Current Affairs January 8 2019

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Current Affairs January 8 2019

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet approved 10 pc quota for economically weaker sections in general category
On January 7, 2019, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved 10 pc quota in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in general category.
i. For the implementation of the quota, Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended.
About the features:

  • This would be availed by those whose annual income is below Rs 8 lakh and have up to five acres of land.
  • The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.

About Articles 15 & 16:
♦ Articles 15, 16 falls under the category of Fundamental Rights in the Part III of the Indian Constitution.
♦ Article 15 states that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Also nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provisions for women, children or any socially and educationally backward classes.
♦ Article 16 guarantees the Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment with no discrimination being done on basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth.

Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill
On January 7, 2019, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill thus providing Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Features of the Bill:

  • First introduced in Parliament in 2016,the bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955.
  • It enables grant of Indian nationality to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians— from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don’t possess any proper document.
  • This would, however, nullify the 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971 should be deported.

Ministry of Human Resource Development introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education
The Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Shri Prakash Javadekar stated that the HRD ministry has introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states.
Key Points:
i. A state performance grading will be done wherein the states will be marked out of 1,000 scores on 70 parameters.
ii. By doing so the ministry expects that it will give the correct picture of where every state stands and will create an atmosphere of a fair competition to improve each other’s performances.
iii. In another move the ministry has also decided to print more books of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as against only 2 crore books two years ago.
iv. The ministry has set the target of printing 6 crore books this year so that the parents who want to send their wards to private schools, should get cheaper and quality books.
v.  Furthermore the school curriculum will also be reviewed to ensure holistic education in which there will be time for physical education, value education, life skill education and experiential learning.
About Ministry of Human Resource Development:
♦ Minister: Prakash Javadekar
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Shri Upendra Kushwaha
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

Govt allocates Rs 10,900 cr for development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in next 4-years: ISRO Chairman
Dr K Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced at a ceremony organized by St Joseph’s College, Trichy, Tamilnadu which is celebrating its 175 anniversary that the Union Government has allocated 10,900 crore rupees for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next four years
Key Points:
i. He also informed that the Chandrayan-2 Mission will be launched within three months and It will land in one of those part of the Moon which is still unexplored.
ii. He also said that the human space flight Gaganyaan is planned to be launched by 2022, on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Independence.
iii  He also stated that the next year ISRO will be organising the Centenary year celebrations of ISRO founder Dr Vikram Sarabhai in which ISRO will rededicate itself to become a world class organization, capable of addressing the varied socio economic challenges of the nation.
iv. He said that Space Technology Incubation Centres will be set up in different parts of the country, including Trichy as a part of the celebrations.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Founded: 15 August 1969

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Egypt opened West Asia’s largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital
On January 7, 2019, Egypt opened West Asia’s largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kms away from its capital, Cairo.

Egypt opened West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capitali. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity on the eve of Coptic Christmas.
ii. Unlike December 25, Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7, following the Coptic calendar.
Egypt:
♦ Capital: Cairo.
♦ Currency: Egyptian pound.

China passed law to sinicize and make Islam compatible with socialism 
On January 6, 2019, China passed law to make Islam compatible with socialism and ‘sinicize’ it within next five years.

China passed law to sinicize and make Islam compatible with socialismi. The law was passed after Chinese government officials met representatives from eight Islamic groups.
Background:
In 2018, China held over a million people of the ethnic Uighur and Muslim minorities in prison in the Xingjian region.
China:
♦ Capital: Beijing.
♦ Currency: Renminbi.

