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Important Current Affairs 14th February 2019

National:

AYUSH Minister launches e-AUSHADHI portal
• Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik on February 13, 2019 launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters at New Delhi. 
• The portal aims to increase transparency, improve information management facility, improve data usability and increase accountability. 
• Timelines will be fixed for processing of application through this portal with SMS and e-mail status updates at each step of the process.
• e-AUSHADHI is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative. 

CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra appointed as Election Commissioner
•    Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra has been appointed the third Election Commissioner, completing the team that will oversee 2019 Lok Sabha polls due in April-May. 
•    The three-member body now comprises Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Chandra.
•     An IIT graduate, Chandra is a 1980 batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service

Bihar Government announces universal old age pension scheme-Mukhyamantri Vridhajan Pension Yojna
• The state government of Bihar has announced a universal old age pension scheme called Mukhyamantri Vridhajan Pension Yojna (MVPY) for all people above 60 years of age. 
• The scheme will come into force from April 1, 2019. Except those senior citizens who have retired from government service, all will be eligible for 400 rupees monthly pension irrespective of caste, religion or community. 
• The currently old age pension scheme is applicable to only the BPL category. 
• Besides this, the state’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a pension of Rs 6,000 for journalists above 60 years of age. 

International:

Airbus to stop producing world's largest passenger jet A380
•    European planemaker Airbus has announced it will make its last deliveries of its A380 jet, the world's largest commercial passenger plane, in 2021. 
•    The decision comes after Emirates, the largest customer of the A380, reduced an outstanding order for 53 planes to only 14. The cancellation will affect the jobs of as many as 3,500 Airbus staff

Google to invest $13 billion in US in 2019: CEO Pichai
•    Google aims to invest $13 billion in offices and data centres in the US in 2019, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed. 
•    This will enable Google to hire "tens of thousands of employees" alongside creation of over 10,000 construction jobs, Pichai said. "2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll grow faster outside of Bay Area than in it", he added

Egypt's Parliament to vote on extending president's term
• Egypt's Parliament has begun deliberations over constitutional amendments that could allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in office till 2034. 
• The amendments will provide Sissi with 12 more years after his current, second term expires in 2022.
• The 596-seat Egyptian assembly has already given its preliminary approval to the changes last week. 
• The amendments are near certain to be overwhelmingly approved by the legislature, packed with el-Sissi's supporters, but will also need to be put to a national referendum to become law.

Cuba warns of possible US military intervention in Venezuela
• Cuba has warned of possible US military intervention in Venezuela under the humanitarian pretext and called for international efforts to avoid the scenario. 
• A Cuba government statement issued on February 13, 2019 stated that the US intends to create a humanitarian pretext to initiate military aggression against Venezuela. 
• The statement read that US military aircraft had transported troops between February 6 and 10, involving US military bases in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands without the consent of local governments. 

ICJ rules that it has jurisdiction to hear Iranian claim against US over frozen assets
• The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that it has the jurisdiction to hear part of a case brought by Iran against the US, to unfreeze Iranian assets of nearly 2 billion dollars held in the US. 
• The ruling opens the way for the court to hear Iran's case on its merits. Iran filed the case in 2016, based on the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two nations, from which the US unilaterally withdrew last year.
• The case revolves around assets seized from the Iranian national bank, Bank Markazi, which were taken by the US to compensate victims of a 1983 suicide bombing of a Marine Corps base in Beirut, Lebanon.
• Iran denies involvement in the attack which killed more than 300 and injured many more, most of whom being US military personnel. 

