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Important Current Affairs 29th January 2019

International News

World Steel Association Report
The World Steel Association has released a Report highlighting various trends related to the Industry, they are:

•    China is the largest producer of crude steel and it accounts for more than 51 per cent of global production. China’s share has been increased from 50.3 per cent in 2017 to 51.3 per cent in 2018.
•    The production in China increased by 6.6 per cent from 870.9 MT in 2017to 928.3 million tonnes (MT) in 2018.
•    India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country.
•    The Steel production in India increased by 4.9 per cent from 101.5 MT in 2017 to 106.5 MT in 2018.
•    The global crude steel production increased by 4.6 per cent from 1,729.8 MT in 2017 to 1,808.6 MT in 2018.
•    Other countries in the Top 10 list of steel producing nations include US at United States, at the 4th position as the country produced 86.7 MT of crude steel in 2018, South Korea (72.5 MT, 5th place), Russia (71.7 MT, 6th), Germany (42.4 MT, 7th), Turkey (37.3 MT, 8th), Brazil (34.7 MT, 9th) and Iran (25 MT, 10th).

Australia Day: January 26 

Australia celebrates 26th January as Australia Day which marks the landing of the First Fleet, a convoy of 11 ships carrying convicts, at Port Jackson in 1788. It also marks the founding of the colony New South Wales.

How the Australia Day came into being?
On the 30th anniversary of the founding of the colony in 1818, the Governor of New South Wales celebrated the day with a 30-gun salute and a holiday for all government employees.

Initially, the celebrations were confined to New South Wales. The first founding day was celebrated on 1838, 50 years after the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales. By 1926, almost all states of Australia were celebrating the Australia Day and it was being referred to as Anniversary Day in New South Wales.

From 1946, January 26 was celebrated as Australia Day all over the country with the public holiday.
 

National News

Two Day International Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation inaugurated in New Delhi 

The 3rd Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation was inaugurated in New Delhi today. Third in a series of Stock Taking Conferences, this is the second to be held in India after 2012 and is expected to have wide ranging discussions on the status of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) by the 13 tiger range countries besides deliberations on combating wildlife trafficking.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who is also the Chairman of the National Tiger Conservation Authority said on the inauguration that conservation of tigers is a duty which has to be meticulously pursued and more innovative ways needs to be devised so that we can better the targets adopted by tiger range countries in 2010 at St. Petersburg, Russia. “The New India that we envisage is not only for humans but for every aspect including wildlife”, said Dr. Vardhan.


National Conference on “Prison Design” to begin in Visakhapatnam 

The first ever National Conference on “Prison Design” will begin in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh tomorrow (29th January 2019).   The two-day conference is being hosted by the DG Prison, Andhra Pradesh on the behalf of State and is being   sponsored by the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D).  

The Deputy Chief Minister (Home & Disaster Management), Andhra Pradesh, Shi N. Chinarajappa will inaugurate the National Conference.  This conference aims to provide a platform to the Sr. Police officers, Prison officers and Architects from Prison Department and Police Housing Corporation to meet and deliberate upon on the various issues relating with planning, Design and Constructions of prison keeping in view the safety and security need as well as administrative ease of day to day functioning of the prison.  The idea of conference is also to incorporate new construction technology, Information and Communication Technologies and modern safety and security gadgets in Prison Administration, besides ensuring conducive living environment in a holistic sense.

Atal Setu of Goa 

Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the “Atal Setu” on the Mandovi river in Goa.
The important features of the bridge are:

•    It is a four-lane 5.1-km long cable-stayed bridge connects state capital Panaji with north Goa.
•    This four-lane bridge weighs at 2.5 lakh tonnes is equivalent to the weight of 570 Boeing aircraft.
•    The bridge has been built by 1 lakh cubic metres of high strength, high performance concrete enough to fill 40 Olympic size swimming pools.
•    13,000 tonnes of corrosion resistant reinforcement steel, 32,000 square metres of structural steel plates and 1,800 kilometres of high tensile pre-stressing strands have gone into making the bridge.
•    The bridge utilizes 88 high tensile strength cables in the state-of-art single place harp type cable stay system and a real-time force monitoring mechanism.


Steel Ministry to set up Safety Directorate 

Ministry of Steel,Government of India, held its Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting in Goa today chaired by the Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh. The issues discussed atthe meeting were mining activities of CPSEs under Steel ministry and safety in Steel Plants.

At the end of the Parliamentary Consultative Committeemeeting, the Steel Minister addressedmedia persons and emphasized the importance of safety in the production of iron and steel which is a complex and hazardous activity.The Minister said that recognising the need to prevent injuries and accidents and provide a healthy working environment and also guard against all possible hazards and risks, it has been decided to set up a Safety Directorate which will become operationalsoon. This directorate will oversee the safety standards in the steel industry. Steel Minister said both its CPSEs, Steel Authority of India Limited and RashtriyaIspat Nigam Limited(RINL), have comprehensive safety policies.

