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Current Affairs Today January 12 2018

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs January 12 2018 which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, India Today, Indian Express, Business Standard, all Government official websites. Our complete current affairs helps you to get more marks in Banking, insurance, UPSC, SSC, CLAT, Railway and all other competitive Exams.

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PM Narendra Modi inaugurates National Youth Festival
On January 12, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the events of the National Youth Festival (NYF) through Video conferencing. This is the 22nd edition of National Youth Festival. 
i. 22nd National Youth Festival is a five-day event being held at Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh from 12thto 16th January, 2018.
ii. Theme of 22ndNational Youth Festival is Sankalp Se Siddhi’. The theme reflects country’s aspiration to capitalize on the demographic dividend of young India…………………………..Click here to Read more

Kerala Government permits prisoners to donate organs
On 11th January 2018, the Kerala government gave permission to prisoners in Kerala jails to donate organs to their close relatives.
Kerala Government permits prisoners to donate organs:
i. This decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala Chief Minister.
ii. Permission must be taken from the concerned court and medical board for the convicted prisoner to make organ donation.
iii. Also, necessary amendments are to be made in the Kerala prisons correctional services act 2014.
iv. The period of admission in hospital will be taken as parole period for the prisoner. The hospital expenses will be taken care by the jail authorities.
v.In the statement it is clearly mentioned that ‘no relaxation in prison term’ for the prisoner performing organ donation will be provided.
About Indian Dental Association (IDA):
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ President – Dr. Vishwas Puranik

4th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry held in New Delhi
4th ASEAN-INDIA Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry was held in New Delhi on January 12, 2018. Abbreviation ASEAN stands for Association of SouthEast Asian Nations.ASEANHighlights of 4th ASEAN-INDIA Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry:
i. The Meeting was Co-chaired by Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and Grisada Boonrach, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand
ii. Objective of the meeting was to promote joint research for development of technologies for increasing production and productivity of crops, livestock, fisheries, and natural resources management in the ASEAN region.
iii. Discussions during the meeting also focused on enhancing cooperation on exchange of expertise to promote resilience in food security and to address the price volatility of food supplies in the region..
iv. 5th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry will be held in Brunei Darussalam in 2019.
Quick Facts about ASEAN:
♦ Founded in – 1967
♦ Secretariat – Jakarta, Indonesia
♦ Current Secretary General – Lim Jock Hoi

Niti Aayog to provide rankings to 115 aspirational districts
At the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ conference, held in New Delhi in first week of January 2018, NITI Aayog said it will come out with a ranking of 115 aspirational districts by April 2018.
More Information about Rankings of 115 aspirational districts:
i. In this context, aspirational districts refer to selected 115 backward districts that are lagging on specific development parameters.
ii. Central Government has undertaken a major policy initiative for rapid transformation of these districts and senior government officials have been assigned responsibility to coordinate the efforts of the Centre and states in facilitating development in such districts.
iii. NITI Aayog will rank these districts on 10 parameters which will include education, nutrition and health.
iv. A dashboard will be created, which will reflect the change in ranking of districts on continuous basis.
v. By April 2018, NITI Aayog will also set up a mechanism for real-time monitoring of government’s development programmes.
Quick Facts about NITI Aayog:
♦ Founded in – January 2015
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Chairman (ex officio) – Prime Minister of India

Election Commission sets up panel under Umesh Sinha to suggest new poll rules
The Election Commission has formed a 14-member panel to study the usage of social media and other digital platforms before elections and to suggest modifications in the Model Code of Conduct.EC14-member panel set up under Umesh Sinha:
i. Currently, the Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act bans all campaigning 48 hours before voting. The new panel will suggest changes to thisin 3 months.
ii. Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioner, will be the head of the panel. It will comprise of 8 Election Commission officers, 1 member each from the ministries of information and broadcasting, law, and information and technology, 1 senior representative each from the National Broadcasters Association and the Press Council of India.
iii. The panel will also suggest regulations required for several media platforms in the 48-hour period before voting.
About Election Commission of India:
♦ Chief Election Commissioner of India – Achal Kumar Jyoti
♦ Election Commissioners of India – Om Prakash Rawat, Sunil Arora

Kozhikode railway station cleanest, Nizamuddin gets lowest
As per a survey by travel app ‘ixigo’, Kozhikode railway station in Kerala was ranked the best railway station in India by travellers in terms of cleanliness.
Highlights of survey by travel app ixigo:
i. ixigo, which has 7 million users, works closely with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to facilitate train ticket bookings on its app. The findings are based on aggregated data of ixigo users.
ii. While Kozhikode railway station has attained highest rating, Hazrat Nizamuddin (one of the five main stations in Delhi) was given the lowest ratings.
iii. The survey outlined that out of all the cleanest station, 40% are located in south India followed by 20 per cent in central India and 20% in the west.
iv. Among trains, Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani has been rated as the cleanest train while Karnataka Express was given lowest ratings.


