Latest Current Affairs – January 05 & 06 2019
1. Parliamentary panel asks RBI to fix dysfunctional ATMs
A parliamentary panel has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to address the issue of dysfunctional ATMs to avoid any situation of a forced cash crunch. The panel further asked banks to install an adequate number of ATMs. There were 2,05,866 ATMs in the country as of September 2018, according to an RBI data.
2. Kerala govt allows women to apply for Agastyaarkoodam trek
The Kerala Forest Department opened online registration for women to trek Agastyaarkoodam. Agastyaarkoodam is a pilgrimage centre within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary which had an unofficial ban on women entry until the Kerala High Court in November 2018 ruled out the gender-based restriction. The annual trek will be held from January 14 to March 1.
3. Bengaluru Bulls beat Gujarat Fortune Giants to lift PK trophy
Bengaluru Bulls beat Gujarat Fortune Giants in the Pro Kabaddi Season 6 final in Mumbai to lift their maiden trophy. Both the sides had been previous runner-ups in the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Bengaluru’s second consecutive win against the same team after having earlier beaten the Gujarat Fortune Giants in the Qualifier 1.
4. Federer first person to win Hopman Cup thrice
Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber to lift a fourth Hopman Cup title for Switzerland. Federer, who is the first person in history to win the Hopman Cup on three occasions, helped Switzerland retain the title this year. Federer won the Hopman Cup in 2001 alongside Martina Hingis.
5. India’s Arunima world’s 1st woman amputee to scale Antarctic peak
Padma Shri Arunima Sinha, who became the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, has now conquered Mount Vinson, making her the world’s first woman amputee to scale Antarctica’s highest peak. A former national level volleyball player, Arunima had lost her left leg after being thrown off a moving train and getting hit by another in 2011.
6. Vijay Mallya first person to be named ‘fugitive economic offender’
A special anti-money laundering court has declared liquor baron Vijay Mallya a “fugitive economic offender”, the first person to be declared so under a new law. The ruling empowers authorities to confiscate the assets of Mallya, who owes over ₹9,000 crore to Indian banks. A UK court last month said Mallya can be extradited to India to face fraud charges.
7. India removes price cap on innovative drugs for first 5 years
The government removed the price control on innovative medicines developed by foreign companies for five years from the date of commencement of their commercial marketing. These include orphan drugs which are used for treating diseases that are rare. The government said the price control exemption gives Indian patients access to foreign medicines.
8. South Korea bans single-use plastic bags in supermarkets
The South Korean government ban on the use of disposable plastic bags at big supermarkets came into effect on January 1 in a bid to protect the environment and encourage recycling. The revised law affects about 2,000 supermarkets over 165 square metres in size, all of which used to provide disposable plastic bags for free, South Korea’s Environment Ministry said.
More than 60 countries now have bans or taxes on single-use plastics, according to the United Nations, which has called for such measures to stem the tide of pollution.
9. Centre approved Centre for Classical Language at Tirur
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development approved the establishment of a Centre for Classical Language at the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, Tirur, Kerala.
The Ministry has communicated the decision to the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysuru. It is said that the State government would be required to prepare a detailed project report and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry. The proposed centre would spur the development of Malayalam language and help the Malayalam university also.
10. Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill
Parliament following the approval from the Rajya-Sabha passed a bill to provide retrospective recognition to central and state government funded institutions offering B.Ed and related courses that are not recognized under the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act.. The NCTE (Amendment) Bill which will be a one-time measure would help over 17,000 students who have obtained B.Ed degrees from those institutions which do not have NCTE approval for the course under the 1993 law.
23 state and central universities and colleges offering B.Ed courses were found not recognized by the Council. The government would ensure that the quality of institutes offering B.Ed courses is maintained and proposes to start an integrated course in B.ED as in Law and other courses from 2020.
11. Global Healthcare Summit 2019 to be held in Hyderabad
The 13th edition of Global Healthcare Summit 2019 is to be held in Hyderabad from July 21 to 24. The summit is organized in partnership with the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.
The organizing chapters of the conference include Osmania, Gandhi, Kakatiya and Telangana Medical alumni, Association of Telugu Medical Graduates of the U.S.A., Gandhi Medical College Global Alliance, and Kakatiya Medical College Old Students’ Association. More than 500 physicians are expected to attend the summit.
The summit would have an international research competition for which the American Association of Physicians with Indian Origin (AAPI) would work in collaboration with a leading academic medical college in Hyderabad.
12. China named its lunar rover as Yutu 2
China successfully deployed Chang’e-4 lunar probe to carry out a string of experiments on the unexplored far side of the moon. It has named the lunar rover as ‘Yutu 2’. The Lunar rover Yutu 2 touched the lunar surface and left a trace on the loose lunar soil. The rover’s touchdown is part of China Chang’e-4 lunar probe. Analysts say that China’s lunar probe is part of its Made in China-2025 project. It will be focusing on advanced technology, including space applications.
13. LS passed a Bill to amend the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha passed a Bill to amend the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The amendment will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID as a means of identity verification for obtaining services such as opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection.
The Bill also gives a minor the option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18. It provides for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and bans service providers from storing core biometric information and Aadhaar number of individuals who voluntarily offer it as a means of authentication.
14. China successfully tested its Mother of All Bombs
China successfully tested its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed as the Mother of All Bombs. The bomb, whose strength is only second to that of a nuclear weapon, was dropped by a Chinese H-6K bomber.
The bomb is five to six metres long (16 to 20 feet), but weighs less than the American version. In a short video published on the website of state arms manufacturer Norinco, the massive bomb drops on to a plain and produces a gigantic ball of fire and black smoke.
15. LS passed Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Bill will allow a panel of eminent professionals to run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner.
Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said this Bill superseded the MCI and the powers of the council had been vested in a Board of Governors (BoG). The BoG will have all eminent personalities and include directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. This board will continue to perform till a council is constituted.
The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued in September 2018. A separate Bill to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.