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Current Affairs Today January 26 2018

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ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit issues Delhi Declaration
ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations was held in New Delhi on January 25, 2018.
i. Theme of this Summit was “Shared Values, Common Destiny”.A join statement, titled ‘Delhi Declaration’ was issued outlining the participating countries’ commitment to political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.
ii.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders from 10 ASEAN member countries released commemorative postal stamps on Ramayana to mark 25 years of India-ASEAN relations……………………………………..Click here to Read more

Maharashtra Government comes up with helipad policy
Maharashtra State Government has framed a comprehensive helipad policy which lays down strict guidelines for helipads, their location and other procedures to be followed.Maharashtra Government comes up with helipad policyOverview of Maharashtra Government’s Helipad Policy:
i. This policy has been framed by the aviation department of Maharashtra Government’s General Administration Department. Need for such policy was felt owing to a series of near-mishaps of helicopters ferrying Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during last one year.
ii .One of the key rule to be followed is that helipads should be located close to cities but away from densely populated areas.
iii. Height restrictions have been imposed for constructing buildings in the area where a helipad is located.
iv .The helicopter pilot should not start the helicopter, neither should he/she start the air conditioning before the VVIP passenger gets on board.
Quick Facts about Maharashtra: 
♦ Capital – Mumbai (summer), Nagpur (winter)
♦ Current Governor – C. Vidyasagar Rao
♦ Current Chief Minister – Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Important National Park – Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Nitin Gadkari opens projects worth Rs 6,517 crore in Uttar Pradesh
On January 25, 2018, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid foundation stone for several projects in Uttar Pradesh.
i. These projects entail a combined investment of Rs 6517 crore.
ii. The seven National Highways projects among these have a total length of 246 km.
iii. In Maharajganj district , Mr. Gadkari opened the newly widened and strengthened 26.9 km Urka-Ramnagar section and 33 km long Siswa Babu to Kaptanganj section of National Highway 730.
iv. In Ghazipur district, Mr. Gadkari laid the foundation stone for widening and strengthening of 65.38 km long Ghazipur-Mau section of National Highway 29.
v. At Ghazipur, Mr. Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for an Intermodal Terminal on National Waterways –I.
Quick Facts about Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Current Governor – Ram Naik
♦ Current Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
♦ Important National Park – Dudhwa National Park

Punjab CM launches ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’ for distressed sections of society
On 26th January 2018, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched the ‘Mahatama Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’ to help the distressed sections of the society.Punjab CM launches ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’ for distressed sections of societyMahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana:
i. The ‘Mahatama Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’ aims to help the distressed sections of the society socially, economically and psychologically.
ii. Captain Amarinder Singh said that, 10.25 lakh farmers of Punjab coming under the debt waiver scheme will receive the benefits by November 2018.
iii .He also launched the e-POS scheme for fair price shops. This will replace the previous blue card system for distribution of Atta-Dal.
About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
♦ President – Radha Mohan Singh
♦ Location – New Delhi
♦ Motto – Agrisearch with a human touch

Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat launched in Jharkhand
On 25th January 2018, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das launched ‘Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat’ at Balijore village, in Dumka district of Jharkhand.
Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat:
i. Raghubar Das said that, Jharkhand is the first state in India, where beneficiaries are provided stoves along with gas connections.
ii. He said that, Rs 300 crore was alloted in the budget for LPG connection and stove distribution. Out of that, 10 lakh beneficiaries have been provided with connections so far.
iii. He added that, Jharkhand has set a target to provide connections to 28 lakh poor families in 2018.
iv .He also said that, ‘Adivasi Vikas Samiti’ will be formed in tribal populated areas. ‘Gram Vikas Samiti’ will be established in villages having less tribal count with 7 members in small villages and 11 members in bigger villages.
Some wildlife sanctuaries & tiger reserves in Jharkhand:
♦ Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Palamau Tiger Reserve

India, Vietnam release first ever commemorative stamps
On 25th January 2018, India and Vietnam launched the first ever set of commemorative postage stamps to highlight the bilateral ties between them.India, Vietnam release first ever commemorative stampsIndia, Vietnam release first ever commemorative stamps:
i. India and Vietnam have released the first set of commemorative postage stamps. The theme of these stamps is ‘ancient architecture’.
ii. Two set of stamps were unveiled. They carried a picture of Sanchi Stupa and Thien Mu Pagoda. These stamps were designed by both Indian and Vietnam artists.
iii. AN Nanda, Secretary, Department of Posts and Truong Monh Tuan, Vietnam IT and Communications Minister, were present at the stamp release event.
About Department of Posts (DoP):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Founded – 1854
♦ Secretary – AN Nanda


Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana
In a bid to strengthen the existing channels of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) distribution, Government has allowed Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks to sell APY to their customers.
Offering APY through Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks:
i. This decision will not only improve the outreach of APY to new subscribers but will generate fee income for Banks. As of now banks will get an incentive of Rs. 120-150 for each APY account.
ii. On January 15, 2018, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) had conducted an Orientation Meeting in New Delhi to familiarize these Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks in Atal Pension Yojana (APY).
iii. Atal Pension Yojana is Government of India’s Old Age Pension Scheme. It was launched in May 2015 and is being implemented through all Banks across India.
iv .As on January 23, 2018, APY subscriber base crossed more than 84 lacs.


NSIC inks pact with Malaysia’s SME Corporation
On January 25, 2018, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SME Corporation Malaysia for cooperation in development of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India and Malaysia.
Details about NSIC-SME Corporation Malaysia MoU:
i. The MoU was signed in presence of Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Giriraj Singh.
ii. Under this MoU, two entities will work together for improving global competitiveness of Indian and Malaysian MSMEs. Besides, they will also enter into technical collaboration for the same.
iii .In addition to NSIC-SME Corporation Malaysia MoU, three other agreements were also signed between Indian and Malaysian organisations to strengthen cooperation among smaller businesses in both the countries.
Quick Facts about NSIC:
♦ Founded in – 1955
♦ Headquarters – Delhi
♦ Functions under – Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

Kolkata becomes first Indian metro to get a floating market
On 24th January 2018, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, inaugurated the floating market located at Lake Patuli on the eastern part of Kolkata.Kolkata becomes first Indian metro to get a floating market Kolkata floating market:
i. The floating market was opened for the public on 25th January 2018. This floating market has been created to accommodate nearly 200 shopkeepers from a market that was closed during the extension of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
ii. The floating market will accommodate nearly 114 boats. Each boat will accommodate two shops.
iii. Daily-use items like vegetables, fruits, flowers, fish, meat and poultry will be sold in these shops. People can reach the boats by means of wooden walkways.
iv. The market will be open on all days from 6 am to 9 pm. Kolkata has become the first metro in India to get a floating market.
Some National Parks in West Bengal:
♦ Sundarbans National Park
♦ Singalila National Park
♦ Gorumara National Park


Government announces recipients of 2018 Padma awards
On January 25, 2018, Government announced Padma Awards 2018.  This year, President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has approved conferment of 85 Padma Awards. This year’s 85 Padma Awards also include duo cases, wherein the award is counted as one…………………………..Click here to Readmore
Padma Vibhushan

NameField State
Shri IllaiyarajaArt-MusicTamil Nadu
Shri Ghulam Mustafa KhanArt-MusicMaharashtra
Shri Parameswaran ParameswaranLiterature and EducationKerala


Usha Ananthasubramanian becomes first woman chairman of IBA
On 25th January 2018, Usha Ananthasubramanian became the first woman chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).Usha Ananthasubramanian becomes first woman chairman of IBAUsha Ananthasubramanian – Chairman of IBA:
i. Usha Ananthasubramanian is the MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank. She was elected as Chairman of IBA for 2017-18 by its Managing Committee.
ii.The Chairman post of IBA was vacant since the superannuation of Jatinder Bir Singh. Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, has been elected to the post of Deputy Chairman of IBA for 2017-18.
About Indian Banks’ Association (IBA):
♦ Objective – to promote and develop progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the developments of creative banking in India
♦ Formed – 26 September 1946


