Archive for the ‘CURRENT AFFAIRS’ Category

1. CM Edappady receives Unesco award

  • CM Edappady received the Unesco Award of Merit awarded to the iconic Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.
  • The Award of Merit, 2017, was given by Unesco Asia Pacific region for the cultural heritage conservation activities taken up at the temple without altering its original splendour.
  • The ancient Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is seen in reclining form.

2. India ranks 177 out of 180 in EPI

  • India is among the bottom five countries on the Environmental Performance Index 2018.
  • Its overall low ranking — 177 among 180 countries — was linked to poor performance in the environment health policy and deaths due to air pollution categories.
  • The report was released on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

3. Narayanan takes over as LPSC Director

  • Senior ISRO scientist Dr V Narayanan has assumed charge as Director of the space agency’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), at nearby Valiamala.
  • He succeeds S Somanath who has been appointed Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
  • Narayanan, who is a rocket propulsion expert, joined ISRO in 1984 and functioned in various capacities, a press release said.

4. 4 schemes to promote young scientists-1

  • The government announced four new schemes to promote young scientists and researchers.
  • Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence Scheme will connect the educators to leading public funded institutions like IIT, IISc to pursue research.
  • The 2nd scheme Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship offers support to 100 PhD scholars for training in universities/laboratories abroad up to 12 months.

5. 4 schemes to promote young scientists-2

  • The third scheme –Distinguished Investigator Award — offers a maximum of 100 fellowships to principal investigators of Science and Engineering Research Board/Department of Science and Technology projects.
  • The fourth scheme ‘Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)’ aims to encourage science writing. The scheme seeks to tap the potential of over 20,000 PhD scholars.

6. UDAN Phase-II

  • Around 40%, or 129, of the 325 air routes awarded under the second phase of the regional connectivity scheme were for Northeastern and hill states.
  • These include strategic airports such as Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakyong in Sikkim where civilian air connectivity will be provided for the first time.
  • UDAN was launched on 27 April 2017.

7. Upgraded version of Saras comes

  • The new upgraded version of SARAS, the indigenous transport aircraft developed by National Aeronautics Laboratory, “successfully” made its maiden flight in Bengaluru.
  • SARAS PT1N, a 14-seater passenger aircraft, is an upgraded version of the plan.
  • It is designed and developed by CSIR-NAL, a frontline aerospace research laboratory.

8. Government To Infuse fund in 20 PSB

  • The government has announced 88,139 crore rupees capital infusion in 20 public sector banks, PSBs, during the current fiscal ending 31st March to boost lending and revive growth.
  • IDBI Bank will get the most- Rs10,610 crore followed by State Bank of India 8,800 crore rupees.
  • The 20 banks that will receive the capital infusion during this phase include Bank of India, UCO Bank and PNB.

9. Global Talent Competitiveness Index

  • India has moved up on a global index of talent competitiveness to the 81st position.
  • It is according to the Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • Switzerland has topped the list. Among BRICS countries, China has topped with 54th position. Among the countries, Switzerland is followed by Singapore and the US.

10. Aishwarya felicitated by the President

  • The honorable President of India, Ram Nath Kovind felicitated 112 woman achievers and titled them as “First Ladies” of the country.
  • Those included Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Miss Earth 2010 Nicole Faria.
  • The felicitation event was held at Rashtrapati Bhawan and the award ceremony was hosted by Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, who felicitated and congratulated the women achievers.

11. Trade unionist Yashwant Chavan dead

  • Veteran Communist leader and noted trade unionist Yashwant Chavan died at a private hospital in Pune on Tuesday following a brief illness. He was 970.
  • Born in 1920, Chavan was one of the last Marxist luminaries to be active in the Indian Communist Party in its heyday in late 1930s and 40s.
  • Firebrands leaders such as S.K. Limaye and Shripad Amrut Dange served as his ideological mentors.

12. ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit

  • Leaders of the ten ASEAN countries, comprising Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei, are in India for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
  • The two-day summit, which began yesterday, will be followed by the grand Republic Day parade and celebrations where the ten visiting heads of states will be present as the chief guests.

13. Actor Krishna Kumari passes away

  • Actor Krishna Kumari (84), who has acted in over 200 Telugu, Tamil and Kannada films and dominated the south Indian film industry for more than two decades, died at her Bengaluru residence.
  • Her Kannada films included Jaladurga, Asha Sundari, Bhakta Kanakadasa, Dashavatara, Shrishaila Mahatme.
  • Born in 1933, Krishna Kumari made her debut through Navvithe Navaratnalu, a Telugu movie.

