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Important Current Affairs of 17th June

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

PV Ramashastri appointed UP ADG Law and Order.

• IPS PV Ramashastri on Monday assumed the charge as Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order, Uttar Pradesh. This comes after CM Yogi Adityanath, on Friday, transferred six senior police officers after reviewing state's law and order situation. Praising his predecessor, Ramashastri said during former ADG (Law and Order), Anand Kumar's tenure, there were "stern actions against hardcore criminals".

DAYS:

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought observed on June 17.

• World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought day is observed every year on June 17

The theme for this year is Let's grow the future together.

Aim: To promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

Land degradation neutrality is achieved through problem-solving, strong community involvement and cooperation at all levels. 

• United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres land degradation and drought are major threats affecting millions of people worldwide, particularly women and children.

• Every year, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil and dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 per cent annually.

Protecting and restoring land and better using it can reduce forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth.

• They can also help to address the global climate emergency.

To recognize the imperative of combating desertification as part of the efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

About Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change

Formed: 1985

Headquarters: New Delhi

Annual budget: ₹2,675.42 crore

Minister responsible: Prakash Javadekar

SPORTS:

Joshna Chinappa wins record 17th national title.

• Indian squash player Joshna Chinappa won a record 17th national title after beating Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5. Chinappa broke the 16-time national champion Bhuvneshwari Kumari's record, which stood for 27 years. Rajasthan's Bhuvneshwari had won the national titles from 1977 to 1992. In the men's final, Mahesh Mangaonkar won the title.

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Important Current Affairs 20th April 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

INS Shakti, INS Kolkata to take part in Chinese Navys 70th anniversary celebrations.

•   The two Indian Navy Ships (INS) are scheduled to visit Chinese port of Qingdao from 21 to 26 April to participate in an International Fleet Review to celebrate the 70th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

•  INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.

•  INS Shakti is tanker and supply ship.

•  Over 60 countries would join the commemorative event for the PLA Navy’s 70th founding anniversary on April 23.

INTERNATIONAL NEW

A Book of poem Khooni Vaisakhi on Jallianwala Bagh massacre, released in UAE.

• A book containing English translation of the 100-year-old classic Punjabi poem about Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ released in Abu Dhabi.

• India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri commended the launch of the book.

• The poem was translated by Mr. Suri whose grandfather, revolutionary poet and novelist Nanak Singh, a Jallianwala Bagh survivor, wrote it after witnessing first-hand the events of April 13, 1919.

Christina Koch To Set Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Woman.

• NASA astronaut Christina Koch going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days, which would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

• Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 14 is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020 will eclipse the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and France to hold their largest Naval Exercise VARUNA.

• India and France are all set to hold their largest-ever naval exercise with aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and fighters early May as part of their expanding strategic partnership.

• The exercise has been christened 'Varuna' and will take place off Goa and Karwar from 1 May 2019.

The conduct of Varuna exercise was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.

• The two countries will be deploying their aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and FNS Charles de gaulle with their Mig-29K and Rafale-M naval fighter jets.

• The Indian participation will also include the destroyer INS Mumbai, frigate INS Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I aircrafts and Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft.

• This comes after the successful operationalisation of the logistics support agreement between India and France under which Indian warships can access the French bases like Reunion Islands and in Djibouti.

Under the same pact, French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard had docked at the Mumbai naval port in January 2019. This was second such logistics support agreement signed by India after the one signed by it with United States (US) in 2016.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance got ISO 31000:2018 certification.

• An insurance giant Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has received ISO 31000:2018 certification by TUV India. Chola MS has received certification for applying risk management system which conforms to the prescribed standards.

The Certificate is valid for a period of 3 years from April 07, 2019, to April 06, 2022.

• ISO 31000:2018 certification:

ISO 31000:2018 is an international risk management standard. The standard provides guidelines, principles, framework, and a process for managing risk.

It can be used by any organization regardless of its size, activity or sector. The application of these guidelines can be customized to any organization and its context.

Bank of Maharashtra Joins M1X change TReDS Platform for MSME Bill Discounting.

• Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) partnered with M1Xchange Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform for MSME bill discounting.

• TReDS is a digital platform to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get their bills financed at a competitive rate through an auction where multiple registered financiers can participate.

Mynd Solutions is a technology management firm which runs the TReDS platform of M1Xchange.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Shri N. Kashinath designated as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• Shri N. Kashinath took over as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• He was associated with Train Describer Project, Survey for the Mobile Train Radio Communication in Northeast Frontier Railway,

• Shri N. Kashinath belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE).

Dubai based RAKEZ appointed Cricket Champion Ravi Shastri as a Corporate Ambassador.

• Former Cricketer Ravi Shastri appointed as Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) exclusive Corporate Ambassador to the Indian Business Community. Brand Ambassador may attract more Indian business leaders to set up or expand their operations in UAE through RAKEZ. This first-of-its-kind approach is one of the many other initiatives that RAKEZ will be launching in the future to attract more investors from all over the world and boost the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.