Chinese scientists clone monkeys for the first time
Chinese scientists have created two monkeys named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua through cloning for the first time in the world.Chinese scientists clone monkeys for the first timeMonkeys cloned for the first time:
i. Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are female monkeys that are 7 and 8 weeks old. This success was mentioned in the journal Cell.
ii. This is the first time, researchers have cloned and created two healthy monkeys. These monkeys were created through the cloning method that was used to produce Dolly the sheep in 1996.
iii. The Chinese scientists collected the DNA-containing nucleus from monkey eggs and replaced it with DNA from monkey fetus.
iv .These modified eggs grew and divided. They developed into an embryo and this was placed inside the female monkeys to develop and give birth.
About Cell (journal):
♦ Publisher – Cell Press
♦ Discipline – Biology
♦ Language – English
♦ Edited by – Emilie Marcus


Scientists find new population of near-extinct handfish
A new population of red handfish has been discovered in Tasmania making their population double now.Scientists find new population of near-extinct handfishRed Handfish:
i. The red handfish was considered extremely rare and they were confined to a small reef in Frederick Henry Bay near Hobart in south-east Tasmania.
ii. They were found recently at a nearby reef in Tasmania’s south-east coast by researchers from University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and Reef Life Survey.
iii. These fishes are likely to be genetically isolated because they are not capable of doing long swims.
iv. On the whole, there are three species of critically endangered handfish in Tasmania. The red handfish is the rarest of the three species.
v. They are just seven or nine centimetres long. They belong to the species Thymichthys politus.
About Reef Life Survey:
♦ Purpose – Marine life monitoring programme
♦ Region – Tasmania


Veteran Bengali actress Supriya Devi dies
On 26th January 2018, Bengali actress Supriya Devi passed away at her home due to a massive heart attack, in South Kolkata.Veteran Bengali actress Supriya Devi diesDeath of Supriya Devi:
i. Supriya Devi was 85 years old. She is survived by her daughter Soma.
ii. She was born on 8th January 1933. She was one of the leading Bengali actors of her time.
iii. She received Padma Shri award in 2014. She has also received the Banga-Vibhushan award in 2011. She had acted in nearly 50 films.
About Film and Television Institute of India (FTII):
♦ Chairman – Anupam Kher
♦ Director – Bhupendra Kainthola
♦ Location – Pune, Maharashtra


India celebrates 69th Republic Day
India celebrated 69th Republic Day on January 26, 2018. Republic Day celebrations are held to honour the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect i.e. on January 26, 1950.
i. On January 26, 2018, leaders of all the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries attended India’s Republic Day celebration at Rajpath, New Delhi as Chief Guests.
iiBharat Parv being organized as part of Republic Day 2018 Celebrations
With an objective to generate a patriotic mood and promote the rich cultural diversity of India, Government of India has organised Bharat Parv event at the Red Fort, Delhi from 26thto 31st January, 2018.
iii. Ashok Chakra was awarded posthumously to Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala, Indian Air Force (IAF) commando, in New Delhi.
iv. For the first time, a women contingent of the Border Security Force (BSF) performed motorcycle stunts during 69th Republic Day parade at Rajghat, New Delhi……………………………….Click here to Read more

International Customs Day – January 26
On 26th January 2018, International Customs Day was observed all over the world.International Customs DayInternational Customs Day:
i. The slogan for International Customs Day 2018 is “A secure business environment for economic development.”
ii. International Customs Day is celebrated every year on 26th January 2018 to mark the first official conference of the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) held in 1953 in Brussels, Belgium.
iii .The CCC was renamed World Customs Organization (WCO) in 1994. The International Customs Day is celebrated to improve the effectiveness of the member customs administrations.
About World Customs Organization (WCO):
♦ Secretary General – Kunio Mikuriya
♦ Location – Brussels, Belgium