Australia government loses bill blocking sick asylum seekers
• Australian legislators have passed a landmark bill making it easier for asylum seekers, being held on remote Pacific islands, to get medical treatment in the country. 
• This is the first time in decades the government has lost a vote on its own legislation in the lower house as the bill was passed with an opposition amendment. 
• The bill is expected to sail through the upper Senate later this week after which it will become a law. 
• Prime Minister Scott Morrison had strongly opposed the legislation. He said there is no form of the bill that does not weaken Australia's border protection. 
• Under Australia’s offshore detention policy, asylum seekers arriving by boat are sent to detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Sports:


Prajnesh Gunneswaran breaks into men's singles top 100
• India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran has made it to the top-100 of Men's Singles Tennis rankings with a jump of six places that took him to 97. 
• With the feat, Gunneswaran has become the third Indian player to break into the top-100 barrier in the past decade after Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri. 
• He reached the semifinals of the ATP Chennai Challenger last week to ensure his entry into the coveted bracket. If he is able to maintain his rank inside top-100, it will secure him entry into Grand Slam singles main draws. 
• In the doubles, Rohan Bopanna stayed put at 37 and was followed by his partner Divij Sharan at 39. 


Business:

Govt may relax FDI norms for single-brand retailers: Report
•    The Cabinet is reportedly considering a proposal to relax mandatory 30% local sourcing norms for foreign single-brand retailers.
•     As per existing FDI norms, 100% foreign investment is permitted but with 30% of the value of the goods sourced from the country. 
•    The proposal also suggests that retailers may sell online before opening a physical store if they invest $200 million

Town with Google, FB billionaires US richest with 3.2cr avg income
•    Silicon Valley suburb Atherton, home to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, is America's richest community for the third year in a row, according to Bloomberg Richest Places annual index. 
•    Atherton's household income averaged $450,696 (₹3.2 crore as of now) in 2017. Stanford University and Google and Facebook headquarters are a short drive away from Atherton.

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Important Current Affairs 13th December 2018

Economic news

RBI slaps 1 crore fine on Indian Bank for violating cyber security norms
The contravention is with regard to RBI’s directions on Frauds- Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks.
This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers
About Indian Bank
Indian Bank is an Indian state-owned financial services company established in 1907 and headquartered in Chennai, India.

Defence news


Indian Navy inducts its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle
The Indian Navy on Wednesday inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) System at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
DSRV is used to rescue crew members stranded in submarines that get disabled. The Indian Navy joins a select group of naval forces in the world that boasts of this niche capability.
The DSRV can be operated at a depth of 650 meters and can hold around 15 people. The Indian Navy in March 2016 had commissioned two DSRVs, the second will deployed at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.

Sports news


ITTF award for Manika
India’s star paddler Manika Batra was bestowed with the International Table Tennis Fedreation’s (ITTF) Breakthrough star award 2018. 
In 2018, Manika won 4 medals in commonwealth games. These are women’s singles gold,women’s doubles silver and mixed doubles bronze.
She also begged bronze in mixed doubles in the Asian Games 2018.

National news


Zoramthanga as the new CM of Mizoram
Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan on Wednesday afternoon invited Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga to form the government.
Outgoing Congress Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had submitted his resignation an hour before Mr Zoramthanga had staked the claim. The current term of the Assembly expires on Friday.


Shri Nitin Gadkari flags off first container mainline vessel at Tuticorin
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation flagged off the first container mainline vessel from VoC Port (Tuticorin Port).
At present containers from Tuticorin to Far East countries viz Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong are transited by the feeder vessels to Colombo where they are further connected to the mother vessel .
In the last four years, Tuticorin Port has made investments to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore towards improvement of infrastructure.

SWIFT India
SWIFT India has appointed ex-SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new chairman of its board.
SWIFT India is a joint venture of top Indian public and private sector banks and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). 

International News


Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors
Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi has become the Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors. The United Nations Panel of Auditors consists of External Auditors of the United Nations and its agencies.
The United Nations General Assembly in 1959 established the Panel of External Auditors. Presently, the panel consists of 11 countries.


Adoption of global compact on migration in Marrakech hailed a victory
UN members states adopted the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakech.
The adoption is a victory for a progressive new framework of how the world views migrants and agrees to protect their basic human rights.
The GCM creates a non-legally binding and co-operative framework that builds on the commitments agreed upon by member states in the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants of December 2016. 

