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PM inaugurates Railway electrification of 294-km long Andal-Sainthia-Pakur-Malda and Khana-Sainthia Sections in West Bengal
On 2nd February 2019, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Railway electrification of 294-km long Andal-Sainthia-Pakur-Malda and Khana-Sainthia sections in West Bengal.
i. The electrification of 294-km sections will make the transportation of coal and stone chips to North and North East India fast and convenient.
ii. The 20-km long Hijli-Narayangarh third line was also inaugurated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
About West Bengal
♦ Capital: Kolkata
♦ Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
♦ Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
Piyush Goyal launches the IEA’s ‘The Future of Rail’ report
On 30th January 2019, Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) “The Future of Rail” report which analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world in New Delhi.
i. The report is the first of a kind report that reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail.
ii. The report has a focus on India and it explores the key policies that will be helpful for enhanced future rail by improving its networks at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.
Ministry of Railway
♦ Union Minister: Piyush Goyal
♦ Minister of State: Manoj Sinha and Rajen Gohain
2nd Jharkhand International Film Festival (JIFF) held in Ranchi
From 1st February 2019, 2nd Jharkhand International Film Festival (JIFF) was organized by an NGO, Navbharat Nirman Sangh at Ranchi,Jharkhand. The event was concluded on 3rd February 2019.
i. JIFF was organized with an aim to present best Indian and International Films as well as Jharkhand Regional Films.
ii.The fest was funded by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting With a support of 5 lakh.
ICT Academy Bridge 2019’ conference inaugurated in Tamil Nadu by IT Minister
on January 31, 2019, ‘ICT Academy Bridge 2019’ the 37th edition of conference, was inaugurated by Dr.Manikandan,minister of Information and Technology,Tamil Nadu.
About the Conference
i. This conference is conducted every year with a motive to develop a better education system and and formulate strategic regulatory framework
ii. The theme of the 37th edition of the conference “Fostering India for Industry 4.0”
iii. During this conference ,ICT Academy conferred ” TN icon award 2019 “ to the following person’s for their contribution to the growth of extensive use of new technology.
- Shankar S, Film Director, Producer, Writer
- Arun Alagappan, Executive Director, Cholamandalam
- R. Dinesh, Managing Director, TVS Logistics Services Limited
iv. ICT Academy also conferred YouTube channel contributor awards 2019, to top five video contributors and they are
- Bharathi Baskar, Vice President, Citi Bank
- S. Raja, Media Personality
- V. Nandakumar IRS, Govt. of India
- Hip Hop Aadhi, Music Director
- Ashwini John, ICT Academy Youth Contest Winner
About Tamil Nadu
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Chief minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ Districts: 33
Observer Research Foundation has ranked India’s highest Think Tank
On Feb 1 2019, According to the global report named “2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report” ,Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has been marked as India’s highest ranked think tank. ORF is highest ranked in India and ranked 118 globally.
i.ORF has ranked as the top think tank in the “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by a Think Tank” category.
ii.Brookings Institution is the highest ranked think tank globally and followed by French Institute of International Relations and the Carnegie Endowment in second position.
iii.In the “Think Tanks with the Most Innovative Policy Ideas category “, ORF has ranked eighth position.
About Think Tank:-
A think tank or policy institute is a research institute and organization that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture.
Singapore named as most liveable location for Asian expats:ECA
On January 31,2019,ECA international survey,which surveyed almost 480 location overall in a year declared Singapore to be the most liveable location for Asian Expatriates for the 14th consecutive year.
i. Singapore is followed Australia’s Brisbane,Sydney,Adelaide in the second position.
ii. Hong Kong slipped 12 place down and reached 41st rank due to the damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut in the year 2018.
iii. Further, Bangkok was in 89th place, whereas George Town and Kuala Lumpur made a hike to 97th and 98th respectively and Colombo in Sri Lanka in 194th rank
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
INSTEX: Iran Trade Promotion Plan
In order to save Iran from the US (United States) sanctions, Project INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exercises) was launched by the governments of United Kingdom, France and Germany.
i. The Special payment system, INSTEX will save Iran nuclear Deal by allowing Iran to keep trading with countries of European Union despite of sanctions re-imposed by USA.
ii. INSTEX has supervisory board chaired by UK with members from France and Germany and it is registered with Paris with an initial 3000 Euros.
