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Current Affairs January 30 2019

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Current Affairs January 30 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Ministry of Textiles launched “Artisan Speak” held at Elephanta Caves,near mumbai to showcase GI Textiles
On January 26, 2019,Ministry of Textiles and Government of India launched Artisan Speak at Elephanta Caves(UNESCO heritage site) near mumbai,to strengthen the handlooms and textiles sector of India.

“Artisan Speak” held at Elephanta Caves to showcase GI Textiles

Important Fact:
i. This is first of its kind of meeting held in Elephanta Caves in Mumbai.
ii. It is organized by the Ministry of Textiles, in partnership with Reliance.
iii. Several agreements signed will establish long-term market linkage between industry players and handloom weavers.
Ministry of textiles:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Officeholder: Smriti Irani

Civil aviation ministry launched Country’s first GI store in Goa
on January 29, 2019,Civil Aviation minister Suresh Pabhu launched the country’s first Geographical Indication (GI) store at Dabolim International Airport in Goa.  

Dabolim International Airport in Goa.  i. The GI stores will promote local products made by the artisans and handicrafts at the airport .
ii. The store is set up by Airports Authority of India in partnership with The Cashew Export Promotional Council of India.The Plan of  implementing 101 more stores are in cards,which may extend to 201 stores in near future.
Important Facts about Goa:
♦ Capital:Panaji
♦ Chief minister: Manohar Parrikar
♦ Districts: 2

India signs agreement with OECD for participation in PISA 2021
On 28th January 2019, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India signed an agreement with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for India’s participation in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021.  

India signs agreement with OECD for participation in PISA 2021India signs agreement with OECD for participation in PISA 2021Key Points:
i. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests the learning levels of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem solving and is conducted by OECD every three years.
ii. For Indian students, the question in the test will be related to India’s perspective only and the test will be in offline format.
iii. The objective of joining the PISA is to help introduce competency based examination reforms in the school system and to enhance the quality of education in the country.
iv. The students for the test will be selected through random sampling by PISA and the CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.
v. The performance of India was very dismal in 2009 and it was placed 72nd among the 74 participating countries. Since then India stayed away from PISA.
v. Union HRD Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar graced the event for signing the agreement and it was signed by Shri Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, MHRD and Mr Andreas Schleicher, Director (PISA) in OECD.
About Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
♦ Secretary-General: José Ángel Gurría
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France
♦ Membership: 36 countries
About Ministry of Human Resource Development:
♦ Minister: Prakash Javadekar
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Satya Pal Singh
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launches National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) in NewDelhi
On January 28, 2019,Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launches National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.It is inaugurated at the fourth Convention of 2-day “Agrivision-2019” organized by Vidyarthi Kalyan Nyas in Pusa, New Delhi.

National Agricultural Higher Education ProjectKey points:
i. During this inauguration,Recommendation of 5th Dean Committee have been implemented in all the Agricultural Universities.
ii. The ICAR has recently launched Rs 1100 crore ambitious National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country. This project is to be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
iii. Rajendra Agriculture University has been upgraded as Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University to strengthen to bring green revolution in Eastern India including North East.
iv. At the same time,the Second Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) isvto be set up in Barhi, Jharkhand after New Delhi, and another would be in Assam.
v. To enhance the participation of students in agricultural business,READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) is provided to the UG students.

EPFO’s central board of trustees formed 3 new committees
On January 28, 2019,Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation(EPFO), reconstituted three new committees on finance, investment and audit committee (FIAC), the pension and EDLI implementation committee (PEIC) and the exempted establishments’ committee (EEC).
i. Three committees will have central government representatives as well as two representatives each from the domain experts section.
ii. EPFO till to date covers 190 industries ,mentioned under the EPFO ACT, with over 20 crore accounts.
iii.FIAC will look into investments made by portfolio managers and ensure timely investment of PF kitty for optimum returns.
iv.PEIC will review the function of the Employees Pension Scheme,1995 and the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme,1976 as well as consider amendments to the existing schemes.
v.EEC will look into the working of exempted establishments and move suggestions for CBT for improvement in the working of these exempted establishments.

Two day 3rd International stock taking conference on tiger conservation inaugurated in New Delhi
On 28th January 2019, 3rd stock taking conference on tiger conservation inaugurated in New Delhi. It will discuss on the status of the Global tiger Recovery Programme (GTRD) by the thirteen tiger range countries besides deliberation in combating wildlife trafficking.
Key Points 
i. Union Minister for environment, Forest and climate change Dr.Harsh Vardhan  is the chairman of the National Tiger conservation Authority.
ii. The conference is hosted by the National Tiger conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change in collaboration with Global Tiger Forum which is an international, intergovernmental organization for conserving tiger.
iii. During St. Petersburg declaration in 2010, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers across their range by 2022.
iv. The number of Tigers in India was 1411 in the year 2010,the number increased to 2226 in the year 2014.
Important Facts:
First stock taking conference on tiger conservation held in St. Petersburg, Russia(2010),
Second Stock taking Conference on tiger conservation held in India(2012).
Important days 
♦ World Tiger Day: July 29.

