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Current Affairs Today January 30 2018

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AAI allocates 3,400 crore for upgradation of airports in North East region
On 29th January 2018, Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra said that, AAI has allocated Rs 3400 crore for upgradation of airports in the North East region.
AAI – 3,400 crore for upgradation of airports in North East region:
i. Out of the total allocated amount, the share for each state is as follows: Assam – Rs 1720 crore, Tripura – Rs 525 crore, Manipur – Rs 800 crore, Nagaland – Rs 42 crore, Arunachal Pradesh – Rs 211 crore and Mizoram – Rs 60 crore.
ii. Projects worth Rs 934 crore have already been finished. The remaining part is planned to be completed in two to three years.
iii. Among the work to be done, is a new integrated airport construction at Agartala in Tripura. Also, an Instrument Landing System (ILS) will be installed at the Shillong airport, in Meghalaya.
About Airports Authority of India (AAI):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Founded – 1995
♦ Chairman – Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra

Indian, Vietnamese armies hold first military exercise ‘VINBAX’
On January 29, 2018, armies of India and Vietnam began ‘VINBAX’, a six day-long military exercise in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.VINBAXi. Vietnam – India Bilateral Army Exercise (VINBAX) is the first military exercise between India and Vietnam.
ii. Defence ties between India and Vietnam have strengthened in recent times with the primary focus being cooperation in the maritime domain.
iii. With the first protocol on defence cooperation signed in 1994, India and Vietnam have been periodically elevating their defence cooperation since then.
iv. In 2007, the ties were elevated to strategic level and thereafter a pact on boosting bilateral defence cooperation was signed in 2009.
v. In 2016, India-Vietnam strategic partnership was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership 
Quick Facts about Vietnam:
♦ Capital – Hanoi
♦ Currency – Vietnamese Dong
♦ Current President – Tran Dai Quang
♦ Important Rivers – Red River, Perfume River

Acid attack victims to get quota in central government jobs
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued an order to provide quota in Central Government jobs to people with autism, mental illnesses, intellectual disability and victims of acid attacks.
Quota for Acid Attack victims in Central Govt. Jobs:
i. Now onwards, in case of direct recruitment, four per cent of the total number of vacancies, (up from the existing three per cent) shall be reserved for people with benchmark disabilities.
ii. A person with not less than forty per cent of a specified disability is to be considered as having benchmark disability.
iii. As per the new order, central government departments have been directed to ensure that one per cent of each posts be reserved for people with blindness and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy.

‘Sammakka Saaralamma Maha Jathara’ Tribal festival commences in Telangana
‘Sammakka Saaralamma Maha Jathara’, a tribal festival, will begin on 31st January 2018, in Eturunagaram, Telangana.Festival Sammakka Saaralamma Maha Jathara:
i. The tribal people worship the tribal goddess ‘Sammakka’ during the festival. Tribal people from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh would participate in this festival.
ii. Nearly 20 lakh water packets have been arranged by the district administration for distribution during the festival. Free Wi-Fi facility has also been arranged.
Some cricket stadiums in Telangana:
♦ Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium – Hyderabad
♦ Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium – Hyderabad

Indian Coast Guard conducts ‘Day at Sea’ programme for children of fishing hamlets
On January 29, 2018, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a ‘Day at Sea’ event for children of fishing hamlets at Frazerganj in South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal as part of its initiative for close interaction with the fishing community of coastal areas.
Details about Indian Coast Guard’s ‘Day at Sea’ programme:
i. Frazerganj is a fishing harbour on Bay of Bengal coast at the southern tip of West Bengal. 19 boys and girls from Frazerganj got an opportunity to have a joyride on board a hovercraft that had been brought in from the ICG base at Haldia.
ii. At the conclusion of this programme, children were explained as to how the Coast Guard carried out its duty of ensuring coastal security and how the fishing community can help and thereby benefit by providing security related inputs to Coast Guard.
iii. This programme for the children was one of the activities conducted by Coast Guard  in the run up to its 41st Raising Day on February 1, 2018.
Quick Facts about Indian Coast Guard:
♦ Established in – 1978
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Director General – Rajendra Singh

19th India International Watch and Clock Fair “Samaya Bharati 2018” held in Mumbai
19th India International Watch and Clock Fair “Samaya Bharati 2018” was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra from January 25, 2018 to January 28, 2018.Watch & Clock FairAbout “Samaya Bharati 2018”:
i. The fair was inaugurated by Amruta Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Vice President of Axis Bank.
ii. It was organised by India’s leading watch and clock magazine “Trade Post” under the auspices of Watch Trade Federation.
iii. A range of watches, time pieces, clocks, and watch accessories were showcased at this fair.
iv. The fair served as a platform for manufacturers, retailers, exporters, importers, as well as individual watch lovers across India and from abroad, to meet, discuss, and explore new opportunities.