BANKING & FINANCE

Nepal’s central bank asked RBI to declare new Indian currency notes legal in a written plea
On January 6, 2019, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Nepal’s central monetary authority, wrote to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to legalize Indian currency notes of denominations higher than Rs 100 in Nepal.
i. The Indian bank bills Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 which are greater than the said amount has been asked to be made legal tender in Nepal, under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
ii. The NRB said the country’s banking system, including banks, financial institutions and NRB, hold Indian currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 worth Rs 48 million.
Background:
i. Before the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes in November 2016, the RBI had issued a FEMA notification allowing Nepali citizens to carry Rs 25,000 worth of such bank notes.
ii. After the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Indian currency notes, circulation of new bank notes of denominations Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 was started by the Indian government but they were not legalized in Nepal which led to the government of Nepal to ban usage of notes of higher denominations.
Nepal:
♦ Capital: Kathmandu.
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

GST panel headed by Dy. CM of Bihar approved Kerala levying 1% calamity cess for 2 yrs
On January 7, 2019, the Group of States’ Finance Ministers (GoFM) led by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi approved levy of 1%calamity cess’ by Kerala for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state of Kerala. It will recommend the same to the GST council meeting which will be held in January 10, 2019.

Kerala levying 1% calamity cess for 2 yrsi. The goods and services, which will attract the 1% cess, would be decided by Kerala and any other state considering to do the same would have to approach the council.
ii. It also suggested the GST council to allow additional borrowing over the permitted limit by states hit by natural calamity.
Background:
The GST law provides for levy of special taxes for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster.

AAI banned single-use plastic items at 16 out of 34 airports in the first phase of the implementation
On January 7, 2019, Airport Authority of India (AAI) banned single-use plastic items at 16 airports.
i. This entails air travellers not getting any single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery and plastic plates etc at passenger terminals and city side.
ii. The 16 airports declared as single-use plastic free are: Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Trichy, Vijayawada, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Madurai, Raipur, Vizag, Pune, Kolkata and Varanasi.
iii. The first batch of 16 airports was selected on the basis of third-party assessment carried out by Quality Council of India.
iv. Furthermore, Quality Council of India will assess/check the implementation of the ban of single-use plastic items at 34 airports handling 10 lakh passengers per annum. The assessment will be completed by January 31, 2019.
v. Also, the authority has formulated an environment policy to reduce green house gases (GHG) and sustainable development by implementing cost effective carbon mitigation action.
Airport Authority of India (AAI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
Ministry of Civil Aviation:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Jayanta Sinha.
♦ Secretary: Shri Rajiv Nayan Choubey.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Overview Of 76th Golden Globe Awards Held In California, United States

  • On 6th January 2019, 76th Golden Globe Awards to honour the best in films and television of calendar year 2018 was held at Beverly Hills, California in USA.
  • strong>Sandra Oh won the Golden Globe award for the Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role in Killing Eve and became the first Asian to win multiple Golden Globe Awards…………………Click here to Read more

The Complete list of Winners – Films

CategoryWinner
Best Motion Picture – DramaBohemian Rhapsody
Best Motion Picture – Musical or ComedyGreen Book
Best Actor – DramaRami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Actress – DramaGlenn Close for “The Wife”
Best Actor – Musical or ComedyChristian Bale for “Vice”
Best Actress – Musical or ComedyOlivia Colman for “The Favourite”
Best Supporting ActorMahershala Ali for “Green Book”
Best Supporting ActressRegina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron for “Roma”
Best ScreenplayBrian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga for “Green Book”
Best Original ScoreJustin Hurwitz for “First Man”
Best Original SongShallow (A star is Born)
Best Animated Feature FilmSpider-Man: Into the Spider –Verse
Best Foreign Language FilmRoma (Mexico)

Six professors awarded Infosys Prize 2018 for science and research
On 5th January 2019, the global software major’s Infosys Science Foundation awarded its 10th Infosys Prize 2018 to six eminent professors for winning across different categories of science and research at an awards ceremony in Bengaluru.

