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Current Affairs January 9 2019

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Current Affairs January 9 2018


Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the First Advance Estimates of National Income at Constant (2011-12) and Current Prices, for the financial year 2018-19
On 7th January 2019, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the first advance estimates of National Income at Constant (2011-12) and Current Prices,  for the financial year 2018-2019.

  • Compilation of the sector-wise Advance Estimates is based on the extrapolation of Benchmark-Indicator method
  • India’s GDP would grow at 7.2% in 2018-19, showing acceleration from 6.7% growth in 2017-18 because of push from agriculture and manufacturing sectors…………………………Click here to Read more

Central government approved formation of Centre for Classical Language in Tirur, Kerala
On January 5, 2019, the Union Government issued its nod for setting up the Centre for Classical Language at the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University in Tirur, Kerala.
i. As per the notification, the state government will enter into an MOU with the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development.
ii. Furthermore, in this regard, the HRD ministry had issued a communication in this regard to the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysuru.
iii. The centre is aimed at study and research and other aspects of Malayalam language and its development.
In August 2013 Malayalam was declared a classical language. In 2016, the state approached the Union Government for setting up the centre.
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram.
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.
♦ Governor: Palanisamy Sathasivam.
♦ National Parks: Periyar National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, Mathikettan National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park.

Kallakurichi announced as 33rd district, after bifurcating Villupuram: Tamil Nadu govt
On January 8, 2019, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswam announced the formation of a new district Kallakurichi by bifurcating Villupuram district which is one of the large districts in the State.
i. With this, the state will now have 33 districts.
ii. The decision was taken because the previous coverage of the district Villupuram was huge and and it was becoming difficult for the administrators to govern the district.
iii. The newly formed region is renowned for its rice production.
Tamil Nadu:
♦ Chief Minister: Edappadi K Palaniswam.
♦ Governor: Shri. Banwari Lal Purohit.


RBI set up 5-member panel under Nandan Nilekani to boost digital payments
On January 8, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India constituted a 5-member high-level committee under Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments in the country.

RBI set up 5-member panel under Nandan Nilekani to boost digital paymentsi. The panel members include:

  • Infosys co-founder Nilekani,
  • former RBI deputy governor H R Khan,
  • former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank Kishore Sansi and
  • former secretary in ministries of IT and steel Aruna Sharma and
  • chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad, Sanjay Jain.

ii. The functions of the panel are as follows:

  • to undertake cross country analyses to identify best practices to accelerate digitisation of the economy,
  • financial inclusion through greater use of digital payments
  • to suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments.

iii. With the suggested measures, the committee shall submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting.
iv. The decision aims to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.
♦ Founded: 1st April 1935.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Governor: Mr. Shaktikanta Das.

IndiaMoneyMart Receives NBFC -P2P Certification from RBI
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted NBFC – P2P (Non-Banking Financial Company – Peer to Peer) Certificate to IndiaMoneyMart and this certification will enable IndiaMoneyMart to expand operations and target loan disbursals worth INR 100 Crore by the end of financial year 2018-19.
Key Points
i. The step will validates IndiaMoneyMart’s strong framework to make lending and borrowing transparent, digital and convenient in confrontation to the regulatory requirement.
iii. IndiaMoneyMart is offering loans starting from Rs. 10 thousands to Rs 10 Lakhs for a tenure ranging between 3 months to 36 months.
iii. The Milestone will enable IndiaMoneyMart to gain traction among investors seeking for alternative asset class and boost their sentiments.
iv. The Recognition of Peer to Peer or P2P lending sector by RBI has revolutionized the way borrowers seek loans and lenders invest idle cash.
About Reserve Bank of India
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Foundation Year: 1935

Jana Small Finance Bank Launches Current Account with Unique Auto-Sweep Facility
On 8th January 2019, the private sector Jana Small Finance Bank has launched a new Current Account with Auto-Sweep facility that will enable bank’s existing and potential new customers to auto sweep-in and sweep-out the idle funds in the current account to Sweep Fixed Deposit and earn high interest.
Key Points:
i. In the said facility the customers will be able to earn interest of 8.5 percent for a tenor of 365 days on sweep deposit.
ii. The new facility will enable current account holders to earn higher interest on the idle funds while providing the flexibility of using the funds when the need in business arises.
iii. The Jana Small Finance Bank is offering an interest rate of 9% on Regular Fixed Deposit and 9.6% on senior citizen Fixed Deposit. Besides, the bank is also offering 9.25% interest rate on Fixed Deposit with no premature withdrawal.
About Jana Small Finance Bank:
♦ MD & CEO: Ajay Kanwal
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Tagline of the Bank: Likho Apni Kahaani


NHAI collaborate with Oil Marketing Companies for issuance of FASTags through petroleum retail outlets 
On 7th january 2019, Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. (IHMCL), a company promoted by NHAI, has signed MOUs with state-run Oil Marketing Companies (IOCL, BPC, and HPC). It will ensure availability of FASTags at petroleum outlets across India.

