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Current Affairs Today January 19 2018

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs January 18 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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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a six-day official visit to India starting from January 14, 2018.
i. It is to be noted that Mr. Netanyahu is the second Israeli Prime Minister after Ariel Sharon to visit India in the last 25 years of India-Israel diplomatic relationship.
ii. India and Israel inked following nine pacts in key areas, including cyber security medicine and oil & gas sectors
iii. Israel will invest $68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like technology, tourism, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years.
PM Modi, Netanyahu rename Teen Murti chowk after Israeli city
On January 14, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart  Benjamin  Netanyahu attended a ceremony to rename Teen Murti Chowk in Central Delhi as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk …………………………………Click here to Read more

Government names nine new smart cities under Smart Cities Mission
On January 19, 2018, Central Government announced names of nine new cities selected under the Smart Cities Mission. Announcement in this regard was made by Minister of State, Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep S Puri.
i. The nine cities that have been selected have proposed an investment of Rs. 12824 crore.
ii. Minister of State, Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep S Puri has stated that with the selection of nine new cities, total investment proposed under Smart Cities Mission has reached Rs.203979 crore. ……………Click here to Read more
List of Nine Cities Selected for Smart Cities Mission:

Serial NumberCity NameState/Union Territory
1SilvassaDadra and Nagar Haveli
2ErodeTamil Nadu
3DiuDaman & Diu
4Bihar SharifBihar
5BareillyUttar Pradesh
6ItanagarArunachal Pradesh
7MoradabadUttar Pradesh
8SaharanpurUttar Pradesh

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan crosses 1 crore mark
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has stated that antenatal check-ups under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has crossed one crore mark.
About Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA):
i.PMSMA programme was launched in 2016 with an objective to ensure comprehensive and quality antenatal checkups to pregnant women across India.
ii.Under this programme,  quality antenatal checkups are provided to pregnant women on the 9th of every month at PMSAM sites. On this day, pregnant women visiting the sites are appropriately examined and investigated by an obstetrician/physician.
iii.PMSMA has been successful in reaching out to the difficult and remote areas of India, as out of the 1 crore checkups, more than 25 lakh check-ups were conducted in high priority districts identified by the Union Health Ministry for focussed attention.

In a first, Kerala to set up Blockchain Academy
Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) and Blockchain Education Network (BEN) have planned to jointly set up Kerala Blockchain Academy at Technopark campus, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Kerala Blockchain Academy:
i.This Blockchain academy is said to be the first of its kind in India. Michael Gord, founder and CEO of MLG Blockchain Consulting, launched the website for the Blockchain academy.
ii.Michael Gord is on the Advisory Board of BEN. The Blockchain academy aims to utilise blockchain technology for the welfare of public, promote innovations and entrepreneurship with blockchain technology.
About Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K):
♦ Director – Saji Gopinath
♦ Chairman – Madhavan Nambiar
♦ Location – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Odisha plans to complete disaster alert project by March 2018
The Odisha government has planned to commission Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) in coastal areas of 6 districts by March 2018.
Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS):
i.This project aims to provide foolproof communication system for providing information to the local people about disasters like cyclone and tsunami.
ii.This is a part of World Bank-supported National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP).
iii.This will provide last mile connectivity in 22 blocks of six coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam.
iv.Total cost of the project is Rs 75 crore. Out of this Rs 67 crore will be provided by NCRMP. Remaining amount will be provided by Odisha government under State Disaster Response Fund.
v.This system will send disaster warning messages to all mobile phone subscribers in the area that is to be affected by a disaster. This alert system will cover 122 locations in total.
About World Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., U.S.
♦ President – Jim Yong Kim
♦ Motto – Working for a World Free of Poverty


India joins Australia Group, Boost for NSG membership
On January 19, 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG).
India’s entry into Australia Group:
i.Australia Group is a cooperative and voluntary group comprising countries that are working to prevent the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could be used to develop or acquire chemical and biological weapons (CBW).
ii.As Australia had initiated to establish such group, the group has been named as ‘Australia Group’.
iii.It was established in year 1985. Secretariat of Australia Group is managed by Australia.
iv.By joining Australia Group, India is now a member of three out of four non proliferation groups. India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) in 2017.
v.Despite intense diplomatic efforts India has not been able to join Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) owing to China’s objection.

World’s largest underwater cave found in Mexico
Divers of Great Maya Aquifer Project have discovered world’s largest known underwater, flooded cave in Mexico.
Information about world’s largest underwater cave:
i.This cave system is located near the beach resort of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula.
ii.It is made of two massive underwater caverns (Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, measuring 163 miles and 52 miles, respectively) that are connected.
iii.With discovery of this connection, the combined length of Sac Actun-Dos Ojos system stands at nearly 215 miles. This is much larger than Ox Bel Ha cave system (also in Mexico), which stretches 168 miles long and was considered as world’s largest underwater cave system.
iv.The Sac Actun-Dos Ojos cave system is also full of pre-Hispanic archaeological sites from the ancient Mayan civilisation.
Quick Facts about Mexico:
♦ Capital – Mexico
♦ Currency – Peso
♦ Current President – Enrique Pena Nieto
♦ Important Rivers – Balsas, Lerma


AU Small Finance Bank inks MoU with LIC to offer PMJJBY
AU Small Finance Bank has signed a MoU with LIC to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
AU Small Finance Bank – MoU with LIC to offer PMJJBY:
i.As per the MoU, LIC will provide a life cover of Rs 2 lakh in case of death to the customer at a premium of Rs 330 per annum.
ii.AU Small Finance Bank’s MD and CEO Sanjay Agarwal, said that, the bank aims to provide services to its customers under a single roof.
About Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC):
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – V.K. Sharma


WhatsApp launches ‘Business’ app for SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises)
WhatsApp has launched Business app to help small enterprises to connect efficiently with their customers.
WhatsApp Business app:
i.The WhatsApp Business app has been launched for Android systems. It has been released in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US.
ii.It is expected to release soon in India. Currently the WhatsApp Business app is free of cost.
iii.A small enterprise owner can create a Business Profile containing details like business description, email or store addresses, and website with the app. This will be highlighted to regular users on WhatsApp.
iv.The app provides features like quick replies, etc. to help provide fast answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). Also, there will be greeting messages and away messages for customers.
v.Business owners can view messaging statistics and review what messages have been read. Using WhatsApp Web, messages can be sent and received with WhatsApp Business on the computer.
About WhatsApp:
♦ CEO – Jan Koum
♦ Headquarters – California, US


Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust wins “Innovation in Tourism Enterprise” at the UNWTO Awards
On 17th January 2018, Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust of Odisha was awarded the “Innovation in Tourism Enterprise” award, at the 14th UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) Awards ceremony in Madrid, Spain.Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust wins "Innovation in Tourism Enterprise" at the UNWTO AwardsMangalajodi Ecotourism Trust – “Innovation in Tourism Enterprise” award:
i.Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust is promoted by RBS Foundation India and Indian Grameen Services. It is a community owned and run entity. It is located on the banks of Chilika Lake in Odisha.
ii.Earlier, the villagers of Mangalajodi were involved in poaching of birds. Now they have transformed into defenders of wildlife, owing to the efforts of the trust.
iii.The ‘Innovation in Tourism Enterprise’ was awarded based on the principles of community ownership and Eco Tourism.
iv.UNWTO stated that Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust’s business model is economically feasible and contributes to environment sustainability.
About UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation):
♦ Headquarters – Madrid, Spain
♦ Head – Zurab Pololikashvili


Facebook adds former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault as its First Black Board Member
On 18th January 2018, Kenneth Chenault, Former CEO of American Express, joined Facebook’s board, becoming the first African American Board Member of Facebook.
Kenneth Chenault – Board Member of Facebook:
i.Kenneth Chenault has vast experience in fields like customer service, direct commerce, etc.
ii.He retired from his CEO position in American Express in October 2017. He was also American Express’ first black CEO. Facebook had been looking for an African American board member to fix its lack of diversity.
About Facebook:
♦ Chairman and CEO – Mark Zuckerberg
♦ COO – Sheryl Sandberg
♦ Headquarters – California, U.S.


INS Vikramaditya formally affiliated to Bihar Regiment
Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya, which is Indian Navy’s largest ship and the only aircraft carrier, has been formally affiliated to Indian Army’s Bihar Regiment and No. 6 Squadron of the Indian Air Force.
INS Vikramaditya’s Affiliation:
i.Bihar Regiment is a highly decorated Infantry Unit of the Indian Army. No. 6 Squadron of the Indian Air Force specializes in maritime strike operations and operates the Jaguar fighter aircraft.
ii.Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet stated that the idea behind the affiliation was to foster a feeling of mutual pride and friendship between the three units that would enhance synergy and jointmanship between the three services.
iii.The affiliation ceremony was held onboard INS Vikramaditya at the Karwar Naval Base, Karnataka.
iv.The affiliation motto is ‘Victory through Jointness’.