14. Goa deploys aerial surveillance system

  • The Goa Police announced deployment of the advanced aerial surveillance system whose main objective is to monitor suspicious activities or gatherings.
  • The system can offer a detailed view of activities on the ground from certain height.
  • The primary objective is to monitor any unusual gatherings, fights and/or suspicious activities.

15. Sheikh Salim to get second highest award

  • A bus driver from Gujarat who drove through a hail of bullets and saved the lives of more than 50 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims last year has been selected for the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak.
  • It is the second highest honour given to civilians for gallantry after the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak.
  • Sheikh Salim Gafur displayed rare grit and bravery.

16. Tamil Nadu clinches men’s crown

  • Tamil Nadu beat Services by 94-86, in the final to emerge the men’s champion of the senior National basketball championship at the Nehru indoor stadium.
  • This is Tamil Nadu’s tenth title in the men’s category.
  • Railways beat Chhattisgarh 100-71 in the women’s final for its 28th title in 32 years. Captain P.U. Navaneetha top-scored with 30 points.

17. ICICI Lombard launches ‘IL TakeCare’ app

  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance, one of the leading general insurance companies in the country has launched a health insurance app ‘IL TakeCare’.
  • It is in collaboration with Practo, the leading healthcare platform.
  • This one-of-its-kind solution covers Outpatient (OPD) expenses of all its customers.

18. 8th National Voters’ Day- 25th January

  • The Election Commission of India celebrated the 8th National Voters’ Day across the country on 25th January for enhanced participation of citizens in the electoral process.
  • The National level function was held in New Delhi.
  • President Kovind gave away awards for best electoral practices to District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other functionaries involved in election management.

19. Rapid Reporting System For SAG Launched

  • Secretary, MWCD, Mr Rakesh Srivastava launched the Phase -1 i.e. the beneficiary module of the RSS for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January).
  • It is a web-based online monitoring for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls in New Delhi.
  • The URL for the portal is ‘sag-rrs.nic.in.’

20. Rakhi Halder Creates New National Record

  • Lifter Rakhi Halder created a new national record in clean and jerk to a gold medal in the 63kg women’s category in the 33rd Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships, in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
  • Rakhi lifted 128kgs in the clean and jerk  to create a new national record, bettering Karnam Malleswari’s feat (127kg) created in Athens in 1999.

 

Om Prakash Rawat appointed New Chief Election Commissioner

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Election commissioner Om Prakash Rawat (64) as new Chief Election Commissioner. He will succeed Achal Kumar Joti who has retired from post.

Explained: Office of profit

President Ram Nath Kovind on the recommendation of Election Commission of India (ECI) has disqualified 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs from Delhi, citing that they held offices of profit.

Website Accessibility Project launched to make 100 websites accessible to persons with disabilities

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched Website Accessibility Project to make 100 websites various State Governments/UTs accessible to persons with disabilities (Divyangjans) under Accessible India Campaign.

Mercedes-Benz first to launch locally-made BS-VI-compliant car

German auto major Mercedes-Benz has unveiled India’s first BS-VI-compliant S Class car produced at its Pune facility.

Government announces 9 new Smart Cities

Union Minister of Housing and Urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has announced a new batch of 9 smart cities under Smart City Mission.

MeitY launches Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative to strengthen cyber security ecosystem in India in line Government’s vision for a ‘Digital India’.

Government launches Live ability Index to rate 116 Indian cities

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs (MoHUA) launched the livability index to rate 116 Indian cities.

Government launches National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal

The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has launched National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal for bringing accountability and transparency for corporate India.

Department of Commerce and CII ink MoU for development of Logistics sector

The Department of Commerce has signed MoU with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for setting-up institutional mechanism for the development of Logistics sector in the country.

Khap Panchayats can’t interfere in marriages of adults: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that every adult has right to marry anyone and nobody including parents, khap panchayats or similar associations can question their choice of spouse.

Government ends Haj subsidy

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to end Haj subsidy from this year as a part of its policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement.

NITI Aayog launches first course under GIAN Program on Sustainable Urban Planning

The NITI Aayog has launched first course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) at IIT Kanpur’s outreach centre in Noida.

PM inaugurates Rajasthan’s first oil refinery at Barmer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Ltd (HRRL) project commencement of oil refinery in Rajasthan’s Barmer district. It is first oil refinery to be set up in Rajasthan.

Sikkim Government allows people to forge fraternal ties with trees

Sikkim Government has allowed people from state to forge fraternal ties with trees. In this regard, State Forests, Department has issued notification titled Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017.

Odisha Government launches Mukshyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana

Odisha Government has launched Mukshyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana (MMKSY) to provide financial assistance to the literature and cultural artists of state.

Coast Guards of India, Japan undertake joint naval exercise

The biennial search and rescue exercise between Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Japan Coast Guard (JCG) was held near Chennai, Tamil Nadu in Bay of Bengal.

 3rd Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi

The third edition of the geo-political conference – Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 Vajra Prahar: Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle

The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle in third week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both countries.

DAC clears procurement of assault rifles and carbines

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has cleared procurement proposal of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on fast track basis for Rs 3,547 crore.

 

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement:  India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol

Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed on text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

IPrism: CIPAM-DIPP launches IP competition for college & university students

The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), in collaboration launched ‘IPrism’ for college and university students.

India, Sri Lanka sign four agreements for collaboration in ICT sector

India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements for collaboration in Information and communication technology (ICT) sector between both countries.

65th meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education held in New Delhi

The 65th Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under Chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure held in New Delhi

The International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The India, Israel sign 9 agreements in space, defence, cybersecurity

India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries.

India ranks 30th on WEF’s Global Manufacturing Index

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India at 30th position among 100 countries on its Global Manufacturing Index (GMI).

IRFC’s green bonds: India INX lists 1st debt security at IFSC

The India International Exchange (India INX) has listed the Indian Railway Finance Corporation’s (IRFC’s) green bonds on its debt listing platform-Global Securities Market (GSM).

1. India Tops Domestic Air Traffic Demand

  • India’s domestic air passenger traffic grew by 16.4 percent in November 2017, topping the growth chart worldwide, according to the global aviation body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • Globally, the total revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) increased 8 percent compared to November 2016.
  • The available seat kilometers (ASKs) or capacity grew by 6.3 percent.

2. North & South Korea agree to hold talks

  • North and South Korea agreed to hold military talks.
  • North Korea also decided to send a high-ranking delegation and a cheering squad to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.
  • This dialogue will be the first in more than two years.

3. Government Restricts Use Of plastic Flag

  • The central government urged everyone not to use a national flag made of plastic.
  • It also asked the states and union territories to ensure strict compliance of the Flag Code in view of the Republic Day celebration ahead.
  • The national flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour.

4. Rajasthan to digitise historical records

  • With an aim to protect old and fragile documents, the Rajasthan government is digitising 10,000 pages daily to preserve administrative and historical records of Rajputana’s princely states.
  • The move will further boost the state government’s effort to use technology to improve the lives of people.
  • The online records will help research scholars, administrative departments of state government.

5. Free treatment for Hepatitis C

  • The health ministry is set to roll out a National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis from the 2018-19 financial year.
  • With the focus on Hepatitis C, an anti-viral treatment that costs $63,000-94,000 for the full course in the US and Europe will be provided free at all government health set-ups.
  • Hepatitis C is caused by a blood-borne virus which affects the liver.

6. India, Indonesia hold 1st sec. dialogue

  • India and Indonesia held their first security dialogue during which they agreed on operational cooperation in security and counter-terrorism.
  • The dialogue was led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs H Wiranto.
  • Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital.

7. Cabinet approves continuation of MPLADS

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to the continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme till the term of the 14th Finance Commission i.e. 31.03.2020.
  • The Scheme would entail an annual allocation of Rs. 3,950 crore and a total outlay of Rs. 11,850 crores.
  • MPLADS is a scheme formulated by Government of India on 23 December 1993.

8. 7 years’ jail for benami transactions

  • According to Income-Tax Department, people indulging in benami transactions can be prosecuted for imprisonment up to seven years.
  • “Benamidar [in whose name benami property is standing], beneficiary [who actually paid consideration] and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable.
  • It is according to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

9. Price Waterhouse firms banned for 2 yrs

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s order banned all the firms in the Price Waterhouse network from auditing listed companies for two years.
  • Sebi found the audit firm guilty in the nine-year-old Rs7,136 crore Satyam Computer Services Ltd scam.
  • The order has been passed under the Prevention of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP) regulations and Section 11 of Sebi Act.

10. Manjrekar’s autobiography ‘Imperfect’

  • Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar unveiled Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography ‘Imperfect’ at a South Mumbai.
  • The former India batsman-turned-commentator also spoke on his frosty relationship with Sachin Tendulkar and his favourite skipper Imran Khan.
  • Sanjay Vijay Manjrekar is a former Indian cricketer, he played international cricket for India from 1987 until 1996.

11. Gujarat to count elusive tigers

  • Gujarat, which houses a rich population of lions, will now see an exercise to find out if tigers also inhabit the State.
  • The last time a tiger was spotted in Gujarat was way back in 1985.
  • The proposal was approved by the NTCA, a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Gujarat’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), G.K. Sinha, said.

12. ISRO launches its 100th Satellite

  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It carries 31 satellites in total from countries including India and six other countries.
  • Cartosat 2, a surveillance satellite that was part of India’s 100th satellite was placed into sun-synchronous orbit according to ISRO.
  • The satellites are to be launched in two orbits which makes the mission a unique one.

