We are here for you to provide the important Current Affairs January 12 2019, which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.
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Cabinet Approval On January 10, 2019
- Cabinet approves creation of the post of Vice Chancellor for National Rail & Transport Institute (Deemed to be University) set up in Vadodara, Gujarat
- Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, gave its approval for establishment of three more All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) to boost healthcare infrastructure in the country………………………..Click here to Read more
|Place||Cost (in Rs.)|
|Vijaynagar, Samba, Jammu||1661 crore|
|Awantipura, Pulwama, Kashmir||1828 crore|
|Rajkot, Gujarat||1195 crore|
Cabinet Approval On Foreign Affairs On January 10, 2019
- Cabinet approves MoU on Maritime issues between India and Denmark
- Cabinet approves MoU between India and Japan on Development of Advanced Model Single Window
- Cabinet approves MoU between India and France on technical bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy
- Cabinet approves Signing of the TOR provide tax assistance to Swaziland
- Cabinet approves Bilateral Swap Arrangement between India and Japan…………………………Click here to Read more
GST Council’s 32nd Meeting Held In New Delhi Under The Chairmanship Of The Union Minister Of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley
- The limit of Annual Turnover in the preceding Financial Year for availing Composition Scheme for Goods shall be increased to Rs 1.5 crore.
- There would be two Threshold Limits for exemption from Registration and Payment of GST for the suppliers of Goods i.e. Rs 40 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs. The Threshold for Registration for Service Providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in case of Special Category States at Rs 10 lakhs.
- A Composition Scheme shall be made available for Suppliers of Services (or Mixed Suppliers) with a Tax Rate of 6% (3% CGST +3% SGST) having an Annual Turnover in the preceding Financial Year up to Rs 50 lakhs……………………………..Click here to Read more
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched by Environment minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi
On January 10, 2019, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in New Delhi.
- It will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
- It will be launched in the 43 smart cities falling in the list of the 102 non-attainment cities, under the Smart Cities program. Selection of 102 non-attainment cities identified with respect to ‘Ambient Air Quality India’ report of 2011-15 and WHO report of 2014-2018.
- National level target of 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024 taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration………………………Click here to Read more
Lok Sabha has passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019
On 8th January 2019, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeking to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan was passed in the Lok Sabha.
i. As per the proposed amendment, the persecuted migrants will be eligible to apply for citizenship after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authority and state Government.
ii. Union Home Minister clarified that the Act is not confined to the state of Assam. The present government has taken several measures to implement the Assam Accord.
iii. Government has waived the requirement of Cabinet approval for the Bill, which was introduced in the current session of Parliament.
Agreement for Renukaji Multipurpose Dam Project signed by 6 states: Ministry of Water Resources
On January 11, 2019, 6 states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, in the presence of Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari, signed an agreement for Renukaji Multipurpose Dam Project in New Delhi.
i. Also a concession agreement was signed between U.P. Jal Nigam, NMCG and Prayagraj Water Pvt. Ltd., for Namami Gange projects for the city of Prayagraj, under Hybrid Annuity Mode and One City One Operator Concept.
Under Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project:
i. 3 storage projects are proposed to be constructed on the river Yamuna and two of its tributaries – Tons and Giri in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh of Upper Yamuna Basin. These include:
- Lakhwar project on river Yamuna in Uttarakhand,
- Kishau on river Tons in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and
- Renukaji on river Giri in Himachal Pradesh.
ii. Seen as National Projects since 2008, 90% funding of the cost of irrigation & drinking water component will be provided by the Govt. of India as central assistance and the rest 10% would be borne by the beneficiary states.
iii. The project will be executed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. (HPPCL) and will generate 40 MW of power during peak flow.
iv. This project will meet the drinking water needs of Delhi and the stored water of Renukaji Dam will be used by
- UP, Haryana & NCT of Delhi from Hathnikund Barrage,
- by NCT of Delhi from Wazirabad Barrage and
- by UP, Haryana and Rajasthan from Okhla Barrage.
v. The total cost of the project was estimated on Price Level 2015 is Rs. 4596.76 Crores out of which central assistance consists of Rs. 3892.83 croreand remaining Rs. 432.54 crore will be provided by the basin States of Haryana, UP/UK, HP, Rajasthan & NCT of Delhi.
Ministry of Water Resources:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of state: Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Shri. Satya Pal Singh.
Minister Ravi Shankar Inaugurates NIC Command & Control Centre at National Informatics Centre (NIC),NewDelhi
On January 10,2019,Ravi Shankar Prasad,Minister for Electronics & IT and Law and Justice inaugurated NIC’s(National Informatics Centre) Command & Control Centre (CCC) and Centre of Excellence in ArtificialIntelligence by NIC, it have stamina to transform societies in the regime of transparency and efficient governance.
POINTS TO BE KNOWN:
i. As of now NIC has 4 National Data Centres and 30 Mini Data Centres across the country hosting over 10,000 e-Governance applications.
ii. NIC ‘S main motive is to bring updation in nationwide information and communication technology.
iii. NIC is also in the process of having a centralised monitoring of critical websites hosted on cloud. NIC is proposing to provide users with a customized dashboard where they can monitor resources and availability of their applications.
Committee under the chairmanship of Sh. Umesh Sinha to look into Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 submitted the report
On 10th January 2019, the Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner Sh. Umesh Sinha to review and suggest modifications and changes in the provisions of the Section 126 and other sections of the Representation of the People Act 1951, provisions of Model Code of Conduct and any other Election Commission of India (ECI) instruction in this regard has submitted its report to the Commission.
i. The Committee set up by the Commission included the representatives of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Law & Justice, Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association apart from senior officers of the Commission.
ii. The said committee had studied the Impact of new media platforms and social media during the prohibitory period of 48 hours before the close of poll and its implication in view of the provisions of section 126.
iii. Committee had studied and examined the present provisions of the Section 126 and other related Sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and identify difficulties/critical gaps to regulate the violation of the said provisions of the act.
iv. Committee had Examined the type, category or growth of communication technology or media platform in the country and difficulties in regulating these media platforms during multi-phase election when prohibitory period of 48 hours are in force.
v. Committee had examined the present provisions of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) related to the above issues and suggest modification in this regard.
vi. The recommendations made by the Committee, when implemented will help in minimizing the possible interference of activities which aim at indirectly influencing voters during the valuable silence period of 48 hours provided to them.
About Election Commission of India
♦ 23rd Chief Election Commissioner: Sunil Arora
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
SC sets up panel for to suggest reforms for holding competitive exams
On January 10, 2019, supreme court has set up a committee to suggest reforms to hold the competitive exams after the conflicts that arised in ssc examination.The committee includes Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder of tech giant Infosys, and renowned computer scientist Vijay P Bhatkar.
Points to be noted:
i. The committee would suggest reforms to the government bodies, which conduct competitive examinations like the SSC, as there are several cases of questions paper leaks.
ii. This committee was set up after conflict arised in ssc 2017 result publication,though it was ordered to cancellation because of difficulty in identifying the cause of the paper leak.Cancellation had a huge protest from the aspirants side.So the court in 2017 hearing has implemented to conduct it afresh by the National Testing Agency or the CBSE “in the interest of students”.
iii. Petitioner Shantanu Kumar, who had sought cancellation of examination, had said that contract of private company Sify Technologies Pvt Ltd, which had conducted the SSC examination, is now called off.
iv. The SSC is a government body which conducts examinations to recruit staff at multiple levels in various ministries and departments.
Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza Launched by NASSCOM with Municipal Governments of Guiyang and Dalian as it Partner
On 10th January 2019, an initiative was launched to bring Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises closer on a single artificial intelligence enabled platform, Sino- Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP). The Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP) is a partnership between the National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom) and municipal governments of Guiyang and Dalian in China.
i. Domestic IT enterprises are renowned for their expertise in business transformation and operational optimization by using IT tools in complex business environments.
ii. The development assumes significance as Indian IT sector is seeking greater market access in China.
iii. This platform could be useful to connect with top providers from India and help Chinese enterprises source the right solution providers for their projects.
About NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Services Companies)
♦ Chairperson: Rishad Premji
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ Founded On: 1988
4th meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP) held in New Delhi
On January 10, 2019, the 4th meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP), chaired by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, was held in New Delhi.
