Current Affairs January 2019: Current Affairs is one of the most crucial part in preparation for any competitive exams. It is important to know events happening all around the globe on daily basis. It will give a student an edge over other students if your General Awareness is strong and also it is important for day to day lives.
Refer to this article on Current Affairs January to prepare for the General Awareness section of the upcoming Bank Exams, SSC, Insurance, Railways, UPSC, Police/Defence, Medical, All India Jobs, State Gov Jobs, Teaching and Engineering. You should prepare well for this section to improve your overall marks in the paper.
Current Affairs January 2019
Get updated on the top National and International Events circulating around January 2019:
Current Affairs January 2019 | 31st January
Punit Goenka- The new chairman of BARC India
- The Broadcast Audience Research Council of India has elected Punit Goenka MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) as the Chairman
- Punit Goenka as a founder Chairman of BARC had played a key role in institutionalizing BARC
- Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India) is a collaborative Industry Company founded in 2010 by stakeholder bodies that represent Broadcasters, Advertisers, and Advertising and Media Agencies
Impact of global warming on El-Nino
- El-Nino disturbs the atmospheric conditions across the world
- El-Nino occurs every two-to-seven years with very strong El Niño’s occurring about every 15 years results in droughts, floods, wildfires, dust and and snow storms, fish kill, and even elevated risks of civil conflicts
- The El-Nino is measured by studying the averages sea surface temperature anomalies over the central-eastern tropical Pacific
- The study serves a warning to the countries on all continents that suffer from these extreme weather events during strong El Niño events
International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
- UNESCO has declared year 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. This is to commemorate the 150th birthday of the periodic table of chemical elements.
- The Periodic table of the Chemical elements was first published by Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev in the year 1869. The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is the tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties
PM Modi inaugurates National Salt Satyagraha Memorial
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat to the nation, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary.
- The Prime Minister also unveiled at the memorial site, the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from seawater against the British law.
- The memorial has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Dandi March.
Piyush Goyal launches the ‘The Future of Rail’ report
- Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal on January 30, 2019 launched the “The Future of Rail” report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
- The Future of Rail is the first-of-a-kind report that analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
- The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail and explores the policies that could help to realise an enhanced future of the railways.
PETROTECH-2019 to be organised from February 10 to 12, 2019
- PETROTECH-2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition, being organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, is all set to be inaugurated on February 10, 2019.
- India’s flagship hydrocarbon international conference is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries have been invited by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas to participate in the Conference.
- It is expected to see participation of over 86 eminent speakers and 7000 delegates from around 70 countries.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 30th January
India moves to 78th position on Corruption Perceptions Index 2018
- India improved its ranking on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by three points and moved to 78th position with a score of 41. India ranked at 81st place on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2017.
- In the list of 180 countries, China and Pakistan lagged far behind India at 87th and 117th position, respectively.
- According to the Index, Denmark is the least corrupt country followed by New Zealand; while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are the most corrupt countries in the world.
Ganga Expressway to connect Prayagraj with Western UP
- Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet on January 29, 2019 approved the construction of a four-lane Ganga Expressway connecting Prayagraj to Western Uttar Pradesh.
- Ganga Expressway will provide better connectivity to Prayagraj. Once completed, it would be the longest expressway in the world.
- The Cabinet also gave its assent for the Bundelkhand Expressway and the development of the Bundelkhand region.
UAE & Saudi Arabian central banks launches ‘Aber’
- The central banks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called ‘Aber’,
- It will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.
- The UAE central bank said in a statement that it will establish an additional means for the central financial transfer systems of the two countries and enable banks to directly deal with each other in conducting financial remittances.
K J Alphons inaugurates first Swadesh Darshan Project in Sikkim
- K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism, on January 30, 2019 inaugurated the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Project of the Union Ministry of Tourism at the Zero Point, Gangtok, Sikkim.
- This project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in June 2015 for Rs. 98.05 crores and is the first ever project in Sikkim under the scheme.
- The project is officially named as “Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam”.
SEBI proposes relaxed norms for REITs, InvITs
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 30, 2019 proposed a new set of relaxed norms for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) to increase access to investors.
- The new set of framework will provide flexibility to the issuers in terms of fund raising and will boost investments in REITs and InvITs.
- The REITs and InvITs are listed entities that mainly invest in income-producing assets, the earnings of which are mostly distributed to their shareholders. They generally get special tax treatment.
UK Parliament approves Brexit amendment on replacing Irish backstop
- In Britain, lawmakers voted in favour of an amendment in BREXIT plan seeking alternative arrangements to replace the Irish border arrangement known as the Irish backstop.
- The amendment calls for the backstop to be replaced with unspecified “alternative arrangements” to avoid the reintroduction of border checks in Ireland. With this, PM Theresa May will try to renegotiate the Brexit treaty with European Union.
- However, European Union has repeatedly said it does not want to reopen the treaty, which has been signed off by the other 27 EU leaders, and said the “backstop” was needed as a guarantee to ensure there can be no return to a hard border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
- The backstop is aimed at keeping an open border between European Union-member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit.
- Another amendment, rejecting a no-deal Brexit, also won the support of Parliament. The vote was non-binding and the date for Brexit remains March 29.
World’s biggest cyclothon Swasth ‘Bharat Yatra’ culminates in Delhi
- The Swasth Bharat Yatra, the world’s biggest cyclothon to push people to eat right, culminated in New Delhi on January 28, 2019. The campaign was flagged-off on October 16, 2018 on the occasion of World Food Day.
- The yatra began from six different locations – Leh, Panaji, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Kolkata and Agartala on six different tracks in which more than ten thousand volunteer cyclists covered over twenty thousand kilometres spreading the message of “Eat Safe, Eat Healthy and Eat Fortified”.
- This yatra is a part of the Eat Right India movement, a pan India public health revolution to create a sustainable culture and habit of safe and healthy diets by promoting individual awareness, collective action, strengthening institutional system and fostering partnerships.
- The movement was led by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
GST on Haj reduced to 5%
- The Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced that the GST on Haj has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
- The move will significantly lower the airfare thus saving Haj pilgrims’ Rs 113 crore this year.
- The Minority Affairs Minister was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a new conference hall and passport section at the Haj House in Mumbai.
- The Minister said that this is for the first time since the independence that 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram.
Data of HIV positive people leaked in Singapore
- In Singapore, the confidential data of nearly 14,000 people diagnosed with HIV has been stolen and leaked online.
- The Ministry of Health revealed that the leaked information includes names, identification numbers, contact details, HIV test results and other medical information.
- The leaked data is reportedly in the possession of Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez, a US citizen convicted of fraud and drug-related offences in 2017. He was deported from Singapore after completing his sentence.
- This is the second massive data breach in Singapore within months. It comes after the health records of 1.5 million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were stolen last year in the country’s biggest ever data breach.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 29th January
2.0 version of Pariksha Pe Charcha held
- The second edition Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 was held on January 29. Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with several students, parents and teachers from across the country and shared his personal experiences with the young audience.
- The event was held at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi where 2000 students, teachers and parents was gathered
- Not just students from India, Indian students residing in Russia, Nigeria, Iran, Nepal, Doha, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Singapore also participated in the event.
Swasth Bharat Yatra Awards launched
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had launched Swasth Bharat Yatra. This is to amplify its Eat Right India initiative.
- Swasth Bharat Yatra was a 100-day consumer outreach programme. The Yatra saw the participation of around 2.5 crore people across various States and UT’s
- It also led to the creation of 21,000 local ‘Eat Right Champions’ who would sustain this movement in the future. Best State Overall was awarded to Tamil Nadu
- Best States with a population above 3 crore was given to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Best States having a population less than 3 crore are Punjab, Goa and Delhi.
Third Stock-taking Conference on Tiger Conservation held at New Delhi
- The third Stock-taking Conference on Tiger Conservation is being held at New Delhi.
- The discussions shall be held on the status of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) by all tiger range countries .
- This conference is organised by the Global Tiger Forum which is an implementing arm of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC)
- This conference is in collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (Government of India), WWF, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) and Wildlife Trust of India.
- This is the second stock-taking conference to be held in India.
- India will also hold a meeting with its neighbouring tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal to discuss a sub-continent level tiger estimation
Mohammed Shami becomes the Fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI wickets
- Fast Bowler Mohammed Shami has become the fastest Indian to claim 100 wickets in One-day Internationals.
- Mohammed Shami achieved this feat in his 56th ODI game. Mohammed Shami’s wicket number 100 was New Zealand opener, Martin Guptill.
- Before Mohammed Shami, the record was held by Iran Pathan who had reached the 100-wicket mark in 59 ODIs.
India becomes world’s second largest steel producer
- The World Steel Association has released a Report highlighting various trends related to the Industry.
- India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country, only behind China, which is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production, as per the latest report by World Steel Association.
- The report noted that India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, which is up by 4.9 per cent from 101.5 MT in 2017.
- The rise in India’s crude steel production in 2018 means that India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country, as Japan produced 104.3 MT in 2018, which is down by 0.3 per cent as compared to 2017.
India signs agreement with OECD for participation in PISA 2021
- The Union Human Resources Development Ministry on signed an agreement with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for India’s Participation in Programme for International Student Assessment- PISA 2021.
- The student assessment by PISA will ensure learning outcome through education.
- It would lead to an improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country. It would also indicate the health of the education system of the nation and would motivate other schools and states in the subsequent cycles.
Nari Shakti is Hindi Word Of The Year 2018- Oxford
- Nari Shakti was chosen as the Hindi word of the year 2018 by Oxford Dictionary.
- The announcement was made during a session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.
- The March 2018 recorded a large spike in the use of ”Nari Shakti” as discussion began around Indian government’s Nari Shakti Puraskar given by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The word was selected by the Oxford Dictionary (India) with help of a panel of language experts. In 2017, Oxford Dictionary had chosen ‘Aadhar’ as the word of the year.
India bags the Award of Excellence in Travel Show 2019
- India received the Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ at the recently concluded New York Times Travel Show 2019.
- It is the largest travel show in North America that was held during January 25-27, 2019 in New York, USA. Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism received the Award of Excellence
- A number of India centric activities were organised at the Show including ‘Focus on India’ and Consumer Seminars, Indian cultural performances, Indian Culinary Demonstration, Food tasting, etc.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 28th January
5.1-kilometre long “Atal Setu” inaugurated at Goa
- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated four-lane 5.1-kilometre long “Atal Setu”, the third Cable Bridge across river Mandovi in Panaji, Goa.
- Infrastructure works worth Rs 15000 crore have been sanctioned for the state of Goa.
- 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.
Madhya Pradesh announced Yuva Swabhiman Yojana for youth
- Madhya Pradesh Government announced the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana to provide employment for the unemployed youth. 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.
India’s first engineless train named as Vande Bharat Express
- The Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal named India’s first engineless train, ‘Train 18’ as the ‘Vande Bharat Express’, acknowledging its made-in-India status.
- The train was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in the period of 18 months under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of PM Narendra Modi.
- 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.
Saina Nehwal wins Indonesia Masters 2019 title
- The Indonesian Masters Badminton Tournament 2019 is organized by the Badminton Association of Indonesia
- It was the third tournament of the 2019 BWF World Tour.
- Saina Nehwal walked away with the women’s singles title at the 2019 Indonesia Masters after Carolina Marin pulled out with a knee injury midway through the first game.
Jiban Sampark Project of Odisha announced at annual Adivasi Mela
- The Chief Minister of Odisha announced the Jiban Sampark project of Odisha.