Infosys Prize 2018 for science and researchKey Points:
i. The category in which the prize were awarded along with the winners’ are-

CategoryWinner
Engineering and Computer ScienceNavakanta Bhat, Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Chairperson, Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, IISc,
HumanitiesKavita Singh, Professor and Dean, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,
Life SciencesRoop Mallik, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai,
Mathematical SciencesNalini Anantharaman, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Strasbourg, France,
Physical SciencesS.K. Satheesh, Professor, Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, and Director, Divecha Centre for Climate Change.
Social SciencesSendhil Mullainathan, University Professor, Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science, and George C. Tiao Faculty Fellow, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
ii. The winners were felicitated by the Chief Guest, Prof. Manjul Bhargava, Fields Medalist and R. Brandon Fradd, Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University.
iii. The Infosys annual award includes a pure gold medal, a citation and a tax-free prize purse worth $100,000 (or its equivalent in Indian rupees).
iv. The winners were selected by a six-member jury of renowned scientists and professors, namely Kaushik Basu, Pradeep Khosla, Shrinivas Kulkarni, Amartya Sen, Mriganka Sur, and Srinivasa Varadhan from 244 nominations received in six categories.
About Infosys:
♦ CEO & MD: Salil Parekh
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru

M Venkaiah Naidu conferred textiles awards in New Delhi and presented commemorative stamps on GI registered handicrafts.
On 6th January 2019, the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu conferred awards on 17 persons for their outstanding contribution in different fields of textiles sector during the day long ‘National Conclave on Accomplishments and Way Forward for Textiles Sector’ in New Delhi.

Venkaiah Naidu conferred textiles awardsKey Points:
i. The national conclave which was organised to address the issues faced by textile sector was inaugurated by the Union Textiles Minister, Smriti Irani and was also addressed by the Minister of State, Ajay Tamta and Textiles Secretary,Raghvendra Singh.
ii. During the ceremony Vice President, Shri Naidu was presented commemorative stamps on GI registered handicrafts.
iii. The inaugural session was followed by panel discussions on technical textiles, ease of doing textiles business, handicrafts, access to global markets and supply chains and fashionizing weaves.
iv. The conclave was a part of a two-day event, on 5th – 6th January 2019 in New Delhi, to highlight the achievements of the textiles sector. The event was inaugurated with a textiles fashion show “Artisan Speak” at Red Fort.
v. On 5th January 2019, after the textile show at Red Fort, the event witnessed the presentation of eight special recognition awards for the excellent work in textiles sector and felicitation of 16 artisans who have enriched the handloom sector with their creative work in weaving and printing.
About Ministry of Textiles:
♦ Minister: Smriti Irani
♦ Minister of State: Ajay Tamta
♦ Headquarters: Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi

Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society to honour Farooq Sheikh, Asha Parekh
On January 6, 2019, the Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society announced that it would honour veteran actors Asha Parekh and Farooque Shaikhat the event on January 8, 2019, commemorating 52nd death anniversary of the renowned filmmaker.
i. Other awards will also be presented to directors Ananth Mahadevan and Amit Rai along with their actors Paresh Rawal and Jackie Shroff for their contribution.
ii. The organisation was instituted 22 years ago in memory of the late filmmaker. Its aim is to reward unsung heroes of the film industry.
iii. The memorial society is preserving and restoring Roy’s film library along with other personal memorabilia such as songbooks, posters, stills, costumes, screenplays with the help of experts.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

For first time in History, Malaysia’s monarch, Sultan Muhammad V, stepped down before completion of tenure
On January 6, 2019, Malaysia’s monarch Sultan Muhammad V resigned, as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, from the throne before completing their five-year tenure for the first time in Malaysia’s history.

Malaysia’s monarch, Sultan Muhammad V, stepped downi. The selection of the next king can be decided by a vote in the Council of Rulers, made up of all nine royal households, who takes turns to sit on the throne.
Malaysia:
♦ Capital: Kuala Lumpur.
♦ Currency: Malaysian ringgit.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’: mobile app to help people navigate through Prayagraj city during Kumbh Mela launched by NCR
On January 6, 2019, the North Central Railway, (NCR) launched a mobile application the ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’ to help navigate the attendees of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj city from January 15- March 4, 2019.

Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App'i. It will also provide information regarding all the ‘Mela special’ trains that will be run during the period.
ii. The app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets.
iii. Also, the users will not only get to know their current location, but will also be able to reach to all railway stations, the mela zone, major hotels, bus stations and other facilities within Prayagraj.
iv. A photo gallery, containing pictures of previous Kumbh Melas can also be accessed through the app.
The North Central Railway, (NCR):
♦ Headquarters: Prayagraj / Allahabad.
♦ It is one of the 17 railway zones in India.
♦ The largest railway station in NCR is Kanpur Central.

