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Important Current Affairs 13th April 2019

NATIONAL:

Indian Railways unrolls new quota for foreigners and NRIs to book tickets.

• Indian Railways is one of the leading railway systems in the world. With new enthusiasm, Indian Railways introducing new schemes for the betterment of services and exciting plans.

• Indian Railways lifted restrictions so that now Foreigners and NRIs can book tickets in all classes. The foreign tourists who travel in Indian trains are allowed to book tickets in the first AC, second AC and executive classes through IRCTC website up to 365 days in advance.

• Under the FTQ category, the Railways has allocated four berths per coach in a sleeper and 3rd AC classes while seats have been parked per coach in chair car classes.

Nizamabad Lok Sabha Seat May Enter Guinness Book With Record EVMs.

• Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana, which went to elections, may well get into the Guiness Book of World Record for the use of largest number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). 

• With a high number of 185 candidates, including 178 farmers, in the contest, the Election Commission (EC) used 12 EVMs in each booth in the constituency. In any constituency, usually one or maximum four EVMs are used with one control unit in each booth, but in Nizamabad, 12 EVMs were linked to one control unit and the constituency has 1,778 polling centres.

• The EC used M3 type EVMs which can support up to 24 BUs (ballot Units). Each BU will have 24 names. Besides, large number of BUs, the EC used 2,200 Control Units and about 2,600 VVPATs for Nizamabad Constituency.

• This new version of EVMs was developed by the Electronics Corp of India Ltd (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

INTERNATIONAL:

SpaceX launched its first commercial mission.

• SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world, launched its first commercial mission from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Space Company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

• The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Google partners with MMTC-PAMP India.

• Google has partnered with bullion refiner MMTC-PAMP India to allow Google Pay users to buy and sell gold through the app.

• Through this partnership with India’s only LBMA-accredited gold refinery, Google Pay users will be able to buy 99.99% 24-karat gold. This type of service is already offered by the likes of Paytm, Mobikwik, and PhonePe.

AITA signs MoU with STF to train Indian junior players.

• The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Serbian Tennis Federation (STF) to train Indian junior players under world-renowned Serbian coaches at the R.K. Khanna Stadium, New Delhi.

• The MoU was signed on 10th April by AITA Secretary-General Hironmoy Chatterjee and STF CEO Dusan Orlandic. Trainers and coaches from Serbia will come to India for a week/ two-week camp in the under-12, 14, 16 and 18 categories.

Tata Trust and Microsoft signed MoU to support handloom weaving community.

• Tata Trusts and Microsoft India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly rejuvenate the handloom clusters in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.

• Project ReWeave: Microsoft’s Project ReWeave will help preserve traditional weaving forms by upskilling workers, designing and marketing merchandise, and creating sustainable livelihood options.

• Microsoft will also enable digital training through Project Sangam, a Microsoft Azure-based Learning Management System, which provides necessary training and tools to weaving communities to help them realise their full potential. Antaran initiative: Tata Trusts’ initiative, Antaran, aims at rejuvenating ailing handloom clusters through an end-to-end programme.

•  Intensive work has been initiated in Odisha, Assam and Nagaland. The programme will benefit 3,000 artisans directly involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post loom processes, impacting the livelihood of weavers in six weaving clusters in these three States. Craft sector is the country’s largest source of employment after agriculture.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Hong Kong’s stock market overtakes Japan to become worlds 3rd largest.

• According to Bloomberg,  Hong Kong has overtaken Japan as the world’s third largest stock market – after the U.S. and mainland China.

• Hong Kong’s market cap was $5.78 trillion as of April 2nd week, compared with $5.76 trillion for Japan.

•  Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has been the main driver with a 22 percent gain. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 17 per cent this year through Tuesday, when it closed at its highest since June 15. Japan’s Topix Index advanced 8.3 percent in that period.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Nitin Chugh likely to be appointed as MD & CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

• Nitin Chugh, digital banking head of private sector lender HDFC Bank, is likely to succeed Samit Ghosh, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. Mr.Ghosh, who is also the founder of Ujjivan SFB, will retire in November 2019.

• The Bengaluru-based small finance bank has already applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for approval to appoint Mr.Chugh as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Mr.Chugh has over 23 years of experience.

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Important Current Affairs 8th February 2019

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS


MoU approved between India and Namibia
•    The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Electoral Tribunal of Panama and Electoral Commission of Namibia on 6th Feb 2019.
•    It would promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance/ capacity support for the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and with Electoral Tribunal of Panama (ETP).
•    The Cabinet was chaired by PM Narendra Modi.