ECI appointed Bihar Ex CEO AjayV Nayak as Special Observer for West Bengal.

• Election Commission of India (ECI) appointed Bihar's former Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

• Ajay V. Nayak as a special observer for West Bengal

He is a retired IAS officer of the 1984-batch has been appointed as a special observer for West Bengal by ECI.

• The Commission has earlier appointed Vivek Dube as the special police observer for the state.

Deutsche Bank appoints Kaushik Shaparia as CEO For India.

• Deutsche Bank appointed Kaushik Shaparia as the chief executive officer for India He succeeds Ravneet Gill. Gill left the bank to head private lender YES Bank. Shaparia’s appointment will be effective from May 2019.

SPORTS:

Bajrang regained top spot in world wrestling rankings.

• India's Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men's 65-kilogram Wrestling freestyle category rankings.

The rankings were released by United World Wrestling.

• Punia, who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

• Bajrang, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from the 23rd of this month, had first reached the world number one spot in November last year.

• He won gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria last month.

• Punia secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

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Important Current Affairs 26th February 2019

National News

PM Modi Inaugurated 40-Acre National War Memorial in New Delhi

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated a new National War Memorial, situated in the India Gate complex in New Delhi, to the nation.

• The National War Memorial, spread over 40 acres in the India Gate complex behind the canopy, is dedicated to soldiers killed during the Indo-China War in 1962, Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999, and also those in the UN peacekeeping missions.

FAGMIL Signs MoU with Himachal Pradesh to Establish India's 4th White Cement Plant Project

• Under its diversification programme, FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Limited (FAGMIL) has taken up a project to establish a white cement plant near village Nohra Dhar in Himachal Pradesh, at a project cost of approximately Rs. 605 crores.

• It will be the 4th white cement plant in the country. The installed capacity of the plant would be 0.3 million tonnes per annum and it will generate the direct employment of approximately150 persons.

Madhya Pradesh Government Launched ‘Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana’

• Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath launched the State Government’s flagship scheme ‘Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana’ that guarantees 100 days of employment every year to urban youth from economically weaker sections.

• Under the scheme, Rs 4,000 stipend per month during 100 days period, would be given to the youth and they will also be given skill development training in order to become independent. (Only those youths, whose family’s annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh and who are in the age group of 21-30 years, are eligible for the scheme).

INTERNATIONAL

India strikes back: IAF jets destroy Jaish terror camps across LoC

• In retaliation to the deadly Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force fighter jets crossed the line of control in the early hours of February 26, 2019 and attacked Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

• The same was confirmed by the Indian Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale during a press conference in New Delhi on the same day. The Foreign Secretary revealed that India has struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot.

• The Indian Air Force used Mirage-2000 jets to drop 1000 kg of laser-guided bombs causing an estimated casualty of 200-300. In the intelligence led operation, India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

Awards

President Conferred 'Gandhi Peace Prize'

• President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015, 16, 17 and 18 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

• The award comprises a cash award of one crore rupees, a citation in a scroll, a plaque and a traditional handicraft item.

• Here are the awardees that were facilitated at the occasion:

1. For 2015: Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari was given the award for its contribution in Rural Development, Education and Development of natural resources.

2. For 2016: Jointly to Akshaya Patra Foundation for its contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of children across India and Sulabh International for its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation in India and emancipation of manual scavengers.

3. For 2017: Ekal Abhiyan Trust for its contribution in providing Education for Rural and Tribal Children in remote areas pan India, Rural Empowerment, Gender, and Social Equality.

4. For 2018: Japan's Yohei Sasakawa for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world.

Lifetime Achievement Award For G.R. Karthikeyan

•  G.R. Karthikeyan, father of India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award at the FMSCI annual awards function.

•  FIA president Jean Todt was the chief guest and handed over the awards.

Appointments

 Indra Nooyi Joins Amazon’s Board of Directors

• PepsiCo’s India-born former CEO Indra Nooyi has joined Amazon’s board of directors, the online retail giant. Starbucks executive Rosalind Brewer has also joined the Amazon Board.

• She was Pepsico CEO from October 2006 to October 2018, where she also served as the Chairman of its board of directors from May 2007 to February 2019.

Sports News

Afghanistan Scores Highest Ever T20 International Score

• Afghanistan scored 278 for the loss of three wickets from their allotted 20 overs, to register the highest-ever total in T20s at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

• Hazratullah Zazai scored 162 runs from just 62 balls. Zazai became the first player from Afghanistan to score 150 or more runs, and his 236-run opening stand with Usman Ghani became the highest partnership in T20Is.  

Sri Lanka Becomes 1st Ever Asian Team To Win Test Series In South Africa

• Sri Lanka cricket team became the first Asian side to win a Test series in South Africa after winning the series by 2-0.

• Kusal Perera was given the Man of the Series award. Before Sri Lanka, only Australia and England have defeated South Africa in a Test series at home.

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta Wins Cannes International Open Trophy

• Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta lifted the Cannes International Open trophy. He took an easy draw with Pier Luigi Basso of Italy in the ninth and final round.

• Abhijeet won the tournament with 7.5 points. It is his first solo International tournament victory.

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Important Current Affairs 12th February 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi Inaugurates Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve Facility.


•     Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the 13.3 million metric ton capacity Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh
•    He also inaugurated Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited’s Vashishta and S1 development project located in the Krishna-Godavari Offshore Basin.
•    Mr. Modi also laid the foundation stone for setting up of a new terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at Krishnapatnam.


Centre allocates Rs 59 crore for Asiatic Lion conservation in Gujarat's Gir.


•    The Ministry of Environment launched a three-year Asiatic Lion Conservation Project in collaboration with the state of Gujarat. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) allocated Rs 59 crores, which will focus on better management of the lion habitat, disease control and veterinary care for them.
•    Gujarat government also implemented Rs 80 crore that will be spent on specialised veterinary hospitals and full-fledged ambulances for lions.


Himalayan Cloud Observatory Set Up In Tehri.
•    A Himalayan Cloud Observatory is set up in Tehri district of Uttarakhand with a motive to forecast and monitor cloudburst incidents in the Himalayan region and help to minimize the damage.
•    The Observatory is established in the SRT campus, in Tehri and is in the testing period. This is the second observatory in the country to monitor cloud activities by the Indian Science and Technology Department and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur that can function in high-altitudes.

 Great Indian Bustard Announced As The New Mascot For COP-13.
•    Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, announced the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to be held in Gujarat in 2020. He also revealed that the bird has been fondly named by the ministry as 'Gibi'.
•    CMS-COP 13 is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats. It has over 120 participating countries.

 Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurated 13th PETROTECH 2019 In Greater Noida.
•    The 13th International Oil and Gas Conference – PETROTECH – 2019 got underway at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries are expected to participate in the three day Conference.
•    The theme of the conference is 'Collaborating For Sustainable and Secure Energy Access for all'. 

 Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Lays Foundation Stone of Mega Food Park in Mathura.
•    Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal laid the foundation stone of a Mega Food Park at Chhata-Barsana road in Mathura. The Park will provide direct and indirect employment to five thousand persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers.
•    The Mega Food Park is being set up in over 57 acre of land at a cost of around 121 crore rupees. The Centre has also approved financial assistance of 50 crore rupees to the project. 

MOU Signed Between EIL and Mongolia for Project Management Consultancy for Oil refinery.
•    A MoU was signed between Engineers India Limited (EIL) and Mongolia for Project Management Consultancy for oil refinery. EIL is a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 
•    The agreement was signed on the sidelines of PETROTECH-2019 event at Greater Noida, UP. The MoU is for Project Management Consultancy services for construction of an oil refinery plant in Mongolia by EIL. 

INTERNATIONAL

ADB Debuts in Offshore Philippine Peso Bond Market.
•     The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised 5.2204 billion Philippine pesos ($100 million) from a new issue of local currency bonds in the international market. Currency-linked bonds are denominated in the local currency but settled in US dollars. 
•    The bonds pay a fixed interest rate of 5.25% and have a final maturity of 4 years. ADB issued bonds in the Philippine domestic capital market in 2005 and 2007 but this issue is the first time it has mobilized Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency-linked structure.

INS Trikand Participates In Exercise ‘Cut class Express 2019’.
•    INS Trikand, the frontline warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multi-national training exercise ‘CUTCLASS EXPRESS 2019’. The annual Exercise Cutlass Express is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF).
•    It is the eighth iteration of the annual multinational maritime exercise and was held in the vicinity of Djibouti, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Hindi Included As 3rd Official Court Language in Abu Dhabi.
•    Abu Dhabi has decided to include Hindi as the third official languageused in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.
•    The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced that it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including Hindi.


Multinational Maritime Exercise ‘Aman 19’ Commenced In Karachi.
•    The 5-day multinational maritime exercise ‘AMAN-19’ in which 46nations participated from all over the world was formally commenced at Pakistan Navy Dockyard, with a colorful flag hoisting ceremony.
•    Principal aim to conduct this exercise is to facilitate a forum of understanding of each other’s maritime concepts and operation cultures and to produce ways and means to confront common threat at sea.


AWARDS

Yes Bank Wins The Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018.
•    Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 announced Yes Bank as the winner in ‘Innovation in Data Science’ category for their industry-first project ‘Yes EEE (Engage Enrich Excel)’ at Panaji, Goa.
•    It was hosted by the Government of Goa. Aegis Graham Bell Awards (AGBA) Promotes innovations and entrepreneurship in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain.

BAFTA Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List Of Winners.
•    Netflix drama 'Roma' won the top prize at the 72nd edition of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA awards. 
•    However, with seven BAFTAs in its kitty, director Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite emerged the top winner in 2019.