UAE's Federal National Council to be 50 per cent women
President Sheikh Khalifa has called for Emirati women to occupy 50 per cent of the country's Federal National Council after next year's elections.
 Currently, there are eight women members — representing 20 per cent of the 40 available seats. Dr Al Qubaisi was also the first woman elected to the FNC in 2006.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni first Indian to hit 200 ODI sixes

Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first Indian batsman to hit 200 sixes in one-day internationals.
●    Dhoni, who relinquished the limited-overs captaincy earlier this month, also slammed his 10th ODI century in the second match of the ongoing series against England in Cuttack.
●    Dhoni was on 93 when he pulled Chris Woakes towards deep square leg on the second ball of the 43rd over. 
●    But the umpire signaled a dead ball as the ball dropped down after hitting the spider cam.
●    However, the 35-year-old wicketkeeper batsman was unfazed as he launched the next ball miles over long on to move to 99 and complete the milestone.
●    Dhoni finally perished on 134, blasting 6 sixes and 10 fours. 
●    Dhoni is now the -fourth leading batsman in the world with most sixes in ODI cricket after Shahid Afridi (351), Sanath Jayasuriya (270), Chris Gayle (238).
 

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Mona Meshram drafted in Indian women’s team

Mona Meshram will replace injured Smriti Mandhana in the Indian team for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers to be played next month in Colombo, the BCCI said on Saturday.
●    Smriti sustained an injury while playing in the Big Bash League in Australia and Mona will replace her in the 14-member Indian squad to be led by Mithali Raj.
●    “BCCI medical team confirms that Smriti Mandhana is ruled out of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers to be played in Colombo from February 7, 2017. 
●    She sustained an injury during the Big Bash League in Australia,” the BCCI said in a release.
●    “Mona Meshram will replace Smriti in the 14 member squad,” it said.
●    India have been placed in Group A alongside Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand in the February 3-21 event. Group B comprises South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and PNG.
●    India will play a warm-up match against South Africa before their opening Qualifier against Sri Lanka on February 7.
 

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Punjab Royals wins Pro Wrestling League Season 2

NCR Punjab Royals on 19 January 2017 were crowned the champions of the Pro Wrestling League Season 2.
●    The Punjab Royals triumphed over Haryana Hammers 5-4 at the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
●    The winners were presented with the Champions trophy along with a prize money of Rs. 1 crore and 90 lacs. The runners up were awarded the prize money of Rs. 1 crore and 10 lacs.
●    About Pro Wrestling League
●    The Pro Wrestling League (PWL) is the initiative of ProSportify and Wrestling Federation of India.
●    The first season of this league was among 6 city-based teams. Around 66 wrestlers from different countries of the world took part in the Season One.
●    There are six teams who compete in the League. Each team consists of a total of 1 Icon and 8 other players. Among them, there are 5 Indians and 4 foreign players. They consist of 5 men and 4 women.
●    The six teams for the Season 2 were: Haryana Hammers, NCR Punjab Royals, Mumbai Maharathi, Jaipur Ninjas, Colors Delhi Sultans, UP Dangal.
●    There are 5 weight categories (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg) for men, and 4 weight categories (49 kg, 53 kg, 58 kg, 69 kg) for women.
●    Revanta Mumbai Garuda was the winner of the Pro Wrestling League Season 1.
 

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National Conference to Promote and Develop Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Begins in Rann of Kutch

A Three day National Conference to promote and develop Tourism, Culture, Youth Affaiors and Sports organized by the Ministries of Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports in cooperation with the Government of Gujarat begins today at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. 
●    The theme of the Conference is “Converging Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports and Creating Synergy with States and UTs towards building a Resurgent Young India and strengthening Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”. 
●    The Chief Guest Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address through a live video conference. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C)  for Culture and Tourism, Shri Vijay Goel, Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Vijaybhai R. Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Rajendra Trivedi, Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Culture, Govt. Of Gujarat, Shri Ganpatsinh Vasava, Minister for Tribal Development and Tourism, Govt of Gujarat, Ministers, Secretaries, Senior officers from States and many dignities were present.   
●    Shri Vijaybhai R. Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat launched a “Quiz Competition under Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” on the occasion. A Film entitled “The Making of Rann Utsav” was also screened.
●    The major aim of this conference is to devise a strategic plan between the three important sectors i.e. Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports through a planned engagement between Centre and States/Union Territories with the prime motto being, “Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat”. 
●    This three day dialogue and discussion will focus on key areas like encouraging and promoting Rural Tourism, Tribal Odyssey, the local fairs and festivals, inter-state sharing of India’s culture, tourism and sports heritage and many other applied areas of opportunities.
 

