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Current Affairs Today January 29 2018

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Maharashtra to grade performance of its 7.5 lakh govt employees
Maharashtra State Government’s General administration department under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has proposed a Performance-linked marking system for 7.5 lakh state government employees.
Overview of Maharashtra Government’s Performance-linked marking system for state government employees:
i. The new 100-point performance marking system, will take into account subjective as well as objective evaluation of an employee’s performance during the year.
ii. Out of the 100 marks, 60 marks will be assigned for performance on objective parameters, such as speed of completing the given work, punctuality, attentiveness etc, while the remaining 40 marks will be given for subjective parameters such as quality of file notings, contribution in policy making, articulation of thought etc.
iii. Although the new system will not disincentivise the average or the poor performers, it has proposed public recognition and rewards for good performers (referred to as ‘Sukarmis’). Rewards may include cash rewards or additional perks.
iv. All state level and district level government offices will be asked to identify 5 per cent employees across cadres as the top performers.
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

President Ram Nath Kovind launches Pulse Polio programme for 2018
On January 27, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2018 from Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, by administering polio drops to children below five years.President Ram Nath Kovind launches Pulse Polio programme for 2018About Pulse Polio programme for 2018:
i. President Kovind administered the drops on eve of National Immunisation Day, which was observed on Jaunuary 29, 2018.
ii. Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, Ministers of State (Health) Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Ms. Anupriya Patel were also present at the occasion.
iii. Under Pulse Polio Programme for 2018, over 17 crore children below five years across India will be given polio drops. 

Assam to introduce digital budget
The Assam Assembly is to introduce digital budget in its upcoming session, instead of the conventional printed booklet.
Assam to introduce digital budget:
i. The Assembly session will start from 6th February 2018. Assam budget will be presented in a digital form by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on 12th March 2018.
ii. Other new elements to be introduced in the Assam Assembly are: ‘Members Hour’, a year-long calendar, ‘Best Legislator Award’, formation of Pay Commission for MLAs’ salary and fellowships for research work on history of the Assembly.
iii. During the ‘Member Hour’ on every Tuesday, the legislators can put forth important problems in their constituencies, and Ministers of respective departments would answer the queries.
About Assam Legislative Assembly:
♦ Speaker – Hitendra Nath Goswami
♦ Deputy Speaker – Dilip Kumar Paul
♦ Leader of the House (Chief Minister) – Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Leader of the Opposition – Debabrata Saikia

Assam Governor releases postage stamp in memory of Dr. Talimeren Ao
On 28th January 2018, Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi released a postage stamp in memory of eminent football player Dr. Talimeren Ao at Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex playground in Paltan Bazar, Guwahati, Assam.Assam Governor releases postage stamp in memory of Dr. Talimeren AoPostage stamp in memory of Dr. Talimeren Ao:
i. The postage stamp was released in memory of Dr. Talimeren Ao to mark his birth centenary year. Dr. Talimeren Ao was born on 28 January 1918.
ii. He played a key role in familiarizing football in Assam. He headed the Indian Football Team during the 1948 London Olympics.
iii. Professionally, Dr. Talimeren Ao was a doctor. He also worked as an Assistant Civil Surgeon.
Some National Parks in Assam:
♦ Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
♦ Manas National Park
♦ Kaziranga National Park

Himachal Pradesh CM launches Zero Budget Natural Farming project
On 29th January 2018, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched Zero Budget Natural Farming project, at Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalay in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
Zero Budget Natural Farming project:
i. Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Dev Vrat and Agriculture Minister Dr Ram Lal Markanda were also present on the occasion.
ii. Acharya Dev Vrat said that, the role of agricultural scientists in the Zero Budget Natural Farming project is very important.
iii. He insisted that, a group of five scientists should adopt one village for natural farming and the Himachal Pradesh government will provide the required assistance.
Some National Parks of Himachal Pradesh:
♦  Great Himalayan National Park
♦  Pin Valley National Park

Government launches Stree Swabhiman Initiative for Women Health and Hygiene
On 27th January 2018, Information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched ‘Stree Swabhiman’, an initiative by CSC (Common Services Centres) on women’s health and hygiene, in New Delhi.
Stree Swabhiman:
i. The ‘Stree Swabhiman’ has been launched to develop a model for providing adolescent girls and women access to affordable sanitary products by CSCs.
ii. As a part of this project, sanitary napkin micro manufacturing units are established at CSCs all over India.
iii. This project will also create job opportunities for women in rural areas. Each facility set up under this project will provide jobs for 8-10 women.
About Common Service Centres (CSC):
♦  Purpose – facilities for delivering Government e-Services to rural and remote locations
♦  Approved in – 2006


ISB, IIM-Ahmedabad slips in global MBA rankings, IIM-B and IIM-C performs better
There has been a drop in Indian School of Business (ISB) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) -Ahmedabad’s ranking in this year’s Financial Times London’s Global MBA Ranking 2018.ISB, IIM-Ahmedabad slips in global MBA rankings, IIM-B and IIM-C performs betterHighlights of Financial Times London’s Global MBA Ranking 2018:
i. ISB, which was ranked 27th in 2017 slipped to 28 in 2018, while IIM Ahmedabad, which was at 29th position last year, is now at 31.
ii. However, ranking of IIM-Bangalore improved significantly as it climbed to 35th as compared to 49th rank last year. Similarly, IIM-Calcutta too improved its position to 95th last year from 78th this year.
iii. Percentage salary increase, alumni recommendation and placements were the key factors that determined rankings.
iv. Stanford Graduate School of Business, US has topped the ranking followed by France’s INSEAD.
Financial Times London’s Global MBA Ranking 2018 – Top 5

1Stanford Graduate School of Business, US
2INSEAD, France/Singapore
3University of Pennsylvania: Wharton, US
4London Business School, UK
5Harvard Business School, US


Economic Survey 2018 – India’s GDP to grow at 7-7.5% in 2018-19
On January 29, 2018, Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2017-18 in Parliament. Economic Survey is a flagship annual document of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
i. Economic Survey2017–18, has been prepared by Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian. This year, the colour of the Economic Survey document is Pink.
ii. As per Economic Survey 2017-18, Indian economy is expected to grow between 7 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal year i.e. April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.
iii. Economic Survey has revealed that average consumer price inflation based headline inflation declined to a six-year low of 3.3 per cent in 2017-18……………………………..Click here to Read more


Grammys 2018 – Bruno Mars’ ’24k Magic’ Wins Album Of The Year
60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony for honouring the best recordings, compositions and artists was held on January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, US.
i. The award ceremony was hosted by famous television host James Corden.
ii. Jay-Z was credited with maximum nominations (in 8 categories), while Bruno Mars won maximum awards (in 6 categories, including top categories of album, record and song of the year)……………………………….Click here to Read more

ITBP bags marching contingent award on Republic-Day
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was named the best marching contingent in the paramilitary and auxiliary forces category at the Republic Day celebrations, in New Delhi.ITBP bags marching contingent award on Republic-DayIndo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) – marching contingent award:
i. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) contingent consisted of 148 members. It was led by Assistant Commandant Akshay Deshmukh.
ii. The ITBP won the best contingent trophy in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2011 also.  The ITBP guards India-China frontier which is 3,448 km long.
iii. One of the main duties of ITBP is to conduct anti-Naxal operations.
About Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Director General – R K Pachnanda
♦ Minister responsible – Rajnath Singh

Tableau of Youth Affairs & Sports Ministry adjudged best among all Ministries for Republic Day 2018
On 28th January 2018, Tableau of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports for Republic Day 2018 was selected as the best Tableau in the Tableaux of the Ministries/Departments category.
Tableau of Youth Affairs & Sports Ministry – best Tableau in the Tableaux of the Ministries/Departments category:
i .Union Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman presented the Trophy and Certificate for best Tableau to Rahul Bhatnagar, Secretary (Sports) at an event in New Delhi.
ii .The theme of the Tableau of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports was Khelo India.  The slogan mentioned on the float was “Khelo India, Jo Khelega Woh Khilege (Play India! The one who plays sport is the one who blossoms)”.
iii .Kheo India Programme has been launched by the Department of Sports. It focuses on integrating sports with education, developing sports infrastructure, identification of sports talent, hosting sports competitions, enhancing physical fitness of school children, sports for women, etc.
About Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
♦ Youth Affairs Secretary – Amarendra Kumar Dubey
♦ Sports Secretary – Rahul Bhatnagar


Finland re-elects Sauli Niinisto as its President
Finland’s incumbent President, Sauli Niinistowon has won second six-year term with an overwhelming 62.7% of the vote.Finland re-elects Sauli Niinisto as its Presidenti. Niinistowon’s closest rival in this election was Pekka Haavisto of the Greens of Finland, who secured only 12.4% votes.
ii. Among other candidates, Laura Huhtasaari from the nationalist Finns Party and independent Paavo Vayrynen won 6.9% and 6.2% of votes, respectively.
iii. Mr. Niinistowon originally belonged to the co-ruling, centre-right National Coalition Party but in this election he contested as an independent.
iv. Total turnout for this election was 69.9%.
v. During his first term, Mr. Niinistowon is credited for maintaining cordial relations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
vi. Mr. Niinisto is a lawyer by training. He was Finland’s finance minister in the 1990s. He is best known for adopting austerity measures following Finland’s recession.
Quick Facts about Finland:
♦ Capital – Helsinki
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Neighbouring Countries – Russia, Norway, Sweden