Union Minister Patnaik launches Rs 1,100 crore Infra projects in Ganjam district 

Shri Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone for 231 projects worth Rs 715 crore and inaugurated 48 projects in the Ganjam District of Odisha. Some of the Major Projects inaugurated by Naveen Patnaik are a 10-bedded geriatric ward (Rs 40 crore), bleaching store (Rs 29.64 crore), district vaccine store (Rs 79 crore) and Construction of OPD for eye department at the district headquarter hospital and city hospital. Foundation stone for various projects was laid during the visit of Naveen Patnaik including Railway over the bridge at Jagannathpur and Ambapua with an estimated cost of Rs 30 and Rs 35 crore respectively and 9 Major Rail project (Rs 113.51 crore). Foundation stone was also laid for the development of infrastructure of 11 tourism projects costing Rs. 4.78 crore in the district.
 

appointments

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh appointed as Regional Director WHO SOUTH EAST Asia

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh appointed Regional Director for World Health Organization South-East Asia, for a second five-year term. Her second term of office will begin on 1 February 2019. She is the first woman to become Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region Previous year, Thailand became the first in Asia-Pacific to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. 
About World Health Organisation (WHO) Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland 
Head: Tedros Adhanom 
Founded: 7 April 1948
 

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2019

National News

Supreme Court refuses to stay amendments to SC/ST Act 
The Supreme Court has refused to stay the amendments to Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. These amendments were brought in to nullify the safeguards instituted by the Supreme Court to prevent its misuse.
Safeguards proposed by Supreme Court
Expressing concerns over the misuse of the various provisions under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Supreme Court had proposed following safety mechanisms:
Provision of anticipatory bail
•    Approval of Senior Superintendent of Police to arrest those accused under this act.
•    Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) to conduct a preliminary enquiry to find out whether there is a prima facie case under Act.


Yuva Swabhiman Yojana 
The government of Madhya Pradesh has announced the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana to provide employment for the unemployed youth from the economically weaker sections of the society.
About the Scheme
The features of the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana scheme are:
•    It aims to provide employment to the youth belonging to the weaker section of the society mainly in urban areas of the state.
•    The scheme aims to provide 100 days of employment to youngsters from economically weaker sections of the society in urban areas.
•    The youths would also be given skill training by the government.
The component of skill training has been added to enable the youth to explore the available opportunities. To enhance the job opportunities the government of Madhya Pradesh has also announced changes in industrial policy with a clause under which industries would be eligible to get the state government incentives only if they hire 70 per cent staff from Madhya Pradesh.


Ministry of Defence Launches ‘RDP INDIA 2019’ 
Asia new initiative in sync with the Digital India campaign of the Government, Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app 'RDP India 2019' on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event, not only to the spectators at Rajpath, but also to the general public all over the world.
This app contains information about the Parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, including Order of the March, details of the tableaux presented by different States and Ministries, children cultural performances, fly past and names of recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019. It was extremely informative to the spectators witnessing the Parade and was widely appreciated. The app also hadthe provision for live streaming of the Parade.


The Kumbh contributes to infrastructure Development at Prayagraj City 
•    Kumbh and Mahakumbh have always proved very significant contributors to the Prayagraj district in terms of infrastructure development and growth in civic amenities. But this year Prayagraj Kumbh has changed the face of entire city and suburbs. 
•    Investment of crores for the infrastructure development in the town by Prayagraj Development Authority has not only widened most of the roads particularly Sangam, Public places and historical buildings bound roads but has also beautified most of the squares. Ths squares have been left with artistic sculptures and statues. Encroachments occupying the roads for last several years have been removed amicably and even religious constructions on the roads have been removed without any trouble. 
•    Vehicular Transport has been strengthend and roads have been freed from traffic jams due to removal of encroachments. About 3000 encroachments have been removed from about 65 roads in different parts of the Prayagraj town. These illegal constructions were continuing for last several years. About 150 kilometres of road has been constructed in the city area under the drive to widen roads. Connectivity from all railway and bus stations and Airport has been strengthened connecting most parts of the city. 
•    About five over bridges have been constructed in view of the Kumbh at different places and it has smoothened road traffic at railway crossings and places like Allahabad High Court. A new civil Airport has come to facilitate the visiting devotees and tourists. Newly constructed Airport has linked Prayagraj to several important cities including Kolkata, Nagpur, Indore, Lucknow, New Delhi, Bengluru, Ahmadabad, Dehradun and Patna with Air services.