13. Harjinder Singh to be ‘Chef de Mission’

  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) appointed Harjinder Singh as the Chef De Mission for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games.
  • Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018.
  • Harjinder Singh is at present the General Secretary in the Ice Hockey Association of India.

14. Youth Day – 12 January

  • The National Youth Day has been celebrated every year on 12 January.
  • This is the day when Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest social reformers, thinkers, and philosophers of India, was born.
  • The Indian government had declared back in 1984 that Swamiji’s birthday would be celebrated as the National Youth Day.
  • The International Youth Day has been celebrated every year on 12 August.

15. Chhattisgarh gets new chief secretary

  • Senior IAS officer Ajay Singh, of 1983 batch, has been appointed Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, replacing Vivek Dhand.
  • Mr. Dhand, of 1981 batch, was Chief Secretary for four years and was to retire in March.
  • He was named the chairman of the state’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority but opted for voluntary retirement.

16. Dhingra to head new SIT on 1984 riots

  • Supreme Court appointed the former Delhi High Court judge, Justice S.N. Dhingra, as chairman of its Special Investigation Team (SIT), to further investigate 186 cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
  • The court decided to independently investigate these cases.
  • The three-member SIT would also have Abhishek Dular, a 2006 IPS batch officer, and Rajdeep Singh, a retired IPS officer.

17. A new book on Rahul Dravid

  • In an attempt to immortalise Rahul Dravid, Sportwalk, a sports media and merchandise startup in Chennai has released a comic book titled ‘The Wall’.
  • Hailing him as a superhero, the comic book has compiled 15 of the most glorious moments of his life.
  • It is written by Himanshu.

18. Wrestler Sukhchain dies in road accident

  • Renowned wrestler and coach Sukhchain Singh Cheema, a Dronacharya awardee, died in a road accident at Patiala bypass.
  • Sukhchain Singh Cheema was son of Rustum-e-Hind Olympian Wrestler Kesar Singh Cheema and father of Rustum-e-Hind Olympian Palwinder Singh Cheema, also an Arjuna Awardee.
  • Sukhchain Singh Cheema won Bronze medal in 1974 Tehran Asian Games.

19. BSF’s Women Bikers To Make History

  • In another first for women this Republic Day, a newly-raised all-woman bikers contingent of the Border Security Force will make its debut on Rajpath on January 26.
  • The 27-member BSF women ‘daredevils’ will showcase their stunts & acrobatics on their 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles.
  • In 2015, women contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force had made their debut in the national parade.

20. Panel on Mullaiperiyar dam

  • Supreme Court directed the Union government to set up a special committee to exclusively prepare disaster management plans for 122 years old Mullaiperiyar dam.
  • A three-judge Bench led by CJI Dipak Misra also directed Tamil Nadu, which owns the dam, and Kerala, where it is situated, to set up similar committees.
  • The Mullaperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in Kerala.

Supreme Court stays High Court verdict against 85% pictorial warning on tobacco

The Supreme Court has stayed Karnataka High Court order reducing size of pictorial warnings on packages of tobacco products to 40% of the package space from earlier 85%.

January 9: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year on January 9 to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.

Government to launch new scheme for free treatment of Hepatitis C

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis , a new scheme free treatment of Hepatitis C from the 2018-19 financial year.

Government to raise Territorial Army battalion of ex-Armymen to clean Ganga

The Union Defence Ministry has sanctioned raising of Territorial Army (TA) battalion comprising ex-servicemen of Indian Army as part of its mission to clean the Ganga by 2020.

Government completes 1st phase of BharatNet project

The Union Government has announced completion of first phase of BharatNet project after successfully laying optical fibre cables (OFC) in more than 1 lakh gram panchayats.

Saudi Arabia allows India’s plan to ferry Haj pilgrims via sea route

Saudi Arabia has approved India’s plan to revive the option of ferrying Haj pilgrims via sea route to Jeddah. In this regard, both countries have signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement.

Government notifies the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017. The Amendment Act amended some provisions of Companies Act, 2013.

SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

California-based Private spaceflight company SpaceX has launched secret Zuma Mission for US government.

1. New night frog species found

  • Scientists have just discovered the “mewasinghi” Night frog, belonging to a genus endemic to the Western Ghats, from Kozhikode’s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is according to a scientific paper published on December 26 in The Journal of Threatened Taxa.
  • The new night frog “Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi” is light brown in colour with an off-white underside.

2. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for launch in 2018 to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
  • The probe will use Venus’ gravity during 7 flybys over nearly 7 years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun.
  • The primary goal of the mission is to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

3. Venezuela raises minimum wage by 40%

  • Venezuela is to raise its minimum wage by 40 percent.
  • President Nicolas Maduro said the new pay level would protect workers against what he called Washington’s “economic war” on socialism.
  • The new minimum wage will come into force in January.
  • The move is intended to counter quickening inflation coupled with a depreciating bolivar.

4. World to become drier: Scientists

  • According to scientists, over a quarter of the world’s land could become significantly drier even if global warming is limited to the target of two degree Celsius.
  • The change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires.
  • Researchers from University of East Anglia in the UK and Southern University of Science and Technology in China studied projections from 27 global climate models

5. Allied and Healthcare database portal

  • Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare launched the Allied and Healthcare Professionals’ database portal.
  • It is a part of Ministry’s commitment to ensure better systems for the healthcare workforce in the country.
  • This portal is a measure to track and reach out to all the allied and healthcare professionals in the country. The link to the website portal is a2hp.mohfw.gov.in.

6. India’s 2nd largest rooftop solar plant

  • State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd today said it has commissioned the country’s second-largest rooftop solar power plant.
  • The firm has installed a 5.76 MWp (Mega Watt peak) solar plant at its petrochemical complex at Pata in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The plant over the roofs of warehouses covers a total area of 65,000 square meters.

7. Crisil’s index to track FPI investment

  • Rating agency Crisil launched an index to measure the performance of investments of foreign portfolio investors in the fixed-income market.
  • Crisil FPI index would serve as benchmark for the performance of FPI investments in government securities.
  • The index holds significance owing to the current tilt of FPIs towards fixed-income securities and recent enhancement of investment limits by RBI.

8. Tourist-friendly police in Puducherry

  • Puducherry government has launched a special police force, with distinct blue-coloured head gears, to ensure the safety of visitors.
  • The personnel of the newly-launched ‘Tourist Police’ wing would wear blue badges bearing the police emblem.
  • The change in colour was aimed at easy identification of the personnel by tourists thronging the Union Territory.

9. Karnataka to obtain electric vehicles

  • Karnataka would obtain electric vehicles under the Centre’s FAME-India scheme.
  • Karnataka is set to procure and ply 40 electric buses, 100 four wheelers and 500 three wheelers along with setting up of charging infrastructure.
  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, for promoting eco-friendly vehicles.

10. Nagaland declared as ‘disturbed area’

  • The entire Nagaland has been declared as “disturbed area” for six more months, till June- end, under the AFSPA.
  • AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice.
  • Under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government declared the whole of the said State to be a ‘disturbed area’.

11. Karnataka International Travel Expo

  • The Karnataka government announced that ‘Karnataka International Travel Expo’ will be held here from February 28.
  • The three-day event will see close to 400 delegates from 25 countries take part.
  • The aim is to project Karnataka globally and attract tourist footfall, with emphasis on promoting the state’s wild life, adventure destinations, historical monuments and UNESCO world heritage sites.

12. Poet Anwar Jalalpuri passes away aged 71

  • Famous Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri died. He was 71.
  • He is best known for translating Bhagwad Geeta into Urdu in Shayari format.
  • Anwar Jalalpuri was a Yash Bharti Award recipient. He was born in Jabalpur.

13. Crypto-currencies not legal tender:India

  • Bitcoins or such crypto-currencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • A committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, is deliberating over the issue.
  • A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange.

14. Desktop ATMs in rural India

  • Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank has operationalised it’s first desktop ATM at Kasibugga in Mandi Bazar of Warangal in Telangana.
  • The model will be scaled up to 100 in the near future, said Narasi Reddy, Chairman.
  • The ATM is designed to work in harsh climatic conditions and minimum power requirements.
  • They can dispense small denominations and cater to small cash needs of rural customers.

15. RBI bonds scheme not closed: FinMin

  • The Finance Ministry said RBI Bonds Scheme has not been closed but the interest rate on such papers lowered to 7.75 percent.
  • These taxable bonds are meant for individual other than Non-Resident Indians with no maximum limit for investment.
  • In 2003, the government came out with bonds offering 8 percent interest to encourage retail investors to invest.

16. India’s GDP Growth at 6.5% in FY18

  • According to HSBC Report, India’s growth rate is expected to accelerate over the coming year and is likely to improve further to 7.6 percent by 2019-20.
  • The key sectors would revive from disruptions related to the implementation of GST and demonetisation.
  • According to the global financial services major, GDP growth in India is expected to accelerate to 7.0 percent in 2018-19 from 6.5%.

17. 171st Araadhanai Music Festival Begins

  • The 171st Araadhanai Music Festival of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music Saint Thyagaraja begins in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu.
  • The main function of the festival – the choral singing of Thyagaraja’s five kritis in Ghana ragas – will be held on his Samadhi day.
  • Saint Tyagaraja, was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music.

