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Current Affairs of 16th to 31st January 2019 16 Jan 2019

Miscellaneous Current Affairs

  • The Centre constituted a seven-member Group Of Ministers to look into GST related issues of the real estate sector. Nitin Patel, the Deputy CM of Gujarat, would head the GoM which would analyse the tax rate of GST on the under-construction residential properties for boosting the realty segment.
  • The government set up an eight-member ministerial panel headed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to look into GST-related issues of lottery business.
  • Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off SAKSHAM (Sanrakshan Kshmata Mahotsav) Vans to promote and create awareness among people on the need of oil and gas conservation for the future and the methods to do it.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has organised the 6th -day Women Of India Organic Festival at leisure Valley, Chandigarh, to celebrate and promote women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic sector from the remotest parts of India.
  • The Union Cabinet approved a capital infusion of Rs 6000 cr in EXIM Bank through recapitalisation bonds to boost the bank’s capacity in export financing.
  • 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.
  • Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech(from the Czech Republic) announced that he would be retiring from professional football at the end of the current season.
  • Two scientists are being recognized with the 2019 Japan Prize for original and outstanding achievements that not only contribute to the advancement of science and technology but also promote peace and prosperity for all mankind. One of them is Dr Rattan Lal.
  • Senior AGP leader and one of the signatories of the Assam Accord, Biraj Kumar Sarma, has passed away after suffering from chronic liver disease.
  • Veteran journalist Rajendra Prabhu, who was at the forefront of the media trade union movement, passed away after a brief illness.
  • The government announced winners of the Gandhi Peace Prize for four years beginning 2015 to 2018. Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari gets the award for 2015 for their contribution in rural development, education, development of natural resources. For 2016, it has been jointly given to Akshaya Patra Foundation for contribution in providing mid-day meals children and Sulabh International For its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation and emancipation of manual scavengers. Ekbal Abhiyan Trust has won the award for 2017 for their contribution in providing education for rural and tribal children in remote areas, rural empowerment, gender and social equality. Yohei Sasakawa for 2018 for his contribution in leprosy eradication.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind appointed senior advocate Sanjay Jain as the Additional Solicitor General in the Supreme Court of India.
  • 12-year-old Tamil Nadu boy, D Gukesh became the youngest grandmaster in India and second in the world. He achieved this feat by beating D K Sharma at 17th Delhi International Open Chess tournament in Delhi.
  • Well-known mountaineer Satyarup Sidhanta, 35, conquered Antarctica’s highest point. Mount Sidley, to become the youngest man in the world to have climbed the seven highest volcanic peaks, besides other summits.
  • The first National Sports Meet 2019 for Tribals was organised by the Ministry of Tribal Welfare in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • 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.
  • The country’s economy is likely to grow a tad higher at 7.5 per cent in 2019-20 on account of steady improvement in major sectors — industry and services, said India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra)
  • In partnership with States, the Ministry of Rural Development has completed 1.37 crore Rural homes since April 2014.
  • Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana(PMRPY) has crossed the milestone of 1 crore beneficiaries as on Jan 14, 2019, according to a release by Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • The world’s first human rights TV channel has been launched by International Observatory of Human Rights.
  • Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare and TRAI Chairman RS Sharma inaugurated the 25th International conference and exhibition on terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, BES EXPO 2019 in NewDelhi.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath launched his government’s Rs 50,000-crore farm debt waiver scheme named ”Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana”.
  • A Regional Conference on “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme” was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 426.60-metre long Diffo Bridge over Chipu River in Lower Dibang Valley District in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical and Research in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • The Centre has taken a decision to make all new cars meet Euro 6 standards mandatory for initial launch from April 1, 2020, said Union Minister for Transport Nitin Gadkari addressing Symposium of International Automotive Technology 2019 in Pune.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The state-of-the-art Museum has been built at a cost of over 140 crore rupees.
  • Nashik in Maharashtra will be the site of the country’s second defence innovation hub after Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The defence innovation hub at Nashik will help local industries and entrepreneurs and further the Centre’s Make in India push in the country’s defence sector.
  • Manipur CM N Biren Singh launched “School Fagat-Hansi “Mission, an initiative under the Government’s popular ‘Go to Village’ mission.
  • Two commemorative coins in the denomination of Rs 100 and Rs 5 were released to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of late Tamil Nadu chief minister and ruling AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran which was celebrated across the state.
  • The Union Minister for Tourism, Shri. K. J. Alphons attended the 7th Meeting of Tourism Ministers Of ASEAN and India held in Ha Long City, Vietnam.
  • The US City of Louisville in Kentucky state to rename its airport after hometown hero Muhammad Ali (name before conversion to Islam–Cassius Clay), who died in 2016.
