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Important Current Affairs 19th January 2019

National News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appoints

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

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

International News

India and Mongolia Sign a Powerful MoU at ICMEI 

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

Defence 

India-Myanmar Joint Training Exercise Begins In Chandimandir

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

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Important Current Affairs 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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Important Current Affairs 17th January 2019

Awards

WCD shortlists 26 children for National Award this year 
•    The Women and Child Development Ministry have shortlisted 26 children for the national award this year for their bravery, social service and exceptional achievement in the fields of innovation, sports and arts.
•    The National Selection Committee, under the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, finalised the names of awardees for Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019.
•    The Committee also finalised the names of two individuals and three institutions for Bal Kalyan Puraskar.


WHO Goodwill ambassador Yohei Sasakawa to get Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018
•    Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018 will be conferred on Yohei Sasakawa who is Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization for Leprosy Elimination.
•    The award will be given to Mr Sasakawa in recognition of his work towards the eradication of the disease in India and across the world.
•    Ekal Abhiyan Trust has been chosen for the award for the year 2017 while Akshaya Patra Foundation and Sulabh International will share the award for 2016. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari bagged the award for 2015.
 

Space News

ISRO schedules its first launch this year on Thursday next week
•    National space agency ISRO has scheduled its first launch this year on Thursday next week. PSLV C-44 will lift off from the spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, carrying a student satellite called Kalamsat and an imaging satellite known as Microsat-R.
•    One of the specialities of the mission this time would be the configuration of the rocket. 
•    It will carry only two strap-on motors by the sides of the first fuel stage at the bottom.
•    This is the first time the launch vehicle is built in this configuration, known as PSLV-DL. 
•    Furthermore, after parking the satellites in the intended orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be taken to a circular orbit in space for carrying out certain experiments by the scientists.
 

National News

Government to set up over 460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country 
•    The government will soon set up over 460 more Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country.
•    The government is spending about 25 thousand crore rupees on these schools.
•    Eklavya Model Residential Schools have expanded into a major education system in the country after Vidyalaya and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.


15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Varanasi from January 21-23 
•    The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be organised in Varanasi from January 21-23, 2019.
•    This year, the participants will also have the opportunity to participate in Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi. Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, will be the Chief Guest of the Convention.


Magnitude 6 quake jolts Nicobar Islands region 
•    A strong earthquake of magnitude 6 hit the seismologically prone Andaman and Nicobar Islands on January 17
•    There was no tsunami alert issued as sea levels around the Andaman Nicobar archipelago showed no major rise
•    The earthquake hit the region at 8.43 am and its epicentre was Nicobar Islands region.


SBI, other banks agree to finance Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor
•    A consortium of banks led by StateBank of India has agreed to provide finance for Nagpur-Mumbai 'SamruddhiCorridor' expressway project.
•    SBI has agreed to lend the highest amount, 8,500 crore rupees.
•    Other lenders include Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank ofMaharashtra as well as the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.
•    The estimated cost of the project, being constructed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, is around 50,000 crores, of which around26,000 crores are required for the construction of the expressway. 
•    The corridor will have 25 toll plazas, and the toll will be collected for 40 years.
 

Sports

India’s Satyarup becomes world’s youngest mountaineer to climb 7 peaks, 7 volcano summits
•    Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta today conquered Antartica's highest point, Mount Sidley. 
•    With this feat, he became the first Indian and youngest man to climb the seven highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents.
•    According to the in-Reach Satellite, Communicator Satyarup was carrying, he summited Mount Sidley at 6. 28 in the morning Indian Standard Time at a temperature of minus 40-degree Celsius.
•    He achieved the feat at the age of 35 years and 262 days. Australia's Daniel Bull had done it at the age of 36 years 157 days.
 

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Important Current Affairs 16th January 2019

National News

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


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


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


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


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


International News

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


Sports

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

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Important Current Affairs 15th January 2019

National News

PM Modi greets soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families on occasion of Army Day
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families on the occasion of Army Day.
•    Mr Modi said, he bows to their indomitable courage and bravery.


