Current Affairs
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Important Current Affairs 16th January 2019

National News

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


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


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


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


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


International News

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


Sports

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

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Important Current Affairs 14th January 2019

International Relations

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

National News

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


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

Appointments

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

International News

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

Sports

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


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

Awards

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


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

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Important Current Affairs 12th January 2019

Science

Earth’s north magnetic pole moving at alarming rate 
Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic.
Beggan said the moving pole affected navigation, mainly in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. NATO and the U.S. and British militaries are among those using the magnetic model, as well as civilian navigation.
Beggan said the recent shifts in the north magnetic pole would be unnoticed by most people outside the Arctic, for instance using smartphones in New York, Beijing or London.
 

International news

Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza 
The Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP), an initiative to bring Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises closer to each other on a single AI enabled platform. This is a partnership by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) with Municipal Governments of Guiyang and Dalian.
Indian IT enterprises are world renowned for their expertise in business transformation and operational optimization by using IT tools in complex business environments.
SIDCOP, which is a boundary-less marketplace offers this opportunity for Chinese enterprises in order to assist them in operational optimization and adopting industry best practices in business solutions.
 

National news

25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019 
Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019 in Mumbai. The two-day summit will provide a platform for discussions between Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India. It will also offer new partnerships and investment opportunities in sectors like Artificial Intelligence, big data, agri and food processing, defence and aeronautics, renewable energy and tourism.
The theme of the sessions will vary from reforms and deregulation to infrastructure development as a necessity for growth. With an aim to showcase a New India, the summit is being organised by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Maharashtra Government and Confederation of Indian Industry.


Armed Forces Veterans Day 

The Armed Force are celebrating the Veterans Day on 14 Jan to honour the veterans of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  To mark the occasion, veteran rallies will be held country wide at Armed Forces stations.  The main celebration in Delhi will take place at the Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt.  Raksha Mantri and Raksha Rajya Mantri will grace the occasion amongst many other eminent officials associated with the Veterans affairs.

Indus Food 2019 
INDUS FOOD-II with the theme of ‘World Food Supermarket’ will be held on 14th and 15th January, 2019, at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. The event is aimed at promoting India as a strong and reliable exporter of food and beverage products to the world. INDUS FOOD 2019 will promote value addition to India’s agriculture exports and integrate Indian farmers and agricultural products with global value chains.
With more than 700 buyers from 70 countries visiting INDUS FOOD-II and more than 500 food suppliers, the event will lead to greater interaction of Indian exporters with global customers leading to enhanced product development and better price realization in international markets. 

 
Army Tech Seminar (ARTECH 2019) 
In its quest for modernization through optimum use of emerging technologies, Indian Army organised the Army Technology Seminar-2019  (ARTECH 2019) on the theme “Disruptive Impact of Emerging Technologies on Land Warfare” at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt on 11 Jan 2019.  The seminar was aimed to bring together stakeholders in the military, academia and industry to provide perspective on the available and emerging technologies which could have an impact on warfighting. An exhibition showcasing military innovations developed by field Army, DRDO, Academia and industry was also organised during the seminar.


Sanskriti Kumbh, a 29 days Cultural extravaganza begins at Kumbh Mela Area, Prayagraj 
The biggest cultural festival named Sanskriti Kumbh is celebrating the conglomeration of Spiritual Consciousness and Cultural Heritage of India in the main premises of Kumbh Mela area in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India is organizing Sanskriti Kumbh with intent to showcase the rich Cultural Heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions viz. Performing Arts- Folk, Tribal and Classical art forms, Handicrafts, Cuisines, Exhibitions etc. all in one place.
Kumbh Mela is one of the oldest and largest congregation in the world. Kumbh Mela is attended by millions of people irrespective of all caste, creed, sex and region. The significance of Kumbh Mela has been enhanced at the Global level as the UNESCO has inscribed Kumbh Mela on the list of Intangible Cultural heritage for humanity in 2017. This time Kumbh is being organized in the city of Prayagraj which is located at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and Mystic river of Saraswati in Uttar Pradesh.
 

Economy news

Industrial production falls to 0.5% in November 

Industrial production in November grew at just 0.5 per cent compared to 8.1 percent in October, as per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Friday. Factory output had grown by 8.5 per cent in November 2017. The last low was in June 2017, when IIP growth contracted by 0.3 per cent. The October IIP was also revised to 8.4 per cent from 8.1 per cent earlier by the CSO.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mineral mining, electricity and manufacturing. The all India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.

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Important Current Affairs 11th January 2019

National News

Agreement for Renukaji dam multipurpose project Signed
The Agreement for the construction of Renukaji Dam Multi-Purpose Project was signed by six states, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Features of the Project
The important features of the project are:
Renukaji Dam Multi-Purpose Project is a storage project on the Giri river which is tributary of the Yamuna at Sirmour district of Himachal.
A 148 m-high rock-filled dam would be constructed across the river Giri.
The project also involves the generation of 40 MW of power during peak flow to be executed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL).