Deepa Mehta to Be Feted With Lifetime Achievement Award.
•     Acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Mehta is best known for her Elements Trilogy - 'Fire', 'Earth' and 'Water'.
•    The Canadian Screen Awards are awards given annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television recognizing excellence in Canadian film, English-language television, and digital media productions.

Grammy Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List of Winners.
•    The 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles. 
•     The show was hosted by Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.

Appointments:


Ruchira Kamboj Appointed India's Ambassador to Bhutan.
•    Ruchira Kamboj was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Bhutan. She is serving as the High Commissioner of India to South Africa since 2017.
•    Kamboj has previously served as the Ambassador/PR to Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, Paris.


Egypt’s President El-Sissi Elected as Chairman of African Union.
•    Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been elected as the chairman of the African Union at the continental body’s summit in Ethiopia.
•    El-Sisi’s election brings an end the one-year chairmanship of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.


BANKING

RBI Doubles The Limit Of Bulk Deposits From Rs. 1 Crore To Rs 2 Crore.
•     Reserve Bank of India decided to treat deposits to over Rs.2 crore as ‘bulk’ as they doubled the limit for the same from the earlier Rs.1crore.This move will enhance the operational freedom of Banks.
•    According to current RBI rules, last reviewed in January 2013, banks have the option of not permitting premature withdrawals of ‘large rupee term deposits’ of INR 1 crore and above. National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited (NAFCUB)has suggested this proposal.

SPORTS

Corentin Moutet Clinched Chennai Open ATP Challenger Title.
•     In Tennis, France’s Corentin Moutet has clinched the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tournament title after beating Andrew Harris of Australia in the singles final.
•    It was the second Challenger title for Moutet, who received 80 ATP points, while Andrew got 48 ATP points.

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Important Current Affairs 11th February 2019

NATIONAL


Rajnath Singh inaugurates first of its kind spoken Sanskrit center.
•    Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the Centre for learning Sanskrit language in Gujarat University, Ahmedabad. 
•    The center will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language. The coordinator of the course, Atul Unagar stated it was possibly the first such course launched in India.

Nitin Gadkari Releases India’s 1st Ever Highway Capacity Manual.
•    The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Mr Nitin Gadkari released India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) in New Delhi.
•    The manual is also known as Indo-HCM and it has been developed by CSIR – CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like a single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, and the associated intersections on these roads.
 

INTERNATIONAL


Mumbai 12th Richest City Globally, New York Tops: New World Wealth Report.
•    Mumbai, India's financial capital is the 12th richest city in the world with a total wealth of $950 billion, according to a report by New World Wealth. The list was topped by New York as the richest city in the world.
•    Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. The top 2 richest cities in the list are- 
1. New York ($3 trillion).
2. London ($2.7 trillion).


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India and Palestine sign 6 MoUs.
•    India and Palestine have signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) s worth USD 40 million.  This was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 
•    During the term of this Government, the President of India made the first ever visit to Palestine in 2015.


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India, Oman Sign 8 MoUs.
•     India and Oman have signed eight MoUs in different areas during PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the Gulf nation. The fields in which the agreements were inked include defense, health and tourism.

•    A MoU on legal and judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters was also signed. The agreements were inked after Mr Modi held delegation-level talks with the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said in Muscat.

PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India-UAE Ink 5 Agreements.
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan held bilateral talks at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
•    PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The two sides inked 5 agreements related to energy & railway sectors, manpower and financial services.

•    The 5 MoUs signed between the two nation are as follows-
•    1. MoU between a consortium led by ONGC and Abu Dhabi national oil company for acquisition of 10% stake in offshore concession was inked.

•    2. MoU aiming to institutionalize employment of Indian workers in UAE to safeguard their interests was also signed.
•    3. MoU aiming at technical cooperation in rail sector between Ministry of railways and Federal transport authority and maritime of UAE signed.

•    4. In the area of financial services, MoU between BSE and Abu Dhabi Securities exchange was also inked.
•    5. MoU between Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World was also signed to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialized storage solutions.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- ONGC Videsh, Partners Acquire 10% Stake in Abu Dhabi Oilfield
•    ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) Videsh Ltd and its partners have acquired a 10% in a large offshore oilfield Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s (ADNOC) in Abu Dhabi for $600 million. It is the first time any Indian company has set foot in oil-rich Emirate.
•    The current production of this field is about 400,000 barrels of oil per day (20 million tonnes per annum) and Indian consortium’s annual share shall be about 2 million tonnes. The contract for the concession was signed in Abu Dhabi in presence of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


SBI Wrote off Bad Loans worth over Rs 20,000 crore Last Fiscal.
•    The country’s largest lender SBI wrote off bad loans worth Rs 20,339 crore in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks, which had a collective, write off of Rs 81,683 crore for the fiscal. The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of SBI were not merged with it.
•    Besides SBI, Punjab National Bank had a write-off of Rs 9,205 crore in 2016-17, followed by Bank of India (Rs 7,346 crore), Canara Bank (Rs 5,545 crore) and Bank of Baroda (Rs 4,348 crore).


Direct tax collections rise 19.3% in April- January.
•    Direct tax collections grew by nearly 20% between April and January this year with strong growth in both corporate and personal income tax receipts. According to official data released, net direct tax collections grew by 19.3% up to January 2018 to Rs 6.95-lakh crore.
•    While net corporate income tax grew by 19.2%, personal income tax receipts rose by 18.6% in January this year. Gross tax collections also grew at a robust 13.3% to Rs 8.21-lakh crore between April 2017 and January 2018.
 

SPORTS


Sharmila Nicollet, 1st Indian Golfer to Qualify for China LPGA Tour.
•    Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour. The 26-year-old Bengaluru golfer fought her way back into the tournament in the last two rounds to earn a card for the Tour.
•    Sharmila had played on the Ladies European Tour before losing her full card, played her three rounds in the CLPGA Tour Qualifying School.


Rohan More Becomes 1st Asian to Swim Across Ocean Seven.
•    Pune-based swimmer, Rohan More became the first Asian as well as the first Indian to swim across the Ocean Seven. He is the youngest to complete it. He swam across the Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand in 8 hours and 37 minutes.
•    With this, more becomes only the ninth person in the world to complete it. He has received the Tenzing Norgay Award from the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The award was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.
 

OBITUARIES


Pakistani Activist Asma Jahangir Passes Away.
•    Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s renowned human rights lawyer, social activist and an outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment, passed away of cardiac arrest. She was 66.
•    She was the first woman to serve as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.


Golden Globe Award Winner Musician Johann Johannsson Passes Away.
•    Acclaimed Icelandic musician and Oscar-nominated composer Johann Johannsson has passed away aged 48
•    In 2014, he was nominated for BAFTA, Grammy and Oscar awards for his score for ‘Theory of Everything,’ and won the Golden Globe award, making him one of the most well-known composers Iceland has produced
 

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Important Current Affairs 10th February 2019

NATIONAL


Great Indian Bustard (GIB) announced as the new mascot for the 13th UN Convention on the CMS COP-13.
•    Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on Friday announced the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to be held in Gujarat in 2020.The Government also launched a website for the COP-13.
•    CMS-COP 13 is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats. It has over 120 participating countries. So far, 12 COPs (Conference of Parties) have been convened.
•     COP-13 will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 15 – 22 February, 2020

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu launches two schemes in Mumbai.
•    On February 9, 2019, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu launched two schemes, the Hirkani Maharashtra chi and District Business Plan Competition in Mumbai.
•    OVER VIEW OF SCHEMES:
    Under Hirkani Maharashtra chi, women’s SHGs will display their business plan at taluka level. Ten groups will be selected from each taluka and Rs. 50,000 will be given to each SHG to implement their idea. Five SHGs at district level will be selected and Rs. 2 lakh will be given to each SHG to take the idea forward.
    Under District Business Plan Competition, competitors at district level will display ideas, out of which five ideas will be selected from agriculture, social service, education and Work order worth Rs. 5 lakh will be given to the 5 selected ideas to implement the same.

Health Ministry conducts 8th round of National Deworming Day campaign.
•    On February 8,2019,The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) conducted its eighth round of National Deworming Day (NDD) with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or parasitic intestinal worms so that there will be no longer be public health problem.
•    The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) envisioned an open-defecation-free India which holds the capacity to reduce the overall worm burden in a community.


 Voter verification and Information Programme was launched by Election Commission.
•    On 8th February 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens to verify their details, change the details, new registration and corrections. The programme focus on 2019 General Election.
•    The ECI has set up helpline centres in all districts in India. The voter helpline number is 1950 and they are well equipped with to help callers with latest information.
•     VVIP technology was launched during 2day training cum workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technology which was held in New Delhi.
•    ECI also launched a ‘PwD app’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to request to change in address, change in particulars and new registration by using mobile application.
•     Voter Helpline app was also launched which will help voters to check their names in electoral roll, submit online forms, application status checking and complaints filing.

Two day Bengal Global Summit held in Kolkata.
•    On February 7, 2019, the fifth edition of West Bengal Global Business Summit was inaugurated by state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It is a two day summit held in Rajarhat, Kolkata.
•    West Bengal bagged over Rs. 40,000 crore worth of investment proposals from Reliance, Group, ITC and others multinational companies on the first day of the business summit.
•     The summit came to an end with West Bengal government signing 86 agreements entailing business proposals worth 2.84 lakh crore.
•    West Bengal with a Gross State Domestic Product of USD 155.32 billion is the 4th largest contributor to India’s GDP and 6th contributor to India’s manufacturing GDP.