NASA keen on India-made technology for spacecraft
A new thermal spray coating technology used for gas turbine engine in spacecraft developed by Dr. Satish Tailor has gained the attention of NASA scientist James L. Smialek.
India-made technology for spacecraft gains attention of NASA scientist:
i. The technology developed by Dr. Satish Tailor, a scientist from Rajasthan, was published in the journal Ceramics International and Thermal Spray Bulletin.
ii. Dr. Satish Tailor has developed the controlled segmented Yttria-Stabilised Zirconia (YSZ)-Plasma sprayed coating technology. It is said that, this technology reduces cost of thermal spray coating by 50%.
iii. Dr. Satish Tailor has shared his research papers with James L. Smialek.
About Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
♦ Established – 1942
♦ Chairman – Prime Minister of India – Mr.Narendra Modi
♦ Director General – Girish Sahni


Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launches Khelo India Pledge
On 28th January 2018, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launched the Pledge for Khelo India at the Khelo India School Games Carnival in Delhi.Khelo India programme to be launched at cost of 1,756 cr rupeesPLEDGE for Khelo India:
i. Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore took the Khelo India pledge at the event.
ii. The pledge is about ensuring participation and developing sportsmanship spirit. It is expected to increase participation of youngsters in sports.
iii. This pledge will be shared with schools all over India, and the pledge will be taken by students and teachers.
iv. Khelo India School Games focuses on Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
About Sports Authority of India (SAI):
♦ Headquarters – Delhi
♦ Formed – 1984
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports


Senior journalist Daya Nath Singh passes away
On 28th January 2018, Daya Nath Singh, senior journalist, passed away following a short-term illness, at a hospital in Assam.
Death of Daya Nath Singh:
i. Daya Nath Singh was 82 years old. He is survived by his wife and five daughters.
ii. He had worked with newspapers like NewsStar, NewsFront and NortheastDaily. He had created articles for Eastern Panorama, Merinews and Assam Times also.
iii. He also served as office secretary at Guwahati Press Club for nearly 15 years.
About Press Trust of India (PTI):
♦ Chairman – Viveck Goenka
♦ Founded – 1947

Chhattisgarh’s first Governor D N Sahay passes away
On 29th January 2018, Dinesh Nandan Sahay, Chhattisgarh’s first Governor passed away in Madhepura, Bihar.Chhattisgarh's first Governor D N Sahay passes awayDeath of Dinesh Nandan Sahay:
i. Dinesh Nandan Sahay was the first Governor of Chhattisgarh during the period 2000 -2003. He was also the former governor of Tripura.
ii. He was born on 2nd February 1936 in Madhepura, ‎Bihar. He joined Indian Police Service in 1960.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Chhattisgarh:
♦ Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary – Mungeli district
♦ Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary – Dhamtari District
♦ Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary – Surajpur District


Sunil Chhetri’s birthday to be celebrated as Delhi’s Football Day
On 28th January 2018, Football Delhi announced that, Indian football Captain Sunil Chhetri’s birthday will be celebrated as Delhi’s Football Day.
Sunil Chhetri’s birthday – Delhi’s Football Day:
i. Sunil Chhetri’s birthday is 3rd August. The decision to make his birthday as Delhi’s Football Day was taken at a meeting of Football Delhi. The meeting was headed by President Shaji Prabhakaran.
ii. Sunil Chhetri is 33 years old. He has represented India in 97 International matches He also leads Bengaluru FC team currently.
iii. Football Delhi has also declared former International and Pro License Coach Santosh Kashyap’s birthday (June 12) as Football Delhi’s Coach Education Day.
About Sunil Chhetri:
♦ Age – 33
♦ Playing position – Striker
♦ Current team – Bengaluru FC
♦ Current captain of the national team

World Leprosy Day – January 28
On 28th January 2018, World Leprosy Day was observed all over the world.World Leprosy DayWorld Leprosy Day:
i. The World Leprosy Day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of January month. World Leprosy Day 2018 aims to attain Zero Disabilities and Zero Leprosy in the world.
ii. Leprosy is a disease that gradually damages the skin and nervous system. Early detection of leprosy will help healing the disease.
iii. This day was selected to commemorate the death of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was a person who had realised the importance of leprosy.
About World Health Organizations (WHO):
♦ Director-General – Tedros Adhanom
♦  Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland