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Current Affairs Today January 24 2018

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs January 24 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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Centre releases Rs 734.7 crore for 26 irrigation projects
Last week, Union Water Resources Ministry released central assistance amounting to Rs 734.7 crore for 26 irrigation projects.
Funds for Irrigation Projects:
i. Out of the total amount Rs. 734.7 crore, Rs 246.9 crore is for nine prioritised projects under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) for Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works.
ii. Remaining Rs 487.80 crore is to be utilised for Command Area Development (CAD) works for 17 projects.
iii. It is to be noted that during financial year 2017-18, central assistance amounting to Rs 1152.52 crore has been released for 26 priority projects under the AIBP so far. Besides, Rs. 3318.85 crore has been released as state share from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for 24 priority projects under the AIBP.

India’s richest 1% corner 73% of wealth generation: Survey
As per the survey and the accompanying report (titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’) released by the international rights group Oxfam, richest 1 per cent in India amassed 73 per cent of the wealth generated in the country last year.

Highlights of Survey by Oxfam:
i. Wealth of 67 crore Indians (about 50% of the population) rose by just 1 per cent during last year.
ii. As per the report, wealth of India’s richest 1 per cent increased by overRs. 20.9 lakh crore during 2017, which is equivalent to Indian Government’s budgetary allocation for 2017–18.
iii. On global level, richest 1 per cent managed to corner 82 per cent of the wealth generated last year while wealth of 3.7 billion comprising poorest half of world population did not increase at all.
iv. Findings of this survey have revealed rising income inequality, not only in India but across the world.

Japan sanctioned 45 billion yen loan Assistance to India for Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Project (Phase 3) (I)
Government of Japan has committed JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Official Development Assistance loan for Yen 45 billion for Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Project (Phase 3) (I).
Japan – 45 billion yen loan to Bengaluru:
i. On 24th January 2018, documents regarding this was exchanged between Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, India and H.E. Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India.
ii. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) area, mainly 110 villages, will be covered by this project.
iii. People of this area will be provided with safe water supply and sewerage services. Water treatment plants and sewage treatment plants will be set up for this purpose.
About JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency):
♦ Headquarters – Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
♦ President – Shinichi Kitaoka
♦ Purpose – Official development assistance

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approves ‘one district, one product’ scheme
On January 23, 2018, Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet approved ‘one district, one product’ scheme to promote products indigenous to every district.
Uttar Pradesh State Government’s ‘one district, one product’ scheme:
i. Decision in this regard was as taken at State Cabinet meeting chaired by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiatyanth.
ii. Under this scheme, one product indigenous to every district of Uttar Pradesh would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event beginning from January 24, 2018.
iii. Uttar Pradesh State Government expects that implementation of this scheme will boost economic development of the state, and will generate five lakh new employment opportunities per year.
Quick Facts about Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Current Governor – Ram Naik
♦ Current Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
♦ Important National Park – Dudhwa National Park


World Economic Forum annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland
The annual meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) is being held in Davos, Switzerland from 23rd – 26th January 2018.
Highllights of WEF MeetingI
i. This year’s theme is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.
ii. Shah Rukh Khan received Crystal award for raising awareness about human rights issues and his work for acid attacks victims
iii. For the first time in the 48-year history of the World Economic Forum (WEF), its annual meeting, being held in Davos, Switzerland from 23rd – 26th January 2018 will be chaired entirely by women.
iii. World Economic Forum (WEF) has partnered with Reliance Industries Ltd. to set up Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in India.
iv. World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the launch of a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity. Headquarters of this centre is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The centre will become operational from March 2018…………………..Click here to Read more

India Ranks 81st on Global Talent Competitiveness Index
India has ranked 81st out of 119 countries on 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). This marks an improvement as compared to 92nd rank in 2017. The index was released on January 23, 2018, the first day of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland
i. 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) has been developed by INSEAD, Adecco Group and Tata Communications.
ii. 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report has been titled ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’ and focuses on role of diversity in forming talent policies and innovation strategies……………..Click here to Read more

India ranks 177 on Environment Performance Index 2018
India has ranked 177th among 180 countries on Environmental Performance Index 2018. This marks a drop from 141st position in 2016. The Index was released on January 23, 2018, the first day of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland
Highlights of Environment Performance Index 2018:
i. Decline in India’s rank as compared to 2016 can be attributed to the quality of data and the broadening the base of parameters. However, Indian Government’s ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ got a special mention in the report.……………………Click here to Read more