2-day Global Aviation Summit 2019 to take off in Mumbai today 
•    A two-day Global Aviation Summit 2019 will take off in Mumbai today. 
•    This will be the first-of-its-kind event in the world with participation from more than 86 countries.
•    India is among the fastest growing aviation sector. 
•    Vision 2040 for aviation sector and the Air Cargo Policy will also be unveiled during the summit.
•    The Global Aviation Summit with a theme “Flying for all - especially the next 6 Billion”, being organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with FICCI.


World's largest religious and cultural human congregation - Kumbh Mela begins in UP 
•    The world's largest religious and cultural human congregation -Kumbh 2019 began at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh early this morning. 
•    The Mela commenced with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. 
•    According to the Mela's administration, 75 lakh to one crore devotees have taken the Royal bath since early morning.


SC issues notice to Centre against order allowing agencies to monitor computers 
•    The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the government's notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system.
•    A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul yesterday sought the Centre's response within six weeks and said it would hear arguments on the interim stay after the parties are served the notices.


Sports

Shakil Ahmed sets world record in indoor rowing
•    Asian Cup gold medallist Shakil Ahmed has added one more feather to his cap when he set up a world record in indoor rowing by completing one lakh metres in above-40 years category in Kolkata. 
•    Shakil began his record-setting indoor rowing feat in Salt Lake stadium complex at 8 a.m. yesterday and achieved the milestone of covering one lakh metres of simulated distance in 10 hours.


Stephen Constantine steps down as coach of Indian football team 
•    Stephen Constantine has decided to step down as the head coach of the Indian football team following team's exit from 2019 AFC Asian Cup. 
•    India went down fighting against Bahrain in their last Group A match on Monday.
•    The 56-year-old Constantine, who had earlier coached India from 2002 to 2005, was handed over reins of the team again in 2015. He guided India to the Asian Cup after a gap of eight years.


Economy and Banking

Reserve Bank of India slaps Rs 1 crore penalty on Bajaj Finance 
•    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on Bajaj Finance Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), for violating "fair practices code".
•    This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the NBFC with its customers
•    Bajaj Finance is into businesses such as consumer finance, SME finance and commercial lending.
 

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Important Current Affairs 14th January 2019

International Relations

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

National News

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


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

Appointments

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

International News

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

Sports

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


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

Awards

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


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

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Important Current Affairs 13th January 2019

National news

Chamling launches 'One Family One Job' scheme in Sikkim
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on January 12 launched the 'One Family One Job' scheme which entitles one government job for every family in the state.
At a "Rojgar Mela" (employment fair) organised at the Paljor stadium in Gangtok, over 12,000 unemployed youths were handed out appointment letters on January 12.
However, the letters were awarded only to members of those families which do not have a government job at present. The task of providing employment was entrusted to the Department of Personnel.
Sikkim is also the only state in the country that gives the highest salaries to state government employees.


PM releases Commemorative Coin of Rs. 350 to mark birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh jee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released today a commemorative coin of Rs. 350 in the national capital to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh jee. He lauded the lofty ideals and values of the Guru Gobind Singh jee – the selfless service to humanity, devotion, heroism and sacrifice and urged the people to follow his path.
He added that the Commemorative Coin is a small effort on our part to show our respect and reverence to him. He urged the people to make a resolve to walk the talk on the 11-point path shown by Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj.


Hunar Haat 2019 
Finance Minister Shri ArunJaitley and Union Minority Affairs Minister Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated “HunarHaat” in Delhi. 
“HunarHaat” is a great effort at projecting the talent of Indian artisans.  Shri Jaitley took a glimpse of indigenous exquisite pieces of Handicraft & Handloom work and also encouraged master artisans who have come here from every corner of the country.
On the occasion, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that “HunarHaat” has proved to be a “credible brand” of “Indigenous Talent” of Indian artisans and craftsmen. “HunarHaat” has ensured “Development with Dignity” of artisans and craftsmen of the country.


International Kite Festival and Second International Sweet Festival 
Inaugurating the fourth International Kite Festival and Second International Sweet Festival at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad on Sunday, he said that festivals are occasions for social bonding and inculcate a spirit of communal harmony and national integrity. They symbolise renewal, rejuvenation and revival of our traditions and heritage and bring in the sense of togetherness, unity, love and brotherhood in today’s fast-paced world.
Calling Makar Sankranthi, which is a harvest festival, a celebration of life and vitality, he said the important festival holds great historical and religious significance. It is the festival of Sun God who is often regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom. Those who celebrate this occasion of thanksgiving and merry-making revel in anticipation and joy, he said.


National Youth Day: Tallest Vivekananda statue set for launch 

Every year, January 12 is celebrated as National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas) across the country with great pomp and fervour. 
In 1984, the government said that "the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian youth" and since then, Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary is being celebrated as National Youth Day.


Rajyavardhan Rathore launches National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore  launched the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 at a function in New Delhi. 
The theme of the festival is- Be the Voice of New India and Find solutions and contribute to policy. Addressing the media in New Delhi, Col Rathore said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat programme in December 2017, had shared the idea of organising Youth Parliaments for young people.
 

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Important Current Affairs 12th January 2019

Science

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

International news

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

National news

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


Armed Forces Veterans Day 

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

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

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


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

Economy news

Industrial production falls to 0.5% in November 

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 11th January 2019

National News

Agreement for Renukaji dam multipurpose project Signed
The Agreement for the construction of Renukaji Dam Multi-Purpose Project was signed by six states, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Features of the Project
The important features of the project are:
Renukaji Dam Multi-Purpose Project is a storage project on the Giri river which is tributary of the Yamuna at Sirmour district of Himachal.
A 148 m-high rock-filled dam would be constructed across the river Giri.
The project also involves the generation of 40 MW of power during peak flow to be executed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL).

India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report 
The India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report has been prepared by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with PwC.
The report was prepared based on the survey of companies which contribute approximately 12 per cent to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country from the automobiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and textiles sectors.
Findings of the Report
The important findings in the India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 are:
India would witness faster growth in the next 12 months driven by expanding domestic market, technology and increased spending.
Around 74 per cent of companies surveyed believes that the next 12 months will see faster growth in their sector.
Around 58 per cent of those surveyed believes that their sector would grow faster by at least 5 per cent.


RBI tweaks Gold Monetisation Scheme 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made changes with the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to allow charitable institutions, central government entities and state government entities to deposit gold under GMS.
Now the entities allowed to deposit gold under the scheme include Resident Indians [Individuals, HUFs, Proprietorship & Partnership firms, Trusts including Mutual Funds/Exchange Traded Funds registered under SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations, Companies, charitable institutions, Central Government, State Government or any other entity owned by Central Government or State Government.

West Bengal exits Ayushman Bharat scheme 
The government of West Bengal has decided to exit from the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.
Reasons cited by the West Bengal for the Withdrawal
The letter of the West Bengal government to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Family Welfare,  Government of India  has cited the following reasons for the withdrawal:
The Government of India was issuing entitlement letters to the beneficiaries without the knowledge of the state government.
Prior to the launch of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, West Bengal had well established Swasthyasathi. It was agreed to retain the name of Swasthyasathi, this was even acknowledged in the MoU between the State and the Ministry of Family and Health, Government of India. But the centre has unilaterally changed the name of the scheme to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.

National Clean Air Programme Launched 
The Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The programme aims to tackle the challenge of increasing pollution in the cities and towns.
Features of the Programme
The important features of the programme are:
It is a five-year action plan with a tentative target of 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024, with 2017 as the base year.
The plan covers 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories, which were identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.

NIC Command and Control Centre Inaugurated

The Minister for Electronics and IT (MeitY) Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated the National Informatics Centre (NIC)’s Command and Control Centre (CCC) and its Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.
Role of Centre’s Command & Control Centre
National Informatics Centre hosts over 10,000 e-Governance applications and offers Data Centre and Cloud services to the Government.
The Command and Control Centre is set up as a specialized facility with a nationwide view of ICT infrastructure for effective monitoring and management of the performance & availability of all these critical services. The Command and Control Centre will increase the agility of NIC’s nationwide ICT infrastructure.
 

International News

Cabinet approves Currency Swap Agreement with Japan 
The Union Cabinet has approved India’s Currency Swap Agreement with Japan. The $75-billion bilateral currency swap arrangement is a milestone in mutual economic cooperation and special strategic and global partnership between two countries.
Currency Swap Agreements
A Currency swap agreement is a foreign exchange agreement between two parties to exchange a given amount of one currency for another and, after a specified period of time, to give back the original amounts swapped.
 

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Important Current Affairs 10th January 2019

Rankings and Indices

India to become world's third largest consumer market by 2030: WEF 
•    A report by World Economic Forum today said that India is set to become the world's third largest consumer market behind only USA and China by 2030.
•    The report said consumer spending in India is expected to grow from 1.5 trillion US dollar at present to six trillion US dollar by 2030.
•    The report said that with the annual GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent, India is currently the world's sixth largest economy.
•    The report titled 'Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Market - India' also noted that growth of the middle class will lift nearly 25 million households out of poverty.
 

International Relations

Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian counterpart
•    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif
•    The two leaders held a wide-ranging discussion on important bilateral issues and shared perspectives on the regional situation.
•    On the sidelines of Raisina dialogue, Mrs Swaraj also met Foreign Minister of Mongolia Damdin Tsogtbaatar.
•    Mrs Swaraj had a productive meeting with her Mongolian counterpart and took stock of positive developments in a relationship in areas of energy, renewable energy, development partnership, capacity building and culture.


US-China talks to resolve trade war concludes in Beijing on positive note 
•    The extended US-China talks to resolve the trade war between the two greatest economy concluded in Beijing on a positive note on Wednesday.
•    After the talks concluded, Ted McKinney, US Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs said the discussions went just fine, without elaborating.
•    Meanwhile, confirming the conclusion of the trade talks, China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that the extension of the talks indicates that both sides are serious about this consultation.
 

National News

Govt launches Web- Wonder Women Campaign 
•    The government launched Web- Wonder Women Campaign to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women who have influenced and impacted society through social media.
•    The Campaign aims to recognize the fortitude of Indian women stalwarts from across the globe who have used the power of social media to run positive campaigns to steer a change in society.
•    The Campaign invites entries from across the world till 31st of this month. Indian-origin women, working or settled anywhere in the world, are eligible for nomination.
 

Sports

Hockey India removed Harendra Singh as coach of India Men's Team 
•    Indian men's hockey coach Harendra Singh was sacked from the position and offered the task of helming the junior squad by the national federation.
•    Hockey India said that it will be inviting applications for the position of chief coach and in the interim the team will be overseen by Hockey India High Performance Director David John and current Analytical Coach, Chris Ciriello.
•    Harendra Singh was brought in as men's coach in May 2018 after Sjoerd Marijne was moved back to the women's camp
 

International News

US Secretary of State arrives in Baghdad to meet PM 
•    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday arrived in Baghdad on a surprise visit to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
•    Pompeo also met other Iraqi officials, including the speaker of parliament Muhammad Al Halbusi.
•    The US Secretary of State's visit to Baghdad is part of his West Asia tour.
•    Mr. Pompeo plans to reassure allies about America's commitment to the region despite US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.


Congo: Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi wins presidential election
•    In Congo, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the long-delayed presidential election.
•    The electoral commission announced today that Tshisekedi has won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast.
•    If Tshisekedi’s victory is confirmed by the constitutional court, Democratic Republic of Congo will see its first peaceful democratic transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
 

Appointments

N. Ram appointed president of Alliance for Media Freedom 
•    N. Ram, chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited, has been appointed president of the Alliance for Media Freedom (AFMF), a cross-media advocacy and action group of media organisations, promoters and journalists.
•    The Alliance, which is dedicated to work for the cause of media freedom, media independence and the safety of the last journalist, adopted a charter that underlines the importance of creating enabling conditions to safeguard free speech guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
•    The Alliance which has been functioning informally for the last seven months in the cause of media freedom and independence, resolved to take steps to formalise and institutionalise its existence.
 

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