NHAI collaborate with Oil Marketing Companies for issuance of FASTagsKey points:
i. Indian highways management company ltd. (IHMCL) had launched the national electronic toll collection program (NETC) under the brand name “FASTag” in April 2016. This program has gain success and running at 450 toll plaza along with national highway and selected state toll plazas.
ii. The enhanced adoption of FASTag program will increase user convenience by offering seamless toll-fee payments at Plazas and thus help save time, money and fuel.
iii. IHMCL is also planning to launch two mobile applications named MYFASTag and IHMCLPOS , will enable customers to link the FASTags with their preferred bank account.
iv. FASTag can be recharged by using UPI (unified payment interface) platform. In the first phase, the tags will be available across 50 Fuel Station in Delhi NCR, which will subsequently be expanded to outlets across India.

New national policy for domestic workers being drafted, about 40 lakh to benefit: Labour Ministry
On January 7, 2019, labour minister Santosh Gangwar announced that the ministry of labour & employment will formulate a National Policy on Domestic Workers to give recognition to them and to make them eligible for minimum wages, social security and safe working conditions. This has been worked on by the ministry for over past three years.
i. As per the National Sample Survey, there are an estimated 39 lakhs people employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.
ii. Salient Features of the Policy are as follows:

  • giving them the right to register as unorganized workers,
  • right to form their own associations/unions,
  • right to minimum wages and access to social security,
  • right to enhance their skills, protection of domestic workers from abuse and exploitation,
  • giving them access to courts, tribunals for grievance redressal,
  • establishment of a mechanism for regulation of private placement agencies and
  • establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers.

Under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, the Central Government is already providing social security relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection to the unorganised workers including domestic workers.
Ministry of Labour & Employment:
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Santosh Kumar Gangwar.


Former Indian envoy to Myanmar, Vikram Misri, took charge as India’s new envoy to China
On January 8, 2019, India’s new ambassador to ChinaVikram Misri, took charge of the post.

Vikram Misri, took charge as India's new envoy to Chinai. He reported to Hong Lei, Deputy Director General of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.
ii. He is a 1989-batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, and replaced Gautam Bambawale who retired in November 2018.
iii. Prior to this appointment, Misri served as Indian envoy in Myanmar.
iv. Earlier, he has served in various capacities at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well as in the Prime Minister’s Office.
v. He also served in various Indian Missions in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.
♦ Capital: Beijing.
♦ Currency: Renminbi.

Solar Man of India, Pranav R Mehta, became the first Indian to Head Global Solar Council, USA
On January 8, 2019, the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), Shri Pranav R Mehta, has taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC) from January 1, 2019.
i. He is dubbed as the Solar Man of India.
ii. He has been conferred with the ‘Visionary Disruptor Award’ by Solar Future Today, which he will be receiving on 15th January, 2019 at the sidelines of World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
♦ India is placed amongst the Top 5 solar players in the world and is third largest solar market.
About Global Solar Council (GSC):
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.
♦ The Global Solar Council (GSC) was launched on December 6, 2015, following the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP 21).
National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.

India-born Gita Gopinath joined IMF as 1st woman and it’s 11th Chief Economist
On January 8, 2019, Mysore-born Gita Gopinath joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its 11th chief economist, thus becoming the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.

India-born Gita Gopinath joined IMF as 1i. She succeeded Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld who retired on December 31, 2018.
ii. She is the John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.
International Monetary Fund:
♦ Managing Director: Christine Lagarde.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.