India, Bhutan jointly unveil ‘Special logo’ for Golden Jubilee celebrations
On January 12, 2018, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bhutan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Damcho Dorji jointly unveiled the ‘Special logo’ for the Golden Jubilee celebrations in New Delhi and Thimphu through video-conference.India Bhutan i. Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India is being celebrated in the year 2018.
ii. The Special logo was unveiled to mark the launch of Golden Jubilee celebrations.
iii. During 2018, India and Bhutan will conduct several high-level exchanges. Besides, a series of special commemorative initiatives, exhibitions, cultural activities and seminars will be held throughout the year in both the countries.
Quick Facts about Bhutan:
♦ Capital – Thimphu
♦ Currency – Ngultrum
♦ Current Prime Minister – Tshering Tobgay
♦ Important Rivers – Mo Chhu, Sankosh

Sri Lanka removes ban on sale of alcohol to women
Sri Lanka has removed a 38-year long ban on selling alcohol to women and employing them in places where alcohol is produced and sold.
Sri Lanka removes ban on sale of alcohol to women:
i. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed the notification removing the ban on selling alcohol to women and employing them in such places, in order to ensure gender equality and promote tourism.
ii. This ban had been in act from 1979. The Sri Lankan government has also allowed alcohol selling units to stay open till 10 p.m., one hour late than the earlier allowed time.
Some Key People of Sri Lanka:
♦ President – Maithripala Sirisena
♦ Prime Minister – Ranil Wickremesinghe
♦ Minister of Home Affairs – Vajira Abeywardena
♦ Minister of Industry and Commerce – Rishad Bathiudeen

South Australia planning to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant
Government of South Australia (a state in the southern central part of Australia) has given approval to build a major solar thermal plant in the state which, on completion would be the largest of its kind ever built.SolarWorld’s largest thermal solar plant:
i. The plant will be developed by a US company, Solar Reserve at an estimated cost of Australian Dollar 650 million. Construction of this plant will begin during 2018.
ii. Solar Reserve has claimed that this plant will be able to power around 35 per cent of all of the households in South Australia.
iii .In context of this news, it is important to note that, Solar Thermal is different from Solar photovoltaic (PV). In solar PV, solar energy is converted into electricity while in solar thermal, solar energy is converted in to heat energy, which in turn is used to spin turbines for generating electricity.

India gives $45.27 million aid to develop KKS harbour in Sri Lanka
India has extended financial assistance of USD 45.27 million to Sri Lanka for upgrading Kankesanthurai (KKS) Harbour (located in northern Sri Lanka) into a commercial port.
i. Agreement in this regard was signed by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance and Export and Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed on January 10, 2018.
ii. This financial assistance is part of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Indian and Sri Lankan Government for rehabilitation of KKS Harbour.
iii. Four out of the six phases of the rehabilitation of KKS Harbour have already been completed.
iv. The financial assistance of USD 45.27 million will used for executing remaining two phases, which includes works related to installation of port infrastructure.
v. KKS port holds lot of significance as it connects Jaffna peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka. The port was destroyed by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the civil war in Sri Lanka.
Quick Facts about Sri Lanka:
♦ Capital – Colombo
♦ Currency – Sri Lankan rupee
♦ Current President – Maithripala Sirisena
♦ Important Rivers – Mahaweli, Kelani


India emerged as top borrower from AIIB in 2017
India has become the top borrower from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans in 2017.
India – top borrower from AIIB:
i. India is the top borrower from AIIB with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans in 2017.  Indonesia is in the second position with USD 600 million worth loans.
ii. Also, for 2018, USD 3.5 billion worth loans for Mumbai Metro, Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati’s development and irrigation network in West Bengal are in line.
iii. India is also the second largest shared holder in AIIB. China is the largest shareholder of AIIB.
iv. Lot of countries prefer to borrow from AIIB, as it charges only 1 to 1.5 % interest with long term repayment and also a five-year grace period.
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China
♦ President – Jin Liqun