18. Turkey’s Bird Language in UNESCO’s List

  • The unusual and very efficient whistle language used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • UNESCO has accepted the “bird language” of Black Sea villagers as an endangered part of world heritage in need of urgent protection.
  • The UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.

19. Pakistan to use Chinese Currency Yuan

  • The central bank of Pakistan gave its green signal to using the Chinese currency, Yuan for bilateral trade with China.
  • The decision to cozy up to Beijing comes just a day after US President Donald Trump vowed to stop all aid to Islamabad.
  • Adoption of the Yuan would mean that Pakistan & China would be able to replace the US dollar for transactions in China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

20. India’s Highest-Ranked Player: G Sathiyan

  • G Sathiyan has become India’s highest- ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.
  • He surpasses his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal.
  • As for the women, Manika Batra is topping the world chart among Indians at 62, while Mouma Das is ranked 74th and Madhurika Patkar is ranked 81th.

1. Saubhagya Yojana launched by Jharkhand

  • Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das launched “Saubhagya Yojana”.
  • It is a programme that would provide electricity to all the 29,376 villages in the state.
  • Das said people would get electricity 24×7, which would not only change the life of the people in the villages but also there would be a change in their thought, economic condition, education of their children and lift irrigation for the farmers.

2. Pak’s list of nuclear installations

  • India and Pakistan exchanged, the list of nuclear installations and facilities under a three-decade old bilateral pact.
  • The two sides exchanged the list under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan.
  • The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991.

3. China developed surveillance network

  • China has developed a new underwater surveillance network to help its submarines get a stronger lock on targets while protecting the nation’s interests along the maritime Silk Road.
  • The system, which has already been launched, works by gathering information about the underwater environment and detect threats.
  • The project is led by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology.

4. Trump threatens to withhold aid to Pak

  • Donald Trump has opened the new year by threatening to withhold aid to Pakistan, a longtime US ally.
  • He said that “Islamabad is giving us nothing but lies and deceit” and “thinking of our leaders as fools”.
  • He further accused Pakistan of giving safe haven to the terrorists.

5. 2 Ginger species found in the northeast

  • Scientists have discovered two new species of Ginger in easternmost districts, Ukhrul in Manipur and Tuensang in Nagaland.
  • Hedychium chingmeianum, the species discovered in Tuensang district, is an epiphytic plant and grows on tall trees, while Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis was found growing in rock crevices.
  • Two BSI scientists, Nripemo Odyou and Dilip Kumar Roy, found the plant.

6. Debit card trans. up to Rs 2,000: Free

  • Customers will not have to pay any transaction charges for payments through debit card, BHIM app and other payment made for up to Rs 2,000.
  • The move will have an impact of Rs 2,512 crore on the exchequer.
  • BHIM is a mobile app developed by National Payments Corporation of India, based on the Unified Payment Interface.

7. Odisha releases Braille calendar

  • The visually impaired in Odisha will get this year’s Odia calendar and almanac in the Braille format.
  • It is printed and published by Computerised Braille Press in Berhampur.
  • Printing of the calendar, Braille Dinapanjhika 2018, has been sponsored by the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department of Odisha government.

8. 2018 declared as Telugu promotion year

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu declared 2018 as Telugu promotion year.
  • He made this announcement at 29th edition of Annual Book Exhibition of Vijayawada.
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Chief Minister inaugurated the fest, which will remain open till January 11 at Swaraj Maidan.

9. Ban on entry in Bhitarkanika NP

  • The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district will be closed for tourists for a week so that the annual census of estuarine crocodiles can be done.
  • The forest department has imposed a seven-day ban, starting January 3, to prevent noise pollution during the headcount operation of the reptiles.
  • It was designated as national park in 1998 and as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.

10. UP theme state for Surajkund crafts mela

  • The Haryana tourism department disclosed that Uttar Pradesh would be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela.
  • It would be organized at Surajkund, Faridabad from February 2 to 15.
  • Apart from all other states, about 24 countries would also participate in it.
  • The fair provides a world-class platform for handicrafts from around the world to showcase their skills.

11. Andhra Declared Open Defecation Free

  • Arunachal Pradesh welcomed 2018 by keeping its promise of making the state Open Defecation Free.
  • It has become the second state in North-East after Sikkim to achieve ODF status.
  • Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) officially.
  • Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Haryana were declared open defecation free states in October 2017.

12. SBI Reduces Base Rate

  • SBI announced a 30-basis-point cut in old lending rate benchmarks — Base Rate and Benchmark Prime Lending Rate.
  • It is done to bring new year cheer to customers whose loans are still linked to these benchmarks.
  • With effect from January 1, 2018, the revised base rate is 8.65 percent (8.95% earlier) for existing customers and Benchmark Prime Lending Rate is 13.40 percent (13.70%).

13. Vijay Gokhale Appointed Foreign Sec.

  • Former ambassador to China and current secretary (economic relations), Vijay Keshav Gokhale, has been named as India’s next foreign secretary.
  • He will succeed S Jaishankar whose extended tenure will end on January 28.
  • He is at present secretary (economic relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

14. Saudi Arabia, UAE Introduces VAT

  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates introduced value-added tax from Monday.
  • This is first in the Gulf which has long prided itself on its tax-free, cradle-to-grave welfare system.
  • The five percent sales tax applies to most goods and services and analysts project that the two governments could raise as much as $21 billion in 2018, equivalent to 2 percent of GDP.

15. Pankaj Jain becomes IIFCL MD

  • Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS), has assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
  • He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS.
  • IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development.

16. Shiv Kapur Wins Royal Cup at Pattaya

  • Indian golfer Shiv Kapur won the Royal Cup at Pattaya.
  • The 35-year-old, who had just one win in almost 11 years till April 2017, has now won three times in last eight months.
  • This latest title marks Shiv Kapur’s fourth Asian Tour win and sixth international title.

17. WCD Ministry Inaugurated Portal NARI

  • Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi for the empowerment of women.
  • The portal will provide women with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women.
  • The portal summarises over 350 government schemes and other important information.

18. Nat. Register of Citizens’s first draft

  • The citizen of Assam witnessed the release of the first draft of National Register of Citizens.
  • It contains the first batch of 19 million names of genuine Indian citizens in compliance with the Supreme Court ‘s orders.
  • Registrar General of India Sailesh released the document.
  • The first draft has listed 19 m people out of the 32.9 m applicants from within the state as legal Indian citizens.

19. Assamese Version of Modi’s Website

  • The Assamese and Manipuri language versions of Prime Minister’s Official website- www.pmindia.gov.in were launched.
  • Now the PM INDIA website is available in 11 regional languages namely Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi.

20. California’s new law on cannabis use

  • California has become the largest state in the US to legalise recreational cannabis use.
  • As of 1 January 2018, adults aged over 21 can possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of the drug and can grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
  • Sacramento is California’s capital. Democrat Hillary Clinton is the president of California.

 

1. Vidarbha win their 1st ever Ranji Trophy

  • Vidarbha made history by winning their first ever Ranji Trophy title, beating Delhi by nine wickets in Indore.
  • This was Nagpur-based Vidarbha’s first ever appearance in a Ranji Trophy final.
  • Fast bowler Rajneesh Gurbani took 6 for 59, including a hat-trick.

2. NASA’s to explore Saturn’s moon

  • NASA’s flying observatory is preparing it’s 2018 observing campaign, which will include observations of celestial magnetic fields, comets and Saturn’s giant moon Titan.
  • It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, DLR.
  • These investigations will help them understand how magnetic fields affect the rate at which interstellar clouds condense to form new stars.

3. Telangana constituted Fin. Commission

  • The Telangana government constituted State Finance Commission with former minister G Rajesham Goud as its chairman.
  • Retired Zilla Parishad CEO M Chennaiah Kuruma from Ranga Reddy district has been appointed as a member.
  • State Finance Commission is the Constitutional body of experts on public finance and public administration under the article 243I of the Constitution.

4. Cargo Movement On Brahmaputra starts

  • In a major boost to the inland waterway transport system in the northeast, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off cargo movement on the Pandu-Dhubri route of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is on the National Waterway 2.
  • Transportation of cargo from Pandu in Guwahati to Dhubri along the Assam-Bengal border would reduce logistics cost and save 300-km road travel.

5. MoU to lay optical fiber network

  • Chhattisgarh signed a MoU with the Centre for the second phase of the Bharat Net project under which 5987 village panchayats will be connected through optical fiber network.
  • The MoU will pave the way for laying 32,466 kms of optical fiber cable in 5987 Gram Panchayats of the state.
  • National Optical Fiber Network was created for providing Broadband connectivity to Panchayats.

6. Kolkata bans public display of weapons

  • The Kolkata Police has come out with a notification banning public display of weapons in the city for the whole of 2018.
  • The order is effective from January 2. The notification specifies certain exemptions, but religious processions are curiously not among them.
  • The order will not extend to persons like the President of India, governors of state and lt-governors or commissioners.

7. Om Prakash appointed as UP’s new DGP

  • Om Prakash Singh will be the new Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Om Prakash Singh will succeed incumbent Sulkhan Singh.
  • Till the new appointee takes charge, Anand Kumar, additional director general (Law and Order) will look after the day-to-day affairs.

8. M.V. Pylee passes away

  • Professor M. V. Pylee, educationist, passed away in Kochi. He was 95.
  • Pylee, a brilliant academic, was Vice Chancellor of the Cochin university from 1977 to 1981 and was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2006.
  • The emeritus Professor was a well-known authority on the Constitution of India, a pioneer in management education, a distinguished academician, and an eminent administrator.

9. New endemic ants from the Andamans

  • Scientists have discovered 2 new ant species of the genus Tetramorium in the evergreen forests of the Andamans.
  • Scientists of the NCBS, Bengaluru and the Okinawa Inst. of Sci. & Tech, Japan discovered the new species Tetramorium krishnani & Tetramorium jarawa in Havelock Island.
  • They are named in honour of late scientist K.S. Krishnan & after the Jarawas, an indigenous people of the islands.

10. SEBI to have fourth whole-time members

  • The Finance Ministry has accepted markets regulator SEBI’s request to have four whole time members.
  • It is a move which will help broaden the top leadership at the regulatory authority to faster discharge of duties.
  • Currently, Sebi has two whole-time members — Madhabi Puri Buch and G Mahalingam — while Sanjeev Kaushik was appointed a whole-time member last month.

11. SEBI shortlisted Comp. for IT services

  • SEBI has shortlisted 15 entities, including Tata Communications, Wipro for 2 separate services – identify and classify security holes in IT infrastructure, as well as protect against security threats.
  • Selected company will be responsible for all the activities related to information security and implementation of security solutions.
  • SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India.

12. Rs 14,500cr generated through BHARAT 22

  • The government revealed that an amount of Rs 14,500 crore has been raised through its BHARAT 22 Exchange Traded Fund.
  • ETF is created to benefit long-term and retail investors by providing an opportunity to purchase equity stocks of government-run companies.
  • The objective of BHARAT 22 ETF is to invest in constituents (22 companies) of S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index.

13. China Shuts Down Its Legal Ivory Trade

  • Two years after a joint pledge with the United States to ban the domestic trade in ivory, all of China’s government-licensed carving factories and ivory retailers are about to close.
  • China is one of the world’s biggest consumers of ivory products.
  • By the end of 2017, it has imposed a near-complete ban on buying and selling ivory.

14. Jewar airport construction to start

  • The construction work on Jewar airport in Greater Noida will commence in December next year.
  • It will start earlier than the Uttar Pradesh government’s scheduled plan and well ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The Jewar airport is billed to become the biggest airport in India in terms of area.

15. Odisha police to go digital from Jan 1

  • The Odisha police is all set to go digital from January 1, 2018 with computerisation of police station work under the Criminal Tracking and Networking System.
  • The project is being implemented under the national e-governance initiative at a cost of Rs 61 crore.
  • Now all the records will be maintained online to avoid duplicity of works.

16. Bhavantar Bharpai scheme in Haryana

  • To counter farm distress, Haryana government has launched Bhavantar Bharpai scheme (or the price deficit compensation scheme for vegetables).
  • It is set on the lines of Minimum Support Price-type (MSP) formula for four vegetable crops, namely, potato, onion, cauliflower and tomato.
  • The launch of the scheme is aimed at ensuring income of up to Rs 48,000 to 56,000 per acre to farmers.

17. Assam gets fund for water transport

  • Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced that Rs 1,250 crore has been sanctioned for overall development of inland water transport of Assam.
  • Of this amount, Rs 32 crore will be utilised for constructing 56 terminals and Rs 60 crore for Ro-Ro service, an official release said.
  • Ro-ro is ‘roll-on, roll-off’ ferry service in which people and goods including vehicles would be ferried.

18. GAIL Awards Contracts for PMUG yojana

  • GAIL India has placed orders for another 400-km of the pipeline of the ambitious PM Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline project that will take the fuel to eastern India.
  • With these awards, pipe supply orders for 2,100 km of the Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline project have been placed.
  • Urja Ganga gas pipeline project was inaugurated by PM Modi in his constituency Varanasi, UP.

19. India Hosting 10 Asean Leaders on 26 Jan

  • Leaders of 10 ASEAN countries will be the chief guests on 26th January 2018. It would be the first time in history.
  • ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states.
  • Since its formation on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, its membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

20. Vikas Samiksha Yatra

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has laid foundation stones for more than 100 projects worth Rs 700 crore in Nalanda district as part of his state-wide “Vikas Samiksha Yatra”.
  • At Chamera village in Ekangarsarai block, Mr. Kumar dedicated to the public 132 projects worth Rs 97.63 crore.
  • Satya Pal Malik is the governor of Bihar.