National Conclave on Technical Textiles at Mumbai 
Ministry of Textiles will hold National Conclave on Technical Textiles on 29th January 2019 in Mumbai. The event will also be a curtain raiser for TechnoTex 2019.The conclave will be presided over by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani.
The release of HSN codes by Government of India for technical textiles will be one of the major highlights of the conclave.
Several panel discussions will be held on subjects like administrative consolidation of technical textiles items, manufacturing possibilities and import substitution, benefits of standardization and global best practices, technical textiles codes for New India, investment opportunityin technical textiles sector and research & development in technical textiles by eminent panellists drawn from various Central Government departments, NITI Aayog, IITs and textile industry.


Minister of Railways & Coal Shri Piyush Goyal Announces ‘Vande Bharat Express’ 
Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal announced the name Vande Bharat Express for Train 18, acknowledging it is made-in-India status. He called it a ‘vandaniya’ step towards realisation of New India vision. This train set has been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in the period of 18 months under 'Make in India' program.
Since the launch of Rajdhani trains, Vande Bharat Express is the next major leap for Indian Railways in terms of speed and convenience. It is India's first semi-high speed train equipped with world class passenger amenities.
It can achieve high speeds (max speed of 160 kmph) due to faster acceleration & deceleration and will reduce journey time by 25% to 45%. Scheduled commute between New Delhi & Varanasi will take approximately 8 hours making it 40-50% faster than the fastest train currently connecting these two cities.
 

International News

South Asian Nitrogen Hub 
The British government has announced a research project, South Asian Nitrogen Hub to study nitrogen pollution in India and South Asia. The project led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will partner with 50 organisations from the UK and South Asia. The Indian Institutions partnering the study are:
•    National Institute of Oceanography
•    Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
•    Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
•    Jawaharlal Nehru University
•    Aligarh Muslim University
•    National Physical Laboratory
•    TERI University
The project aims to study the impact of different forms of nitrogen pollution, particularly looking at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries of South Asia which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.


Nari-Shakti is the Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the year for 2018 
The Oxford Dictionaries announced that the word ‘Nari Shakti’ which is derived from Sanskrit has been chosen as the Hindi Word of the year for 2018. The Announcement was made during a session at Jaipur Literature Festival which is being held at Diggi Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
 

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Important Current Affairs 27th January 2019

National News

India's fastest indigenous train renamed as Vande Bharat Express 
•    India's fastest indigenous train which will run from Delhi to Varanasi has been named as Vande Bharat Express.
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the semi high-speed train soon.
•    It is a train built completely in India by Indian engineers in a span of 18 months and it is an example that it is possible to make world-class trains under Make in India.
•    The 16-coach train has been built by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai and cover the distance in 8 hours.
•    It will have two executive chair cars and it will have a superior quality of air suspension for the comfortable journey of the passengers.


Bharat Parv showcasing spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat begins at Red Fort 
•    Fourth edition of Bharat Parv, showcasing the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat began at Red Fort in Delhi
•    It will continue till 31st of this month. The five-day event is a part of Republic Day Celebrations and the objective of this festival is to generate a patriotic fervour and promote the rich cultural diversity of the country.
•    The major highlights of this year's Bharat Parv are the replica of the Statue of Unity and a Gandhi Gram in which 10 painting artists will create paintings on the theme of 'Ideology of Mahatma Gandhi'.


Union Minister Gadkari inaugurates Atal Setu in Goa
•    Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated four-lane, 5.1-kilometer long “Atal Setu”, the third Cable bridge across river Mandovi in Panaji, Goa.
•    Expressing happiness over the completion of the bridge, Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar said they should be positive about every development project.
•    This is the third bridge across Mandovi River. This bridge would overcome the bottlenecks and curb traffic jams at Panaji Circle and Panaji entrance. It is reported that about 66,000 vehicles use this route every day.
 

International News

Climate march held in Belgium for urgent action to prevent global warming 
•    At least 70,000 people braved cold and rain in Brussels yesterday to demand the Belgian government and the European Union increase their efforts to fight climate change.
•    The event has been described as Belgium's biggest climate march ever.
•    Trains from across the nation were so clogged that thousands of people did not make the march in time.


UAE, Iraq discuss methods to counter extremism and terrorism 
•    UAE and Iraq have discussed methods of countering extremism and terrorism, in addition to a number of issues of mutual concern during a meeting in Baghdad.
•    The first meeting of the UAE-Iraq Political Consultative Committee was held at the level of senior officials of the foreign finistries of both countries.
•    Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, who chaired the UAE side, stressed the importance of this round of consultations to enhance aspects of joint cooperation between the two countries.
 

Sports

Kartik Sharma wins New South Wales men's Amateur Golf Championship 
•    India's Kartik Sharma won the New South Wales men's Amateur Golf Championship in Australia.
•    Kartik notched up a magnificent win over Australia's Nathan Barberie in the scheduled 36-hole final to emerge as champion.
•    He had been selected to represent Indian Golf Union for three events in Australia.
•    Kartik had also won the Indian golf union western India amateur golf championship 2018.