South India MSME summit 2019 held in Bengaluru,India
On January 17, 2019,Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) organized the South India MSME Summit-2019 at Bengaluru,India.

South India MSME summit 2019 held in Bengalurui. Basavaraj S Javali(President, KASSIA) chaired the event.
ii. The summit is held with a motive to find solution for their major problems like absence of  good infrastructure, technology issues, marketing, procurement issues, regulatory issues, red tape, harassment and victimization.
iii.Union Cabinet has already approved the proposal for Amendment to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 to change the criteria of classification and to withdraw the MSMED (Amendment) Bill, 2015.Click here to read more.

9th Hyderabad literary festival held in Hyderabad
On 25th January 2019, 9th Hyderabad literary festival(HLF) conducted in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. It is a 3 day annual event organized by ‘Hyderabad Literary Trust’ in association with the Government of Telangana.
Key Points 
i.China is the focus country in the 9th edition of Hyderabad literary festival (HLF).Gujarati was the language in focus for HLF 2019.
ii.The literary festival began in January 25. It gave special tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in his 150th birth anniversary year.
iii.The event will pay special attention to Gujarati keeping an eye on its tradition on each edition of the festival.
iv. The logo of HLF 2019 released on the inaugural day. The event will also pay tribute to Mrinalini Sarabhai and Kaifi Azmy to mark their birth centenaries.
China was the focus country at the 9th Hyderabad Literacy festival
China’s Culture, Art and Literature was the focus of 9th edition of the prestigious Hyderabad Literacy Festival.
About Telangana
♦ Capital: Hyderabad
♦ Chief Minister: Chandrasekhar Rao


World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos

  • From 22nd January 2019, the flagship event of World Economic Forum, The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting-2019 was held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The theme of the event was “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The event concluded on 25th January 2019.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook Update in Davos, Switzerland. The report stated that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is poised to grow by 7.5% in the 2019-20 fiscal and 7.7% in 2020-2021.
  • On 21st January 2019, the british charity group, Oxfam released its Annual Wealth Check report 2019 at the gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) released a survey report on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting and stated that India has become fourth most attractive investment destination by surpassing the United Kingdom.
  • The leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was accredited as the fastest growing brand in the IT Services sector over the past decade by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation firm……………………………………Click here to Read more

Dubai Airport retains top position as world’s Busiest Airport
On 28th January 2019,Dubai International (DXB) airport became the world’s busiest airport for international passengers for the fifth consecutive year in 2018.

Dubai Airport retains top position as world’s Busiest AirportDubai Airport retains top position as world’s Busiest AirportKey Points 
i. Dubai International (DXB) shows an increase of 1% in passenger traffic when compared to previous year. It is the slowest growth for Dubai Airport in the past decade.
ii. DXB overtook the crown from London’s Heathrow airport in 2014. At present Heathrow Airport is the second busiest airport.
iii.India renamed the biggest source of traffic for the airport, accounting for more than 12.2 million travellers with most of them from Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin.
iv. Saudi’s came second over 6.4 million passengers overtaking travellers from the United Kingdom. About 6.3 million British naturals used the airport.
v. Dubai International is the base for Dubai owned carrier Emirates and its budget airline FlyDubai.
vi. The non-oil based economy of Dubai has faced a slow down in key real estate tourism sectors.
About Dubai International Airport (DXB) 
♦ CEO: Paul Griffiths


IndiaFirst Life Insurance buys stake in CSC e-Governance services
On 28th January 2019 Life insurance firm IndiaFirst buys 9% stake in CSC e-Governance services India Limited. This stake purchase demonstrates bringing personal risk protection to all sections of the society in the four year association with Common Services Centre (CSC).