Sri Lanka bans import of non-airbag equipped vehicles
The Sri Lankan government has announced that, the ban on import of vehicles that are not fitted with air bags and seat belts and below the emission levels as per Euro IV standard, will come to act on 1st July 2018.
Ban on non-airbag equipped vehicles in Sri Lanka:
i. This ban was supposed to come to effect from 1 January 2018. After hearing requests from motor vehicle importers and manufacturers to extend time to comply with the standards mentioned by government, the ban has been postponed to 1st July 2018.
ii. As per the ban, from 1st July 2018, vehicles without airbags and seat belts for the driver and front passenger, Anti-Locking Breaking System (ABS) standards and three-point seat belts at the back portion will not be permitted for import.
Some Cabinet Ministers of Sri Lanka:
♦ President – Maithripala Sirisena
♦ Prime Minister – Ranil Wickremesinghe
♦ Minister of Home Affairs – Vajira Abeywardena


IOB inks pact with National Housing Bank for RHIS scheme
On January 23, 2018, public sector lender Indian Overseas Bank announced that it has entered into an agreement with the National Housing Bank (NHB) for implementation of the Rural Housing Interest Subsidy Scheme (RHISS) of Union Ministry of Rural Development.

Details about IOB-NHB tie-up:
i. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed in the presence of IOB MD and CEO, R. Subramaniakumar and MD and CEO of National Housing Bank, Sriram Kalyanaraman.
ii. Objective of this scheme is to provide subsidy for loans to households in rural areas for undertaking construction and modification activities.
iii. Under this scheme, 3% interest subsidy is offered on a loan amount of Rs two lakh for a tenure of 20 years.
Quick Facts about IOB:
♦ Founded in – 1937
♦ Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
♦ Current MD & CEO – R. Subramania Kumar
♦ Tagline – ‘Good People to Grow With’

Prodigee Finance granted NBFC-ND license from RBI
Bhopal-based Prodigee Finance Limited has received Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC-ND) license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI). ‘ND’ indicates Non-Deposit accepting NBFC.
About Prodigee Finance Ltd.:
i. Enterslice, a consulting firm specialising in NBFC registration had helped Prodigee Finance in the entire process.
ii. By attaining the NBFC licence, Prodigee Finance will now be able to extend loans to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) as part of their services.
iii. Prodigee Finance is keen on providing SME loans as it believes that it will not only help borrowers who don’t have access to credit but will also boost the local economy.


ONGC borrows Rs 4000 crore from ICICI Bank for buying HPCL
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has borrowed Rs 4,000 crore from ICICI Bank to acquire HPCL.
ONGC borrows Rs 4K crore from ICICI Bank for buying HPCL:
i. ICICI Bank has provided the Rs 4,000 crore loan to ONGC for a period of one year.  ONGC has borrowed this amount to acquire government’s 51.11 % stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
ii. Apart from this Rs 4,000 crore loan from ICICI Bank, ONGC has taken, over Rs 18,000 crore loan from 3 other banks to acquire HPCL. The total acquisition amount is Rs 36,915 crore.
iii. ONGC has signed a deal with PNB (Punjab National Bank) for Rs 10,600 crore. It has signed deals with Bank of India for Rs 4,460 crore and with Axis Bank for Rs 3,000 crore.
About Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC):
♦ Headquarters – Dehradun, Uttarakhand
♦ Chairman & MD – Shashi Shanker


Rajesh Agarwal appointed as Ambassador of India to Republic of Niger
On 23rd January 2018, Rajesh Agarwal was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Niger.
Rajesh Agarwal – Ambassador of India to the Republic of Niger:
i. Rajesh Agarwal is currently the Counsellor, High Commission of India, Port Moresby. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Niger.
ii. He will soon take charge as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Niger.
Ambassadors and High Commissioners of India to various countries:
♦ United States – Navtej Sarna
♦ United Kingdom – Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha
♦ United Kingdom – Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha
♦ United Arab Emirates – T.P. Seetharam

U.S. Senate confirms Governor Jerome H Powell as Chairman of Federal Reserve
On 24th January 2018, the United States Senate appointed Jerome H Powell as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Jerome H Powell – Chairman of Federal Reserve:
i. Jerome H Powell replaces Janett Yellen as Chairman of Federal Reserve. Janett Yellen’s term ends in February 2018.
ii. Jerome H Powell is 64 years old. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate through a vote in which he obtained 84-12. Currently, Jerome H Powell is a Federal Governor.
About Federal government of the United States:
♦ Headquarters – The White House
♦ Leader – President of the United States – Donald Trump