Representatives of 10 states including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh attended this meeting.
To tap the global value and supply chain by promoting the export of services, organic agricultural produce
i. The following were discussed/ announced in the meeting:
- States/ UTs to formulate a state and product specific export strategy to improve logistics and infrastructure in their region,
- Government of India formulated an Agricultural Export Policy, for the first time, to boost India’s agricultural exports to USD 60 billion by 2022
- This includes integrating Indian farmers and their agricultural products with the global value chain to double the India’s share in world agriculture exports,
- Ministry of Commerce and Industryin collaboration with the World Bank will extend conduct of annual state level reform exercise to the district level, under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) to improve efficiency of government services delivered,
- Central Government in preparing a development plan for each and every district to fulfil the vision of India’s GDP to USD 5 trillion in 2025,
- States/ UTs to make use of the Rs. 5000 crore allotted for 12 champion services sector,
- States/UTs to take full advantage of the Trade Infrastructure for Exports Scheme (TIES)to improve export competitiveness.
About Council for Trade Development and Promotion:
♦ The Council for Trade Development and Promotion provides a platform to the States/UTs to articulate their expectations and also focuses on the need for all States/UTs to create suitable infrastructure in their regions which will help in developing competitiveness in their exports.
♦ Constituted in 2015.
♦ Chairperson: The Union Commerce & Industry Minister.
♦ Members: Ministers’ in-charge of Trade and Commerce in State Governments/ UTs.
♦ Besides 14 secretaries of Central Government, including Commerce, Revenue, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Agriculture, Food Processing and Economic Affairs are also its members.
One-day Global Skill Summit 2019 held in Ranchi, Jharkhand; jobs given to more than 1 lakh youth
On January 10, 2019, the one-day Global Skill Summit 2019 was held in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
It is the only state where overall three global summits were organized in a row merely in four years by the state government.
i. The theme of the Summit was: ‘Skilling Youth, Enabling Youth’.
ii. It was under the #MOMEMTUM JHARKHAND campaign.
iii. It was attended by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, &Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
iv. Governor of Jharkhand Smt. Droupadi Murmu was the chief guest.
v. Unique feature of the Summit was that on this occasion, in total 1,06,619 youths of Jharkhand were given symbolic offer letter for jobs in the private sector, surpassing the target of giving jobs to 1,00,000 youths.
vi. Thus, Jharkhand became the first state to achieve the feat of giving jobs to over one lakh youths in the private sector.
vii. Additionally, 17 countries took part in this summit.
♦ Capital: Ranchi.
♦ Chief Minister: Raghubar Das.
♦ Governor: Draupadi Murmu.
♦ National Parks: Belta National Park
Sikkim will become first state to roll out Universal Basic Income
On January 11, 2019,Sikkim,though being a smallest state have set a initiative to introduce UBI in the entire nation.Sikkim’s long lasting chief minister and head of sikkim’s ruling party(sikkim democratic front) Pawan kumar chamling, quoted that if everything goes right then sikkim would be the first state to implement UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME SYSTEM and execute it by 2022.This scheme is also regarded as an alternative to social welfare programmes with benefits towards reducing poverty.
ABOUT UNIVERSAl BASIC INCOME:
i. The UBI basically is an income given to families irrespective what do they do.It means everyone and every household will get an income irrespective of their profession.
ii. In other words ,it is a step taken by the government to alleviate poverty by providing a basic income to all citizens
iii. This same scheme has been tested even in India. The UBI has been tried in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and the results are fairly good.
West Bengal quit Ayushman Bharat scheme due to misrepresentation on official communication
On January 10, 2019, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced exit of West Bengal from the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna due to the use of PM’s picture in the official poster of the centre-state joint scheme.
i. According to the announcement, the states are supposed to bear 40% of the project cost, while the Centre will foot 60% of the bill.
ii. Furthermore, the centre had unilaterally changed the scheme to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana in spite of agreed efforts to retain the state sponsored health scheme name: Swasthyasathi which was launched in 2016.
iii. Thus, West Bengal joined the league of states of Telangana, Kerala, Odisha, and Delhi which have opted out of the scheme for varied reasons.
About Ayushman Bharat:
♦ Launched: April 2018.
♦ Other names: PM Jan-Arogya Yojana, National Health Protection Scheme.
♦ Target: 10.74 crore poor families to get benefit of Rs. 5lakh per family per year.
♦ 1st Health centre launched at Bijapur, Chhattishgarh in April 14, 2018.
♦ CEO: Dr. Indu Bhushan.
♦ Implementing authority: National Health Authority (NHA).
Chattisgarh withdraws general consent accorded to the CBI to probe cases in the state
On 10 January 2019, Government in Chhattisgarh withdrew the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state. The state government has conveyed the decision to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Personnel and Training.
i. CBI cannot initiate any investigation without the consent of the state government after this decision.
ii. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have already withdrawn the general consent given to the CBI.
♦ Capital: Raipur
♦ Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel
Sanskriti Kumbh, a 29 days Cultural extravaganza inaugurated in Kumbh Mela, Prayagraj Uttar Pradesh
On 10th January 2019, Sanskriti Kumbh, a 29 days cultural extravaganza inaugurated by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik in the presence of the Union Minister of state for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma in Kumbh Mela area, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
i. 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.
ii. It is one of the oldest tradition in the world which showcases the unity in diversity of our country
iii. 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
iv. 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.
About Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
64th National Symposium of poets, organized by All India Radio held in Chennai
On 10th January 2019, Tamil Nadu Governor, Bunwarilal Purohit inaugurated the 64th National Symposium (Sarva Bhasha Kavi Sammelan) organized by All India Radio for the first time in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
i. 23 poets representing all the 22 languages present in the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution will participate in the symposium.
ii. A Special Programme based on the event will be aired on the eve of Republic Day, 25th January 2019 by the Public Service Broadcaster All India Radio.
iii. Director General of All India Radio, Mr Fayyaz Sheryar was present at the event.
About Tamil Nadu
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
♦ Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ National Parks (NP): Mudumalai NP, Mukurthi NP, Indira Gandhi NP, Gulf of Mannar Marine NP, Guindy NP
Guatemala unilaterally terminate the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement
On 7th January 2019, the Foreign Minister of Guatemala Sandra Jovel notified the United Nations secretary-general about the Government’s decision to terminate the agreement which established in the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
i. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “strongly rejected” the Guatemalan Government’s decision to unilaterally terminate the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
ii. Mr Guterres recalled the important contribution to the fight against impunity made by the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which was set up in 2006 at the invitation of the government.
iii. The mandate of the Commission is scheduled to end on 3 September, 2019 and the United Nation expects the Government of Guatemala to “entirely fulfill its legal obligations”.
♦ Capital: Gautemala city
♦ Currency: Gautemala Quetzal
♦ Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
♦ President: Jimmy Morales
India ranked at 41st at the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018, Norway topped the Index: Economist Intelligent Unit report
On January 10, 2019,Norway topped in the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world.India Ranked 41st in the Index.The Index was started in 2006.
i. The countries were categorized and colour coded in 4 sections. They were:
- Full Democracy(Dark Green) scoring 8-10 & consisting of 20 countries,
- Flawed Democracy(Light Green) scoring 6-7.99 consisting of 55 countries,
- Hybrid Regime(Mint green to Light Yellow) scoring 4-5.99 consisting of 39 countries and
- Authoritarian Regime(Dark Red) scoring 1-3.99 consisting of 53 countries.
ii. The scores were divided based on 60 indicators on five categories of:
- electoral process and pluralism;
- civil liberties;
- the functioning of government;
- political participation; and
- political culture.
iii. For the first time in three years, the global score for democracy remained stable.
iv. One country, Costa Rica, moved from a flawed democracy to a full democracy; at the other end of the spectrum, one country, Nicaragua, moved from flawed regime to authoritarian regime.
v. A total of 42 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2017; 48 registered an increase in total score.