Djokovic beats Nadal to win his seventh Australian Open title
•    Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win his 7th Australian Open Men's Singles title at Melbourne
•    The resurgent world No.1 outplayed the second-ranked Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a largely one-sided match. 
•    With this, Djokovic has surpassed American legend Pete Sampras to elevate himself to outright third on the all-time Grand Slam title leaderboard.


Indonesia Masters: Saina wins after injured Marin limps out of final 
•    Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won her first Indonesia Masters title after three-time world champion Carolina Marin limped out of the final due to a leg injury.
•    The Spaniard was leading 10-4 in the first game at Jakarta today when she developed an injury in the knee.
 

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Important Current Affairs 24th January 2019

International News

National Girl Child Day 
National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is celebrated in India on January 24th with an aim to raise awareness about Child Sex Ratio (CSR) levels and promote the empowerment of girls.
Objectives
•    The key objectives of National Girl Child Day are as follows:
•    To spread awareness about the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in the country and carry out campaigns to improve the same.
•    To empower the girl children with new opportunities via schemes and campaigns.
•    To create a positive environment around valuing the girl child.
Theme of NGCD-2019
The theme of National Girl Child Day-2019 is “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”


Regional variations in the World Economic Forums Public Opinion Survey 

The findings from the World Economic Forum’s public opinion survey register regional variations on the various issues. Few of them are listed below:
•    When asked how important it is for countries to work together towards a common goal, a global average of 76 per cent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
•    The favourable sentiments were strongly felt in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 per cent share the same view. On the other hand, 61 per cent of Western Europeans and 70 per cent of North Americans said they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
•    When asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asia had the highest levels of concurrence with 94 per cent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 per cent. While the North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively answering in the affirmative.
 

National News

Rashtriya Bal PuraskarThe Rashtriya Bal Puraskar was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind 
President conferred awards to 26 awardees including one joint award for National Child Award (now renamed as Bal Shakti Puraskar) under the category of innovation, scholastic, sports, arts & culture, social service and bravery. 2 individuals and 3 institutions will also be awarded under National Child Welfare Awards category (now renamed as BalKalyanPuraskar).
The awardees were chosen by the National Selection Committee under the Chairpersonship of Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development.

Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana. The features of the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana are:
•    Under the scheme, a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.
•    The first batch of 40 people participated in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 held in Varanasi.
•    Those selected would be taken to religious places of all major religions in India.
•    The government will bear all the expenses including the airfare from their country of residence.
•    People of Indian-origin aged 45 to 65 can apply can avail the benefits under the scheme.


India Ratings report on state’s finances: Key Facts
A Fitch Group company, India Ratings has released its report on states finances. The important findings of the report are:
•    Loan waiver and other support measures for farmers are expected to raise the aggregate fiscal deficit of states to 3.2 per cent in 2018-19.
•    Further, the fiscal deficit would increase by 40 basis points (100 basis points or bps equal to 1 per cent) in the financial year 2019-20.
•    The competitive populism in the nature of farm loan waivers and other financial support schemes is expected to take centre stage in the run-up to the next general elections and this would have a larger impact on fiscal and revenue deficit to gross state domestic product ratios for Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan, among non-special category states, in the financial year 2019-20.
•    The states revenue account on aggregate is expected to clock a deficit of 0.5 per cent of GDP in the financial year 2019-20 due to higher growth in revenue expenditure than in revenue receipts.

Godavari-Cauvery link project
The Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari announced that the Centre would soon take up a major project to Link Rivers Godavari and Cauvery.
The detailed project report for linking rivers Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery has been finalised and will be presented before the cabinet soon for approval.

Objectives of the Project
The objectives of the project are:
•    The project aims to make good use of about 1100 tmc ft of Godavari water that is currently getting drained into the Bay of Bengal.
•    The project would take the water from river Godavari to the tail end of Tamil Nadu.
•    The government aims to raise finances for the project either from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank as the project cost is about Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore.
 

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Important Current Affairs 22th January 2019

National News

Logo for Tripura tea unveiled 
The Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb unveiled the official logo of Tripura Tea. The Tripura Tea logo features Neermahal, the iconic landmark of Tripura.
About Neermahal
Neermahal was built by then Tripura King Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman Manikya in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake, as his summer residence. It is located in Melaghar, around 53 km west of Agartala.
This is the largest water palace in India and one of two water palaces in India. The other water palace of India is located at Jal Mahal in Rajasthan.

Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor Inaugurated
The Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor. During the inauguration, investments worth over Rs 3,038 crore in this defence corridor were announced. Lockheed Martin, a global security giant, also announced its intention to invest in the corridor.
About the Corridor
•    The important features about the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor are:
•    It is also called as Tamil Nadu Defence Production Quad as the nodal cities of Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli form a quadrilateral with one of them at the centre.
•    The five nodal cities already have existing defence ecosystem in the form of ordnance factory boards, vendors working with defence PSUs, and other allied industries.
 