New set of E-commerce Policy rules comes into effect
On 1st February 2019, the new E-commerce Policy comes into effect which was notified in December 2018 by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade headed by the ministry of Commerce and Industry.
i. As per the new E-commerce policy, the E-commerce company cannot sell the goods or services which are sourced from the company it controls.
ii. There are two types of business model in any E-commerce company- Inventory Model and Marketplace Model. A company operating on marketplace model will not be able to exercise ownership over any inventory bought and sold.
iii. If an E-commerce company controls 25 per cent of an Vendor’s inventory or have some equity stake in the Vendor’s Company then the Inventory of that Vendor will be deemed to be controlled by the E-commerce company.
iv. E-commerce company will not be able to influence the price of any of the goods or services sold on its platform.
v. As per the new Policy, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is possible for marketplace model only.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)
♦ Founded: 1995 (Reconstituted in 2000)
♦ Parent Organization: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
DPIIT Secretary Ramesh Abhishek got additional charge of Civil Aviation Ministry
On January 31,2019, Ramesh Abhishek, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) now renamed as DPIIT was appointed as an additional charge Secretary of the Civil Aviation Ministry
He succeeded R N Choubey,who resigned as he is appointed as the member of UPSC.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO launched Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru
On 30th January 2019, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) which will act as the hub of ISRO’s future manned missions at the headquarters of ISRO in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
i. India’s first manned mission was announced on 15th August 2018 and it is set to happen by 2022 which is going to be the 75th year of Independence.
ii. Former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan unveiled the full scale model of Gaganyaan’s crew module in the presence of ISRO’s chairman K. Sivan.
iii. S. Unnikrishnan Nair and R. Hutton was declared as the founder Director of HSFC and Project Director of Gaganyaan respectively by ISRO chairman Dr. K. Sivan.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
♦ Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka
♦ Chairman: Dr. K. Sivan
♦ Parent Organization: Department of Space
Haryana Hammers defeated Punjab Royals to win PWL 4 title
On 31st January 2019, Haryana Hammers defeated defending champions Punjab Royals by 6-3 in the summit clash at the Gautam Buddha University indoor stadium, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh to claim the fourth edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL).
i. Punjab’s Bajrang Punia who is Asian Games Gold Medallist and Padma Shri Awardee scored an impressive 11-0 win over Haryana’s Rajneesh but could not make his team the winner of the tournament.
ii. Haryana Hammers defeated Punjab Royals in the first five bouts of the summit class to clinch the title.
iii. Ukraine’s Aleksander Khotsianivski playing for Haryana defeated Canadian Korey Jarvis who was representing Punjab by 3-0 in the 125 kg super heavyweight bout.
iv. The brilliant performances of Ali Shabanov, Kiran, Ravi Kumar and Anastasia Nichita put the Haryana Hammers on the road to victory.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Governor: Satyadev Narayan
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Governor: V P Singh Badnore
♦ Chief Minister: Captain Amarinder Singh
Smriti Mandhana topped in Women’s ODI cricket batswomen ranking
On February 3,2019,India’s Smriti Mandhana topped in the ICC ODI batswomen rankings ,she grabbed the first position after the match against New Zealand,whereas Ellyse Perry followed her in the second position and Indian ODI skipper Mithali Raj in fifth position.
i. In the ODI Bowler’s ranking, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami is fourth, with Poonam Yadav at eighth, and spinner Deepti Sharma at ninth.
ii. Whereas,Deepti Sharma is fourth in the All-rounders rank and is the Indian cricketer to be the top-10 list.
Sana Mir becomes first Asian woman to play hundred T20Is
On February 3,2019,Former captain of the Pakistan women team Sana Mir became the first Asian woman to play hundred T20Is.
i. She achieved this milestone, while playing against West Indies during the final of T20I that was held in Karachi.
ii. Sana Mir is the sixth woman in the world to complete 100 T20Is,whereas Daendra Dottin of West Indies lead the list with 110 T20Is
ODI series: India clinched the 5 match ODI series against New Zealand by 4-1
On 2nd February 2019, India defeated New Zealand in fifth One Day International (ODI) match held at Wellington in New Zealand by 35 runs to clinch the five-match series 4-1.
Ambati Rayudu conferred with the Player of the Match title
Ambati Rayudu was conferred with Player of the Match title as he scored 90 runs off 113 balls which includes 4 sixes and eight fours in the pressure situation.
He is also the highest run scorer of the series as he scored 190 runs in 5 ODIs with an average of 63.33.
Mohammed Shami conferred with the Player of the series title
Indian Pacer Mohammed Shami was conferred with the Player of the series title for his brilliant bowling in the series.He Claimed 9 wickets in the four matches with an economy of 4.76.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult is highest wicket taker of series with 12 wickets.
About New Zealand
♦ Capital: Wellington
♦ Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern
♦ Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Rohit Sharma, 14th Indian cricketer to achieve a landmark of 200 ODI’s
On 31st January 2019, Indian Cricket Team Vice-Captain, Rohit Sharma became the 14th Indian Cricketer to play 200 One Day International (ODIs) in the fourth Match against New Zealand held at Hamilton, New Zealand.
i. Since his debut in 2008, Rohit Sharma has scored 22 centuries till now.
ii. Rohit Sharma holds the record of highest Individual score (264 runs) and highest number of double centuries (3 Double Century) in ODIs.
Australia Cricketer Greg Chappell decided to retire as after Ashes 2019
On February 2,2019,Former Cricketer,Greg Chappell set to exit from Cricket as the selector and national talent manager after the Ashes 2019.
i. Greg Chappell have played 87 Tests for Australia.
ii. After his retirement in 1984,he worked as Team selector in three separate regimes, from 1984 to 1988, 2010 to 2011, and 2016 to the present.
iii. He was also appointed as national talent manager in 2010.