●    The observation satellite Resourcesat -2A was launched with PSLV C36/ RESOURCESAT-2A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
●    The PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 meters tall and weighing 321 tonne tore into the morning skies at 10.25am with a reverberating sound breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull. 
●    The Resourcesat-2A weighing 1235 kilograms was injected into an 817 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at around 20 minutes into the destination.
●    This satellite is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by its two predecessors. 
●    The Resourcesat-2A carries three payloads which are similar to those of the earlier two Resourcesat’s. This mission will provide inputs in avionic science.
●    It carries two solid state recorders with a capacity of 200 Giga Bits each to store the images taken by its cameras. 
●    These images can be read out later to ground stations. The data sent by Resource would be analysed at Hyderabad from 15 December 2016.

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First Private Moon Mission Next Year

TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup company seemed to have one upped the ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 project. 
●    The company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon, with the help of a launch rocket by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
●    The scheduled launch date of the rocket is December 28, 2017. 
This will be India's first private moon mission to be launched, which until now have been regulated solely by the government. 
●    ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be taking the TeamIndus's rocket to the moon.
●    TeamIndus won the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a 30 million USD competition. 
●    Based in Bengaluru, TeamIndus is led by Rahul Narayan. 
●    He heads a teach of over 100 members with a pool of engineers, space enthusiasts, former Air Force pilots and former ISRO employees. 
●    The investors range from Ratan Tata of the Tata Group to Binny and Sachin Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart and Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys.


 

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