International news

Indians can visit Nepal and Bhutan producing Aadhaar as Id Proof 
The Union Home Ministry has tweaked the travel document norms for visiting Nepal and Bhutan. As per new norms, Indian can travel to Nepal and Bhutan by producing Aadhaar as Identity proof but this is only for those Indians aged under 15 and over 65 years.
Indians other than in those age brackets will not be able to use Aadhaar to travel for Nepal and Bhutan.


World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on Homeopathy
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, will inaugurate the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the ‘Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products; Advancing global collaboration’ organised on 23-25 January 2019 at Goa.
Themes for the Forum 2019
The forum is organised by Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, under the Ministry of AYUSH. The themes of the forum are:
•    Regulatory collaborations.
•    Converging on minimum regulatory & legal standards.
•    Advancing safety and quality standards.
•    Regulatory trend towards standardization and minimizing complexity.
•    Recognizing homeopathy as a distinct holistic medical system and Veterinary homoeopathy.
 

Awards

Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research awarded to C N R Rao 
The first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research has been awarded to C N R Rao. The award will be presented to Rao by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi ruler of Ras Al Khaimah emirate during the International Workshop on Advanced Materials at Ras Al Khaimah on February 25.
C N R Rao
Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao popularly known as C N R Rao is an Indian scientist who has made significant contributions in material research.
He has authored over 1,600 research papers and 50 books. His areas of research include transition metal oxides and other extended inorganic solids, metal-insulator transitions, nano-materials including nanotubes and graphene, artificial photosynthesis and hydrogen generation by photocatalysis and thermal means.


Ranjani Murali won Womans Voice Award at AKLF 2019
US Based Indian poet Ranjani Murali was awarded the “Woman’s Voice Award” on the last day of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF). The main Objective of the award is to recognize and encourage creative writing by women in India. The Award carried a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh along with a citation. Ranjani Murali’s second book “Clearly you are ESL” won the Great Indian Poetry Collectives (GIPCs) Editor’s Choice award.

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Important Current Affairs 20th January 2019

Space News

ISROs top priority is Gaganyaan
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that working on the human space flight programme Gaganyaan and launching a major student outreach apart from the scheduled missions is its top priority.  A separate Human Space Flight Centre has been formed in ISRO. The Gaganyaan project will come under it and that’s how we will target the first unmanned mission in December 2020.  Dr. Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, announced a Young Scientist Programme (YSP) and termed it their most important project to reach out to students. He also said that ISRO is planning to spread its wings in new areas. This year ISRO has planned 32 missions, including 14 launch vehicles, 17 spacecraft and one demo.
 

National News

Tamil Nadu State Cabinet approved the building rules 
Tamil Nadu State Cabinet cleared the Combined Development Regulation and Building Rules. The salient features of the building rules include simplified application forms for planning permission, standardization of development rules and elimination of the scope for discretion on the part of planning authorities.  The State Law Department is carrying out a scrutiny of the Rules. Once the law department approves the Rules, the final order will be issued by the State’s Housing and Urban Development Department.  The State Cabinet also gave its nod to provisional allocations for various departments and the process of preparation of the Budget speech. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chaired the meeting, which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam and others.


India para-powerlifter fails dope test, banned for 4 years 
Indian para-powerflifter Vikramsingh Adhikari has been handed a four-year ban by the International Paralympic Committee for a second anti-doping violation.  The 39-year-old Adhikari, who took part in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, returned positive for Clomiphene in a urine sample provided on 28th February 2017 following his participation at the 8th Fazza 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai.  Paralympic Committee of India Vice-President Gursharan Singh said that the latest result was that of the 'B' sample test. Clomiphene, which can be used to accelerate testosterone secretion, is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency 2017 Prohibited List under the category S4. Hormone and Metabolic Modulators is prohibited both in and out-of-competition.


Maharashtra touches 200 medals in Khelo India Youth Games 2019 
In the Khelo India Youth Games 2019, Maharashtra touched a new milestone of 200 medals. Haryana defeated Delhi and is currently securing the second position. Haryana, who topped the medals tally at last year’s Games, bagged an incredible 10 gold medals along with eight silver and 15 bronze yesterday. They with 48 gold medals, 45 silver and 54 bronze, are second in the medals’ tally, pushing Delhi with 47 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze to the third spot. Maharashtra, who also had a good day with eight gold medals, five from boxing, two from tennis and one from table tennis, reached 200 medals with 76 gold with 57 silver and 67 bronze.
 

International News

Rio named as World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO)
The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has been named as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a programme launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. Earlier Paris and Melbourne secured the position.  According to UNESCO, the World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning, and architecture. As one of the oldest cities in Brazil, Rio has a mix of modern and colonial architecture, with world-renowned sites like the statue of Christ the Redeemer and contemporary constructions like the Museum of Tomorrow.
 

Sports News

Ankita Raina won the ITF womens tennis tournament title
India's Ankita Raina defeated Arantxa Rus, the top seed and World No.122, of the Netherlands. She secured 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the $25,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) women’s tennis tournament in Singapore.  Results: $25,000 ITF women, Singapore: Final: Ankita Raina bt Arantxa Rus (Ned) 6-3, 6-2.
 

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Important Current Affairs 19th January 2019

National News

Visit of the Prime Minister of Denmark to India for Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019

The Prime Minister of Denmark, H.E. Mr Lars Løkke Rasmussen, is visiting India on 18-19 January, 2019 for "Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit-2019” where Denmark is participating as a Partner Country. Prime Minister Rasmussen is accompanied by a business delegation including CEOs of major Danish companies.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Rasmussen held bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar on 18 January 2019. The two Prime Ministers had earlier met during the first India- Nordic summit in Stockholm in April 2018.

Prayagraj Kumbh Mela becomes effective platform for Information dissemination on Welfare schemes

A number of exhibitions by Bureau of Outreach and Communication [BOC] of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and State Departments have been setup to Inform, Educate & Communicate about various Welfare schemes implemented by the Government.

BOC has set up a very high tech exhibition at Triveni Road in sector 1 at Kumbh's exhibition ground. Most of the panels are on Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat, Swatchh aur Samridh Bharat, Bapuaur Sardar Ke Sapno Ka Bharat etc. These exhibitions are digital and interactive in nature. Displays on lives of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and Iron Man of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel are inspiring the visitors to go into details through digital panels. Some posters depicting achievements of Government are also exhibited with photographs.

India to host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2019 to address the issues of land degradation and desertification. The event will be participated by more than 100 countries and it is likely to be held in the month of October 2019.

Nagpur, the city of Oranges to host the 4-day 2nd World Orange Festival for the first time

 The 4-day 2nd world Orange Festival commenced in Nagpur, the city of oranges, for the first time. The festival will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export.

Appoints

Raja Krishnamoorthi is appointed as a new member of HPSCI for the 116th Congress (Appoints)

Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democratic lawmaker, has been appointed as a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence. He is the first South Asian to serve in the powerful body tasked to strengthen U.S.’s national security. Mr.Krishnamoorthi, 45, who represents Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House. Along with him Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont has been appointed as new Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) for the 116th Congress. The HPSCI oversees the activities and budget of the 17 intelligence agencies of the U.S.

International News

India and Mongolia Sign a Powerful MoU at ICMEI 

The Embassy of Mongolia and International Chamber of Media and Entertainment Industry (ICMEI), India have further strengthened the relationship between India and Mongolia by signing a MoU in the field of art and culture. The MoU was signed in the presence of H.E. Gonchig Ganbold Ambassador of Mongolia to India and Dr. Sandeep Marwah, President ICMEI. The MoU will enable the two countries to work together on different segments including print, radio, television, cinema, animation, Performing and Fine Arts, tourism, hospitality, education, environment, solar energy, skill development, PR events and advertising, Fashion and Design, and Journalism. During the event, the deserving students from Mongolia were handed over the first scholarship of a short-term course of Asian Academy of Film and Television which also includes boarding and lodging for three months.
 

Defence 

India-Myanmar Joint Training Exercise Begins In Chandimandir

Second edition of the India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19, commenced at Chandimandir Military Station, that houses the headquarters of the Western Command, Chandigarh.  The aim of this joint training programme, spread over six days, is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations under the UN flag.

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Important Current Affairs 16th January 2019

National News

Pariksha Pe Charcha: PM to interact with students, teachers & parents on Jan 29 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with students, teachers and parents on 29th of this month.
•    The 2nd edition of the Pariksha Pe Charcha will be an interesting conversation with students, parents and teachers on exams, life and more. 
•    He urged students to participate in the unique contest on MyGov open forum and get a chance to be at the event in Delhi.
•    Students can register on MyGov.in open forum and participate in the contest. The competition is only for students studying from classes 9 to 12, graduate and undergraduate college students, their parents and teachers.


9th International Micro irrigation conference begins in Aurangabad today 
•    In order to promote Micro irrigation amongst farmers, Ministry of Water resources and River development is going to organize the 9th International Micro irrigation conference from today in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
•    The conference will focus on the theme of “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”.
•    The conference will discuss, deliberate and strategize with eminent stakeholders including farmers, to create awareness about the use of Micro Irrigation on a large scale.
•    740 delegates including 100 foreign delegates from 56 countries and as many 100 Agricultural scientists will also attend the conference.


PM Modi Inaugurates 13-Km Long, Two-Lane Kollam Bypass In Kerala 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially declared open the much-awaited Kollam bypass on National Highway-66 on Tuesday.
•    The 13-km-long, two-lane bypass, with a project cost of Rs. 352 crore, will cut the travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala and is expected to decongest the traffic in Kollam town.


Doordarshan's channel 'DD Science' along with internet-based channel 'India Science' launched today
•    Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harshvardhan today launched DD Science and India Science channels in New Delhi. 
•    DD Science is Doordarshan's first ever daily slot on Science and Technology, while India Science is an internet-based channel.
•    Doordarshan reaches over 3 crore houses in the country and would be an impactful medium for popularisation of science.
•    Addressing the gathering, CEO Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati said these channels dedicated to science will enhance the spirit of enquiry in children.


ISRO starts Human Space Flight centre 
•    Gaganyaan, the great Indian human leap to space by 2022, will soon get cracking under a new Human Space Flight Centre and a dedicated team around five months after it was first unveiled. 
•    A team of 800 to 900 people is to be deployed over time to carry it out.
•    Indian Space Research Organisation named Unnikrishnan Nair, who led its Advanced Space Transportation Programme at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, as the man to steer it - as also the director of the new centre.
•    R.Hutton, who has helmed the PSLV light lift vehicle programme, also from Thiruvananthapuram, is the project director in that set-up.


International News

Iran launches satellite which failed to reach orbit in final stage 
•    Iran launched a satellite this morning, however, it failed to reach the orbit in the final stage.
•    The Payam satellite was successfully launched with the Basir satellite carrier.
•    The satellite failed to reach the required speed on detachment from the rocket in the third stage.


Sports

Gukesh becomes country’s youngest Grandmaster 
•    D. Gukesh completed the formalities to be the sport’s youngest Grandmaster, at present.
•    He defeated Dinesh Sharma in the ninth round of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament for his third and final GM norm.
•    The country’s 59th GM is also the youngest after breaking the record of state-mate R. Praggnanandhaa set in June last year.
•    For the record, Gukesh reached the landmark at the age of 12 years, seven months and 17 days. Praggnanandhaa did it in 12 years, 10 months and 13 days.
•    Sergey Karjakin’s record, set in 2002, stays intact at 12 years and seven months.
 

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Important Current Affairs 14th January 2019

International Relations

India, 5 Central Asian nations back inclusive peace process in Afghanistan 
•    India and the five Central Asia nations have backed an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. The understanding was reached at the first ever India-Central Asia Dialogue in Uzbekistan capital Samarkand yesterday.
•    The Dialogue was chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov. It was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.
•    Ms Swaraj reiterated India's commitment to the economic reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan.
 

National News

Gujarat becomes 1st state to implement 10% quota to EWS
•    Gujarat Government has announced that the benefits of 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker sections of general category in educational institutions and government jobs will be applicable from midnight tonight.
•    However, it is pertinent to mention here that the benefits of the fresh quota will not be applicable for which the process had begun before January 14, 2019, like for which the process of written, oral, computer proficiency or preliminary tests have already been conducted.


Puducherry To Ban Single-Use Plastic From March 1
•    Puducherry government has decided to ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products in the Union Territory from March 1
•    Neighbouring Tamil Nadu government had announced in June, 2018 that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019
 

Appointments

Jaideep Govind appointed Secretary General, NHRC 
•    Senior IAS officer Jaideep Govind has been appointed the Secretary General of National Human Rights Commission.
•    He was posted as Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministries of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation.
•    He has held various important posts in the Government of India, including the charge of Human Rights Division in the Home Ministry.
 

International News

UN experts urge Pakistan not to execute mentally ill prisoner
•    UN experts have urged Pakistan not to carry out arbitrary execution of mental illness prisoners. 
•    The execution of Khizar Hayat, sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a colleague, was suspended by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Saturday, just three days before the 55-year-old was due to be hanged.
•    The UN experts said, Hayat, who has spent more than 15 years in custody, has been kept in solitary confinement since 2012, urging the government to halt the execution and questioning the veracity of his conviction.
 

Sports

Bengaluru Raptors win Premier Badminton League title
•    Bengaluru Raptors have won their first ever Premier Badminton League title. 
•    In the title clash played at Bengaluru last night, Bengaluru edged out Mumbai Rockets, with a 4-3 win.
•    Star player Kidambi Srikanth, Vu Ji Trang and the Men's Doubles pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Satiawan won their matches for Bengaluru guiding them to victory.


Abhinav Shaw becomes youngest gold medallist in shooting 
•    At the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune today, ten year old Abhinav Shaw became the youngest gold medallist in shooting.
•    He teamed up with Mehuli Ghosh to help West Bengal win the 10m air rifle mixed team event. Delhi's Devanshi Rana bagged gold in Under-21 girls 25m pistol event.
•    Maharashtra once again dominated the gymnastics arena at the Games to wrap up the Under-21 category with a whopping nine medals on the last day of gymnastics events.
 