Ranking of Nations:
i. Among the 167 nations, Norway topped the charts.
ii. It was followed by: Iceland (2), Sweden (3), New Zealand (4) and Denmark (5) closing off the top 5 rankings.
iii. The bottom 5 of the list are:
Chad (163), Central African Republic (164), Democratic Republic of Congo (165), Syria (166) and North Korea (167).
iv. India ranked 41st Position,falling in the ‘Flawed Democracy’ category. Following are the list of the ranks of her neighbours:
- China (130),
- Pakistan (112)
- Bangladesh (88)
- Afghanistan (143)
- Nepal (97)
- Bhutan (94)
- Sri Lanka (71)
- Myanmar (118)
v. Region wise, North America retains the highest average score of any region in the Democracy Index, lowest being in Middle East and North Africa.
For more information: Click Here , Click Here to read the ranking
About Economist Intelligent Unit:
♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.
BANKING & FINANCE
Gold Monetisation Scheme 2015 met with a few changes: RBI
On January 9, 2019, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a few changes in the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) 2015.
i. According to the changes, it included charitable institutions and the central government under the ambit of the scheme.
ii. Due to this, besides individual and joint depositors, the scheme could be availed by charitable institutions, the central government, the state government or any other entity owned by the central government or the state government.
iii. It also allowed joint deposits of two or more eligible depositors in which deposit in such cases shall be credited to the joint deposit account.
♦ Launched in 2015, by the government, GMS aims to mobilise the gold held by households and institutions in the country.
♦ According to the scheme, banks’ customers are allowed to deposit their idle gold holdings for a fixed period in return for interest in the range of 2.25-2.50 per cent.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
WEF recognises Tata Steel’s Netherlands plant as ‘Manufacturing Lighthouse’ of the 4th Industrial Revolution
On January 10, 2019, the World Economic Forum announced that the Tata Steel plant at IJmuiden in the Netherlands has been recognized as ‘Manufacturing Lighthouses’ – a distinction awarded to manufacturing facilities which are seen as leaders in technologies of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
i. This was announced after assessing more than 1,000 factories in 2018.
ii. Other than the TATA Steel Plant, 6 more units have been awarded with the honour.
iii. This made Tata Steel part of a network of just 16 key factories to create the world’s leading learning platforms for production.
iv. Reason for the honour is because Tata Steel’s site at IJmuiden has been pioneering use of advanced analytics to
- optimise the way raw materials are used,
- increase the yield at every step of the steelmaking process and
- further improve logistics between the different processes and the quality of the product for customers.
v. Additionally, the newly established Advanced Analytics Academy enables its employees to find solutions for waste reduction, quality improvement and overall reliability of production processes.
About the ‘Lighthouses’:
♦ In 2017 the World Economic Forum set up a network of leading intelligent production companies (‘Lighthouses’) under its ‘Shaping the Future of Production’ initiative to allow the exchange of knowledge and promote collaborations in the area of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in production.
♦ ‘Lighthouse’ factories showcase how best to develop a strategy for the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
World Economic Forum:
♦ Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland.
Adi Godrej conferred ICSI lifetime award at the golden jubilee celebrations of ICSI in Mumbai
On January 10, 2019, Industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the ICSI’s Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘Translating Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality’ in Mumbai.
i. The award instituted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), was given at its golden jubilee celebrations.
ii. Other awards given by the institute are as follows:
18th ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance were bagged jointly by
- Cipla Ltd
- Dabur India Ltd
- ACC Ltd,
- Hindustan Unilever Ltd,
- Indian Oil Corp,
- Tata Metaliks Ltd and
- Indian Hotels Co Ltd.
The 3rd CSR Excellence Awards went to
- GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd in Emerging category,
- Tata Power Co Ltd in Medium category and
- Ambuja Cements Ltd in Large category.
About Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ President: CS Makarand Lele.
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri received honorary membership of Sydney Cricket Ground
On January 11, 2019, Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri received honorary membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for their contribution to the sport of cricket.
i. Apart from them, the only other international cricketers to be granted the honorary membership of the SCG are iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara of the West Indies.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Nicolas Maduro Sworn in as new Venezuela President for 2nd Term
On January 11, 2019, Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuela’s President for the 2nd term for a new 6-year term.
i. Venezuela is one of the world’s largest oil producers and holds the presidency of oil cartel Opec until 2025.