- It is for the welfare of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups. The annual Adivasi Mela showcases the art, artefacts, culture, tradition, and music of the tribal community.
- The Adivasi Mela strengthen the livelihood of the tribal communities by creating a sustainable market and business opportunities for tribal artisans.
- The Jiban Sampark Project undertaken in association with UNICEF aims to generate awareness among Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha on various development and welfare initiatives of State Government, especially on women and child welfare
India’s Second Tulip Garden to Come up in Uttarakhand
- The government of Uttarakhand has obtained the permission to develop the tulip garden over 50 hectares of forest land in Pithoragarh district at a cost of Rs 50 crore
- It will be the second Tulip garden in the country after the one located in Srinagar of Jammu and Kashmir. The Tulip Garden will be developed by ONGC.
The India Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Report 2018 released
- The India Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Report 2018 has been released by Kochi based Institute of Small Enterprises and Development at the South India MSME Summit 2019 in Bengaluru
- MSME’s need radical reforms to solve its pressing problems and to utilize its potential.
- Several studies on India’s MSME’s have brought out emerging challenges of the sector especially against the phenomenon of jobless growth.
- There is a need to address the issues relating to finance and taxation which the MSME associations have brought before the government.
- The report recommends an entitlement approach that can have the potential of compelling all related stakeholders to work on a common national agenda and solutions under a scientifically structured framework.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 26th and 27th January
Disaster Control Exercise by India and Japan
- The coast guards of India and Japan undertook disaster control, search and rescue exercises off the coast of Yokohama in Japan.
- India had hosted the Japanese ships for the exercise last year and this time Japan is hosting the exercise.
- ICGS Shaunak is the main Indian ship taking part in the drills. ICGS Shaunak is an Offshore Patrol Vessel of Indian coast guards.
- This 105-meter vessel is capable of carrying a twin-engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats including two quick reaction inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.
Saab, AAI sign MoU to explore air traffic management
- The Swedish aerospace and defence company (Saab) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore air traffic management (ATM) solutions for airports operating under the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.
- Both will jointly explore potential avenues for co-operation for ATM solutions in India
- Saab ATM solutions have already been deployed at 11 airports in India and they can support single and multiple runway airfields, as well as remote operations and deployable systems
Indian Africa Field Training Exercise to be held at Pune
- Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX) will be held at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering, Pune from 18 March to 27 March 2019.
- IAFTX joint exercise is being conducted between India and a dozen African Countries.
- The joint exercise aims at synergising humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations.
- The joint exercise is a step forward towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of the African continent and will boost the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries
Padma Awards 2019 announced
- The government of India has announced the Padma Awards 2019.
- The 112 prominent personalities honoured with the Padma Awards include comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards.
- Padma Awards are given in various disciplines or fields of activities: social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. Padma Bhushan is awarded for distinguished service of high order. Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service in any field. Padma Awards were instituted by the government of India in 1954.
MoU between India and Kuwait on recruitment of Domestic Workers Signed
- The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Kuwait for cooperation on the recruitment of domestic workers.
- The MoU will provide a structured framework for cooperation on domestic workers related matters. It provides for strengthened safeguards for Indian domestic workers including female workers deployed in Kuwait. Initially valid for five years, it has a provision for automatic renewal.
Four museums in Red Fort Complex Inaugurated
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated four museums at Red Fort. They are Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum, Yaad-e-Jallian Museum (museum on the Jallianwala Bagh and World War I), the Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence, and Drishyakala-Museum on Indian Art.
- The Subhash Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort was inaugurated to mark the Netaji’s 122nd birth anniversary. The Yaad-e-Jallian Museum provides an authentic account of Jallianwala Bagh massacre happened on April 13, 1919.
- The Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence portrays the historical narrative of the 1857 war of independence, showcasing the valour and sacrifices made by Indians during the period.
- The Drishyakala-Museum on Indian Art showcases Indian artworks from 16th century till India’s independence.
Bharat Ratna Awards 2019 bestowed to dignitaries
- The 2019 Bharat Ratna award has been bestowed upon former President Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika. Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika were awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously.
- Pranab Mukherjee served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017. A veteran congressman, Pranab Mukherjee had held various key portfolios like Finance, Defence and External Affairs as Union Minister.
- Nanaji Deshmukh laid great emphasis on education as a social worker. He was a member of RSS and also served as general secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
- Bhupen Hazarika was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam, widely known as Sudhakantha.
President confers Ashoka Chakra on Lance Naik Nazir Wani
- India’s highest peacetime gallantry honour, Ashoka Chakra was awarded to Lance Naik Nazir Wani posthumously.
- It was received by Wani’s wife and mother at the Republic Day celebrations held at Rajpath
- Lance Naik Nazir Wani also holds the distinction of being the first Kashmiri to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra.
Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) Successfully Tested
- India has successfully flight tested Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) from a warship off Odisha coast.
- The LRSAM successfully destroyed a low flying aerial target. LRSAM has been jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India and M/s Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the Indian Navy.
- The LRSAM was test fired in operational configuration on board INS Chennai positioned in the Arabian Sea. The missile was first tested from INS Kolkata on western seaboard in 2015. It had achieved all objectives.
- It can destroy airborne threats like jets, aircraft, anti-ship missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and rockets including projectiles launched simultaneously.
Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme for Keralites
- The government of Kerala has launched ‘Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme’.
- The governor of Kerala P. Sathasivam made this announcement in the address to the state assembly. The scheme has been introduced by the government of Kerala as part of welfare measures towards Pravasi Malayalis.
- Under the scheme, a regular pension would be provided to Non-Resident Keralites on a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh. This one-time payment would be deposited with KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) for financing infrastructure projects.
DSC Prize for English Novel No Presents Please
- No Presents Please is an English Novel translated from Kannada Work of Jayant Kaikini.
- The novel was translated to English by Tejaswini Niranjana.
- The award was announced during the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
- The award was presented by eminent writer Ruskin Bond to Jayant Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana.
- For the first time the award was being given to a translated work and the jury wanted to recognise the outstanding contribution of Tejaswini Niranjana
- The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010 for an original full-length novel written in English, or translated into English.
Australian Open 2019 concluded
- Australian Open which is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis event concluded at Melbourne in Australia.
- Nicknamed as the happy slam, the Australian Open has grown to become the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere
- The Winners of the Australian Open 2019 are: Women’s Singles: Naomi Osaka of Japan. Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Women’s Doubles: Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China. Men’s Doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France
- Mixed Doubles: Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram of the US.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 25th January
National Voters’ Day today observed on 25th January
- The 9th National Voters’ day was observed across India on January 25, 2019, with an aim to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones.
- This was the ninth edition of the Day. The day also aims to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
- The theme for the 9th National Voters’ Day is ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’.
CEMILAC clears Biojet fuel for Aircraft
- After months of ground and flight trials, the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), a premier military certification agency, cleared the use of indigenously produced bio-fuel for use in the military aircraft. The approval will enable the Indian Air Force to fulfil its commitment to fly the maiden IAF An-32 aircraft on January 26, 2019, with a blend of bio-jet fuel.
- The Biojet fuel is produced from a non-conventional source that is non-edible vegetable or tree borne oil. The bio-jet fuel has been produced from seeds of Jatropha plant sourced from Chhattisgarh and processed at CSIR-IIP’s lab at Dehradun. This fuel will now be used on military aircraft.
SC agrees to examine Centre’s decision to grant 10% reservation to upper caste poor
- The Supreme Court has decided to examine the Centre’s decision to grant 10 percent reservation to economically weaker sections of general category.
- A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the central government on various petitions challenging the validity of the Constitutional Amendment Act granting reservation to poor belonging to general category. The centre has to get back to the Supreme Court within four weeks.
The first woman IPS officer Aparna Kumar accomplishes South Pole expedition
- Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Aparna Kumar who is on deputation to Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) become the first woman Indian Police Police Service (IPS) and ITBP officer to successfully conquer the South Pole. The expedition began from Chile.
- IPS officer Aparna Kumar began along with a team of seven members and two guides.
- The team walked for 111 miles. The South Pole is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and is at the centre of the Southern Hemisphere. It is situated on the continent of Antarctica.
- The South Pole is the coldest and driest place on Earth. The temperature there ranges from minus 37 degrees to minus 48 degrees.
ISRO places Kalamsat V2 into orbit
- Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has launched the Kalamsat-V2 from Sriharikota space centre.
- It is the lightest satellite to be ever built and launched into orbit and it is also Isro’s first launch of a satellite built by a private firm.
- It is a communications satellite for ham radio transmission, a form of wireless communication used by amateurs for non-commercial activities.
- The satellite is being built by students belonging to Space Kidz India, a Chennai-based space education firm.
- The satellite cost 1.2m Indian rupees and was built during the span of six days.
- The Satellite was launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) – a four-stage rocket.
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2019 conferred to 30 awardees
- President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2019 to 30 awardees.
- The awards were conferred during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas being held at Varanasi.
- The winner of this prestigious award includes Gita Gopinath chief economist of IMF, Nihal Singh Agar, founding president of VHP in Australia and Ramesh Chotai, former president of Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre in Canada.
- Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
Constitutional Amendment to increase the powers of the Autonomous Councils gets a nod
- The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the constitutional amendment which seeks to increase the powers of the autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the Northeast.
- The existing autonomous district councils would be renamed as autonomous territorial councils since the jurisdiction of the councils extends to more than one district.
- The amendments also provide for elected village municipal councils to ensure democracy at the grassroots level
Sea-Vigil Navy Exercise
- Indian Navy undertook a first of its kind multi-agency drill, covering the entire 7,516 km-long Indian coastline and exclusive economic zone and involving 13 coastal states and Union Territories to check the efficacy of maritime security and surveillance- Sea Vigil.
- The two-day exercise, Sea Vigil has a deployment of 150 ships, 40 aircraft and a number of other strategic assets of the Navy and Coast Guard.
- Navy had undertaken biannual coastal security exercises at the level of states previously but it is for the first time an exercise involving all coastal states, island territories and all central and state agencies has been undertaken.
- his large geographical extent, a number of stakeholders involved, number of units participating and the objectives to be met make the exercise an unprecedented one.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 24th January
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar
- To mark the 122nd birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Government instituted an annual award titled ‘Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar’.
- The award scheme will recognise the efforts of organisations or individuals who work to alleviate the suffering of the affected population in the aftermath of any disaster.
- The award scheme was constituted after it was observed that in the aftermath of any disaster, many organisations and individuals work silently but effectively to alleviate sufferings of the affected population.
Ravneet Gill appointed in YES Bank
- YES Bank appointed Deutsche Bank’s Ravneet Singh Gill as its MD and CEO. He will succeed Rana Kapoor.
Indian Railways to begin recruitment drive under 10% reservations
- Indian Railways will initiate the fresh recruitment of around 2,30,000 employees under various cadres over the next two years in two phases.
- This will be the first major recruitment in India with the benefit of 10 percent reservations for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of General Category after the passage of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment in the Parliament.
- The Recruitment will be for various cadres and minimum eligibility criteria will vary from certification from Industrial Training Institutes or Diploma or Degree in Engineering or Graduation in any discipline, depending on the post.
Indian Navy’s largest-ever coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ concludes
- Indian Navy’s conducted largest-ever coastal defence exercise – ‘Sea Vigil’.
- It was conducted by the Navy and Coast Guard, in close coordination with State Governments and Union Territories. A first of its kind exercise was undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
- It involved all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities. The key aim of the exercise was to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since the ’26/11′ attack in Mumbai.
National Girl Child Day 2019 observed in India
- Today, the Ministry of Women and Child Development celebrated the National Girl Child Day 2019 (NGCD) at Pravasi Bharti Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
- The theme of National Girl Child Day 2019 was “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”. The theme focused on the objective of generating awareness on the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and creating a positive environment around valuing the girl child.
- The Day aims to increase awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society.
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissions ‘INS Kohassa’
- Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissioned the new Naval Air Base ‘INS Kohassa’ at Diglipur in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Naval Air Base will enhance the maritime capability along with keeping the northern part of Andaman sea and the area under surveillance.
- The INS Kohassa will be used to handle operations of helicopters and small aircraft like the Dornier. The airport at Diglipur will be utilised for both Defence and civil aircraft.
- With the inauguration of INS Kohassa, Andaman and Nicobar Command will further strengthen its defence capabilities in the region.
Chennai Government to launch Technology Mission Centre on Solar Energy & Water Treatment
- Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan will launch three important centres, set up by Department of Science and Technology (DST), at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) on January 25, 2019.
- The first of these is the establishment of DST –IITM Solar Energy Harnessing Centre.
- The Centre will focus on a wide range of research and technology development activities such as silicon solar cells that promise high efficiency and are suited for Indian conditions.
- The network of researchers engaged in centre comprised of scientists from IIT Madras, IIT-Guwahati, Anna University, ICT-Mumbai, BHEL and KGDS, which will be further expanded.
2019 World Economic Situation and Prospects
- The United Nations report World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 has been released. The report estimates that Global growth is expected to remain steady at 3% in 2019 and 2020, after an expansion of 3.1% in 2018.
- Growth in the United States is projected to decelerate to 2.5% in 2019 and 2% in 2020.
- The European Union would witness a steady growth of 2%, even though risks are tilted to the downside, including a potential fallout from Brexit. China’s growth is expected to moderate from 6.6% in 2018 to 6.3% in 2019 since policy support would partly offset the negative impact of trade tension.
- This report predicts that a worrisome combination of development challenges could further undermine growth.
1210-meter span-bridge bridge over River Ravi inaugurated
- Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a 1210-meter span-bridge over the river Ravi in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. The bridge over river Ravi at Keerian – Gandial is a lifesaver for the people in the region.
- The bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 158.84 crore is a step forward in improving inter-state connectivity. This will save both time and cost by reducing the distance between two places Keerian – Gandial from 45 kms to 8.6 kms.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 23rd January
RBI initiates Industrial Outlook Survey and Services and Infrastructure Outlook Survey
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated two surveys namely, Industrial Outlook Survey (IOS), and Services and Infrastructure Outlook Survey (SIOS). These are the quarterly surveys which aim to examine the current situation including the job scenario in India’s manufacturing, services and infrastructure sectors.
- The Industrial Outlook Survey (IOS) is based on qualitative responses on a set of indicators pertaining to demand conditions, financial conditions, employment conditions and the price situation. The IOS would provide useful insight into the performance of the manufacturing sector.
- The Services and Infrastructure Outlook Survey (SIOS) seeks an assessment of the business situation for the current quarter (January-March 2019) from selected companies in the services and and infrastructure sectors in India, and their outlook for the ensuing quarter (April-June 2019).
IMF forecasts India’s GDP at 7.5% in FY20 and 7.7% in FY21
- The World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given the following prospects about the growth trends for India. IMF has retained its growth projection for the country at 7.5 per cent for 2019-20 and said it is likely to accelerate to 7.7 per cent in 2020-2121.
- India will remain the fastest-growing economy in the world, at least for the next two years.
India ranks 80th on the Global Talent Competitive Index
- The Global Talent Competitive Index prepared by the INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group has been released.
- The index was released on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2019. The Global Talent Competitive Index measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent, ranking 125 countries and 114 cities across all groups of income and levels of development .
- India’s performance was better than its lower-income peers when it comes to growing talent (48th) and access to growth opportunities (41st).
- Switzerland is followed by Singapore, the US, Norway and Denmark in the top five on the list.
Supreme Court to take ‘in-chamber’ decision on plea challenging the legislation
- The Supreme Court on January 22, 2019 ruled that it would take an ‘in-chamber’ decision on listing of a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A.
- The ruling was made by a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.
- The Article 35-A was added to the Indian Constitution (Appendix II) through a Presidential Order – The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.
- It provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana launched
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, 2019 launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which 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 Indian-origin people at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and they would be beginning their tour from there.
- The group will be taken to the religious places of all major religions in India. The tour would be completely government sponsored, as the government will bear all the expenses including the airfare from their country of residence.
Maharashtra Government approves Rs 253 cr Nirbhaya scheme for Mumbai
- The Maharashtra cabinet approved the implementation of the Centre’s Nirbhaya scheme, which seeks to curb crimes against women, for Mumbai.
- The Nirbhaya Fund was initiated in 2013 by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to implement initiatives aimed at enhancing safety and security of women across India.
- It is a non-lapsable fund and the corpus stands at Rs 3,600 crore up to 2018-19.
- As per the scheme the centre will provide Rs 152.20 crore and the Maharashtra government will provide Rs 100.80 crore for the scheme.
- The Centre will provide financial help for the first three years and later all mechanisms like installation of CCTVs at 500 public places will be maintained by the state.
- The Maharashtra state government is also planning to come up with a panic button in a mobile-based application that can be downloaded by women for security.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 22nd January
WHO brings a list of 10 global health threats
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) list of 10 global health threats. 10 issues demand immediate attention from WHO and health partners in 2019
- Air pollution is considered as the greatest environmental risk to health. Burning fossil fuels are a major contributor to climate change.
- Noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide. The year 2018 witnessed two separate Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both outbreaks spread to cities of more than 1 million people. Dengue & HIV are also of major concerns.
2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report highlights
- The Edelman Trust Barometer report is an international study based on the opinions of elites that focuses on the principles of trust in business, government, media and NGOs
- The Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52.
- India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but the country’s brands are among the least-trusted.
- India stood at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category. The index has been topped by China in both the informed public and the general population segments, with scores of 79 and 88 respectively
Ranjani Murali receives Woman’s Voice Award
- US-based Indian poet Ranjani Murali received the ‘Woman’s Voice Award’ at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF). The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh apart from a citation.
- Prabha Khaitan Woman’s Voice Award popularly known as Woman’s Voice Award aims to recognize and encourage creative writing by women in India. This is to help build a network of women writers across India by creating a forum for their work, and to support the publication of new creative writing by women in India.
Facebook to set up an Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence
- Facebook grants $7.5 million to set up an Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- This is in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany.
- The Institute will help to advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology. It will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.
Virat Kohli named ICC Test, ODI Player and Cricketer of the year 2018
- Indian skipper Virat Kohli on January 22, 2019, became the first cricketer to win all the top three ICC individual awards including the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year for his performances in 2018.
- The Indian captain, who recently led India to its historic series win down under, was also named the captain of the ICC Test Team and the ODI Team of the year 2018, the line-ups of which were dominated by Indian players. Besides, Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant claimed the ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 21st January
Eminent Indian scientist CNR Rao chosen for first Sheikh Saud International Prize
- Indian scientist, Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is chosen for the first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research by the Centre for Advanced Materials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The award will be presented to Rao by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of one of UAE’s seven emirates Ras Al Khaimah at the International Workshop on Advanced Materials on February 25, 2019.
Bull-taming game Jallikattu enters world record
- A grand jallikattu event held in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu on January 20, 2019.
- Over 1,300 bulls were released in the arena making the game to enter the world record. It was almost double than the previous record. The bull taming sporting event, coordinated by Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar at Viralimalai saw the participation of 1,354 bulls and 424 tamers.
World Economic Forum annual meet begins in Davos
- The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet begins in Davos. It is five days event to discuss what’s ailing the world amid fears of the global economy sleepwalking into a crisis.
- Besides leaders of various countries, CEOs of global corporations, central bankers, economists, civil society leaders, media heads, celebrities and heads of international organisations like IMF, WTO, OECD and World Bank are also expected to attend the forum. More than 100 CEOs from India expected to participate in the meet.
- The theme of the event would be ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution‘, which would have several India-focussed sessions.
Goa to host Second World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019
- The 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products will be held in Goa from January 23, 2019.
- The three-day forum will be inaugurated by AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik. The forum is expected to witness participation from 20 countries.
- It is to help strengthen the regulatory framework worldwide, to assure that the users of Homoeopathy could have wider access to quality-assured homoeopathic medicines.
Gurinder Singh Khalsa Presented with Rosa Park Trailblazer award
- Indian-American Entrepreneur Gurinder Singh Khalsa has been honoured with Rosa Park Trailblazer award for his campaign to persuade US authorities to change policy towards Sikh headgear.
- Gurinder Singh Khalsa was not allowed to board an aeroplane in 2007 due to his refusal to remove the turban. Determined to stand up for his faith and fight for justice, Gurinder Singh Khalsa took the issue all the way to the US Congress, compelling Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to change its headgear policy towards the Sikh community.
- As a result, Sikhs can now wear their turban through airport security in the US.
Rio de Janeiro recognised as World Capital of Architecture 2020
- Rio de Janeiro has been recognised as ‘World Capital of Architecture’ for 2020 by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
- Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in July 2020.
- The theme of the 2020 World Congress of the International Union of Architects is “All the worlds. Just one world,”. Rio de Janeiro will demonstrate the crucial role of architecture and culture in sustainable urban development.”
- The World Capital of Architecture initiative underscores the common commitment of UNESCO and the UIA to preserve architectural heritage in the urban context.
PM inaugurates manufacturing facility for K9 Vajra
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Armoured Systems Complex (ASC), developed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at Hazira near Surat in Gujarat. This Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) is the country’s first private facility where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured.
- The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at a 43-kilometre distance target
- It can turn around at zero radius. K9 Vajra is a variant of K9 specially designed for operation in the desert areas bordering Pakistan
Current Affairs January 2019 | 19th & 20th January
Tamil Nadu government released Startup and Innovation policy
- With an aim to build Tamil Nadu as ‘Global Innovation hub for startups’ by 2023 and providing an enabling and innovative ecosystem for startups registered in the State Tamil Nadu has released Startup and Innovation policy 2018-2023.
- Core objective of the policy is to create at least 5000 technology startups of which at least 10 global high growth startups in social impact sectors and Infrastructure support to strengthen existing mechanism in areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Software as a Service (SAAS).
World Economic Forum releases the Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact white paper
- World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Harvard Global Health Institute has released the Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact white paper.
- The key highlights of the paper are –
- The number and kind of infectious disease outbreaks have increased significantly over the past 30 years.
- The world has witnessed 200 epidemic events per year since 2011.
- Pandemics will be the cause of average annual economic losses of 0.7 per cent of global GDP i.e. $ 570 billion.
Competition Commission of India gives clearance to Amazon-Witzig bid to acquire Birla’s retail store chain
- The CCI has given clearance to the deal wherein Samara Capital-backed Witzig Advisory Services and Amazon will acquire Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, which operates a supermarket store chain ‘more’.
- According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the deal involves the acquisition of 99.99 per cent of the equity share capital of Aditya Birla Retail by Witzig and 49 per cent stake buy in Witzig by Amazon’s subsidiary Amazon NV Investment Holdings LLC.
Women to get 20% jobs in Military Police
- The Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the decision to induct women in Personnel Below Officer Rank, PBOR, role in Corps of Military Police.
