Latest Current Affairs – January 07 & 08 2019
1. India, Norway agree to collaborate on ocean economy, SDGs
India and Norway have agreed to collaborate closely on the ocean economy and achieve global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during Norway PM Erna Solberg’s three-day state visit. Emphasising on the central role of the United Nations in global peace and security, Solberg and PM Narendra Modi stressed the need for reform of the international organisation.
2. LS passes 10% quota bill for economically weak in general category
The Lok Sabha cleared the constitution amendment bill to introduce a 10% reservation for poorer sections among general category aspirants for jobs and educational institutions. The bill was supported by 323 members while 3 members voted against it. The bill will be presented to the Rajya Sabha for debate.
3. Amazon overtakes Microsoft to become world’s most valuable company
World’s richest person Jeff Bezos-led Amazon surpassed software giant Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable company. Shares of the US e-commerce giant rose 3.4%, giving the company a market capitalisation of $797 billion, while Microsoft had a market value of about $783 billion. Amazon achieved its record market capitalisation of $1 trillion in September last year.
4. LS passes bill to give citizenship to minorities from B’desh, Pak
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which makes minority immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who have entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship, has been passed in the Lok Sabha. The bill has been passed amid the protests in Assam against the bill. Congress and TMC MPs staged a walk-out during the discussion over the bill.
5. Shenzhen becomes 2nd China city with 99% electric taxis
Shenzhen city in southern China has announced 99% of the taxis operating in the city are now electric, becoming China’s second and largest city to do so. Out of 21,689 taxis operational in the city, around 7,500 taxis were still gasoline-powered in 2018. Notably, the northern China city of Taiyuan has had only electric taxis since 2016.
6. Putin invites PM Modi as main guest to Eastern Economic Forum
During a telephonic conversation, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a main guest to the Eastern Economic Forum in September. The two leaders discussed key issues of bilateral agenda, resolved to increase cooperation in fighting international terrorism and solving other pressing world issues and also congratulated each other on the New Year.
7. Vikram Misri takes charge as India’s new envoy to China
India’s new ambassador to China Vikram Misri took charge of the post. A 1989-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Misri replaced Gautam Bambawale, who had retired in November. Misri has previously served as the Indian envoy to Myanmar, as well as in various capacities at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs and Prime Minister’s Office.
8. India-born Gita Gopinath joins IMF as 1st woman Chief Economist
India-born Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund as its first woman Chief Economist. The 47-year-old, succeeds Maurice Obstfeld, who retired on December 31. Gopinath received her PhD in Economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning a BA from Lady Shri Ram College, and MA degrees from Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.
9. RBI may pay govt up to ₹40,000 crore interim dividend: Report
The RBI may reportedly transfer an interim dividend of ₹30,000-₹40,000 crore to the government by March. Final decision on the dividend could reportedly be taken by the time Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents government’s budget on February 1. The funds are crucial to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of the GDP for the financial year ending in March.
10. India win a Test series in Australia for the first time in history
India won the four-match Test series against Australia 2-1 as the Sydney Test ended in a draw after the fifth day’s play was washed out due to rain. This is the first time ever that India have won a Test series in Australia. Before this, India had played 11 Test series in Australia since 1947, losing eight and drawing three.
11. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ named Best Picture at 76th Golden Globe Awards
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the biopic on rock band Queen was named the Best Motion Picture Drama at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards. ‘Green Book’ won the award for Best Musical or Comedy while the award for the Best Foreign Language Film went to ‘Roma’. Meanwhile, Alfonso Cuaron won the Best Director award for ