Latest Current Affairs – January 04 2019
1. Scientists ‘hack’ photosynthesis, boost plant growth by 40%
Researchers from the University of Illinois and the US Agricultural Department have ‘hacked’ the photosynthesis process to boost tobacco plant growth and productivity by 40%. The study reversed a process caused by a photosynthetic ‘glitch’ that suppresses crop yield. The engineered plants developed faster, grew taller, and produced about 40% more biomass found in larger stems, the scientists said.
2. Rishab Pant 1st ever Indian wicketkeeper to slam Test ton in Australia
Rishabh Pant smashed a 137-ball hundred in the first innings of the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney, becoming the first ever Indian wicketkeeper to slam a Test century on Australian soil. Farokh Engineer had slammed the previous highest Test score of 89 by an Indian wicketkeeper in Australia in 1967. Pant has now slammed two Test hundreds.
3. IIT Professor awarded with the National Geospatial Award for Excellence
Jayanta Kumar Ghosh, a professor at the civil engineering department of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Roorkee, was conferred the National Geospatial Award for Excellence-2017 (Lifetime Achievement Award) at the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad. The Indian Society for Remote Sensing is an organisation known in the area of space science, remote sensing and geo-spatial technology.
4. Bill on Arunachal Pradesh’s ST list approved by Union cabinet
The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) of Arunachal Pradesh. The bill proposes deletion of the Abor tribe from the state’s ST list ‘as it is the same as Adi’ tribe.
As there is no tribe called ‘Khampti’, the bill replaces it with ‘Tai Khamti’ on the list. The bill seeks to include the Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi) tribes in the list. It also proposes inclusion of ‘Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Sajolong in lieu of the Momba’ tribe. The Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho tribes would replace the words ‘any Naga tribe’ in the state’s ST list.
5. Haryana government approved 11 projects to resurrect Saraswati river
Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board (HSHDB) met under the chairmanship of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and approved 11 major projects, including the restoration of heritage sites, along the course of the river. These include the construction of Somb Saraswati barrage, Saraswati reservoir and Adi Badri dam on Somb river, a tributary of the Yamuna that originates in the Shivalik Hills.
6. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa appointed as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will take oath of his office on January 18 a day after incumbent CJP Justice Saqib Nisar retires on January 17. Justice Khosa has been a senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan since 31 December 2016. He will remain as the top judge of Pakistan till December 20, 2019.
7. Saurabh Kumar appointed as Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board
Saurabh Kumar appointed as the Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Kumar, a 1982-batch Indian Ordnance Factory Service officer, is an M-Tech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.
8. Bancassurance pact was signed between Syndicate Bank and SBI Life Insurance
Syndicate Bank and SBI Life Insurance signed a bancassurance pact aiming to offer a comprehensive financial planning solution to its customers. This was signed between Syndicate Bank MD & CEO, Mrutyunjay Mahapatra and MD and CEO of SBI Life, Sanjeev Nautiyal through the pact.
9. Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair declared as an authorized Immigration Check post
Information, Public Relations and Tourism Division of Andaman and Nicobar Administration announced that the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair will be an authorized Immigration Check post.
Superintendent of Police (CID), Andaman and Nicobar Police has been appointed as the ‘Civil Authority’ for the purpose of the immigration check post. This would work as an entry into/exit point from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers.
10. Kaiga Atomic power station sets new world record
Karnataka’s Kaiga Atomic power station created a world record for the longest uninterrupted operation for 962 days on December 10. It had earlier set a record of 941 days. The earlier record of 940 days by Heysham-2 unit 2 was set by the United Kingdom. Generating Station-1 (KGS-1) at Kaiga in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka has now been shut down for maintenance after 962 days of operation. It will be commissioned again after the maintenance activities.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) said that during its continuous operation of 962 days KGS-1 had produced 5 billion units of electricity at a plant load factor of 99.3%. Kaiga has four indigenously developed Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of 220 MW each fuelled by domestic fuel. Of them, KGS-2 has been operating since the last 661 days.