Assam’s Finance Minister presented 1,193 crore Deficit Budget.
•    Assam’s Finance Minister, Himanta Biswas has presented the fourth Deficit Budget of the state for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the legislative assembly which amounts to 1,193 crore.
•    This budget is the 2nd digital budget of the state
•    The total revenue of the budget in comparison with previous has increased by 20% and the total expenditure has crossed 70,000 crore.
•    The budget mainly focuses on dimensions of social security and capital expenditure.
•    Brides will be given one tola gold belonging to families having income of less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
•    Students who passes in 12th class examination with first division will be given e-bike
•    Widows below 45 years will be given immediate support of Rs. 25,000.
•    Rice would be sold at Rs.1 per kg to benefit poor families.
 

INTERNATIONAL


Multinational Maritime Exercise ‘Aman 19’ commenced in Karachi.
•    The 5-day multinational maritime exercise ‘AMAN-19’ in which 46 nations participated from all over the world was formally commenced at Pakistan Navy Dockyard, with a colourful flag hosting ceremony.
•    Pakistan’s Naval Chief, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi welcomed the participations of Exercise AMAN-19, the 6th episode of the AMAN initiative.
•    Principal aim to conduct this exercise is to facilitate a forum of understanding of each other’s maritime concepts and operation cultures and to produce ways and means to confront common threat at sea.
•    Commander Pakistan fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi genially welcomed the eminent participating nations for a mutual resolve with motto “Together for Peace”.
•    The exercise will have 2 phases- Harbour phase and sea phase.
 

BANKING AND FINANCE


Asian Development Bank raised $100 million in international market.
•    On 8th February 2019, The Asian Development Bank raised $100 million from peso-linked bonds in the international market. It was their maiden issue of Philippine peso.
•    The move will help to reduce foreign exchange risk for ADB’s borrowers and support its growing local currency lending operations in Philippines.
•    J P Morgan was the sole lead manager and bonds were fully placed with institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
•    Earlier in 2005 and 2007 ADB issued bond in the Philippine domestic capital market but it was the first time to mobilize Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency linked structure.
•    ADB is an international development finance institution and a regional development bank with a motto to fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.


RBI Doubles the limit of bulk deposits from Rs. 1 crore to Rs 2 Crore.
•    On 7th February 2019, Reserve Bank of India decided to treat deposits to over Rs.2 crore as ‘bulk’ as they doubled the limit for the same from the earlier Rs.1crore. This move will enhance operational freedom of Banks.
•     RBI also proposed banks would maintain their bulk deposits interest rate cards in the core banking system for supervisory review.
•    The right to offer differential rate of interest in bulk deposits as per their requirements and Asset Liability Management (ALM) projections is vested with banks.
•     For a similar maturity period interest rate on bulk deposits are marginally higher than smaller amount fixed deposits.
•    National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited (NAFCUB) has suggested this proposal.
•    The decision in proposal for setting up an Umbrella Organization (UO) for urban cooperative banks in pending with RBI.


RBI fines Allahabad Bank Rs 1.5 crore for not monitoring fund use, fraud reporting delay.
•    On Feb. 8 2019, Allahabad Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 crore on them for not monitoring end use of funds, delay in classification and reporting of fraud and non-adherence with RBI guidelines during restructuring of accounts in respect of one of its borrowers.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


Himachal’s growth rate projected at 7.3% in current financial year.
•    Economic Survey Report for 2018-19 has projected the growth rate in Himachal Pradesh to be around 7.3% for the current financial year, 2018-19, while the per capita income is estimated at Rs 1, 76,968. Economic growth was 6.5% in the last fiscal, highest in last 3 years.
•    Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in current fiscal has increased to Rs 1, 36,542 crore and estimated to be about Rs 1, 51,835 crore in 2018-19.
 

AWARDS AND RECOGNIZATION


Yes Bank wins the Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for ‘Innovation in Data Science’.
•    On Feb. 1 2019, Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 announced Yes Bank as winner in ‘Innovation in Data Science’ category for their industry-first project ‘Yes EEE (Engage Enrich Excel)’ at Panaji, Goa. It was hosted by the Government of Goa.

Sena Medals awarded to 92 army men, including Lance Naik Wani.
•    Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C (General Officer Commanding), Northern Command, presented Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards to army officers, other ranks and next of kin (for posthumous awards).
•    The army commander presented 1 Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 76 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 7 Sena Medals (Distinguished) and 8 Vishist Seva Medals.
•    Lance Naik Wani was conferred with the Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), received by his wife on his behalf. The brave soldier had sacrificed his life while combating terrorists at Batagund Village in Jammu & Kashmir in November 2018.
•    20 units were also awarded for their overall outstanding performance in the Command Theatre in the year 2018.
 