Reliance Jio planning its own cryptocurrency “JioCoin”
Mukesh Ambani – led Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cyptocurrency, ‘JioCoin’.JioCOInMore Information about ‘JioCoin’:
i. Reliance Jio is planning to form a 50-member team of young professionals to work on blockchain technology.
ii. The team will work on multiple applications of blockchain viz. cryptocurrency, smart contracts, supply chain management logistics etc.
iii. Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash Ambani is expected to lead the ‘JioCoin’ project.
Quick Facts about Reliance Jio:
♦ Founded in – 2010
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Founder – Mukesh Ambani


Kazakhstan beats Iraq to be OPEC’s biggest oil over-producer
Kazakhstan has surpassed Iraq as the biggest oil over-producer in the pact between Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to control oil output.
Kazakhstan – OPEC’s biggest oil over-producer:
i. Kazakhstan’s oil output in November and December 2017 was nearly 1,30,000 barrels a day more than the target decided with OPEC. Kazakhstan had promised to pump out 20,000 barrels a day less as per the pact.
ii .Earlier, Iraq had produced nearly 70,000 barrels a day more than its target. Recently, the OPEC pact was extended throughout 2018.
iii. The members ignored Kazakhstan’s non-compliance with the pact as all the member countries’ combined output target was fulfilled, in spite of Kazakhstan’s over-production.
About Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC):
♦ Headquarters – Vienna, Austria
♦ Secretary General – Mohammed Barkindo

India tops domestic air passenger traffic demand at 16.4%, says IATA
As per data released by global aviation body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), India topped the worldwide growth chart of domestic air passenger traffic for the month of November 2017.IATA Domestic air passenger traffic growth:
i. For the month of November 2017, domestic air passenger traffic in India grew by 16.4 per cent, highest in the world.
ii. On a month-on-month basis, India has witnessed double-digit growth for the 39th consecutive month.
iii. As per IATA data, total revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) in November 2017 marked 8 per cent growth as compared to November 2016.
iv. However, IATA has outlined infrastructure constraints, security threats and growing fees and charges as the major concerns for growth of civil aviation sector in upcoming years
Quick Facts about IATA:
♦ Formed in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Montreal, Canada

GAIL to Set Up India’s 1st Coal-to-gas Conversion Plant in Odisha
GAIL India, the largest government-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India will now be setting up ‘coal to synthesis gas’ conversion plants.
i. Announcement in this regard was made by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan while addressing the FICCI conference on Unleashing India’s Domestic Exploration and Production Potential in New Delhi on January 11, 2018.
ii. GAIL India’s coal to synthesis gas plants will be set up in Odisha. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) will be a technology partner in this project.
iii. Synthesis gas is expected to be cheaper than domestic gas.
iv. Synthesis gas (Syngas) is a mixture comprising of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. It is produced by gasification of a carbon containing fuel to a gaseous product that has some heating value.
Quick Facts about GAIL:
♦ Founded in – 1984
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi


PM Modi ranked 3rd among global leaders by Gallup International survey
The annual survey of Gallup International has placed Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 3rd rank among world leaders.
Narendra Modi at 3rd rank among world leaders:
i. The survey was conducted with people from 50 countries. The survey has ranked German chancellor Angela Merkel as number 1 world leader with a score of 21.
ii. Second position was secured by French president Emmanuel Macron  with a score of 20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds the 3rd rank with a score of 8.
About Gallup International Association (GIA):
♦ Based in – Zurich, Switzerland
♦ Established in – 1977
♦ Type – association of polling organizations


Anil Khanna to head IOA Finance Commission
On 12th January 2018, Anil Khanna was appointed as the Chairman of the Finance Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).IOAAnil Khanna – Chairman of the Finance Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA):
i. The IOA has also set up a Medical Commission and Games Technical Conduct Committee.
ii .The Finance Commission is headed by Anil Khanna. Its members are Sahdev Yadav, Secretary General, Indian Weightlifting Federation and DK Singh, Secretary, Uttarakhand Olympic Association.
iii. Mukesh Kumar, President, Judo Federation of India, has been made the Chairman of the Games Technical Conduct Committee for National Games.
iv. Pawan Deep Singh Kohli, was appointed as the Chairman of the Medical Commission.
About Indian Olympic Association (IOA):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ President – Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra
♦ Secretary General – Mr. Rajeev Mehta

Kajol named advocacy ambassador for Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat
Actress Kajol has become an advocacy ambassador for Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat initiative.
Kajol – advocacy ambassador for Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat:
i. Kajol has been an active supporter of eradicating preventable deaths from hygiene-related issues.
ii. She has insisted people to become “swachhta doot” and contribute to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
About Kajol:
♦ Age – 43
♦ Occupation – Actress