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Kapil Dev inducted into Legends Club’s Hall of Fame

Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev on 17 January 2017 was inducted into Legends Club 'Hall of Fame' in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
●    Dev was inducted in presence of former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Nari Contractor and Ajit Wadekar at the Cricket Club of India.
●    Madhav Apte, President of the Legends Club and the former Indian cricketer, presented the honour to Kapil Dev.
●    Kapil Dev captained the Indian cricket team that won the Cricket World Cup in 1983.
●    He is considered as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time.
●    In 2002, Wisden named him as the Indian Cricketer of the Century.
●    Between October 1999 and August 2000, he served as India's national cricket coach.
●    During the 1980s, he developed a fine inswinging yorker, which he used against tail-enders.
●    He was nicknamed as The Haryana Hurricane.
●    He held the world record for the most number of wickets taken in Test cricket. The record was broken by Courtney Walsh in 2000.
 

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Gujarat wins 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy

Gujarat on 14 January 2017 won its maiden Ranji Trophy title. 
●    The team defeated Mumbai by five wickets in the final at the Holkar stadium in Indore.
●    Parthiv Patel’s 143 and Munprit Juneja’s 54 runs helped Gujarat to chase down a score of 265 on the final day.
●    In the semi-finals, Gujarat defeated Jharkhand by 123 runs to reach only their second final in the history of the Ranji Trophy. 
●    Gujarat had previously played in the finals during the 1950–51 Ranji Trophy. 
●    In the second semi-finals, Mumbai beat Tamil Nadu by 6 wickets to progress to their 46th final in the tournament.
●    Gujarat’s Parthiv Patel was declared as the Player of the match for the final.
●    The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India.
●    It is played between teams representing regional cricket associations.
 

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India Rise to 129 in FIFA Rankings, Best Ever Position in a Decade

India jumped six places to the 129th spot, their best football ranking in over a decade, according to world governing body FIFA on Thursday.
●    It is India’s best ever ranking since December, 2005, when they were at the 127th spot. 
●    They have now improved 42 places in less than two years up from 173rd in March, 2015, according to a release.
●    India won nine of their last 11 international matches. A 4-1 win against Puerto Rico, ranked 114, in September last year, has been the highlight of the surge.
●    The top 34 positions remain unchanged with Argentina, Brazil and Germany still holding first, second and third place respectively.
●    National Coach Stephen Constantine said “I think we have had a really good couple of years during my time and while results have been mixed, we have achieved what we said we would. Our ranking is at its highest since 2005 which is obviously great for Indian football.”
 

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Virat Kohli is the fifth cricketer to score three double test centuries in a calendar year

Virat Kohli, India’s captain for Test Cricket, on 11 December 2016 became the fifth batsman in the world to score three double-hundreds in a calendar year. 
●    He scored his third double-century in the first innings of the third test match against England.
●    His first double-ton was scored against West Indies, while the second came in Indore against New Zealand. 
●    His third double test-century also made him the first batsman to score a double-century in three successive series in a year. 
●    He is also first Indian to score three double-tons in a year.
●    His score of 235 also became the highest score for an Indian captain in Test cricket. 
●    The previous best score was 224, which was scored by Mahendra Singh Dhoni against Australia in Chennai in 2013.
●    Beside this, Kohli is the only player to have an average of 50+ in all formats of the game.  
●    His averages in the three formats are : Test: 50.53 . ODIs: 52.93 . Twenty20 internationals: 57.13
 

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