IndiaFirst Life Insurance buys stake in CSC e-Governance servicesKey Points 
i. IndiaFirst life insurance is a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andra Bank and Legal and General (UK).
ii. CSC is an integral part of Digital India initiative of the government under ministry of Electronics and information Technology.
iii. CSC e-Governance services India Limited is a special purpose vehicle (CSCSPV) incorporated under the companies Act, 1956 to monitor the implementation of common services centers scheme (CSCs).
iv.  The financial inclusion journey will bring the 2 entities to work towards enabling village level entrepreneurs for reaching out to the last rule customers with tailored solutions.
♦ Minister of Electronics and Information Technology : Ravi Sankar Prasad
♦ Constituency: Bihar – Rajya Sabha


India replaces Japan as 2nd top Steel Producing: World Steel Report
On 28th January 2019, India became second largest steel producing country according to world steel association report. India has replaced Japan to attain the 2nd largest country.
Key Points:
i. China is the largest producer of crude steel. More than 51% of crude steel production is made by China.
ii. China produced  928.3 million tonnes in 2018 from 870.9 million tonnes in 2017 which is increased by 6.6% from the previous year.China’s overall share increased to 51.3% in 2018 from 50.3% in 2017
iii. India’s crude steel production was 106.5 million tonnes in 2018 from 101.5 million tonnes in 2017. India shows 4.9% growth in production.Japan produced 104.3 MT and hold the third Position in Crude Steel Production.
iv. United States, at the 4th position,which produces 86.7 MT of crude steel in 2018, South Korea (72.5 MT, 5th place), Russia (71.7 MT, 6th), Germany (42.4 MT, 7th), Turkey (37.3 MT, 8th), Brazil (34.7 MT, 9th) and Iran (25 MT, 10th).
About World Steel Association 
♦ Headquarter : Brussels, Belgium
About Japan 
♦ Capital : Tokyo
♦ Currency : Yen
♦ President : Shinzo Abe

GST on Haj Reduced from 18% to 5%
On January 29, 2019,Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi annouced that GST on Haj has been reduced from 18% to 5% and this will reduce the airfare spend on Haj pilgrims’ by Rs.113 crore in 2019.
This is also first time since the independence 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram.
Ministry of Minority Affairs:
♦ Formed on: January 2006
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Minister: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

FDI grew 18% in FY18 to Rs. 28.25 lakh crore: RBI data
On 28th January 2019, Reserve Bank of India released a data on “Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies, 2017-18”which shows that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been increased by 18 per cent to Rs. 28.25 lakh crore.
Key Points
i. There is an increment of Rs 4,33,300 crore during 2017-18 which includes revaluation of past investments making the total FDI to Rs.28.25 lakh crore.
ii. Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) by Indian companies has also increased by 5% and reached Rs. 5.28 crore.
iii. Mauritius is the largest source of FDI in India (19.7%) followed by United States of America, United Kingdom, Singapore and Japan.
iv. Singapore was the top destination followed by Netherlands, Mauritius and United states of America in case of Overseas investment by Indian companies.
Reserve Bank of India
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das


Jeevan Raksha Padak awards to 48 people for saving a person’s life
On January 26, 2019,The president of India approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak series of awards, 2018 to 48 persons,out of which eight of them were awarded posthumously.
About the Jeevan Raksha Padak award:
i. Jeevan Raksha Padak award was given for the meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person in various cases of accidents.
ii. This award was instituted in the year 1961.
iii. The award is presented in the form of a medal and a certificate signed by the Union home minister
iv. The award is given in three categories

Jayant Kaikini was named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his translated work “No Presents Please.”
On January 29, 2019,Kannada poet and short story writer Jayant Kaikini was entitled as the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his translated work “No Presents Please.”Jayant and translator Tejaswini Niranjana received the award from eminent writer Ruskin Bond.

Jayant Kaikini was named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his translated work No Presents Please.Jayant Kaikini was named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his translated work No Presents Please.i. Jayant surpassed the internationally acclaimed writers Kamila Shamsie and Mohsin Hamid and won this title
ii. The award was enlisted in the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet at the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata. This marks the first time a translated work has won the prestigious prize.

ICAR and Tripura received the award for the best Tableau in Republic Day Parade from Defence Minister
On January 28, 2019,Defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the First Prize to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for its representation of Tableau on ‘Kisan Gandhi’ with the theme :“Mishrit Kheti, Khushiyon Ki Kheti” under the central ministries and departments category.

ICAR's 'Kisan Gandhi' Tableau Bags 1st Prize At Republic Day ParadeKey Points:
i. The ICAR presentation depicted the importance of dairy farming, use of indigenous breeds and livestock based organic agriculture for rural prosperity.
ii. Tripura bagged the best state tableau with the theme:‘Empowering Rural Economy the Gandhian Way’ whereas The second position was bagged by Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab was placed in the third spot.
Important Fact about Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
♦ Motto:”Agrisearch with a human touch”
♦ President:Radha Mohan Singh
♦ Director: Dr Trilochan Mohapatra
♦ Location :New Delhi, India

India bags Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ at New York Times Travel Show 2019
On January 27, 2019,India received the Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show‘ in New York Times Travel Show 2019. It is the largest travel show in North America which held New York,USA from 25th of January,2019.