Tsewang Namgyal appointed as Ambassador of India to Poland
On 24th January 2018, Tsewang Namgyal was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Poland.
Tsewang Namgyal – Ambassador of India to the Republic of Poland:
i. Tsewang Namgyal is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of the 1992 batch. He is at present the Ambassador of India to Cuba.
ii. He has been named the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Poland. He will soon take up his new assignment.
India’s Permanent representatives to international organizations:
♦ Conference on Disarmament – Gaurav Sobti
♦ United Nations (New York City) – Syed Akbaruddin
♦ World Trade Organization – Mr. J.S. Deepak


Management Information System (MIS) portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme launched by WCD Ministry
On 24th January 2018, Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, unveiled the Management Information System (MIS) portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme, in New Delhi.
MIS Portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme:
i. The Management Information System (MIS) portal was developed jointly by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and National Informatics Centre (NIC). URL of the MIS portal is
ii. The MIS Portal has been created to enable submission of applications by NGOs (non-governmental organization) for carrying out Anganwadi Services (ICDS – Integrated Child Development Services) Training through Anganwadi Workers Training Centres (AWTCs) and Middle Level Training Centres (MLTCs).
iii. The first phase of MIS portal will let NGOs submit proposal to the States. The states will process the proposals and recommend funds for running the Programme.
iv. The Central government will in turn look into the proposal and release funds for the Programme.
About National Informatics Centre (NIC):
♦ Director General – Neeta Verma
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi


Rakhi Halder creates new national record in the 33rd Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships
On 23rd January 2018, Rakhi Halder made a new national record by lifting 128kgs in the clean and jerk, in the 63kg women’s category, in the 33rd Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships, in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
Rakhi Halder – National record in Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships:
i. Rakhi Halder lifted 128kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 230kgs in the 63kg women’s category. She created a new national record surpassing Karnam Malleswari’s record of 127kg at Athens in 1999.
ii. Rakhi Halder won gold medal in the 63kg women’s category. S Thasana Chanu (202kg) won silver medal and Amandeep Kaur (191kg) won bronze in this category.
Some dams in Karnataka:
♦ Tungabhadra Dam – Tungabhadra River
♦ Krishna Raja Sagara Dam – Kaveri River
♦ Linganamakki Dam – Sharavathi River


Veteran Communist leader Yashwant Chavan passes away
On 23rd January 2018, veteran Communist leader Yashwant Chavan died after a short time illness, at a private hospital in Pune, Maharashtra.
Death of Yashwant Chavan:
i. Yashwant Chavan was 97 years old. He founded the ‘Lal Nishan Party’ (Red Flag Party) in 1965, after he split with the CPI (Communist Party of India).
ii. He also played an important role in the Navjivan Sangathana (‘New Life Organization’). The Lal Nishan Party was merged with CPI in August 2017.
About Communist Party of India (CPI):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Secretary-General – S. Sudhakar Reddy
♦ Lok Sabha leader – C. N. Jayadevan
♦ Rajya Sabha leader – D. Raja

Hugh Masekela, South African jazz trumpeter, dies
On 23rd January 2018, Hugh Masekela, jazz trumpeter of South Africa, died after suffering from prostate cancer, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Death of Hugh Masekela:
i. Hugh Masekela was 78 years old. He was called the “the father of South African jazz”.
ii. He was born in Witbank, a town in eastern South Africa. He composed Soweto Blues and wrote Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela).
iii. Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela) was considered an anthem of the anti-apartheid struggle. He contributed a lot to end apartheid.
About Nelson Mandela:
♦ 1st President of South Africa
♦ Political party – African National Congress
♦ Known for – Anti-Apartheid Movement


National Girl Child Day
On 24th January 2018, National Girl Child Day was celebrated all over India.
National Girl Child Day:
i. National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year on 24 January to highlight the achievements of girl children and to focus on issues like sex ratio, female foeticide, child marriage, gender inequality, etc.
Rapid Reporting System for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls:
i. The first phase of Rapid Reporting System for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls was launched on National Girl Child Day (24 January 2018) by Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Women and Child Development.
ii. Rapid Reporting System is an online monitoring system to take measures for girls’ nutritional and health status by targeting beneficiaries and reducing wastages. The URL for the portal is
iii. The Scheme for Adolescent Girls works for the needs of out-of-school adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years. These girls are also motivated to join school.
Some Welfare schemes for women in India:
♦ Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS)
♦ The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana Conditional Maternity Benefit plan (CMB)
♦ Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls – Sabla