India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report 
The India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report has been prepared by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with PwC.
The report was prepared based on the survey of companies which contribute approximately 12 per cent to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country from the automobiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and textiles sectors.
Findings of the Report
The important findings in the India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 are:
India would witness faster growth in the next 12 months driven by expanding domestic market, technology and increased spending.
Around 74 per cent of companies surveyed believes that the next 12 months will see faster growth in their sector.
Around 58 per cent of those surveyed believes that their sector would grow faster by at least 5 per cent.


RBI tweaks Gold Monetisation Scheme 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made changes with the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to allow charitable institutions, central government entities and state government entities to deposit gold under GMS.
Now the entities allowed to deposit gold under the scheme include Resident Indians [Individuals, HUFs, Proprietorship & Partnership firms, Trusts including Mutual Funds/Exchange Traded Funds registered under SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations, Companies, charitable institutions, Central Government, State Government or any other entity owned by Central Government or State Government.

West Bengal exits Ayushman Bharat scheme 
The government of West Bengal has decided to exit from the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.
Reasons cited by the West Bengal for the Withdrawal
The letter of the West Bengal government to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Family Welfare,  Government of India  has cited the following reasons for the withdrawal:
The Government of India was issuing entitlement letters to the beneficiaries without the knowledge of the state government.
Prior to the launch of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, West Bengal had well established Swasthyasathi. It was agreed to retain the name of Swasthyasathi, this was even acknowledged in the MoU between the State and the Ministry of Family and Health, Government of India. But the centre has unilaterally changed the name of the scheme to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.

National Clean Air Programme Launched 
The Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The programme aims to tackle the challenge of increasing pollution in the cities and towns.
Features of the Programme
The important features of the programme are:
It is a five-year action plan with a tentative target of 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024, with 2017 as the base year.
The plan covers 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories, which were identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.

NIC Command and Control Centre Inaugurated

The Minister for Electronics and IT (MeitY) Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated the National Informatics Centre (NIC)’s Command and Control Centre (CCC) and its Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.
Role of Centre’s Command & Control Centre
National Informatics Centre hosts over 10,000 e-Governance applications and offers Data Centre and Cloud services to the Government.
The Command and Control Centre is set up as a specialized facility with a nationwide view of ICT infrastructure for effective monitoring and management of the performance & availability of all these critical services. The Command and Control Centre will increase the agility of NIC’s nationwide ICT infrastructure.
 

International News

Cabinet approves Currency Swap Agreement with Japan 
The Union Cabinet has approved India’s Currency Swap Agreement with Japan. The $75-billion bilateral currency swap arrangement is a milestone in mutual economic cooperation and special strategic and global partnership between two countries.
Currency Swap Agreements
A Currency swap agreement is a foreign exchange agreement between two parties to exchange a given amount of one currency for another and, after a specified period of time, to give back the original amounts swapped.
 

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Important Current Affairs 10th January 2019

Rankings and Indices

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

International Relations

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


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

National News

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

Sports

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

International News

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


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

Appointments

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

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Important Current Affairs 9th January 2019

National News

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

Sports

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


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

Economy and Banking

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


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

International Relations

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


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

International News

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

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Important Current Affairs 8th January 2019

National News

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


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


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


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

Appointments

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

International Relations

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

International News

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


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

Sports

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

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Important Current Affairs 7th January 2019

Sports

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

Awards

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

National news

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

Economy and banking

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

International news

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

International relations

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


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


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

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Important Current Affairs 6th January 2019

National News

Govt allocates Rs 10,900 cr for development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in next 4-years
•    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Sivan has said that the Union Government has allocated 10,900 crore rupees for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next four years.
•    Pointing out that the Centenary year celebrations of ISRO founder Dr Vikram Sarabhai will be held next year, Dr Sivan said that ISRO will rededicate itself to become a world class organization, capable of addressing the varied socio economic challenges of the nation.


9-day long International Kite Festival kicks off in Ahmedabad 
•    In Gujarat, the nine-day long international kite festival kicked off at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad
•    About 500 kite fliers 13 different states of the country and 19 cities of Gujarat are also taking part.
•    The festival is also planned at Vadodara, Kevadiya, Dwaraka, Surat, Rajkot, Jetpur, Songadh, Saputara and Dhordo in the coming days.


Govt notifies High-Level Committee for implementation of Clause VI of Assam Accord 
•    The government has notified a High-Level Committee for implementation of Clause six of the Assam Accord.
•    The clause envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
•    The nine-member committee, comprising of eminent Assamese persons from different fields, is headed by former bureaucrat MP Bezbarauah. 
•    The committee will examine the effectiveness of actions since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.


Cabinet approves 10% job quota for ‘economically weaker’ upper castes 
•    The Union Cabinet Monday approved a 10 per cent reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government jobs. 
•    Ahead of the General Elections this year, the government has announced reservation in jobs for those belonging to the upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year.
•    A bill to amend Article 15 and 16 of the constitution will be moved in Parliament to this effect.
•    The Supreme Court has capped the quota for caste-based reservation for government jobs at 50%.
 