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION


Radheyshyam Julaniya to replace Rahul Bhatnagar as Union Sports Secretary.
•    IAS officer (Madhya Pradesh cadre), Radheyshyam Julaniya will replace Rahul Bhatnagar as the Union Sports Secretary.
•    Bhatnagar has been released by the Sports Ministry and is set to join the Ministry on Panchayati Raj.
•    Notable achievements of the Sports Ministry during the tenure of Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar include opening of the National Sports University, Khelo India Youth Games, hosting international tournaments like Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar and World Women’s Boxing Championship in New Delhi.
 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired in Balasore, Odisha.
•    India test-fired Helina, a helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile, with a hit range of 7-8 km, from the Odisha Coast on Friday.
•    Helina was launched from an Army chopper and the weapon system was tested for its full range at 12:55 PM near the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in the Balasore District of Odisha.
•    Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Helina is said to be one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. It is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode.
 

SPORTS


Rohit Sharma becomes 1st Indian to smash 100 sixes in T20 Cricket.
•    Indian opener Rohit Sharma became the first man from his country to smash a century of sixes in T20I cricket in the second T20 between India and New Zealand held in Eden Park in New Zealand.
•    He made his T20I debut against England but played his first innings against South Africa in 2007 T20I.
•    Rohit Sharma surpassed Martin Guptill to become the highest scorer in T20 Internationals with 102 sixes.


Ricky Ponting has been appointed the assistant coach of Australia for 2019 World Cup.
•    On 8th February 2019, Cricket Australia appointed Ricky Ponting as assistant coach for Australia’s cricket team for 2019 World Cup. He had won world cup for three times.
•    The main coach for Australian Cricket team is Justin Langer. Ponting was appointed after David Saker’s resignation from the post.
•    Ricky Ponting worked as assistant for Australia’s T20 in 2017 and 2018. The current batting coach for the team is Graeme Hicks.
•    ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales from 30th May to 14th July 2019.
•    Ponting play 375 ODI’s and 168 tests for Australia. He won the World Cup for the 1st time in 1999 before captaining and in 2003 and in 2003 and 2007.
 

OBITUARY


British actor Albert Finney, five time Oscar nominee died at age of 82.
•    On February 9, 2019, five time Oscar nominated actor Albert Finney died at the age of 82 due to chest infection in London.
•    The veteran actor was best known for his roles in Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Annie.
 

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Important Current Affairs 27th January 2019

National News

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


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


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

International News

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


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

Sports

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


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


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

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Important Current Affairs 26th January 2019

Sports

Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title
•    Japan's Naomi Osaka won her maiden Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title at Melbourne.
•    In the Final, Osaka, seeded fourth, defeated eighth placed Czech Petra Kvitova, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to become the first Asian player to achieve the world number one ranking.
•    She will surpass Romania's Simona Halep at the top of the rankings on Monday and become the youngest number one since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
•    The Japanese also created history by becoming the first player since 2001 to win back-to-back Grand Slam titles. Osaka, who won the US Open last year, broke American Jennifer Capriati's 2001 record.
 

National News

Assam Rifles creates history by showcasing "Nari Shakti" at parade 
•    The all-women Assam Rifles contingent created history this year by participating for the first time in a Republic Day parade.
•    Contingents of the Navy, India Army Service Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals were all led by women officers.
•    Capt Shikha Surabhi from the Corps of Signals became the first woman to perform bike stunts, alongside her male teammates as part of daredevils.
•    For the first time, a lady officer, Lt. Bhavana Kasturi. led a contingent of the India Army Service Corps and Capt Bhavna Syal, a third-generation officer in the armed forces, led the transportable satellite terminal's contingent.


SC upholds constitutional validity of Insolvency laws 
•    The Supreme Court has upheld the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, IBC's constitutional validity in its ‘entirety’ and rejected petitions challenging the bankruptcy laws. The decision is a setback to defaulting promoters hoping for a chance to remain in control of their firms.
•    A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha refused to tweak any of the provisions of the IBC, which was challenged in a batch of petitions filed by several companies.
•    Justice Nariman, who penned the verdict, said the experiment contained in the Code passes constitutional muster. Lauding the working of IBC, the court said the economy's rightful position has been regained and the defaulters' paradise is lost by the IBC.


PM Modi dedicates Kochi Refinery project to Nation 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated to the nation the Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex of BPCL at Kochi in Kerala. 
•    Prime Minister also laid a foundation stone for Petrochemical Complex. 
•    PM also inaugurated Mounded Storage Vessel at IOCL LPG bottling plant, Kochi.
•    PM also laid the foundation stone for Skill Development Institute at Ettumanoor.
•    Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex will be a modern expansion complex and transform Kochi refinery into the largest PSU Refinery in India with world class standards. It will be equipped for the production of cleaner Fuels for India. It will double the production of LPG & diesel and commence production of feedstock for petrochemical projects in this plant.