Indu Malhotra to become first Woman Lawyer to be directly promoted as Supreme Court Judge
On 11th January 2018, the Supreme Court collegium recommended Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of Supreme Court.LawyerIndu Malhotra to become first Woman Lawyer to be directly promoted as Supreme Court Judge:
i. Also, K M Joseph, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice, has also been recommended to the judge position in Supreme Court.
ii. Indu Malhotra became a senior advocate in 2007. She would become the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge, instead of getting elevated from a high court.
iii. She will become the seventh woman judge to serve in the Supreme Court. The first woman judge of Supreme Court was Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989.
About Supreme Court of India:
♦ Chief Justice of India – Justice Dipak Misra
♦ Location – New Delhi


ISRO successfully lifts off its 100th Satellite Cartosat-2 from Sriharikota
On January 12, 2018, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSL-C40 successfully lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
i. PSLV-C40 carried total 31 satellites, out of which three were Indian satellites and 28 satellites from six other countries.
ii. 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite, the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C40 marked ISRO’s 100th satellite launch. It is a remote sensing satellite and has a similar configuration to earlier satellites in the series…………………………………………Click here to Read more

Nepal ends India’s monopoly on internet access with new Chinese link
On 12th January 2018, China became Nepal’s second internet service provider, ending India’s position as Nepal’s only internet service provider.
China – second internet service provider to Nepal:
i. China Telecom Global (CTG) has tied up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal.
ii. Nepal was linked to the global internet network only through Indian telecom operators, so far. Optical fiber connections were used for this in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, etc.
iii. Now CTG’s terrestrial fiber cable will be used to connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.
About China Telecom Global (CTG):
♦ General Manager – Deng Xiaofeng
♦ Based in – Hong Kong and Beijing
♦ Established in – 2012


Asian Games bronze medalist Sukhchain Singh Cheema dies in road accident
On 10th January 2018, Sukhchain Singh Cheema, wrestler and Asian Games bronze medalist, died in a car accident in Patiala, Punjab.Sukhchain-SinghDeath of Sukhchain Singh Cheema:
i. Sukhchain Singh Cheema was 68 years old. He was the winner of bronze medal in the 1974 Tehran Asiad. He had also received Dronacharya award.
ii. His car met with an accident in the Patiala bypass, Punjab. He was taken to Government Rajindra Hospital, but was declared dead by doctors.
About Wrestling Federation of India:
♦ President – Brijbhushan Sharan Singh
♦ Senior Vice President – I.D. Nanavati

Former BJP MLA Bindu Lal dies in Uttar Pradesh
On 12th January 2018, Bindu Lal, former BJP MLA died due to cardiac arrest, in Uttar Pradesh.
Death of Bindu Lal:
i.Bindu Lal was 90 years old. He was a three time BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh. He was MLA from Gaisadi seat in 1977, 1991 and 1997.
ii.He had close ties with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is survived by his son.
About Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):
♦ President – Amit Shah
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Newspaper – Kamal Sandesh


“Majuli: Resources and Challenges” – Book explores Majuli, its challenges
“Majuli: Resources and Challenges” is a book that appreciates the beauty and challenges of Majuli, in Assam.
Majuli: Resources and Challenges:
i. “Majuli: Resources and Challenges” was edited by Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti. It was published by Authorspress.
ii. This book is a collection of essays written by experts. It is filled with photographs, maps, diagrams and charts.
iii. Majuli is considered to be the world’s largest freshwater river island and the single island district in India.
iv. Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti is an author and academician. He has expressed strong concern in the book to make Majuli a World Heritage Site.
About Majuli:
♦ Location – Brahmaputra River
♦ State – Assam
♦ First island to be made a district in India


National Youth Day- January 12
On 12th January 2018, National Youth Day was celebrated all over India.Youth DayNational Youth Day:
i. National Youth Day is celebrated in India on 12 January every year to mark the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.
ii. Indian government declared 12 January as the National Youth Day in 1984. The first National Youth Day was celebrated in 1985.
iii. On the National Youth Day processions, speeches, recitations, music, youth conventions, seminars, sports competitions etc. are conducted in schools and colleges all over India.
About Swami Vivekananda:
♦ Indian Hindu monk and a chief disciple of Indian mystic Ramakrishna
♦ Born – 12 January 1863
♦ Philosophy – Modern Vedanta, Raja yoga