India bags Award of Excellence for 'Best in Show' at New York Times Travel Show 2019i. The Ministry of Tourism led by Tourism Ministry Secretary Yogendra Tripathi participated as the ‘Presenting Partner’ in the New York Times Travel Show (NYTTS 2019)
ii. This programme is conducted with a motive to enhance India’s visibility and share In US tourism market.
Important facts about Ministry of Tourism:
♦ Minister of State: Alphons Kannanthanam (Independent charge)
♦ Founded: 1967
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

TN bags FSSAI awards for Swasth Bharat Yatra
On 29th January 2019, Tamil Nadu was awarded the “Best State Overall” for its active participation in the national campaign “Swasth Bharat Yatra”, which was organized from 16th October 2018 by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The Swasth Bharat Yatra was culminated on 29th January 2019 at Connaught Place in New Delhi.
Key Points
i. The Swasth Bharat Yatra was World’s biggest Cyclothon and it saw the involvement of 10 lakh participants.
ii. The Cyclothon began from six different locations – Leh, Panaji, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Kolkata and Agartala in which more than 10,000 volunteer cyclists covered more than 20,000 km across 36 states and Union Territories.
iii. The Key element of the Cyclothon was “Eat Right India” and the goal of the campaign was to aware the sensitive people about eating food and being healthy.
Madurai, Sivakasi adjudged best cities in the Swasht Bharat Yatra
On 29th January 2019, Madurai and Sivakasi was awarded as the best cities in the Swasth Bharat Yatra which was concluded on 29th January 2019.
i. Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been recognized as the best states with a population above 3 crores.
ii. Delhi, Goa and Punjab have been adjudged as the best states with population less than 3 crore.
iii. Meghalaya, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand have been adjudged with special awards for their participation despites difficult and hilly terrain.
iv. Several associations like NCC, NSS and Nehru Yuva Kendra were honoured for their commendable efforts throughout the yatra.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Chairman: Preeti Sudan


Dilip Sadarangani appointed as Chairman of Federal Bank
On 28th January 2019, South India based private sector lender Federal Bank appointed Dilip Sadarangani as the part-time Chairman. He has been on bank’s board since 2013.

Dilip Sadarangani appointed as Chairman of Federal BankKey Points 
i. The appointment of Mr.Dilip Sadarangani who has been guiding person in technology in multiple banks, as Chairman of the board of Federal Bank comes at a time when the bank makes confident strides in gaining market share in India.
ii. Mr. Sadarangani played key roles in setting up of IT infrastructure in different banks in India, Australia and Kuwait. He was a core member of the team which automated the first 50 branches of State Bank of India.
iii. Federal Bank is a scheduled commercial bank in India with a history of 70 years. It also has its Representative offices abroad at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
About Federal Bank:
♦ Headquarter: Aluva, Kerala
♦ Tagline: Your perfect banking partner
♦ MD & CEO : Shyam Srinivasan


Malaysia stripped off world para swim event over Israel stance
On 28th January 2019 Malaysia removed from the right to host world Para swimming championship 2019, as Malaysia refused to allow Israeli athletes to take part in the game. The Malaysia authorities failed to provide necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimming could participate free from discrimination and safety in the championships.
Key Points
i. International Para swimming championship 2019 were due to be held in Kuching, Malaysia between 29 July and 4 August 2019.
ii. This issue started when Malaysia imposed a cross-sport ban in Israeli athletes attending events.
iii. This championship is a qualifier for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. International Paralympics committee (IPC) encourages all potential hosts to express an interest in staging the event by 11 February 2019.
About Malaysia
♦ Capital : Kuala Lumpur
♦ Currency : Ringgit,
♦ Prime Minister: Mahathir Bin Mohammed
About International Paralympic committee (IPC) 
♦ Headquarter : Bonn, Germany
♦ President : Andrew Parsons.


Former defence minister George Fernandes passed away
On January 29, 2019,former defence minister Geroge Fernandes breath his last due to prolonged illness of Alzhemier’s disease.He passed away at the age of 88.

Former defence minister George Fernandes passed awayFormer defence minister George Fernandes passed awayi. He served as the Defence Minister in the year 1998
ii. During his regime as the Defence Minister,Fernandes oversaw the Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 and the Kargil war in 1999.


Russia marks 75 years since World War II siege of Leningrad
On 27th January 2019, Russia marked the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II siege of Leningrad in which more than 800,000 people lost their lives.
i. The President of Russia praised the unbroken spirit of the Saint Petersburg on the anniversary.
ii. The parade was organized including defence missile systems in the heart of Petersburg which was formerly known as Leningrad.