SPORTS

Jasprit Bumrah finishes 2018 as the highest wicket-taker across all formats
25 years old Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah finishes 2018 as the highest international wicket-taker of 2018 with 78 wickets after taking 9 wickets in the 3rd Test Match against Australia held in Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia.

Jasprit Bumrah finishes 2018 as the highest wicket-taker across all formatsi. South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada ranked 2nd in the list of Highest International wicket taker of 2018 with 77 wickets.
ii. Indian spin bowler Kuldeep Yadav along with Adeel Rashid and Rashid Khan ranked 3rd with 76 wickets in 2018.

Virat Kohli Leads India to First-Ever Test Series Win In Australia
On 7th January 2019, Indian Cricket Team skipper, Virat Kohli led the country to a maiden series victory on Australian soil, ending a 71-year wait to script a golden chapter in the game’s history.
Key Points:
i. India won their first-ever Test series in Australia by a margin of 2-1 after play in the fourth and final Test in Sydney was abandoned due to rain and the match was called off as a draw.
ii. India Became the First Asian team to win a Test series in Australia
India managed the feat for the first time since they began touring Australia in 1947-48. Besides, Virat Kohli became the first Indian as well as the first Asian captain to win a Test series in Australia.
iii. With the win, India reinforced their status as the world’s number one team in Test Cricket and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
iv. India which enforced the follow-on during the 4th test, was the first time since 1988 that Australia was asked to follow on at their home.
v. The winning of the 3rd test of the series was India’s 150th in Test cricket making them the 5th team after Australia (384), England (364), Windies (171) and South Africa (162) to reach the milestone.
vi. Virat Kohli became the first captain of India to win two Tests in Australia and equals Sourav Ganguly’s record of most overseas Test wins as India captain.
vii. Cheteshwar Pujara was adjuged as the man of the match (for 4th test) and player of the series.
viii. Besides, Rishabh Pant became the only Indian wicketkeeper to score a hundred in Australia and only the fourth Indian wicketkeeper to score over 150 in Tests.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ President: C.K. Khanna
♦ Men’s coach: Ravi Shastri
♦ Women’s coach: W.V.Raman
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
About Australia:
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Scott Morrison

Nishikori, Pliskova win Brisbane International titles
From 30 December 2018, the Brisbane International 2019 was played on outdoor hard courts in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was the eleventh edition of the tournament and took place as part of the Australian Open Series in preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year. The Event Concluded on 6th January 2019.
Venue: The event took place at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Tennyson.
Results: The results of the Brisbane International 2019 are as follows:

EventWinnersRunners- up
Men’s SinglesK. Nishikori (Japan)D. Medvedev (Russia)
Women’s SinglesK. Pliskova (Czech Republic)L. Tsurenko (Ukrain)
Men’s DoublesM. Daniell  (New Zealand)
W. Koolhof (Netherland)
R. Ram (USA)
J. Salisbury (Britain)
Women’s DoublesN. Melichar (USA)
K. Peschke (Czech Republic)
H. Chan (Taiwan)
L. Chan (Taiwan)
Key Points:
i. Japan’s Kei Nishikori won his first ATP title in nearly three years after 52 tournaments and nine finals defeats and the overall 12th of his career.
ii. K. Pliskova joined Victoria Azarenka (2009, 2016) and Serena Williams (2013-14) as the third woman to win the Premier event twice.
iii. The win marked a fourth career doubles title for both Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof.
iv. The 2019 Brisbane International prize money include $589,000 financial commitment on the men’s side whereas total women’s prize money is $1,000,000.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

‘A Crusade Against Corruption’: book by Manohar Manoj launched by Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh in New Delhi
On January 6, 2019, Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh launched Manohar Manoj`s book ‘A Crusade Against Corruption’ at the Press Club of India in New Delhi.

A Crusade Against Corruptioni. The book written over a period of 15 years is claimed as the ‘Encyclopaedic  snapshot on Corruption in India’.

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