Piyush Goyal named interim Finance & Corporate Affairs minister
•    Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has been given additional charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs ministry in view of indisposition of Arun Jaitley
•    President, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, directed that during the period of Jaitley's indisposition, the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Corporate Affairs
 

Awards

Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh Bhupen Hazarika awarded Bharat Ratna 
•    Social activist Nanaji Deshmukh, Music maestro Bhupen Hazarika and former President Pranab Mukherjee have been awarded with country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna.
•    The President also approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards, including 4 Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards. 
•    Folk artist Teejan Bai, President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh, Industralist Anil kumar Manibhai Naik and theatre actor Balwant Moreshwar Purandare will be honoured with Padma Vibhushan.
•    Former CAG V K Shunglu, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Foreigner John Chambers are among those who will be given Padma Bhushan. Journalist Kuldip Nayar will be honoured with Padma Bhushan posthumously.
•    For Padma Shree, Actor Manoj Bajpayee, Prabhu Deva, cricketer Gautam Gambhir, footballer Sunil Chhetri, Archer Bombayla Devi Laishram, archaeologist K K Muhammed are among those chosen for the awards this year. Actor Kader Khan has been awarded Padma Shree posthumously.


President Ram Nath Kovind confers Ashoka Chakra on Nazir Wani 
•    Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, a militant-turned-soldier who laid down his life fighting a group of terrorists in Shopian in Kashmir in November, was awarded the Ashoka Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind
•    The award — India’s highest peacetime gallantry honour — was received by Wani’s wife and mother at the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. Wani is the first Kashmiri to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra.
•    Lance Naik Wani joined the Army’s 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2004.
•    Ashoka Chakra is the highest peacetime military decoration for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
 

Space

NASA's Opportunity rover completes 15 years on Mars 
•    The US space agency said it has travelled 45 kilometres and logged its 5,000th Martian day back in February 2018. John Callas, project manager for Opportunity, however, said that at present the agency does not know the rover's status.
•    The six-wheeler rover had landed in a region of Mars called Meridiani Planum on January 24, 2004. The solar-powered rover went silent since a global dust storm in June last year.
•    However, Opportunity's mission continues, in a phase where mission engineers at NASA laboratories are sending commands to as well as listening for signals from the rover.
 

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Important Current Affairs 20th January 2019

Space News

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

National News

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


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


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

International News

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

Sports News

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

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Important Current Affairs 18th January 2019

National News

Indigenous attack helicopter crosses milestone 
•    The indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter has crossed a milestone, successfully firing an air-to-air missile at a moving target, and it is now ready for induction. 
•    The helicopter has been developed by  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
•    This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out an air-to-air missile engagement. None of the helicopters in the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability.
•    During the tests conducted recently at the integrated test range at Chandipur, Odisha, the helicopter scored a direct hit on an aerial target and destroyed it. The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen Glacier.


2nd World Orange Festival begins in Nagpur today 
•    The second World Orange Festival will be organised in Nagpur from today to 21 of this month.
•    The festival, while offering its famed oranges to the world, will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export.
•    Agricultural experts and scientists from various countries will participate in the workshops and guide farmers.


Prabhu inaugurates 10th edition of India Rubber Expo 2019 
•    Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 10th edition of the India Rubber Expo - 2019 in Mumbai
•    The three-day event being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre is one of the most anticipated events in the rubber industry’s calendar.
•    Stating that the National Rubber Policy will be unveiled soon to address issues concerning the sector and also to boost productivity, Mr Prabhu said the rubber industry can also contribute significantly in India’s efforts to become a 5 trillion dollar economy.


PM Modi to inaugurate National Museum of Indian Cinema 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai
•    The state-of-the-art Museum has been built at a cost of over 140 crore rupees.
•    The objective of the Museum is to take its visitors through an absorbing journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artifacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.


PMRPY crossed milestone of one crore beneficiaries 
•    The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana, PMRPY has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries as on the 14th of this month. 
•    The Centre's flagship scheme launched on 7th August, 2016 incentivises employers to promote employment generation.
•    An official release said one lakh 24 thousand establishments have benefitted from the scheme. 
•    Under the scheme, government pays full employers’ contribution of 12 per cent towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme for a period of 3 years to new employees registered with EPFO, with salary up to 15,000 rupees per month.


ISRO to share its expertise in space sector, train 45 countries in nano-satellite making 
•    India will train participants from 45 countries in nano-satellite making through a new capacity building programme. 
•    The programme named Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training by ISRO (UNNATI) was flagged off by Minister of State in Deparment of Space Jitendra Singh in Bengaluru.
•    ISRO will train 90 officials from 45 countries in three batches. The first batch will have 30 participants from 17 countries. 
•    The programme is the space agency's initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE50) in 1968.


Rakesh Asthana, three others moved out of CBI 
•    In a first move before the appointment of the new CBI Director, the Modi administration shunted out four top officials, including controversial Special Director Rakesh Asthana, from the country’s premier investigation agency with immediate effect.
•    Besides Mr. Asthana, booked in a bribery case by then CBI Director Alok Verma, the others removed are A.K. Sharma, M.K. Sinha and Jayant Naiknavare.
 

Sports

Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian athlete to be nominated in Laureus World Comeback of Year Award 
•    Ace Indian female wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian athlete to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.
•    She has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years. 
•    The Awards will be presented in Monaco on the 18th of next month.
 

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