Civil Aviation Security chief appointed as Sashastra Seema Bal DG  
Civil aviation security head and senior IPS officer Kumar Rajesh Chandra was appointed as the Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) up to 31st DEC 2021 for a tenure of around 2 years.
Key Points:
i. Kumar Rajesh Chandra , a 1985 IPS officer of Bihar cadre ,is at present the director general of the bureau of civil aviation security (BCAS)
i. He will succeed SS Deswal, chief of indo-tibetan border.
iii. The SSB has about 80,000 personnel, guards India’s borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
SSB: Sashaastra Seema Bal
♦ Director General: Kumar Rajesh Chandra
♦ Founded on: 1963
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

SC reinstated Alok Verma as CBI Chief; to look in to corruption charges by High-Committee panel and CVC
On January 8, 2019, the Supreme Court, as per orders penned by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, reinstated CBI Director Alok Kumar Vermawithout giving him any major policy decision making powers.
i. This was done against the October 23 2018 decision which had earlier divested him of his powers completely as per the corruption charges brought against him.
ii. After the successful conduct of the Central Vigilance Commission inquiry against those charges will further steps be taken against him by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI Director.
iii. The high-powered committee will comprise of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.
iv. The top court also set aside the Centre’s decision to appoint senior IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who was the joint director, as the interim chief of the agency.
v. Verma’s two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on January 31, 2019.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Full form: Central Bureau of Investigation.


HD 21749b: NASA probe discovers new planet
On 7th January 2019, NASA’s transiting exoplanet survey satellite (TESS) has discovered a planet named HD21749b orbiting around the star HD 21749, which lies about 53 light years from earth in the faint constellation reticulum. TESS does this work by carving the sky up into overlapping sectors, studying each one for 27 days at a time.This is the Third Planet discovered by TESS after begins its Operation last year.
Key points:
i. Discovery team leader Diana Drogomir, institute of astrophysics and space research said that the planet has a density of water, a thick atmosphere and has an average surface temperature around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii. HD 21749b completes one orbit of its host star, which is nearly as bright as our sun , every 36 earth days.
iii. It is a “sub Neptune”, around three times bigger than earth and 23 times more massive then earth, which means it’s likely gaseous rather than rocky.

Reliance Jio introduces ‘Kumbh JioPhone’ app for pilgrims
On 7th January 2019, Reliance Jio Infocomm launched the Kumbh JioPhone application, especially designed for millions of pilgrims who will congregate during this year’s Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj.

Reliance Jio introduces 'Kumbh JioPhone' app for pilgrimsKey Points:
i. The new app which will be available to both existing and new JioPhone users will contain information on Kumbh, real-time travel information (special trains, buses etc.), booking tickets and receiving updates, ‘Yatri Ashray’ at stations, emergency helpline numbers, area routes and maps, pre-published bath and religious day schedules and railway camp mela.
ii. The new app has a feature called ‘Khoya Paya’ that will help users stay close to near and dear ones by finding their exact location.
iii. The Kumbh Mela which is set to take place from 15th January to 4th March, 2019 in Prayagraj is the world’s largest human congregation, with over 130 million pilgrims taking a dip in the holy waters in a span of just 55 days.


Maharashtra to host Khelo India Youth Games 2019
From 9th January 2019, Maharashtra is going to host the second edition of the Khelo India Youth Games which includes completions in 18 different disciplines at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. The event will conclude on 20th January 2019.

Maharashtra to host Khelo India Youth Games 2019Key Points
i. Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) is a part Khelo India which is the revamped national programme for development of sports in India.
ii. Students from colleges and universities are participating in the event for the first time.
iii. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of State for Youth affairs and sports Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will attend a virtual touch ceremony at Shree Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex.
iv. More than 6000 Under–17 and Under-21 athletes from all over the India are participating in the games.
v. There are 6 team sports in KIYG and agenda includes Kabaddi and Kho-Kho.
vi. Khelo India Youth Games 2018 was held at Delhi.
About Maharashtra
♦ Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Capital: Mumbai
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
♦ Minister of State (I\C): Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
♦ Headquarters: Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi

Sydney and Brisbane chosen to host $15 million 24 team ATP Cup in 2020
On 7th January 2019, Australian cities Sydney and Brisbane have been announced as the first two host locations for the newest team event in men’s tennis for the multi-million dollar ATP Cup from 2020.
Key points:
i. The two cities have beaten competition from other parts of Australia to host the re-launched team event, the ATP Cup, slated to start from 3-12 January next year with a 24-team competition. The third Australian city for the tournament is yet to be determined.
ii. The tournament will comprise more than 100 players from 24 nations with $15 million in prize money and 750 ATP Ranking points.
iii. Sydney will host the knockout rounds and the final at the Ken Rosewall Arena at the Olympic Tennis Center venue while Brisbane will hold tie matches at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
iv. The ATP Cup is seen as a threat to the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) 18-nation Davis Cup competition starting in Madrid in November this year.
About Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP):
♦ Chairman‎: ‎Chris Kermode
♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
About Australia:
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Scott Morrison