UP CM Yogi inaugurates Mahesra Bridge connecting Nepal to east UP
On 29th January 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the Mahesra Bridge at Sonauli-Gorakhpur National highway.
Mahesra Bridge:
i. The Mahesra Bridge links Gorakhpur and other eastern Uttar Pradesh districts with Nepal.
ii. The bridge will act as the main route for people travelling from Gorakhpur towards Balrampur, Maharajganj and Gonda.
iii. During his visit to Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath laid foundation stones for various other projects. He also announced that, a sanitation and encephalitis vaccination drive for children under 15 years will be launched around April 2018.
Some of the longest bridges above water in India:
♦ Bhupen Hazarika Setu – Assam
♦ Mahatma Gandhi Setu – Bihar
♦ Bandra-Worli Sea Link – Maharashtra

JK government forms panel to devise horticulture development model
The Jammu and Kashmir government has formed a committee to study the scope and definition of horticulture in Government of India and other states.
JK panel to devise horticulture development model:
i. The committee is headed by the chief secretary of Jammu Kashmir Bharat Bhushan Vyas.
ii. Members of the committee are: administrative secretary finance, administrative secretary planning and monitoring, administrative secretary horticulture.
iii. The committee will study the scope and definition of horticulture in Government of India and other states.
iv. This will help in improving and assessing the growth of Jammu and Kashmir in the horticulture department.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary – Shopian
♦ Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary – Leh District


‘India 6th wealthiest country with total wealth of $8230 bn’
According to a report by New World Wealth, India is sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of USD 8230 billion.Wealthiest country i. As per the report, United States is the wealthiest country in the world with total wealth of USD 64584 billion in 2017.
ii. In context of this report, total wealth, refers to the private wealth (property, cash, equities, business interests) held by all the individuals living in each country/city.
iii. The report outlined that, India has emerged as the best performing wealth market in the world as its total wealth increased by 25% from USD 6584 billion in 2016 to USD 8230 billion in 2017.
iv. India, is home to 330400 High Net Worth individuals (HNWIs) – individuals with USD 1 million or more in net assets – and 20730 multi-millionaires.
Wealthiest Countries – Top 5

1US ($64584 billion)
2China ($24803 billion)
3Japan ($19522 billion)
4United Kingdom ($9919 billion)
5Germany ($9660 billion)


Paytm partners with Alibaba’s AGTech Holding to launch gaming app Gamepind in India
AGTech and Paytm have announced the launch of Gamepind, a mobile platform offering social and casual games.
i. Gamepind will be available through Paytm app and also as an independent app.  Gamepind contains a variety of games and entertainment content.
ii. In this joint venture, AGTech has 45 % stake and Paytm has 55 % stake. Merchants can utilize this platform to engage with customers in a better way.
iii. AGTech is a company focused on games and entertainment in China. It is a part of the Alibaba Group.
About Alibaba Group:
♦ Headquarters – Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
♦ CEO – Daniel Zhang

Axis Bank launches 4th edition of “Evolve”
On January 29, 2018, Axis Bank launched the fourth edition of ‘Evolve’, an annual multi-city knowledge series for its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customers.Axis BankDetails about Axis Bank’s ‘Evolve’:
i. This edition of ‘Evolve’ has been titled “Transform your Family Business into your dream company”.
ii. SMEs participating in ‘Evolve’ will be familiarised with new-age strategies, operational know-how, regulatory and Government related knowledge.
iii. Objective of ‘Evolve’ is to create an ecosystem to encourage next-level growth opportunities for Family Businesses that are willing to move ahead.
iv. 30 cities including Surat, Nagpur, Rajkot, Pune, Vishakhapatnam, Trichy, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Jamshedpur will be covered under the fourth edition of ‘Evolve’.
Quick Facts about Axis Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1993
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current MD & CEO – Shikha Sharma
♦ Tagline – ‘Badhti ka naam zindagi’