Cabinet Approvals: February 2019
•    MoU between India and Malaysia for Mutual Cooperation in the field of Company Secretary Ship.
•    MoU between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue
•    MoU between India and Brazil on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
•    MoU between India and Maldives for Establishing Mutual Cooperation to Improve the Ecosystems for Agribusiness.
•    MoU between India and the UAE on Development cooperation in Africa
•    Signing of Agreement between India and Ukraine for cooperation in Agriculture and Food Industry
•    The revised Office Memorandum pertaining to the Cabinet Note on “Amendment of Constitution to provide for reservation for Economically Weaker Sections”
•    MoU between India and Finland in the field of Biotechnology
•    MoU between India and Uzbekistan for promoting bilateral cooperation in the area of e-Governance.
•    Proposal for higher allocation of power to Home State from Under Construction Projects of NTPC Ltd.
•    Introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 in the Parliament.
•    Establishment of a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India through International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019.
•    Establishment of Circuit Bench of Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri.
•    Establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for Conservation protection and development of cows and their progeny.

Indian Coast Guard signed MoU with AAI.
•    Indian Coast Guard and the Airport Authority of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Coast Guard Regional Headquarters in Port Blair.
•    It is signed for coordination in the aeronautical, maritime search and rescue operations
•    The MoU with AAI is aimed at strengthening mutual interactions, interoperability, and validating procedures during the conduct of search and rescue operations.
 

NATIONAL


Amitabh Bachchan stars in national campaign
•    The Swachh Bharat Mission launched the 'Darwaza BandPart 2' campaign on 6th Feb 2019 in Mumbai.
•    The campaign was produced by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation was launched in the presence of iconic actor Amitabh Bachchan.
•    The campaign focuses on sustaining the open defecation free status of village across the country.

Textile Minister launched project India Size
•    Smt. Smriti Irani, the Union Minister of Textiles launched the India Size project in Mumbai on 6th February 2019.
•    It aims to arrive at a standard Indian size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry.
•    A size chart will be developed which will be specific to Indian consumer’s measurements.
•    The project is undertaken by the Ministry of Textiles.


Swine flu claimed 226 lives across the country
•    Swine flu has claimed 226 lives across the country, with the worst hit in Rajasthan claiming 85 deaths.
•    2,263 patients have been found positive with influenza as per the NCDC report.
•    A meeting was held on 6th February 2019 by the Ministry of Health headed by Preeti Sudan to take action to deal with it.
•    Swine flu is caused by H1N1 virus and has symptoms similar to the regular flu.

PM to flag off Vande Bharat Express.
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag-off Vande Bharata Express on 15th February, 2019 from the New Delhi Railway Station.
•    It is India's first engineless train.
•    The train has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai and has become India's fastest train.
•    It hit the speed of over 180 kmph during a trial run at the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route.
•    Earlier, it was named Train 18.

CCEA approves 12,000 MW power projects.
•    The CCEA chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the proposal for setting up 12,000 MW Solar PV Power Projects
•    The proposal was by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for the implementation of the CPSU scheme Phase-II for setting up these projects.
•    The power projects will be set up in 4 years at a cost of Rs. 48,000 crores.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


Sixth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18 by Dr.Urjit Patel.
•    Reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5% to 6.25% with immediate effect.
•    The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.5%.
•    The first advance estimates (FAE) has placed the growth of real gross value added (GVA) at 7.0% in 2018-19 as compared with 6.9% in 2017-18.

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA )approves creation of Agri-Market Fund
•    The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the creation of Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) on 6th Feb 2019.
•    It is being created for the up-gradation and development of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Regulated Wholesale Markets and Gramin Agricultural Markets.
•    A corpus of Rs. 2000 crore has been approved for the creation of the fund.
 

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES


Dr Jitendra Singh delivers keynote.
•    Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of the DoNER (The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region), delivered a keynote address at the 'Parmanu Tech 2019' conference on 6th February 2019 at New Delhi .
•    It was organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Atomic Energy.
•    The conference also discussed issues related to Radiation Technologies and Nuclear Energy.
 

INTERNATIONAL


India-Germany join hands for cooperation.
•    The 3rd Indo-German Working Group for water and waste management concluded on 6th February 2019 in New Delhi.
•    Delegates from both the sides met and discussed potential cooperation in the field of water and waste management.
•    The Indian delegation was headed by Shri Anil Kumar Jain.
•    Third Indo-German Environment Forum will meet in New Delhi on February 13, 2019.

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