Awards

First-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award presented to PM 
•    The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today received the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award, at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi.
•    The Award focuses on the triple bottom-line of People, Profit and Planet. It will be offered annually to the leader of a Nation.


Namita Gokhale wins Sushila Devi Literature Award 
•    Writer Namita Gokhale has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel "Things to Leave Behind".
•    She was awarded in the 'Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author' category at the inaugural edition of Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF)
 

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Important Current Affairs 12th January 2019

Science

Earth’s north magnetic pole moving at alarming rate 
Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic.
Beggan said the moving pole affected navigation, mainly in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. NATO and the U.S. and British militaries are among those using the magnetic model, as well as civilian navigation.
Beggan said the recent shifts in the north magnetic pole would be unnoticed by most people outside the Arctic, for instance using smartphones in New York, Beijing or London.
 

International news

Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza 
The Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP), an initiative to bring Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises closer to each other on a single AI enabled platform. This is a partnership by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) with Municipal Governments of Guiyang and Dalian.
Indian IT enterprises are world renowned for their expertise in business transformation and operational optimization by using IT tools in complex business environments.
SIDCOP, which is a boundary-less marketplace offers this opportunity for Chinese enterprises in order to assist them in operational optimization and adopting industry best practices in business solutions.
 

National news

25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019 
Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019 in Mumbai. The two-day summit will provide a platform for discussions between Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India. It will also offer new partnerships and investment opportunities in sectors like Artificial Intelligence, big data, agri and food processing, defence and aeronautics, renewable energy and tourism.
The theme of the sessions will vary from reforms and deregulation to infrastructure development as a necessity for growth. With an aim to showcase a New India, the summit is being organised by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Maharashtra Government and Confederation of Indian Industry.


Armed Forces Veterans Day 

The Armed Force are celebrating the Veterans Day on 14 Jan to honour the veterans of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  To mark the occasion, veteran rallies will be held country wide at Armed Forces stations.  The main celebration in Delhi will take place at the Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt.  Raksha Mantri and Raksha Rajya Mantri will grace the occasion amongst many other eminent officials associated with the Veterans affairs.

Indus Food 2019 
INDUS FOOD-II with the theme of ‘World Food Supermarket’ will be held on 14th and 15th January, 2019, at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. The event is aimed at promoting India as a strong and reliable exporter of food and beverage products to the world. INDUS FOOD 2019 will promote value addition to India’s agriculture exports and integrate Indian farmers and agricultural products with global value chains.
With more than 700 buyers from 70 countries visiting INDUS FOOD-II and more than 500 food suppliers, the event will lead to greater interaction of Indian exporters with global customers leading to enhanced product development and better price realization in international markets. 

 
Army Tech Seminar (ARTECH 2019) 
In its quest for modernization through optimum use of emerging technologies, Indian Army organised the Army Technology Seminar-2019  (ARTECH 2019) on the theme “Disruptive Impact of Emerging Technologies on Land Warfare” at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt on 11 Jan 2019.  The seminar was aimed to bring together stakeholders in the military, academia and industry to provide perspective on the available and emerging technologies which could have an impact on warfighting. An exhibition showcasing military innovations developed by field Army, DRDO, Academia and industry was also organised during the seminar.


Sanskriti Kumbh, a 29 days Cultural extravaganza begins at Kumbh Mela Area, Prayagraj 
The biggest cultural festival named Sanskriti Kumbh is celebrating the conglomeration of Spiritual Consciousness and Cultural Heritage of India in the main premises of Kumbh Mela area in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India is organizing Sanskriti Kumbh with intent to showcase the rich Cultural Heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions viz. Performing Arts- Folk, Tribal and Classical art forms, Handicrafts, Cuisines, Exhibitions etc. all in one place.
Kumbh Mela is one of the oldest and largest congregation in the world. Kumbh Mela is attended by millions of people irrespective of all caste, creed, sex and region. The significance of Kumbh Mela has been enhanced at the Global level as the UNESCO has inscribed Kumbh Mela on the list of Intangible Cultural heritage for humanity in 2017. This time Kumbh is being organized in the city of Prayagraj which is located at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and Mystic river of Saraswati in Uttar Pradesh.
 

Economy news

Industrial production falls to 0.5% in November 

Industrial production in November grew at just 0.5 per cent compared to 8.1 percent in October, as per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Friday. Factory output had grown by 8.5 per cent in November 2017. The last low was in June 2017, when IIP growth contracted by 0.3 per cent. The October IIP was also revised to 8.4 per cent from 8.1 per cent earlier by the CSO.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mineral mining, electricity and manufacturing. The all India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.

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