Infosys signs MoU with Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation
On January 29, 2018, Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IT company Infosys, announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation for a grant to create a child-friendly village for improving children’s health, providing education and creating a non-violent environment.
i. Kailash Satyarthi, the winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2014, is leading a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour.
ii. Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization, is working to create a world where every child is free, safe, healthy, educated and has the ability to discover his/her potential.
iii. Under the MoU, Infosys Foundation will disburse the grant for the stated purpose, over next three years.
Quick Facts about Infosys:
♦ Founded in – 1981
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Current CEO & MD – Salil Parikh

Renault-Nissan group pips Volkswagen to become top-selling carmaker in 2017
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automakers alliance has overtaken Volkwagen as the world’s biggest seller of light vehicles in 2017.RenaultRenault-Nissan Group overtakes Volkswagen:
i. During 2017, Nissan Motor Co’s sales hit a record high of 5.82 million, Renault reported sales of 3.76 million and Mitsubishi’s sales came in at 1.03 million. Together, the alliance posted a record breaking total of 10.61 million light vehicles sales in 2017.
ii. Volkswagen, the top seller of 2016, which also includes the Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche brands posted sales of 10.53 million light vehicles in 2017.
iii. At No. 3 was Toyota Motor Corp, which held the No.2 spot in 2016. For 2017, Toyota posted group sales of 10.2 million light vehicles.
About Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance:
♦ Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer. It has stakes in Japan-based auto manufacturers, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.

India overtakes US to become third largest producer of crude steel
As per a report by World Steel Association, India has overtaken the US to become the world’s third largest crude steel producer.
India’s Crude Steel Production – 2017:
i. As per World Steel Association’s report, during 2017, India’s crude steel production stood at 101.4 million tonnes (MT). This is 6.2 per cent higher as compared to 95.5 MT in the previous year.
ii. China remained the world leader with 831.7 MT crude steel production in 2017.
iii. Despite of witnessing negative growth in crude steel output during 2017, Japan is the second largest global steel producer with 104.7 MT production in 2017.
iv. During 2017, Global steel production was 1691.2 MT which marks 5.3 per cent increment as compared to 2016 when the output was 1606.3 MT.
Quick Facts about World Steel Association:
♦ Founded in – 1967
♦ Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium
♦ Membership representation – 85% of World’s steel production


Mohanlal, P T Usha conferred with D Litt by Calicut University
On 29th January 2018, Malayalam actor Mohanlal and athlete P. T. Usha were awarded honorary Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt) by Kerala Governor and Calicut University Chancellor P. Sathasivam, in Kozhikode, Kerala.Mohan Lal PT UshaMohanlal, P T Usha awarded honorary D Litt:
i. It was announced four years earlier that, Mohanlal and P. T. Usha will be awarded honorary Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt).
ii. Mohanlal is one of the top actors of the Malayalam film industry. P. T. Usha became the youngest Indian sprinter to participate in 1980 Moscow Olympics, when she was 16 years old.
iii. She now works for the Indian Railways. She also owns an institute named P. T. Usha School of Athletics.
About University of Calicut:
♦ Established – 1968
♦ Chancellor – P. Sathasivam
♦ Vice-Chancellor – K. Mohammed Basheer

Outstanding MP award 2013-17: Ghulam Nabi, Dinesh Trivedi on winners’ list
On January 29, 2018, Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) announced Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for last five years.
Outstanding Parliamentarian Award:
i. Names for the award were shortlisted by a committee headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Deputy Chairman of the Upper House P J Kurien, BJP veteran L K Advani, Congress leader Karan Singh and Head of the Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, Ram Bhadur Rai were also a part of this committee. Besides, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar was a special invite to the committee.
ii. The final selection was based on members’ experience, awareness of issues, debating skills, depth with which issues were raised, observance of the rules of procedure, contribution in parliamentary committees and maintenance of dignity.
iii. IPG is a 24-member autonomous body comprising current and former Members of Parliament (MPs) of both houses. IPG is headed by the Speaker.
Outstanding Parliamentarian Award:

2013Former Rajya Sabha member Najma Heptulla (BJP)
2014Lok Sabha member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (BJP)
2015Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad
2016TMC’s Lok Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi
2017BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab

WHO confers IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize for Dr Vinod Paul
Dr Vinod Paul, Member of NITI Aayog, has been conferred the IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize by the World Health Organisation (WHO).VinodDr Vinod Paul – IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize:
i. Dr Vinod Paul has become the first Indian to receive this award. He has been conferred this award for his contributions to the family health sector.
ii .The award will be presented to Dr Vinod Paul at the World Health Assembly in May 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland.
iii. Dr Vinod Paul has been recognized by WHO as a reputed researcher, clinician, educator and public health advocate in the newborn health sector.
iii. His book on paediatrics is considered the standard textbook for medical students in India and various foreign countries.
iv. He has played an important role in developing national child health guidelines and programmes in India.
About World Health Organization (WHO):
♦ Director General – Tedros Adhanom
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland


MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) launches “311 app” to improve civic services
On 30th January 2018, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal launched the ‘311 app’ at the Raj Niwas, in Delhi.
311 app:
i. The 311 app is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. This app aims to increase involvement of citizens in resolving grievances and improving civic services in Delhi.
ii. The app will provide users the locations of nearby public toilets, police stations, metro stations, petrol pumps, parking, hospitals, bus stands, veterinary clinics, libraries, gyms, markets, etc.
iii. Users can register complaints through the 311 app and the complaints will be logged with geo-tagged photos.
iv. The complaints will be resolved by designated officers of the area identified through geo-tagged photos.
v. Users can check the complaint status. The 311 app is integrated with the Swachhta App of the Ministry of Urban Affairs.
Some museums of Delhi:
♦ Indian Air Force Museum
♦ Indian War Memorial Museum
♦ National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
♦ National Philatelic Museum

Harshvardhan launches “Mihir” PetaFlop super computer
On 30th January 2018, Union Environment Minister Harshvardhan launched ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 PetaFlops capacity high-performance computer system in Noida.MihriMihir:
i. Mihir is capable of predicting weather and climate accurately. Harshvardhan said that, Mihir will help to resolve issues related to agriculture.
ii. It will help Meteorological department to predict climate based calamities and issue warnings for fishermen. India has now become one of the 30 countries to own this advanced technology.
About India Meteorological Department (IMD):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Director General of Meteorology – Dr. K.J. Ramesh


Delhi most polluted among 280 cities, UP most polluted state – Greenpeace Report
As per Airpocalypse II, a report by environmental Non-governmental organization (NGO) Greenpeace India, 47% of the population in India is living in areas where there is no air quality monitoring.
i. This report analysed PM10 (inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller) annual averages for 280 cities monitored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under its national air quality monitoring programme.
ii. Out of 630 million people living in 280 cities where air quality is monitored by CPCB, nearly 550 million live in areas exceeding national safe standards for PM10……………………Click here to Read more
Most Polluted Cities – Top 5

CityPM10 Concentration
Faridabad, Haryana272
Bhiwadi, Rajasthan262
Patna, Bihar261
Dehradun, Uttarakhand238



CEC LAHDC of Leh region Sonam Dawa passes away
On 29th January 2018, Dr Sonam Dawa, Chief Executive Councilor (CEC) of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) of Leh Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir, died due to cardiac arrest in Leh.
Death of Sonam Dawa:SonamLeh i. Sonam Dawa became the Chief Executive Councilor of LAHDC in 2015.
ii. Ladakh Buddhist Association has declared Ladakh Bandh on 30th January 2018, marking the death of Sonam Dawa.
About Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA):
♦ Headquarters – Leh
♦ President – Tsewang Thinles

BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga passes away
On 30th January 2018, Chintaman Wanaga, senior BJP MP from Maharashtra, died in Delhi.
Death of Chintaman Wanaga:
i. Chintaman Wanaga was 67 years old. He was declared dead when he was brought to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi. Investigation is being conducted to find the cause of his death.
ii. He was born on 1st June 1950. He was elected from Palghar in Maharashtra to the Lok Sabha.
Some dams in Maharashtra:
♦ Chenna Dam – Chenna River
♦ Dehali Dam – Tapi River
♦ Godavari Dam – Darna river


Journalists celebrate Hicky’s Day – 238th anniversary of India’s first newspaper
On January 29, 2018, Journalists and social activists in Agra celebrated Hicky’s Day paying tributes James Augustus Hicky, the founder of journalism in India.Hickys day Hicky’s Day celebration:
i. James Augustus Hicky launched India’s first newspaper, the Bengal Gazette, on January 29, 1780.
ii .A seminar was organised as a part of celebration, wherein media activists shared their views on current state and emerging trends in media sector.
iii. Theme of this seminar was “Social Media emerging as a challenge to conventional media?”