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has launched Tokyo base startup Star ALE’s mini-satellite aimed to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower.
  • Parliament has elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to a second four-year term ending more than four months of political deadlock.
  • Rakesh Asthana has been appointed as the new Director General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security(BCAS).
  • Senior IPS officer Prabhat Singh has been appointed as the director general in the National Human Rights Commission.
  • The Reserve Bank has approved the appointment of V Vaidyanathan as MD and CEO of IDFC First bank for a period of three years, according to a regulatory filing.
  • Eminent Indian scientist CNR Rao of the Jawaharlal Nehru for Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, has been conferred with the first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research by the Centre for Advanced Materials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Mary Oliver (American poet ), the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose rapturous odes to nature and animal life brought her critical acclaim and popular affection, has passed away. She was 83.
  • In a bid to boost people-to-people ties and cultural exchanges, Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen inaugurated a Danish Cultural Institute in New Delhi.
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the TamilNadu Defence Industrial Corridor in the Tiruchirapalli district of TamilNadu, with various private and public sector industries announcing an investment of around Rs 3100 crores.
  • Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2019 at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar concluded on 20th January. 75 member delegation of Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council participated in this Summit.
  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state is making all-out efforts to attract investment and is holding a global investor Summit in Dharamsala on June 10 and 11.
  • India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world’s largest economy rankings in 2019 to the world’ become 5th largest economy, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up an 11-member working group under the chairmanship of former SEBI Chief UK Sinha to go into the concept of “Group Insolvency” and suggest a suitable framework.
  • Andry Rajoelina was sworn in as President of Madagascar.
  • Padma Bhushan winning neurologist Jagjit Singh Chopra has passed away at the age of 84. He was awarded lifetime achievement award by the World Federation of Neurology (HQ – London, UK) in 2017.
  • Aparna Kumar has become the first woman IPS DIG and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer to successfully complete the South Pole expedition.
  • The International Monetary Fund’s(IMF) World Economic Outlook Update released by chief economist Gita Gopinath recently said that India’s economy is expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in the 2019-20 fiscal year, keeping an upward trajectory as the rest of the world slumps.
  • The Delhi-bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the merger of financially stressed  Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel.
  • The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has named the Brazilian city of Rio De Janeiro as the world capital of architecture for 2020.
  • China announced that its economy cooled down in the last quarter of 2018, recording a growth rate of 6.6 per cent, which is the slowest in the last 28 years.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is organising a fortnight of events named Shehri Samridhi Utsav from Feb 1 to 15 all over the country focusing on urban livelihoods.
  • Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Risabh Pant was named Emerging Player of the Year by ICC.
  • Virat Kohli has become the first cricketer to win the Sir Garbfields Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the year and the ICC ODI Player of the year awards following an extraordinary 2018.
  • India’s Ankita Raina has won the International Tennis  Federation’s 25,000-dollar Women’s tournament in Singapore.
  • India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference began in Mumbai.
  • Explanation: Over a decade after the 26/11 Mumbai Terror attacks, the Indian Navy has launched “SeaVigil”, a first of its kind and biggest coastal two-day Defence exercise off the 7,516-km-long Indian coastline, involving all 13 coastal states, Union Territories and maritime stakeholders including fisherfolk.
  • India and SriLanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide modern infrastructural facilities to Swami Vipulananda Insititute of Aesthetic Studies of Eastern University in Batticaloa district of SriLanka.
  • India’s first-ever all-women political party the National Women’s Party(NWP) was launched in Mumbai and it will contest half 283 of the 545 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections.
  • Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a 1210 meter span bridge over the river Ravi in Jammu Kashmir’s and Kathua district to reduce the distance to  Punjab’s Pathankot city by 36km.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Subhas Chandra Bose Museum at the iconic Red Fort fighter’s in Delhi to mark the freedom 122nd birth anniversary.
  • The government constituted a standing committee headed by NITI Aayog to oversee the drug pricing regime, a move which could clip the powers of drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing
  • Authority(NPPA).
  • Indians have emerged as the biggest supporters of international aid, with a global public opinion survey putting India on the top when it comes to people expecting their nation to help other countries.
  • Coast guards of India and Japan kicked off their disaster control, search and rescue exercises off the coast of Yokohama in Japan.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu declared Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival as the “State Festival ”at Seijosa in East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) is only conservation festival of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • India has moved up one position to rank 80th on the Global Talent Competitive Index but remains a laggard among the BRICS nations. Switzerland topped the list.
  • TCS announced that it has been accredited as the fastest growing brand in the IT services sector over the company’s the past decade. The brand value increased by 447 per cent from 2.34 billion dollars in 2010 to 12.8 world’s billion dollars in 2019 according to Brand Finance, the leading brand valuation firm.
  • India figures at 54th position among the world’ most innovative countries, according to Bloomberg 2019 Innovative Index.
  • The Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.4% in the current fiscal and its GDP will rise to 7.6% in 2019-20, before tapping down to 7.4% in 2020-21, according to a UN Report.
  • Pacer Mohammed Shami became the fastest Indian to claim 100 wickets in ODIs, reaching the mark in the opening match against New Zealand in Napier.
  • Hosts Maharashtra walked away with the Overall Trophy at the Khelo India Youth Games, as they amassed a mammoth 85 gold, 62 silver and 81 bronze for a total of 228 medals.
  • Noted Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra has been awarded Saraswati Samman 2017 for his poetry collection in Gujarati named “Vakhar”.
  • Former India hockey player Raghbir Singh Bhola, a two-time Olympic medallist, has passed away aged 92. Bhola represented India in the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics, winning a gold and silver medals respectively for the country.
  • The 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products held in Goa. AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik inaugurated the three-day forum. 20 countries will participate in the
  • event.
  • The two-day Global Investors Summit, being organised by TamilNadu government, is underway in Chennai.
  • With the aim to synergise humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations, the Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX) will be held in Pune from March 18 to 27.
  • Microsoft India launched a new e-commerce platform “re-weave.in” under Project ReWeave‘ to aid handloom weavers. The e-commerce platform would connect artisans to the buyers directly enabling them to expand to newer customers and markets.
  • Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will commission the new Naval Air Base “INS Kohassa” at Digliur in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • CEOs’ confidence in global economic growth has dropped dramatically by a record jump in pessimism but India has emerged as the “rising star” by surpassing the UK to become a 4th most attractive destination, a PwC survey said.US topped the list.
  • China is set to overtake the US as the world’s biggest retail market in 2019. Research firm eMarkete in a report published predicted that China’s total retail sales will grow 7.5 per cent to reach $5.636 trillion in 2019, while that of the United States will grow 3.3 per cent to $5.529 trillion.
  • South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha announced retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
  • South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Delhi for his first state visit ahead of the Republic day celebration parade, where he is the chief guest. Ramaphosa is 2nd South Africa’s President after Nelson Mandela to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
  • India opened the year’s space campaign by putting into orbit defence imaging satellite “Microsoft R” for the DRDO and student-built nano-satelliteKalamsat” in a copybook style.
  • DRDO has successfully test-fired Long Range Surface to Air Missile from naval warship INS Chennai. The test was conducted off the coast of Odisha.
  • Nepal and India have agreed to set up an “Energy Banking” mechanism that would help the Himalayan country export its surplus electricity to neighbour India during the monsoon season and import power during its lean season in winter.
  • The Telangana government has decided to form a “State Tiger Protection Force” to save the Big Cat population in the State.
  • The Pakistan government declared sugarcane juice as the “national drink” of the country.
  • Global growth is expected to remain at 3 per cent in 2019 and 2020, however, the steady pace of expansion in the global economy masks an increase in downside risks that could potentially exacerbate
  • development challenges in many parts of the world, according to the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019.
  • Nearly 65 per cent of Indian organisations are better prepared for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making the country the 6th leading nation globally in the GDPR Readiness Index, global networking leader Cisco said.
  • “No Presents Please”, originally written in Kannada by noted author Jayant Kaikini and translated into English by Tejaswini Niranjana, was announced as the winner of the prestigious $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet in Kolkata
  • India is celebrating 9th National Voters Day on 25th Jan 2019 for enhanced participation of citizens in the electoral process. The theme is “accessible elections”.
  • Numaligarh Refinery Limited has been awarded the best miniratna PSU in strategic performance (financial category) at the Governance Now Sixth PSU awards.
  • Oxford Dictionaries announced that “Nari Shakti” as its Hindi word of the year for 2018 at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.
  • On the occasion of Republic Day, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath announced the launch of the “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana” for youths from the economically weaker sections in urban areas.
  • India is on the way to becoming the 5th largest economy in the world, PM Narendra Modi said recently.
  • Highlighting the success of Make in India and contribution of Indian workers, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal, renamed India’s first indigenous semi-high speed train “Train 18” as “Vande Bharat Express”.
  • Insurance regulator IRDA set up a panel to identify domestically systemically important insurers(SII) and put in place an enhanced regulatory framework for them. SIIs are perceived as insurers that are ‘too big to fail’. It will be headed by Pravin Kutumbe.
  • GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare said its merger deal with Hindustan Unilever Limited(HUL) has been approved by the fair trade regulator CCI.
  • Indo Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) won the national Ice Hockey Tournament in Ladakh.
  • Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) of the Indian School of Business has been ranked at 24 worldwide in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2019.

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