♦ Capital: Caracas.
♦ Currency: Venezuelan bolivar.
Selection Committee chaired by PM removed Alok Verma as CBI Chief, M. Nageshwar Rao re-elected as New CBI Chief
On January 11, 2019, Additional Director of CBI,M. Nageshwara Rao took charge as the Director of Central Bureau of Investigation.
i. Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service officer, was given charge as interim Director after the government on October 23 divested the previous Director, Alok Verma’s power.
ii. Alok Verma was removed from the post within 48 hours after rejoining as CBI Director.
iii. The decision was taken by a 2-1 decision by a selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with its other two members being Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge and Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri.
Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
Su Tseng-chang appointed as Taiwan PM
On 10th January 2019, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen appointed 71 years old Su Tseng-chang as the new Prime Minister of Taiwan during a cabinet reshuffle following the loss of Rulling Democratic Progressive Party in the local elections.
i. Tseng-chang will replace Lai Ching-te who resigned from the post following the defeat in the elections.
ii. Taiwan’s rulling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) lost to the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).He hold the office earlier as Prime Minister in the year 2006.
♦ Capital: Taipei
♦ Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
K2-288Bb new planet discovered using NASA telescope
On 7th January,2019,Scientists have discovered new planet K2-288Bb,which is twice the size of Earth.Its discovery was announced at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Seattle,Washington DC. It is estimated that liquid water may exist on the planet’s surface.The new world, known as K2-288Bb,is similar to Neptune. It is found 226 light-years away in the Taurus constellation.
The planet contains a pair of dim, cool M-type stars that are 5.1 billion miles apart, about six times the distance between Saturn and the sun. The brightest of the two stars is half as massive as our sun, and the other star is one-third of the sun’s mass. K2-288Bb orbits the smaller, dimmer star, completing a full orbit every 31.3 days.
First manned mission to space by December 2021: ISRO
On January 11, 2019, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K Sivan announced that the 1st Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space would be launched by December 2021.
i. Under Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back.
ii. As of 2019, 332 launches are planned this year. Detail of some of these missions are as follows:
- Launch of Chandrayaaan -2 mission to the moon in mid-April 2019. Indian land up and rover will study south-pole of the moon for the first time under Chandrayaan- 2 mission.
- GSAT-20 Satellite for high bandwidth connectivity to be launched in September-October 2019.
- ISRO is conceiving a mission to Venus by 2023.
- ISRO TV Channel will be launched by another 3-4 months (March to April 2019).
- 6 incubation centres around the country would be set up by ISRO to help start-ups to begin new ventures.
- ISRO will invite meritorious students to ISRO for developing Nanosatellites.
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
South Africa’s All Rounder Albie Morkel retired from all forms of cricket
On January 10, 2019, South African allrounder Albie Morkel retired from all forms of cricket.
i. His career spanned for nearly 20 years.
ii. He represented South Africa in 58 ODIs, 50 T20Is and one Test.
IWF president Birendra Prasad Baishya will be India’s Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics
On January 11, 2019,Indian Weightlifting Federation President Birendra Prasad Baishya is named as Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.Baishya is also one of the Indian Olympic Association Vice Presidents.Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president is Yoshiro Mori
POINTS TO BE NOTED:
i. Tokyo Olympics is to be held from 24 July to 9 August, 2020 in which 207 nations will participate.There will be 339 event in 33 sports (50 disciplines) in the Games.
ii. Tokyo will be hosting the Game for the second time in 2020 after having organised it 56 years back in 1964.
iii. The mascot for the Olympics is named Miraitowa.Miraitowa is a combination of the Japanese words for future and eternity;
♦ International Olympic Committee President:Thomas Bach
January 10, 2019 celebrated as 26th Army Air Defence Day
January 10, 2019 was observed as 26th Army Air Defence Day by Army Air Defence Corps.
i. A wreath Laying Ceremony was held at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, New Delhi.
ii. The Corps of Army Air Defence is the youngest arm of Indian Army.
Army Air Defence Corps:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Motto: “Akashe Shatrun Jahi” (Kill the Enemy in the Sky).