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Current Affairs Today January 25 2018

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs January 25 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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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Government announces 4 new schemes to promote young scientists
On January 24, 2018, Central Government launched four new schemes to promote young scientists and researchers in India. All the schemes focus on empowering, recognising and motivating youth.
i. Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence (TARE) Scheme will connect the educators to leading public funded institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) or national institutions like Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)to pursue research.
ii. Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship scheme, support will be offered to 100 PhD scholars for training at foreign universities/laboratories up to 12 months during their doctoral research.
iii. Distinguished Investigator Award scheme, 100 fellowships will be offered to principal investigators of Science and Engineering Research Board/Department of Science and Technology projects.
iv. Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) scheme aims to encourage science writing. ……………………………………………………………………….Click here to Read more

International Conference on ‘Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Election Process’ in New Delhi
On January 24, 2018, Election Commission of India (ECI) hosted a one-day International Conference on ‘Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Election Process’ in New Delhi.
International Conference on ‘Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Election Process’ in New DelhiHighlights of International Conference on ‘Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Election Process’:
i. The Conference was organized under the VoICE.NET platform, a common knowledge/resource sharing network for 25 Election Management Bodies and International Organisations.
ii. It was attended by representatives from five Election Management Bodies (EMBs) viz. Australia, Guinea, Bhutan, Moldova & Zambia and Heads of two International Organisations viz. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES).
iii. During the conference, representatives from EMBs and international organisations  shared their experiences, initiatives and best practices for electoral engagement, enrolment and active participation of Persons with Disabilities in ballot exercise.
iv. On the sidelines of the Conference, ECI signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with Central Election Commission of Moldova, with National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of Guinea and also with International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

India, Vietnam sign MoUs on I&B, space cooperation
On January 24, 2018, India and Vietnam signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the areas of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) and space.
Details about India-Vietnam MoU:
i. MoU documents were exchanged in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnam counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc in New Delhi.
ii. Under the MoU, India and Vietnam will strive to enhance cooperation in the field of Information and Broadcasting based on principles of equality and in accordance with their national laws and regulations.
iii. In area of space cooperation, India and Vietnam have agreed on the implementation arrangement between Vietnam’s National Remote Sensing Department and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the establishment of tracking and data reception station and data processing facility in Vietnam.  This arrangement will be set up under the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation.
Quick Facts about Vietnam:
♦ Capital – Hanoi
♦ Currency – Vietnamese Dong
♦ Current President – Tran Dai Quang
♦ Important Rivers – Red River, Perfume River

Government to increase number of ‘AMRIT’ pharmacy stores 4 times
Union Health Minister, J P Nadda has stated that his ministry is working to increase the number of AMRIT pharmacy stores by four times (from the existing 111 outlets) by the end of 2018.
Government to increase number of ‘AMRIT’ pharmacy stores 4 timesAbout AMRIT Pharmacy stores:
i. Since November 2015, Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare has opened several Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) pharmacy stores across India with an aim to reduce the expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
ii. According to Mr. Nadda, AMRIT stores have benefited over 52 lakh patients as medicine buyers have saved over Rs 267 crore by buying drugs from these stores.
iii. In order to help more patients, Health Ministry is working for opening more such stores. Mr. Nadda has stated that the goal is to have one AMRIT store in every district of India.

Sushma Swaraj inaugurates Bharat-ASEAN Maitri Park in Delhi
On 24th January 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the Bharat-ASEAN Maitri Park in Delhi.
Sushma Swaraj inaugurates Bharat-ASEAN Maitri Park in Delhi

Sushma Swaraj inaugurates Bharat-ASEAN Maitri Park:
i. The Bharat-ASEAN Maitri Park was inaugurated a day before the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
ii. The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit will enhance India-ASEAN cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, security and connectivity.
iii. ASEAN consists of the following countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.
Some of the important national parks in India:
♦ Anamudi Shola National Park – Kerala
♦ Anshi National Park – Karnataka
♦ Balphakram National Park – Meghalaya
♦ Bandhavgarh National Park – Madhya Pradesh

Centre sanctions setting up of second IIIT in Karnataka
On 24th January 2018, the Central Government sanctioned the establishment of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Raichur, Karnataka.
Centre sanctions setting up of IIIT in Karnataka:
i. Prakash Javadekar, Union Human Resource Development Minister, said that, the required funds for IIIT-Raichur will be allocated in the 2018 Budget.
ii. Karnataka has been ordered to allocate alternative infrastructure for the institute for the academic year 2018-19 until it finds a land for the construction of a permanent campus.
iii. This IIIT will be set up on a public-private partnership mode. This is the second IIIT in Karnataka. The first one is in Dharwad.
Some stadiums in Karnataka:
♦ Ajjarakadu Mahatma Gandhi District Stadium – Udupi
♦ D.R. Bendre Cricket Stadium – Hubli
♦ Dr. Ambedkar Stadium – Bijapur