India rises 3 places to occupy 102nd spot in FIFA rankings
On 18th January 2018, India climbed up 3 places to secure 102nd spot in the first FIFA rankings of 2018.
India – 102nd spot in FIFA rankings:
i.India has secured a total of 333 points. Indian team remained unbeaten in 2017 and had won seven of nine matches conducted by FIFA.
ii.The top 14 positions remained unchanged. Germany secured 1st spot. It is followed by Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium.
iii.India is followed by Qatar at 103rd position. Iran is the top ranked Asian team at the 34th position.
About FIFA (International Federation of Association Football):
♦ Moto – For the Game. For the World.
♦ Headquarters – Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President – Gianni Infantino


Iconic cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passes away
On 18th January 2018, Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passed away following respiratory ailments, at R G Kar Hospital, in Kolkata.
Death of Chandi Lahiri:
Chandi Lahiri was 86 years old. He is survived by his wife and a daughter. He started his a career as a journalist.
ii.His cartoons were published in several English and Bengali newspapers and magazines. He was also called the creator of ‘pocket cartoons’ in Bengal.
iii.He also authored books like “Catoon er itibritto (the history of cartoons)” and “Scene’s Freedom: a history in cartoons 1947-1993”.
Some stadiums in West Bengal:
♦ Cooch Behar Stadium – Cooch Behar
♦ Eastern Railway Divisional Stadium – Asansol
♦ Gangarampur Stadium – Gangarampur

Celtics Legend and NBA Hall-of-Famer Jo Jo White dies At 71
On 16th January 2018, Basket Ball legend Jo Jo White passed away.
Death of Jo Jo White:
No details regarding Jo Jo Whites’ death has been revealed. He had underwent a surgery for brain tumor in 2010.
ii.He was 71 years old. He was a basketball Hall of Famer. He played for the team Boston Celtics. He had won NBA champion twice. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
About Boston Celtics:
♦ American professional basket ball team
♦ Founded – 1946
♦ President – Rich Gotham

British actor Peter Wyngarde passes away
On 15th January 2018, British television and stage actor Peter Wyngarde passed away following a long time illness at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, in London.
Death of Peter Wyngarde:
Peter Wyngarde was 90 years old. He was popularly known for his role in ‘Department S’ television series.
ii.He had acted in various shows and movies like ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Saint,’ ‘Flash Gordon’ etc.
About Peter Wyngarde:
♦ Occupation – Actor
♦ Born – 23 August 1927


Delhi launches Girl Child Week
On 18th January 2018, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched Girl Child Week programme to celebrate the girl child and spread awareness on gender equality.
Girl Child Week:
i.The Girl Child Week is held from 18 January to 24 January 2018. 24 January is celebrated as National Girl Child Day.
ii.The Girl Child Week is organised by NGO Alliance Defending Freedom India and PC&PNDT Cell of Directorate of Family Welfare of Delhi government.
iii.The Girl Child Week campaign is conducted to spread awareness on the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act, 1994. This act prohibits sex determination during pregnancy.
iv.Arvind Kejriwal signed the pledge to honour and respect women. He said that, the sex ratio at birth in Delhi has raised from 886 females for 1,000 males in 2012 to 902 for 1,000 males in 2016.
About Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF):
♦ Type – Non-profit organization
♦ Headquarters – Scottsdale, Arizona
♦ Chairman – Chapman Cox
♦ President & CEO – Michael Farris

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising Day
On 19th January 2018, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising Day in New Delhi.National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising DayNational Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising Day:
i.Rajiv Jain, Director Intelligence Bureau, was the chief guest of the occasion. Distinguished Service Medals to NDRF personnel were awarded at the occasion.
ii.An MoU was also signed in between NDRF and NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). A co-operation with Facebook was also carried out at the programme.
iii.This cooprtaion with Facebook focuses on targeted geographical messaging, disaster information volunteers and community capacity building.
iv.National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was formed in 19 January 2006. It has played a key role in Disaster Management and has saved the lives of numerous people in distress.
About National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Motto – Saving Lives & Beyond
♦ Director General – Sanjay Kumar