- The women will be inducted in a graded manner to eventually comprise 20% of total Corps of Military Police.
- Accordingly, the Army chalked out induction of approximately 800 women in military police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.
- The announcement is seen as a precursor for allowing the women in combat roles.
Young Scientist Programme announced by ISRO
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced Young Scientist Programme to inculcate and nurture space research fervour in young minds.
- On the New Year day, ISRO had organised Samwad with Students and an announcement was made about the student outreach programme.
- This will be a one month programme and mostly 8th standard passed out students will be given lecturers and access to research laboratories. Three students from each of the 29 States and 7 Union Territories will be selected for the Young Scientist program. The students will be exposed to the practical experience of building small satellites.
B.Tech course in Artificial Intelligence launched by IIT Hyderabad
- IIT Hyderabad has announced the launch of a full-fledged bachelor’s programme in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
- IIT Hyderabad has become the first institute in the country to launch full-fledged Bachelor’s programme in AI technology.
- IIT Hyderabad will be the third institute to globally to offer the B.Tech course in AI.
Light Combat Helicopter Completes Weapon Trials
- The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of India has successfully carried out air-to-air missile firing.
- It was for the first time in India that a helicopter had carried out air to air missile engagement. The LCH developed by HAL has completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction.
- The operational trails of LCH with 20 mm Turret gun and 70 mm rockets had been completed last year itself.
Diffo Bridge of Arunachal Pradesh Inaugurated
- The Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 426.60 m long Pre Stressed Concrete Box Girder type Diffo bridge over Diffo river on Roing – Koronu- Paya road in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Diffo bridge will provide for uninterrupted access between Dibang Valley and Lohit valley region of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh together with providing an all-weather road to our troops deployed on the China border.
- The construction of the Bridge was undertaken by the Project Udayak of the Border Roads Organisation.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 18th January
Regional Conference on ‘Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme’ held in Mumbai
- A Regional Conference on ‘Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme’ was held in Mumbai recently. Programme Implementing Agencies including NGOs and state government representatives from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa were there.
- Joint Secretary of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Dr. Prabodh Seth highlighted the need for creation of inclusive society that accepts and respects persons with disabilities without discrimination.
Vinesh Phogat gets nominated in Laureus World Comeback of Year Award
- Indian star wrestler Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.
- He will be competing for the award with some of the world’s greatest sportsmen including golfer Tiger Woods, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, American alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu and Dutch para-snowboarding star Bibian Mentel-Spee.
- The Awards will be presented on February 18, 2019 in Monaco, a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline.
Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 begins
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 on January 18, 2019.
- The summit is being held at the Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The theme of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 was “Youth Connect 2019: Shaping A New India – The Story of Billion Dreams”.
National Museum of Indian Cinema to come up in Mumbai
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai on January 19, 2019.
- Built at a cost of Rs 140.61 crore, the museum depicts the journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artefacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.
- The Museum is housed in two buildings – the New Museum Building and the 19th-century historic palace Gulshan Mahal – in the Films Division campus in Mumbai.
Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana reaches one crore beneficiaries
- The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the flagship scheme of the Union Government for employment generation, crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries.
- The scheme was announced on August 07, 2016 and is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
- Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12 percent towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both for a period of 3 years.
Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav flagged off
- Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav (SAKSHAM) Vans was flagged off by Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
- This Mahotsav is to promote and create awareness among people on the need of oil and gas conservation for the future and the methods to do it. To spread the awareness about energy conservation for better future these vans will travel to 30 districts.
- As part of the awareness drive, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) will also run people-centric drives throughout the country between January 16 to February 15 under SAKSHAM.
- SAKSHAM is an annual flagship event of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India
Infosys to develop advance Tax filing System
- The Union government has approved Integrated E-filing and Centralised Processing Center 2.0 Project of the Income Tax Department to enhance the efficiency of income tax administration system in the country.
- The objectives of the Integrated E-filing and Centralised Processing Center 2.0 Project are Faster and accurate outcomes for taxpayer, enhancing user experience at all stages, improving taxpayer awareness and education through continuous engagement.
- The project would aid in reducing the time it takes the department for processing returns to just 24 hours from 63 days.
Sanjay Jain, K M Nataraj appointed as Additional Solicitor Generals
- President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed senior advocates Sanjay Jain and K M Nataraj as Additional Solicitor Generals of India. The appointments were made by the President as per the recommendations of the Appointments Committee of the cabinet.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister and the Home Minister is the member of the committee.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 17th January
ISRO launches UNNATI Programme: Kalamsat, Microsat-R satellites to follow
- Today, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the UNNATI (UNispace Nano-satellite Assembly and Training by ISRO) programme at the U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru. UNNATI is a capacity building programme on nanosatellite development.
- This initiative is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50).
- UNNATI programme is planned to be conducted by U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) of ISRO for 3 years in 3 batches and will benefit 90 officials from 45 countries.
- ISRO will launch a student satellite called ‘Kalamsat’ and an imaging satellite known as ‘Microsat-R’ on January 24, 2019, marking the first launch of the ISRO in 2019.
Gandhi Peace Prize announced for 2015-2018
- The Union Ministry of Culture announced the Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
- The 2018 Gandhi Peace Prize was conferred on Yohei Sasakawa, who is at the forefront of many philanthropic initiatives. His compassionate nature can be seen in the manner in which he has worked to eliminate leprosy in India.
Brexit: UK Parliament rejects Brexit Deal
- The lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Britain’s withdrawal deal by a vote of 432 to 202, a majority of 230 votes, with just 73 days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union.
- The withdrawal agreement had been negotiated between Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019.
The government agrees for Capital Infusion to the Exim Bank
- The Union Cabinet has approved a capital infusion of Rs 6,000 crore in state-owned Export-Import Bank of India (Exim) to expand its business.
- The government would issue Rs 6,000 crore recapitalisation bonds for capital infusion.
- The capital infusion would take place in two tranches of Rs 4,500 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 1,500 crore in 2019-20 respectively
- The bank’s authorised capital will increase from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore. Exim Bank is a premier export finance institution of India. It was established in 1982 under the Export-Import Bank of India Act to promote the Indian exports.
Global Risks Report 2019 released by WEF
- This report describes changes occurring in the global risks landscape from year to year and identifies global catastrophic risks. It examines the interconnectedness of risks. This report considers the strategies and structure for the reduction of global risks.
- The Global Risks Report is prepared based on the survey of around 1,000 experts and decision-makers from across the globe.
- The top-five risk trends are changing climate; rising cyber dependency and attacks; increasing polarisation of societies; rising income and wealth disparity; and increasing national sentiment. Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions are the most urgent risk in 2019.
Union Finance Ministry starts Know Your Budget Series
- The Union Finance Ministry has started the Know Your Budget series on Twitter to educate the general public about the budgetary process. It is a fortnight series which explains the importance of Union Budget and its making.
- The Know Your Budget series aims to increase the general awareness of the public regarding the budgetary process.
Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the India Rubber Expo – 2019
- Union Minister for Commerce and Industries, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 10th edition of the India Rubber Expo – 2019 in Mumbai today.
- The rubber industry will grow faster, create more employment opportunities, increase exports and add to the economic output of India.
- The government is working to increase India’s exports. In the last 13-14 months, India’s exports have achieved almost 10% growth.
- The India Rubber Expo is Asia’s largest rubber expo. The event offers a unique opportunity for Indian companies to meet and collaborate with overseas companies.
460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools to come across the country
- The Union government will soon set up over 460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country.
- The government is spending about 25 thousand crore rupees on these schools.
- As the Tribal students are now performing better in all sectors, Eklavya Model Residential Schools have expanded into a major education system in the country after Vidyalaya and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.
First human rights TV channel Launched
- The world’s first television channel dedicated to human rights was launched in London by the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR).
- It would be a web-based channel and would deliver human rights issues to audiences in over 20 countries across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
- The broadcasts of the channel can be viewed via the netgem.tv interactive platform.
- The programmes are currently broadcasted in English and eventually hopes to broadcast in other languages including Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and Russian.
DD Science and India Science launched
- The Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan launched the initiatives DD Science and India Science to popularise science in India.
- The initiatives aim to develop the scientific temper in Indian society. D Science is a one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel which will be telecast Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm.
- India Science is an Internet-based channel which will be available on any internet-enabled device and will offer live, scheduled play and video-on-demand.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 16th January
World Dynamic City 2019 Index released
- Jones Lang LaSalle has released the City Momentum Index which identifies World Dynamic Cities.
- 131 of the world’s most commercially active cities were tracked on a range of socio-economic and commercial real estate indicators. Took over a three-year period to identify the urban economies and real estate markets undergoing the most rapid expansion.
- Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru has emerged as the world’s most dynamic city. The Second place is occupied by Hyderabad.
Vision 2040 document of Aviation released
- Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has released the Vision 2040 document in the Global Aviation Summit 2019.
- The document estimates that India will need 200 airports and an investment of $40-50 billion to handle at least 1.1 billion passengers flying to, from and within the country.
- To cater to this huge passenger traffic, India will have to holistically develop airports having all stakeholders on board. This has to be coupled with providing quality service to flyers. The document recommends Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to be brought under GST.
ASER Report 2018 out
- The Annual Status of Education, ASER report by the NGO Pratham which measures the learning outcomes has been released.
- The report was based on an annual household survey which covered 5.46 lakh children in 596 rural districts across the country.
- For the first time since the introduction of the Right to Education Act, India witnessed tangible improvements in the quality aspects. Government schools in eight states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh recorded growth in basic reading levels of more than 5 percentage points over 2016.
- Kerala tops in Class 5 reading levels with 77.5%, up from 69.4% in 2016. This growth is driven by state-run schools i.e.10% rise in reading levels in government schools compared to 7.3% in private schools.
RBI announces OMO purchase
- Reserve Bank of India announces the injection of Rs 10,000 crore into the system through the purchase of government securities to increase liquidity.
- The purchase will be made through Open Market Operations (OMOs).
- The eligible participants should submit their offers in electronic format on the RBI Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system. The RBI plans to inject liquidity of Rs 50,000 crore under OMOs.
SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon craft departed from the International Space Station
- The SpaceX cargo craft departed from the International Space Station after its successful mission to deliver scientific equipment
- The SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon successfully delivered more than 2,500 kilograms (5,600 pounds) of cargo to the space station and orbited Earth for five weeks. The SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon is a Commercial Resupply Service mission to the International Space Station launched by NASA. The NASA had contracted this mission to SpaceX for launch.
MP launches Rs 50000 crore ‘Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana’
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath launched the Rs 50000-crore farm debt-waiver scheme named ‘Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana’.
- It would benefit 55 lakh small and marginal farmers. The scheme is an investment in the economy, which can’t be strengthened without farmers. The state cabinet gave its nod to waive crop loans of 55 lakh farmers on January 5, 2019.
Relaxation of Norms under PCA
- The finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India are working on providing some relaxation on the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for stressed banks.
- This is to maintain the sound financial health of banks. The RBI will initiate certain structured and discretionary actions for the bank
- The PCA framework is aimed at nudging the banks to take corrective measures in a timely manner, in order to restore their financial health.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 15th January
71st Army Day celebrated in India
- 71st Army Day was celebrated across India on January 15, 2019.
- The Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) KM Carriappa took over the command of Indian Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army.
- The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in the National Capital as well as in all headquarters.
Global Aviation Summit 2019 begins in Mumbai
- The Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu on January 15, 2019, inaugurated the Global Aviation Summit 2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The Summit is a union and it will address the problems faced in the aviation sector.
- The two-day summit is being organised by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airport Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Tamil Nadu introduces road safety robot ‘ROADEO’, Pune to follow
- The Chennai Traffic Police inducted a road safety robot into service on January 14, 2019, for traffic management.
- The robot is named as ‘ROADEO’. The robot will help police in traffic management and assist pedestrians in Chennai roads.
- It will also ease the work of traffic police as the robot can be integrated with the traffic signals. The robot can also be operated manually through a Bluetooth app. The Traffic Police Department of Pune is looking at a futuristic model to maintain traffic flow and spread awareness about the traffic rules.
Kumbh Mela 2019: World’s largest religious and cultural human congregation begins in UP
- The world’s largest religious and cultural human congregation, ‘Kumbh 2019’ began at Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh on January 15, 2019, and will go on till March 4, 2019.
- This 7-week event began with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati.
- The first bathing was taken by saints and seers of different Akharas. According to the UP Government, over 12 crores devotees and tourists are expected to visit Prayagraj during the Kumbh.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 14th January
PM Narendra Modi gets Philip Kotler Presidential Award
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on January 14, 2019, conferred with the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential Award. The Award focuses on the triple bottom-line of ‘People, Profit, and Planet’.
- The award will be offered annually to the leader of a Nation.
- The Prime Minister has been selected for his outstanding leadership for the nation.
- It is under his leadership that India is now identified as the Centre for Innovation and Value Added Manufacturing (through Make in India initiative).
Namita Gokhale is the winner of Sushila Devi Literature Award
- Ace Writer Namita Gokhale has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel “Things to Leave Behind”.
- At the inaugural edition of Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF) that began in Bhopal on January 12, 2019, She was awarded in the ‘Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author’ category.
Gujarat – The first state to implement 10 per cent quota for EWS
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced on January 13, 2019, that his government will implement the 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections of the general category with immediate effect.
- The announcement comes less than a week after the Indian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment bill to facilitate 10 per cent reservation for upper castes in higher education and employment.
Puducherry will Ban Single-Use Plastic from March 1st
- The government of Puducherry has decided to ban the production, sale, and use of single-use plastic products from March 1st.
- To ensure the ban is effective on the ground both in letter and spirit, the government of Puducherry would be conducting a massive drive to create awareness among the merchants and the public on the necessity of the ban.
Women of India Organic Festival celebrated in Chandigarh
- The Women of India Organic Festival has been organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- This is to celebrate and promote women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic sector from the remotest parts of India to encourage Indian women entrepreneurs and farmers to connect with more buyers and thus, empower them through financial inclusion while promoting organic culture in India.
- A platform was provided to showcase the varied products of women farmers and entrepreneurs. The Festival is being held annually since 2015 and for the first time, it is being held in Chandigarh.
National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 launched
- Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd) launched the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 as part of the National Youth Day celebrations. He is the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports.
- National Youth Parliament will now be able to capture the voice of Youth.
- This will also provide a chance to the youth to brainstorm about new India and to find ways and chalk out plans to realize our resolves before 2022.
- In this festival one can hear the voice of young minds in the age bracket of 18-25 who are allowed to vote, but not allowed to contest in elections.
Macedonia renamed as the Republic of Northern Macedonia
- The Parliament of Macedonia has approved the resolution to amend the constitution of the country to rename it as the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
- The use of the name “Macedonia” was disputed between the European countries of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, formerly a state within Yugoslavia.
- After the declaration of independence of Macedonia from erstwhile Yugoslavia, the country named it as the Republic of Macedonia.
- After a lot of negotiations, an agreement was reached between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev. The agreement is famously referred to as the Prespa Agreement.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 12th & 13th January
Index of Industrial Production of November released
- The Index of Industrial Production for the month of November has been released by the Central Statistical Office, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Industrial growth is at a 17-month low in November due to post-festival season decline in manufacturing, fewer working days in the month and tighter financial conditions.
- IIP had witnessed a growth of 8.5 per cent in November 2017.
- IIP provides details about the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mineral mining, electricity, and manufacturing. 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.
World-Class Skill Centres to be set up in Delhi
- To prepare students to acquire different professional skills, the government of Delhi has decided to open six World-Class Skill centres (WCSCs) in the national capital.
- The centres will be opened at Institute of Basic Business Studies (Pusa); Integrated Institute of Technology Dwarka, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University; Society for Self Employment (SSE), Wazirpur; SSE, Jhandewalan; and RIT Rajokari.
- These skill centres would be set up at the unutilised space in the existing buildings of ITIs, polytechnics, degree colleges and universities. The government would set up six World class Skill Centres in phase 1 and 19 more Skill centres in Phase two.
AMRUT Scheme: Update
- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) launched in 2015 aims to establish an infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewage networks and water supply for urban transformation.
- This scheme had to ensure that every household has access to tap with an assured supply of water and a sewerage connection. The scheme had provisions to reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling).
- With only a year to the deadline, only 20 per cent of the total projects were completed utilising 3 percent of the total funds approved. Tamil Nadu topped the list by completing 378 projects. Tamil Nadu was the only State to have completed more than 300 projects.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2019 to be celebrated
- The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) will be held at Varanasi on January 21 and would be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22.
- The theme of the PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.”
- The convention provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas Diaspora.
- The chief guest for this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius.
PM releases commemorative coin and stamp of Sikh Guru Gobind Singh
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin and stamp on Guru Gobind Singh to mark the 350th birth anniversary.
- Prime Minister Modi told about the role of Guru Gobind Singh in uniting the country through Khalsa sect.
- Rs 350 commemorative Coin with the standard weight of 35 gram will have 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc.
- The front side of the coin bears the rupee symbol and denominational value ‘350’ in international numerals below the Lion Capital.
- The reverse side bears the picture of “Takht Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib” in the centre and the years ‘1666’ and ‘2016’ in international numerals will be on the left and right periphery of the coin.
National Register of Indian Citizens Project to be revived
- The Central Government is actively considering the proposal to revive the National Register of Indian Citizens project as part of its efforts to identify and deport the illegal immigrants from the Country.
- The Department of the National Population Register (NPR) under the Registrar General of India would be tasked with the responsibility to prepare the National Register of Indian Citizens.
- The department would prepare two databases, one National Register of Indian Citizens and the rest would become National Register of Residents. The idea of creating National Register of Indian Citizens was first floated during the regime of NDA 1 with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM to contain the influx of illegal immigrants.
National Youth Day celebrated across the nation on January 12
- India celebrates National Youth Day on January 12 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The government aims to imbibe the students and youth with the philosophy and ideals of Swami Vivekananda, the man who brought a change in the thought process of the Indian youth.
- Swami Vivekananda was the main force behind the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world.
- To commemorate the great contribution of the Swami Vivekananda to Indian society and to ensure his ideas, ideals, and philosophies continue as guiding light for Indian youth, his birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day.
One family One Job scheme of Sikkim
- The Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling has announced the ‘One family one job’ scheme to provide employment to the youth of Sikkim.
- One family one job scheme entitles one government job for every family in the state.
- The Chief Minister handed over appointment letters to over 12,000 unemployed youths at an employment fair organised at the Paljor Stadium in Gangtok. Only members of those families which do not have a government job at present are eligible for government employment under the scheme
- The government has announced that the nature of the job is not temporary and would be regularised after five years.
Atal Tinkering Lab Handbook Released
- NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission released the Atal Tinkering Lab Handbook Nayee Dishayen, Naye Nirman, Naya Bharat.
- The Atal Tinkering Lab Handbook together with capturing the experiences of the young innovators of the country with the Atal Tinkering Lab provides for a compendium of guidelines, resources, methodologies, key learning, case studies of the ATL ecosystem. Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
- AIM aims to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionize the innovation eco-system by touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 11th January
Environment Ministry launches National Clean Air Programme
- The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on January 10, 2019, launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), a time-bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
- The main objective of the programme is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country and strengthening the awareness and capacity building activities.
More AIIMS to come up
- The Union Cabinet on January 10, 2019, approved the establishment of three more All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to boost healthcare infrastructure in the country.
- Among them, while two will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba and Pulwama districts, the third AIIMS will be set up in Rajkot, Gujarat. These institutes will be set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
- The establishment of the new institutes involve the creation of hospital, teaching block for medical and nursing courses, residential complex and allied facilities and services, broadly on the pattern of AIIMS, New Delhi and other six new AIIMS taken up under Phase-I of PMSSY.
The first manned mission to space by December 2021: ISRO
- ISRO announced on January 11, 2019, that it is well prepared to meet the targets of launching Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space by December 2021.
- ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan said that a human space centre has been set up for the mission.
- Under the Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back.
- ISRO is also conceiving a mission to Venus by 2023.
FSSAI asks food businesses to comply with new packaging norms by July 1st
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that food businesses would need to comply with new packaging regulations that bar use of recycled plastics and newspapers to wrap food articles by July 1, 2019.
- The new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level.
- The new regulations prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.
Cabinet approves Currency Swap Agreement with Japan
- The Union Cabinet has approved India’s Currency Swap Agreement with Japan.
- The $75-billion bilateral currency swap arrangement is a milestone in mutual economic cooperation and special strategic and global partnership between two countries.
- A Currency swap agreement is a foreign exchange agreement between two parties to exchange a given amount of one currency for another and, after a specified period of time, to give back the original amounts swapped.
- The currency swap facilities make it easier for India to pay for its imports. This aids in addressing the challenge of depreciation.
- The currency swap makes it easier to improve liquidity conditions.
RBI tweaks Gold Monetisation Scheme
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made changes with the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to allow charitable institutions, central government entities and state government entities to deposit gold under GMS.
- Resident Indians [Individuals, HUFs, Proprietorship & Partnership firms, Trusts including Mutual Funds/Exchange Traded Funds registered under SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations, Companies, charitable institutions, Central Government, State Government or any other entity owned by Central or State Government are allowed to deposit gold.
- This will bring out the unaccounted gold with the charitable institutions and enable the government agencies to deposit gold which they had confiscated.
- The Gold Monetisation Scheme was launched with the tagline Earn, while you secure.
- The gold deposits can be made under 3 term deposit plans: Short term:1 to 3 years Medium term:5 to 7 years Long term:12 to 15 years.
West Bengal exits Ayushman Bharat scheme
- The government of West Bengal has decided to exit from the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat– Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.
- Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is a scheme of the government under Ayushman Bharat.
- The scheme aims to reduce the financial burden on poor and vulnerable groups arising out of catastrophic hospital episodes and ensure their access to quality health services was conceived.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 10th January
The limit in GST exemption for MSMEs increased
- In a major relief to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the GST Council chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley on January 10, 2019, doubled the GST exemption limit for companies in the sector to those with an annual turnover of Rs 40 lakh from the current Rs 20 lakh.
- For North East and hilly states, the limit has been increased to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh.
- The move to raise the threshold for GST registration is significant considering that small businesses have been hit by the government’s move to demonetise high-value currency notes in November 2016, business disruption in the early days of GST implementation and a credit squeeze in recent months.
- The current turnover limit was increased to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 1 crore.
- Service providers with a turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh can now avail the composition scheme as well at a rate of 6 per cent. Those who avail the scheme will have to file tax on a quarterly basis, though returns can be filed annually.
Mary Kom becomes ‘World No 1’ Boxer in latest AIBA World Rankings
- MC Mary Kom became the World No 1 Boxer in 45-48 kg category in the latest International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) World Rankings released on January 10, 2019.
- Mary Kom was placed by AIBA at top of the charts in the 45-48 kg category weight division with 1700 points.
- ‘Magnificent Mary’ became the most successful boxer in world championships history when she claimed the 48 kg category top honours in November 2018, her unprecedented sixth world title triumph.
Women and Child Development Ministry launches ‘#www: WebWonder Women’ Campaign
- The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched an online campaign, ‘Web – Wonder Women’ also known as ‘#www’.
- This aims to discover and celebrate the exceptional achievements of women, who have been driving positive agenda of social change through social media itself.
- The Ministry partnered with the Breakthrough and Twitter India for ‘#www: WebWonderWomen’ campaign.
India scores 7.23 in 2019 Democracy Index
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the Democracy Index which ranks 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories.
- The categories considered for the index are electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties.
- Only 4.5% of the world’s people live in a full democracy.
- India was at the 41st place with a score of 7.23/10 and was placed in the flawed democracies category.
- Australia and New Zealand are the only “full democracies” in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Eight countries Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, North Korea, Laos, Nepal, and Sri Lanka which have the word “democratic in full titles were not fully democratic.”
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, which is a British multinational media company headquartered in London.
PM launches Gangajal Project
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gangajal Project.
- The project aims to improve water supply to the city of Agra.
- The Gangajal project aims to provide a better supply of drinking water which will benefit the residents as well as tourists.
- The Gangajal project aims to bring 140 cusecs of Ganga water to Agra to help in meeting the drinking water demands in the city.
- Together with Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan will also get water through these pipelines.
10th January celebrated as World Hindi Day
- Every year 10th January is celebrated as World Hindi Day to create awareness about the language of Hindi across the World and to present Hindi as an international language.
- World Hindi Day is aimed at the promotion of the Hindi language at the global stage, the Hindi Divas is being observed across the country at the national level.
- Hindi is the fourth most spoken language of the world.
- The government of India since 2006 is celebrating 10th January as World Hindi Day.
IIT-M recreates Space Fuel
- The researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) have recreated space fuel by simulating interstellar conditions in the laboratory.
- It is a big breakthrough for India in the exploration of cleaner and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel.
- The discovery has the potential to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into a next-generation energy source to curb greenhouse gases and global warming.
Sikkim to Introduce Universal Basic Income
- The ruling party of Sikkim, Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has assured the implementation of the universal basic income in Sikkim by 2022.
- Sikkim would become the first state in the country to implement the Universal Basic Income (UBI).
- Universal Basic Income (UBI) refers to a programme wherein the people are provided with a fixed amount of money irrespective of their income, resources or employment status.
- The pilot programmes for the UBI has been successfully implemented in the states Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and tribal belts with fairly large samples.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 9th January
ISRO plans to set up Space Galleries
- Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has planned to set up Space Galleries in various locations in the country.
- The Space Galleries are expected to disseminate the knowledge about space science and technology amongst the citizens of the country.
- Initially, Space Galleries are planned to be established at Birla Science Centre at Hyderabad, Nehru Science Centre at Mumbai and National Science Centre at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
- The Gallery will consist of interactive methods and models describing the principles of Space science and technology.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to step down on Feb 1
- In a surprise move, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that he will step down from his position on February 1, 2019, much before the end of his term in 2022. Kim, 58, has been in this position for over six years now.
- In a statement, the World Bank said he will join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries.
- Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective February 1, 2019.
- The president of the Washington-based World Bank has always been an American citizen nominated by the United States, which is the largest shareholder of this multilateral financial institution.
Guatemala to withdraw from UN-backed anti-corruption commission
- Guatemala has said it is withdrawing from a UN-backed anti-corruption commission. It has given the UN body’s staff 24 hours to leave the country. President Jimmy Morales accused the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, commonly known as CICIG, of polarising the country and putting its security at risk.
- The CICIG was formed in 2006 upon the request of the Guatemalan government to combat high rates of impunity for crimes.
Japan tops the list of most powerful passports, India ranks 79th
- Japan, for the second time in a row, has topped a global index for the world’s most powerful passport in 2019, while India ranked at the 79th position.
- According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords, Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 countries.
- India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively.
- South Korea edged up the ranking from October’s index to join Singapore, offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
- Elsewhere in Asia, China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th in 2019.
Kumar Rajesh Chandra appointed Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal
- Kumar Rajesh Chandra is appointed as the Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). He would continue in the post up to 31.12.2021 i.e. date of his retirement on superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- Kumar Rajesh Chandra is a 1985 batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre.
Nilekani Panel to strengthen the Digital Payments Ecosystem
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a high-level committee under Nandan Nilekani to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments in the country.
- Nandan Nilekani will be the head of the committee which comprises of former RBI deputy governor H.R. Khan, former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank Kishore Sansi, former secretary in ministries of IT and steel Aruna Sharma and chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad, Sanjay Jain.
Khelo India Youth Games 2019 being held in Pune
- Khelo India Youth games 2019 are being held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Khelo India Youth games are held annually in January or February as the national level multidisciplinary grassroots games.
- Kelo India Youth games are part of Khelo India programme, which was introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 8th January
Lok Sabha passes DNA (Use and Application) Technology Regulation, Bill
- The Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019, passed the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 by voice vote after a brief discussion.
- The bill seeks to provide regulation for the use and application of DNA technology for the purpose of establishing the identity of a certain category of persons including the victims, offenders, suspects, under trials, missing persons and others.
- The main objective behind the enactment of the bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.
Union Cabinet approves 10 per cent reservation for economically weak among upper caste
- The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for introduction of the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, extending 10 per cent quota to “the economically weaker sections in the general category who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation”.
- The bill is designed to amend the Constitution to extend 10 per cent reservation in direct recruitment in government jobs and for admission in higher educational institutions to “economically weaker” sections among all castes and communities, Christians and Muslims included, who are not eligible under the existing quotas.
Supreme Court reinstates Alok Verma as CBI Director
- The Supreme Court on January 8, 2019, reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, three months after the government divested him of his powers and sent him on forced leave.
- Earlier on December 6, 2018, the apex court reserved its order on the pleas filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma and NGO Common Cause, challenging the decision of the Central Government to remove Verma as the CBI chief.
Indian-origin Gita Gopinath joins IMF as Chief Economist
- India born Gita Gopinath joined the International Monetary Fund as its Chief Economist.
- She is the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.
- Gopinath succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department. Obstfeld retired on December 31, 2018.
- Gopinath is the 11th chief economist of the IMF.
Government to introduce redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh will introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing parliamentary session.
- The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
- The bill was first introduced in Parliament in 2016 and was examined by the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
- The Union Cabinet had already cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill for its introduction in Parliament.
Global Aviation Summit with the theme ‘Flying for All’ to be held in Mumbai
- In a first, Global Aviation Summit 2019 with the theme “Flying for all” will be organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in collaboration with FICCI from January 15-16, 2019 in Mumbai, India.
- The global aviation industry is in a high-growth trajectory, ushering an era of rapid expansion. The International Civil Aviation Organisation has predicted a 100 percent increase in global air travel by the year 2030, creating a need for extensive efforts to bring the entire aviation ecosystem to pace.
National Policy for Domestic Workers
- The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment has notified the draft National Policy on Domestic Workers. The policy aims to provide social security benefits to an estimated 39 lakh people employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.
- This will help domestic workers to access and obtain social security benefits like life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, as well as old age protection.
- Right to minimum wages and access to social security.
- Protection of domestic workers from abuse and exploitation, giving them access to courts. Establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers.
MoU for sale of FASTag
- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IMHCL) and leading Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) like BPCL, HPCL, and IOCL for sale of FASTags through their petrol pumps.
- FASTag is an electronic toll collection system operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). FASTag enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
- FASTags are linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted automatically. FASTag employs Radio-frequency Identification(RFID) technology.
NASA Discovers New Planet
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA has discovered a new planet. It is the third new planet discovered by the NASA mission, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
- The new planet HD 21749b is outside our solar system and orbits a dwarf star 53 light years away. It has the longest orbital period of all the three discoveries made by TESS.
- HD 21749b orbits its star in a relatively leisurely 36 days.
- It is predicted that the surface of the new planet is likely around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which is relatively cool, given its proximity to its star, which is almost as bright as the sun.
India secures the 77th position in World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) rankings for 2019
- In the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) rankings for 2019, India has climbed 23 spots to rank 77th globally.
- The various digital interventions have been a great contributing factor for India in making this significant improvement.
- To increase the ease of doing business rankings, it is a prerequisite for India to give a special focus towards MSMEs to ensure that there is a robust and conducive environment for the sector.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 7th January
NCR launches ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App‘ to help people navigate through Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela
- The North Central Railway, NCR has launched a mobile application to help people navigate through Prayagraj city during Kumbh Mela starting from January 15.
- The ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’ will also provide information regarding all the ‘Mela special’ trains that will run during the period.
- Additionally, the app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets.
- Through this app, the users will not only get to know their current location but will also be able to reach to all railway stations, the mela zone, major hotels, bus stations, and other facilities within Prayagraj.
- A photo gallery, containing pictures of previous Kumbh Melas can also be accessed through the app.
2019 Golden Globe Awards: Bohemian Rhapsody wins Best Picture Drama
- The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced on January 7, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the United States of America.
- These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2018.
- The Globes this year pulled a twist at the end of the ceremony, with Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody staging upset wins. While Green Book finished with three awards-the maximum for the evening, Bohemian Rhapsody- the Queen biopic and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma won two each.
WCD minister Maneka Gandhi confers National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers
- The Union Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers at a function in New Delhi on January 7, 2018, for exceptional achievements for the year 2017-18.
- The government had formulated the scheme in 2000-2001 to award Anganwadi Workers at the National and State Levels.
- The award is given annually to motivate the workers and recognise their exemplary services in the field of child development and related areas under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme.
- The award at the National Level comprises a cash prize of Rs 50000 and citation while Rs 10000 is given for the State level award. From this year, the government has doubled the cash prize of National Level award from earlier Rs 25000.
Asha Parekh, Farooque Shaikh to be honoured by Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society
- Veterans Asha Parekh and Farooque Shaikh will be honoured by the Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society on January 8, 2018, to commemorate the 52nd death anniversary of the renowned filmmaker.
- The Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society was instituted 22 years ago in memory of the late filmmaker, Bimal Roy. Its aim is to reward unsung heroes of the film industry.
- On the occasion, awards will also be presented to directors Ananth Mahadevan and Amit Rai along with their actors Paresh Rawal and Jackie Shroff for making socially relevant films.
Lok Sabha passes the bill to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce
- The Lok Sabha on January 7, 2019, passed the Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018, which seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce. Leprosy is being removed as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable.
- The Bill seeks to amend five personal laws- the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939, Divorce Act (for Christians) 1869, Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956- to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce.
10 % Reservation for Economically Weaker General Sections
- The government has announced a decision to provide ten per cent reservation in jobs and higher education for those belonging to the economically backward sections of the general category.
- The government aims to provide the aid of reservation to economically backward poor people who are not availing the benefit of reservation as of now.
- As per the reports, those with annual family income below Rs 8 lakhs and owning less than five acres of land will be provided reservations.
- This 10% reservation would be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.
- The government plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to amend Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution for providing reservations.
Government allocates Rs 10,900 cr for development of 40 satellite launch vehicles
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr. K Sivan has said that the Union Government has allocated Rs 10,900 crore for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next four years.
- He was delivering the graduation Day lecture at the historic St Joseph’s College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary.
- The Chandrayaan Mission will be launched within three months. It will land in one part of the Moon that is still unexplored.
- The human space flight Gaganyaan is also planned to be launched by 2022, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.
- ISRO is planning to rededicate itself to become a world-class organisation, capable of addressing the varied socio-economic challenges of the nation.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 5th & 6th January
PM Modi lays Foundation Stone for Mandal Dam Project
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Rs 2,391.36 crore Mandal dam project. It will provide irrigation to 19,604 hectares in Palamau and Garhwa districts.
- The Mandal Dam project will help around one lakh eleven thousand hectares of agricultural land in Jharkhand and Bihar to get irrigation facilities. 24 MW of electricity will also be produced.
- The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 months.
Yarn Bank Scheme
- The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India had launched a Yarn Bank Scheme as one of the components of PowerTex India scheme with an aim to avoid fluctuation in yarn price.
- The main aim of this scheme is to provide interest-free corpus fund to Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or Consortium to enable them to purchase yarn at a wholesale rate and give the yarn at a reasonable price to the small weavers.
- This will also avoid middleman and local supplier’s brokerage charge on sales of yarn.
- Under the scheme, an interest-free corpus fund up to Rs.2.00 crore would be provided to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)/Consortium formed by power loom weavers.
National Health Agency to be restructured as National Health Authority
- The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Modi has approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as National Health Authority.
- The existing society, “National Health Agency” has been dissolved and it is now restructured as an Authority to effectively the implement Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).
- The National Health Authority would be empowered with full autonomy, accountability and the mandate to implement PM-JAY through an efficient, effective and transparent decision making the process by aligning the accountability with responsibility
- The reasons for restructuring as an authority are to enable faster decision-making, Replacing the multi-layered structure with a simplified structure and the Authority with a stronger mandate would be able to prevent, detect and control frauds, abuse, and redress grievances, thus resulting in the reduction of leakages.
Yellow alert sounded for Cyclone Pabuk
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that cyclone Pabuk will move northwestwards and cross the Andaman Islands late on 6th Jan.
- The wind speeds up to 90 kmph. IMD has sounded a yellow alert for the cyclone Pabuk. The Pabuk cyclone would cause heavy rain over the Andaman Islands.
Swachh Survekshan Survey launched in New Delhi
- The fourth edition of the Swachh Survekshan Survey has been launched in New Delhi
- The Swachh Survekshan 2019 will be conducted by an independent third party across 4,237 towns and cities between January 4 and 28.
- The objectives of the Swachh Survekshan Survey are: to encourage large-scale participation of citizens, to ensure the sustainability of the initiatives taken towards garbage-free and open defecation-free cities, to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and towards creating cleaner cities.
UN observes First-Ever World Braille Day
- The United Nations observed the first official World Braille Day on 4th January to create awareness about the importance of Braille for approximately 1.3 billion people living with some form of distance or near vision impairment.
- The proclamation for the celebration of World Braille Day was made by the United Nations General Assembly as a means for realising the human rights of visually-impaired and partially-sighted people, and bringing written language to the forefront as a critical prerequisite for promoting fundamental freedom.
- World Braille Day is celebrated on the January 4th to honour Louis Braille, who is credited for inventing the Braille script. Louis Braille was born in France on 4 January 1809. The World Braille Day is celebrated on his Birth Anniversary.
Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill
- The Lok Sabha has passed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill to set up a revamped International Arbitration Centre at New Delhi with an aim to make India the hub of arbitration.
- The bill seeks to establish an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration and for acquisition and transfer of undertakings of the International Centre of Alternative Resolution.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will take over the undertakings of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR). The chief justice of India is the ex-officio chairperson of the ICADR.
Andhra Pradesh bags CBIP award for Polavaram project
- Andhra Pradesh was conferred with CBIP’s “Best Implementation of Water Resources Project” for better planning, implementation, monitoring and speedy execution of Polavaram multipurpose project on the Godavari River.
- This dam is constructed across the Godavari River in West Godavari District and East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. The reservoir of the dam also spreads to parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States.
- Through the Polavaram Project, 291,000 ha of new land will be brought under irrigation in which 129,000 ha by the right canal and 162,000 ha by the left canal.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 4th January
FSSAI notifies new food packaging norms, asks food businesses to comply with norms by July 1, 2019
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on January 3, 2019, notified the new food packaging regulations, replacing all provisions regarding the packaging requirements prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
- While notifying the new packaging norms, the regulator asked food businesses to comply with new regulations by July 1, 2019. The new regulations bar the use of recycled plastics and newspapers to wrap food articles.
Parliament passes Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Indian Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.
- The motion to pass the bill was accepted by voice vote in the upper house of the Parliament.
- Union minister for Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar’s motion to amend the name of the bill to reflect that it was passed in 2019 was also accepted by voice vote. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in July 2018.
Arunima Sinha becomes first woman amputee to scale Mount Vinson
- Arunima Sinha, the Indian mountaineer who became the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, has now become the first woman amputee to climb Mount Vinson, highest peak of Antarctica.
- Sinha is a national level volleyball player who had one of her legs amputated in 2011 after she was pushed from a running train by dacoits she had resisted.
- She had earlier said that she planned to scale six peaks in six continents. A Padmashri awardee, Sinha had earlier scaled five peaks including Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kosciuszko, and Mt Aconcagua.
- She had also said that she had a dream to become a mountaineer and her dream became a firm resolve when she read articles on mountaineering while lying on a hospital bed.
Pakistan abolishes visa on arrival for Afghans
- Pakistan on January 3, 2019, abolished the long-standing facility of visa on arrival for nationals of Afghanistan.
- The Immigration Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency cited increased security risks from the western border as a reason for the move.
- Furthermore, the government also restricted the movement of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and stopped issuance of visas at airports and border crossing points.
- The move to restrict Afghans came as Pakistan has already decided to issue ‘on-arrival’ visas to citizens of 24 other countries to increase tourism and investments.
Government honours outstanding young entrepreneurs with National Entrepreneurship Awards
- The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship hosted the third edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards in New Delhi on January 4, 2019.
- The awards recognise and honor outstanding young first-generation entrepreneurs and those who have contributed immensely to building the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
- A total of 43 awards were presented this year, which include 39 awards for Young Entrepreneurs in different sectors and four awards for Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders.
- The winners received a trophy, certificate and cash prizes ranging from Rs 5-10 lakhs. There were also special awards for women, persons with disability, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and entrepreneurs from areas with limited opportunities.
- The National Entrepreneurship Awards is a platform focused on driving innovation, ushering in a positive change for youth in entrepreneurship across all the industries.
New Delhi World Book Fair will commence on 5th January 2019
- The New Delhi World Book Fair will be held at the Pragati Maidan. The theme of the 27th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair is “Readers with special needs”.
- The theme “Readers with special needs” has been chosen to generate emotions of not sympathy but respect and equality. An exclusive exhibition of Braille books, audio books, integrated print-braille books and books for people and children with different disabilities will be showcased in the Fair’s theme pavilion.
Anindita Neogy Anaam honoured with National Nritya Shiromani award
- Kathak exponent Anindita Neogy Anaam has been honoured with the prestigious National Nritya Shiromani award for her contribution towards preserving and promoting the dance form across the world.
- The award was conferred during the 10th Cuttack Mahotsav: International Dance and Music Fest.
- US-based Kathak exponent Anindita Neogy Anaam has been trained under Pandit Rajendra Gangani and Pandit Jaikishan Maharaj.
Parliament passes the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Indian Parliament on January 3, 2019, passed the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, following the approval of the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on July 23, 2018.
- The Bill seeks to amend the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act, 1993.
- The bill aims to grant retrospective recognition to Central and State institutions which had conducted teacher education courses without approval by the Council.
- This will ensure that the future of about 17 thousand students having degrees from such institutions is secured.
China’s Chang’e 4 probe makes a historic touchdown
- China’s Chang’e 4 probe spacecraft has become the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon.
- Chang’e 4 is a Chinese lunar exploration mission that aims to achieve soft-landing on the far side of the Moon
- The mission aims to deliver samples of Moon rock and soil to Earth.
- For the first time, there would be soft-landing on the far side of the Moon.
Panj Tirath Hindu religious site declared as a national heritage by Pakistan’s Provisional Government
- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provincial government of Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar of North Western Pakistan as national heritage.
- The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums of KP has issued a notification under the KP Antiquities Act 2016 declaring the land in the Panj Tirath Park as a heritage site.
- Panj Tirath derives its name from the five pools of water in the site which also has a temple
- According to the epic of Mahabharat, the mythical king Pandu belonged to this area and Hindus used to come to these pools for bathing during the auspicious month of Karteek and worship for two days under the trees.
106th Session of Indian Science Congress Inaugurated
- The 106th Indian Science Congress is being held at Jalandhar. The theme of the 106th science congress is ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.
- Indian Science Congress is organised by the Indian Science Congress Association every year in the first week of January. The Indian Science Congress Association was started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and has a membership of more than 30,000 scientists.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 3rd January
PM Modi inaugurates Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University in Phagwara near Jalandhar on January 3, 2019.
- PM Modi gave away the slogan of New India as “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”.
- The theme of this five-day mega event is ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.
- This meet brings together leaders in science and technology from the country and abroad every year and is one of the most popular events for researchers and students of science and technology.
- On the eve of the Science Congress, ‘Flame of Knowledge’ rally was organized to arouse the spirit of science and technology among all.
India Pharma 2019 & India Medical Device 2019 to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019
- The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), will organise the 4th International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device sector on February 18-19, 2019 in Bengaluru.
- The theme for India Pharma 2019 is ‘Enabling Quality Affordable Healthcare’ and that of India Medical Device 2019 is ‘Med-Tech India: Gearing up for Ayushman Bharat’.
- Over 150 CEOs of the global pharma and medical device industry are expected to participate.
- International Drug Regulators from 15 countries have been invited to the event for interaction with Indian Drug Regulators and Industry Regulatory Officers.
Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair declared as authorised Immigration Check post
- Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair was declared as an authorised Immigration Check post for entry into and exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers.
- This decision of the Union Government will open up the Port Blair Airport for direct international flight and immigration facilities.
- For this purpose, the Superintendent of Police (CID) of the Andaman and Nicobar Police has been appointed as the ‘Civil Authority’ for the purpose of the immigration check post.
- The Administration has taken up various measures to facilitate better and seamless connectivity.
- Efforts are being made for the early operation of international flights from the Airport.
Punjab Cabinet approves online transfer policy for teachers
- Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh approved the Online Transfer Policy-2019 of the School Education Department, thus ensuring equal opportunity for all employees using online method for seeking transfers.
- The transfer policy would become effective from academic session 2019-20.
- The policy would be applicable to all teaching cadre posts i.e. ETT, HT, CHT, Master, C&V, Lecturer, Vocational Masters, Principals, and Headmasters, except employees on an extension of services after attaining the age of superannuation.
- The condition that the teachers would be compulsorily transferred after seven years of service in a particular zone/school has been removed.
Women’s National Boxing Championship 2019
- Chandigarh, Delhi, and Punjab boxers fetched majority of the wins on the second day of the third Women’s National Boxing Championships in Vijayanagara, Karnataka.
- The day began with a dominating performance by Delhi’s Riya Tokas in the 54kg category as she beat V Vinodhini from Tamil Nadu. Sohini from Chandigarh showed her sublime form against Sai Sree Reddy from Telangana in the 69 kg category. Babita Bisht of Uttarakhand beat Suman Khoda of Rajasthan in the 69kg category.
- In the bantamweight category, Riya Chouhan of Punjab beat Poulomi Sarkar from Bengal. In the welterweight category, Gagandeep Kaur of Punjab beat Simran Mendon of Maharashtra.
- Himachal Pradesh’s Sandhya defeated Sonal Rasal in the 64kg category. In the 60 kg category, Karnataka girl Bhavya won the bout against Som Maya Subba of Sikkim.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana achieves 6 crore mark
- Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu handed over 6 crores LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) to Jasmina Khatoon from Shivpark, Khanpur, Delhi.
- In order to provide clean cooking fuel to BPL households in the country, the Government launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide 8 Crore deposit-free LPG connections to women belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 12800 crore.
- Implementation of PMUY resulted in a significant increase in national LPG coverage, in general, and the Eastern States, in particular.
- The scheme has resulted in mass coverage of rural poor households and 48 percent of the beneficiaries are SC/STs.
China’s space probe ‘Chang’e-4’ lands on Moon’s far side
- ‘Chang’e-4’, a Chinese spacecraft, has made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon.
- Earlier in 2013, China landed its rover on the moon, joining the United States and the Soviet Union as the only nations to have carried out a “soft landing” there, but the Chang’e-4 is the first to touch down on the far side of the moon that perpetually faces away from the Earth.
- The far side of the moon is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.
- The lunar explorer Chang’e signals its growing ambition to become a space power.
- Chang’e-4 will undertake astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform, and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon.
Cabinet approves the merger of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Baroda; first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 2, 2019, approved the ‘Scheme of Amalgamation’ for the merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank.
- The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India. The merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank, and Vijaya Bank was proposed by the Union Finance Ministry on September 17, 2018.
- The amalgamated entity will be India’s second largest Public Sector Bank and India’s third largest bank with a total business of more than Rs 14.82 lakh crore.
Cabinet approves the restructuring of National Health Agency as “National Health Authority”
- The Union Cabinet on January 2, 2019, approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as “National Health Authority” for better implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
- With the approval, the existing ‘National Health Agency’ was dissolved and was replaced by the ‘National Health Authority’ as an attached office to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Bill to make marital rape a crime introduced in Lok Sabha
- A private bill titled the Women’s Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights Bill 2018 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor. The bill proposes to make marital rape a crime and gives more decisional autonomy to women in termination of pregnancy.
- The bill proposes the deletion of exception 2 to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, which states that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape. It also grants women an absolute right to termination of pregnancy where they may terminate pregnancy merely by request until the 12th week of pregnancy.
Cabinet approves a high level committee to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2, 2019, approved the setting up of a high-level committee for the implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord and measures envisaged in the Memorandum of Settlement, 2003 and other issues related to the Bodo community.
- The High-Level Committee has been approved to suggest constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards as envisaged in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
- The clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
Five nations assume charge as Non-Permanent Members of UN Security Council
- Five nations, namely, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa assumed the charge as the Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- These five countries will hold a two-year term in the Council with effect from January 1, 2019. This will be the Dominican Republic’s first time on the Security Council. The other four countries have previously served on the body.
- They will fill the seats vacated by Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Sweden on December 31, 2018, after serving two-year term on the 15-member Security Council.
Scientists create paper sensor Kit to detect freshness of Milk
- Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, have invented a paper kit to detect the freshness of milk and determine how well the milk was pasteurized.
- The kit can be connected to a smartphone app which also aids in ensuring that milk is consumed before it turns too sour.
- The ordinary filter paper is cut into small pieces and is impregnated with chemical probes that preferentially react with Alkaline Phosphatase, which is an n indicator of the quality of the milk.
- When the filter paper impregnated with probes come in contact with the milk, its colour changes and this color change is photographed in a smartphone.
- The images are then processed to obtain corresponding colour values.
- These values are then compared with standard data stored in the phone. This provides information about the quality of the Milk.
Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals (SRPHi) launched by RBI
- RBI launches SRPHi Survey which will capture payment habits of individuals in cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Guwahati. Sigma Research & Consulting Pvt Ltd has been engaged by RBI to conduct the fieldwork of the survey.
- Around 6000 individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds across six cities would be covered under the survey.
- The findings of the survey will provide insights into awareness and usage habits of digital payment products.
Odisha reduced the cases of Malaria by 80 percent.
- Odisha is highly endemic for malaria and bears almost a quarter of the country’s disease burden.
- Through its innovative methods involving non-health workers in malaria control, Odisha was able to reduce the number of cases by 80 per cent.
- The battle of Odisha resulted has resulted in the decline in the number of cases. Close to 4, 44, 850 cases of malaria in 2016 in the State and it dropped to around 55,360 till October 2018. Deaths were reduced from 77 in 2016 to four in 2018.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 2nd January
PK Singh appointed CCI secretary
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced on January 1, 2019, that it has appointed Pramod Kumar Singh as its secretary.
- Prior to this, PK Singh was adviser (law) to the competition watchdog.
- The secretary would act as the nodal officer for the Commission for making or receiving all statutory information and entering into any formal relationships including the signing of memorandums with any foreign agency or other agency with prior approval from Commission and government.
- The Commission was established in 2003 to replace the erstwhile Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.
- The commission is empowered to check anti-competitive behaviour and regulate mergers and acquisitions.
Two women create history by entering Sabarimala shrine
- Cloaked in black veils and shrouded in the early morning darkness, two women of menstruating age group stepped into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, breaking a centuries-old tradition defying dire threats from the Hindu right.
- The women–Kanakadurga and Bindu–aged 44 and 42, stepped into the hallowed precincts guarded by police three months after the Supreme Court’s historic judgement lifting the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, its “eternally celibate” deity.
- The women, draped in black and faces covered in veils, entered the temple at 3:38 am, a day after over 35 lakh women stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the national highways in Kerala, creating a 620 km-long human ‘wall’ from the northern end of Kasaragod to the southern tip in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the state-sponsored initiative to uphold gender equality.
Australian government closes major immigration detention facilities
- The Australian government has announced the closure of two onshore immigration detention facilities.
- There are approximately 1,250 people currently in Australia’s eight remaining immigration detention centers, down from 10,200 in mid-2013.
- Under the previous Labor government, 50,000 people ¬arrived on 800 boats, 1,200 people tragically drowned at sea and 8,000 children were put in detention. At its peak in July 2013, there were more than 10,000 people held in immigration detention facilities in Australia, including 2,000 children.
- Every single one of those children who were in detention in 2013 has now been removed.
Qatar will cease to be a member of OPEC
- Qatar ceased to be a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries from January 1, 2019.
- The country had sent an official notification to the OPEC expressing its wish to pull out and to focus on its liquefied natural gas production in December.
- The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states.
- These countries accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Qatar has strongly refuted these allegations.
Pakistan shares a list of nuclear installations with India
- As per the provision of a bilateral agreement, Pakistan shared a list of its nuclear installations and facilities with India
- The list was handed over in accordance with Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India, signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991.
- The list was officially handed over to a representative of the Indian High Commission at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following which, the Union Ministry of External Affairs handed over the list of Indian Nuclear Installations and Facilities to a representative of the High Commission of Pakistan.
Current Affairs January 2019 | 1st January
India to achieve 100 percent electrification before 2019 Republic Day.
- India is likely to achieve 100 per cent household electrification before 2019 Republic Day.
- India has already provided electricity access to 2.39 crore out of the targeted 2.49 crore households under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Saubhagya scheme.
- India has achieved the hundred per cent electrification of the households in 25 states by December 2018. About 10.48 lakh households are left to be electrified in 4 states of Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, and Chhattisgarh. The electrification got delayed in these states due to elections and Maoist problems.
- The centre had launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Saubhagya scheme to provide electricity to all households by December 2018.
- The households identified via the Socio-economic and Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 are provided with free electricity connections and others were charged a nominal fee of Rs. 500.
Suggestion to not allow new Engineering colleges from 2020
- The Panel headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy has suggested All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) not to allow setting up of new Engineering colleges from 2020.
- No additional seats should be approved in traditional engineering areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics and suggests that institutes should be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging new technologies.
- To introduce undergraduate engineering programmes exclusively for artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity, and 3D printing and design.
- Current capacity utilisation in traditional disciplines is just 40% as opposed to 60% seat occupancy in branches such as computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics.
- As per the reports, there were no takers for 51 per cent of the 15.5 lakh B.E/B.Tech seats in 3,2291 engineering colleges in 2016-17.
Telangana to have separate High Court from 1st January 2019
- Separate High Courts will start functioning for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh from 1st January 2019. The High Court for Telangana is the 25th High Court in the country.
- Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 and the two states continued to have a common high court in Hyderabad.
- The modalities of the separate high courts are: The High Court for Telangana will function from the current High Court building in Hyderabad. The High Court for Andhra Pradesh will start functioning from a temporary building at Amaravati until it gets a permanent structure.
- 16 judges have been allocated to Andhra Pradesh High Court and ten have been allocated to Telangana High Court.
- Justice TBN Radhakrishnan will be sworn-in as Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court.
Loan subsidy for middle-income group under PMAY extended till March 2020
- The Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the loan subsidy for the middle-income group under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, (PMAY) has been extended till 31st March 2020.
- Rs 6900 cr interest subsidy on housing loans has been disbursed to over 3.14 lakh beneficiaries of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
- The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) is a component under the PMAY-Urban. Under the scheme, the central government provides interest subsidy or purchase/construction/extension/improvement of a house to cater Economical Weaker Section(EWS)/Lower Income Group(LIG)/Middle Income Groups (MIG).
GST rates reduced for 23 Goods and Services
- Twenty-three goods and services, including movie tickets, TV and monitor screens and power banks are becoming cheaper from today with the reduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) on them.
- The GST Council on December 22 had decided to cut tax rates on these goods and services and exempted music books, preserved vegetables and savings bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana from the Tax.
- This will bring in cheer to buyers.
Govt infuses huge capital in 4 public sector banks
- Govt infuses nearly Rs 11,000 cr capital in 4 public sector banks to enhance their lending capacity.
- It is part of 28,615 crore rupees capital infusion to be done in seven public sector lenders.
- UCO Bank has received 3,074 crore rupees in the equity by way of preferential allotment yesterday. Besides, Bank of Maharashtra got 4,498 crore rupees, Syndicate Bank 1,632 crores and the Central Bank of India 1,678 crores.
- The government has already announced infusion of 10,086 crore rupees in Bank of India, 5,500 crores in Oriental Bank of Commerce and 2,159 crores in United Bank of India.
DRDO day celebrated today
- 1st January is celebrated as Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO day.
- The DRDO was established in 1958. It had 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in defence sector. The Organisation has been working over the years to develop state of the art weapon system for the country’s armed forces.
- The indigenously developed fighter aircraft Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System are now on final induction after going through all the test.
Once you have this article on Current Affairs January 2019, you will not have to worry about staying updated on the ongoing events. But, also keep this in mind that preparing for the general awareness section for any exam should not solely be dependant on this mere listing of news. You also need to prepare from various GK books and notes. Read newspaper on a regular basis and watch both the National and the International news. Revive your news knowledge often and you would have no problem solving the general awareness section of any exam. For further help on the type of questions asked in the general awareness section, Embibe brings you free Bank Mock Test. Practice this paper diligently and you would have no further cribbing while preparing for the exam.
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