Maharashtra bans sale of tobacco at shops selling FMCG items
On 24th January 2018, Maharashtra government announced that, it has banned the sale of tobacco at stores that sell Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) items.
Maharashtra bans sale of tobacco at shops selling FMCG items:
i. The ban has been implemented to prevent youngsters getting addicted to tobacco products.
ii. The Central government had insisted state governments to ban the sale of tobacco at shops which sell chocolates, chips and other edible items
iii. Maharashtra has become the first state to implement this ban. It had issued a notification regarding this ban on 9th January 2018.
iv. Shops found out selling both tobacco and FMCG products will be punished. Also, their licence will be cancelled, with up to six months imprisonment, and fine.
About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Chairperson – Ashish Bahuguna
♦ CEO – Pawan Kumar Agarwal

NHIDCL signs MoU with IL&FS for construction of Zojila tunnel
National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.
NHIDCL signs MoU with IL&FS for construction of Zojila tunnelDetails pertaining to construction of Zojila tunnel:
i. The main objective of the project is to provide all whether connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh region in Jammu & Kashmir. Currently connectivity with Leh region is only limited to 6 months in a year owing to snow and avalanches.
ii. The total capital cost of the project is Rs 6808.69 crore, which includes the cost towards land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation.
iii. This 2-lane, bi-directional Zojila Tunnel will have all modern technical safety arrangements such as CCTV monitoring, cut and cross ventilation system, and uninterrupted power supply.
iv. On completion, it will become India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UK government announces dedicated unit to combat fake news
The UK government has announced the formation of a dedicated national security unit to counter fake news and disinformation.
UK government announces dedicated unit to combat fake newsUK government – Dedicated unit to combat fake news:
i. The dedicated national security unit to counter fake news and disinformation will be led by the UK Cabinet Office.
ii. The unit will flag fake information on social media. This announcement was made at a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
About National Security Council (United Kingdom):
♦ Chairperson – Theresa May (Prime Minister)
♦ Deputy Chair – David Lidington (Minister for the Cabinet Office)

BANKING & FINANCE

Government unveils details of recapitalisation plan for public sector banks
On January 24, 2018, Government provided details about the recapitalisation plan for Public Sector Banks (PSBs) that was announced in October 2017
Information related to PSB recapitalisation plan:
In a bid to revise growth of PSBs, Government will infuse Rs. 88139 crore capital in 20 public sector banks (PSBs) before March 31, 2018.
i. Out of this amount, 80000 crore will be raised through recapitalisation bonds and Rs. 8139 crore will come in the form of budgetary support.
ii. IDBI Bank will get the highest infusion – Rs 10610 crore.
iii. These bonds would be issued in six tranches, will have a maturity period of 10-15 years and would be priced at 8%………………………………………………………………….Click here to Read more
Top 5 recipients under PSB recapitalisation plan:

Bank Amount
IDBI Bank Rs. 10610 crore
Bank of India Rs. 9232 crore
State Bank of India Rs. 8800 crore
UCO Bank Rs. 6507 crore
Punjab National Bank Rs. 5473 crore

BUSINESS

UDAN-2: 325 more routes awarded; IndiGo, Jet Airways join with chopper operators
On January 24, 2018, Central Government awarded 325 more routes to airlines as well as helicopter operators under its regional connectivity scheme, UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).
Information about second round of bidding under UDAN:
i. In awarding routes under second round of bidding, emphasis was laid on flight services to hilly and remote areas, including Kargil. 
ii. After flight services start on these routes, a total of 56 new airports and helipads will be connected to 36 existing aerodromes.These routes have been awarded to 15 airlines and helicopter operators.………………….Click here to Read more

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Hemant Kumar Sharma appointed as Jammu’s New Divisional Commissioner
Hemant Kumar Sharma has been appointed as the Divisional Commissioner of Jammu.
Hemant Kumar Sharma – Divisional Commissioner of Jammu:
i.Hemant Kumar Sharma was Commissioner/Secretary to Government in Jammu & Kashmir Transport department. He also held additional charge of the post of administrative secretary, science and technology department.
ii.He is now appointed as Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. This post had been vacant after Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, who occupied this post went on central deputation.
iii.Hemant Kumar Sharma is an IAS officer of the 2002 batch. M Raju, secretary to the government, Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control department, has been given the additional charge of the posts of administrative secretary, transport and science and technology department.
Some wildlife sanctuaries of Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary – Leh District
♦ Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary – Shopian district

V Narayanan appointed as Director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre
Dr V Narayanan has taken charge as Director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, at Valiamala, Kerala.
V Narayanan – Director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre:
i.Dr V Narayanan is a senior scientist at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). He replaces S Somanath as Director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
ii.Recently S Somanath was appointed as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Dr V Narayanan is an expert in rocket propulsion.
iii.He joined ISRO in 1984. He has published various technical papers in national and international journals.
iv.He has worked as Project Director for C25 Cryogenic Project. He had an important role in the launch of GSLV Mk III vehicle.
About International Astronautical Federation:
♦ Purpose – Space advocacy
♦ Location – Paris, France
♦ Formation – 1951

Harman International names Priyanka Chopra as global brand ambassador
Harman International has named actress Priyanka Chopra as the global brand ambassador for its JBL and Harman Kardon audio brands.
Harman International names Priyanka Chopra as global brand ambassador
Priyanka Chopra – global brand ambassador for JBL and Harman Kardon audio brands:
i. Priyanka Chopra will be involved in various marketing initiatives, such as social media and brand awareness events for JBL and Harman Kardon.
ii. Harman International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. AR Rahman is also one of the brand ambassadors for Harman International.
About Harman International Industries, Inc:
♦ President & CEO – Dinesh Paliwal
♦ Headquarters – Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
♦ Founded – 1980

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Rachel Morrison becomes first female cinematographer to nominate for Oscar 2018
Rachel Morrison has become the first female cinematographer to be nominated for Oscar awards.
Rachel Morrison becomes first female cinematographer to nominate for Oscar 2018
Rachel Morrison – first female cinematographer to nominate for Oscar 2018:
i. Rachel Morrison has been nominated for Oscar awards 2018 in the category of cinematographers for her work in the movie Mudbound.
ii. Rachel Morrison will compete against Roger Deakins, a British cinematographer. The Oscar awards will be broadcasted on 4th March 2018. Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscar 2018 event.
About Oscars:
♦ Also known as the Academy Awards
♦ Awarded for – Excellence in cinematic achievements
♦ Presented by – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
♦ Country – United States

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Upgraded SARAS prototype 1N aircraft successfully flight tested in Bengaluru
The new upgraded version of SARAS aircraft developed by National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL) completed a successful first flight on January 24, 2018.
Upgraded SARAS prototype 1N aircraft successfully flight tested in Bengaluru
Details about new upgraded version of SARAS aircraft:
i. On January 24, 2018, the 14-seater SARAS PT1N flew in the skies for nearly 40 minutes.
ii. A team of 40 young scientists and engineers at NAL had been working on this aircraft for the past nine months.
iii. Earlier, Saras programme suffered a setback owing to an accident in March 2009.
iv. Although the new upgraded version that has been tested, has 14-seat capacity, the final product which will be taken care of by Indian Air Force would accommodate 19 people.
v. NAL Director Jitendra Jadhav has stated that manufacturing of two Limited Series Prototypes would cost Rs 400 crore to Rs 500 crore.

OBITUARY

Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author passes away
On 22nd January 2018, Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction author, passed away following several weeks of illness, at her residence in Portland, Oregon, United States.
Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author passes awayDeath of Ursula K. Le Guin:
i. Ursula K. Le Guin is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer. She was 88 years old. She was well known for her Earthsea books.
ii. She had won various awards like honorary National Book Award in 2014, Newbery Medal etc. In 2017, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
About American Academy of Arts and Letters:
♦ Goal – to foster, assist, and sustain excellence in American literature, music, and art
♦ Location – Washington Heights, Manhattan, US

IMPORTANT DAYS

8th National Voters’ Day – January 25
On 25th January 2018, 8th National Voters’ Day was observed all over India.
National Voters’ Day:
8th National Voters’ Day - January 25
i. The theme for National Voters’ Day 2018 was: ‘Accessible Elections’. This day is celebrated to encourage more voters to take part in the polling process.
ii. 25 January is the foundation day of the Election Commission of India. The Election Commission of India came into action in 1950.
iii. Hence 25 January is celebrated every year as National Voters’ Day. The first National Voters’ Day was celebrated on 25th January 2011.
About Election Commission of India:
♦ Chief Election Commissioner of India – Om Prakash Rawat
♦ Election Commissioners of India – Sunil Arora, Ashok Lavasa

Himachal Pradesh celebrates 48th Statehood Day
On 25th January 2018, Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 48th Statehood Day.
Himachal Pradesh celebrates 48th Statehood Day
Himachal Pradesh – 48th Statehood Day:
i.On 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh was named the 18th state of India.  This day is celebrated every year as Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day.
ii.A function was held at Aani, Kullu district, in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur participated in the event.
iii.At the event, he announced that, the civil hospital at Anni with the 50 beds will be improved to a 100 bed hospital. He also stated that the Sarahan-Bathad road will be upgraded to a major district road.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary – Chamba district
♦ Kanwar Sanctuary – Kullu district
♦ Majthal Sanctuary – Solan District