International News

Egypt opens West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital 
•    Egypt has opened West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. 
•    President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity and also a mosque yesterday on the eve of Coptic Christmas.
•    The ceremony was attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and a host of Arab dignitaries. 
•    It included recorded video messages of support from the region's top Christian clerics as well as Pope Francis.
 

Sports News

Head Constable Rani wins gold medal in Senior National's Judo C'Ship 
•    Lady head constable Rani of 5th Indian Reserve Battalion of Himachal Pradesh Police won a Gold medal in the Senior National Women's Judo Championship at Visakhapatnam
•    She claimed top honours in the 78 kg category. 
•    Rani was also declared the best Judoka at the Championship.

Awards News

WCD minister Maneka Gandhi confers National Anganwadi Awards 
•    Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi today conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi workers for their exceptional achievements for the year 2017-18 in New Delhi.
•    The award is given to motivate the Anganwadi workers and recognize their exemplary services in the field of child development and related areas under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme.
 

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Important Current Affairs 5th January 2019

National news

Swachh Survekshan 2019 launched across 4,237 Urban Local Bodies
•    The Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep S Puri has officially kicked off the Swachh Survekshan 2019, the fourth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of Urban India
•    This year, the survey will be conducted across 4,237 towns and cities between January 4 - 28, 2019. The completely digital and paperless survey will be completed in a record time of 28 days. 
•    As a prelude to encouraging cities to improve urban sanitation, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had conducted ‘Swachh Survekshan-2016’ survey for ranking 73 cities in January 2016. 
•    This was followed by ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ conducted in January-February 2017 where 434 cities were ranked. 
•    The third round of survey ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ was a quantum leap of scale - conducted across 4,203 cities, in a record time of 66 days, and became the largest ever sanitation survey in the world, impacting around 40 crore people.


NGT imposes Rs 100 Cr fine on Meghalaya govt
•    The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of 100 crore rupees on Meghalaya government for its failure to curb illegal coal mining in the state.
•    The amount of the fine has to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board within two months. The action comes after a high-level committee submitted an adverse report to a bench headed by NGT chairperson AK Goel.
•    The report stated that majority of the mines in the state are operating without a lease or licence.

Lok Sabha passes Aadhar, Companies Amendment Bill
•    The Lok Sabha on Friday passed Aadhaar and other laws (Amendment Bill) 2018 and Companies Amendment Bill 2018. The Aadhaar Bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
•    It provides for voluntary sharing of the 12-digit identification number for obtaining new mobile phone connections and opening bank accounts. The government move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s judgment.
•    The Apex court in September last year struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that made seeding of the biometric ID with SIMs and bank accounts mandatory, stating that it had no legal backing.
•    The Companies (Amendment), Bill, 2018 replaces the Ordinance promulgated in November last year.

International news

China develops its own 'Mother of All Bombs’ 
•    China has developed a massive bomb, said to be the country's answer to the US-built 'Mother of All Bombs', the most powerful non-nuclear weapon, as per a report by official media.
•    A state-run Global Times reported that China's defence industry giant NORINCO for the first time showcased the aerial bomb, the country's largest non-nuclear bomb.
•    The daily said it is dubbed as the Chinese version of the "Mother of All Bombs" due to its huge destruction potential that is claimed to be only second to nuclear weapons
•    Although China is using the same nickname for its bomb, said to weigh several tonnes, the Chinese weapon is smaller and lighter than its American counterpart.
•    To match the US weapon, Russia developed the "Father of All Bombs" which is both bigger and thermobaric, meaning it uses gas to create a huge fireball rather than a shockwave.


James Jeffrey to Replace Brett McGurk as Top U.S. Envoy in ISIS Fight
•    Ambassador James Jeffrey will replace Brett McGurk as the United States Special Envoy to Defeat ISIS
•    McGurk resigned in late 2018 over disagreements with President Donald Trump’s strategy to resign from Syria, leaving office on Dec

Awards


Young entrepreneurs honoured with National Entrepreneurship Awards 
•    Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday honoured outstanding young entrepreneurs with National Entrepreneurship Awards in New Delhi.
•    The awards aim to recognize and honour outstanding young first-generation entrepreneurs and those who have contributed immensely in building the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
•    A total of 43 awards were given this year. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prabhu said, the government will provide full support to the young entrepreneurs to enhance their business.

AP govt bags CBIP award for Polavaram project 
•    The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday bagged the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) award for speedy execution of Polavaram multipurpose project on the Godavari river.
•    AP Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao received the award in the category of “Best Implementation of Water Resources Project” for better planning, implementation and monitoring at an event

Sports

80th National Table Tennis Championship begins in Cuttack
•    80th National Table Tennis Championship begins in Cuttack
•    As many as 35 teams, including 550 players from different parts of the country are participating in the mega championship.
•    Medal winners at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games Manika Batra, Senior players like Sharath Kamal, Madhuriba Patkar, Olympian Ankita Das are some of the key players who will be in the limelight during the event.

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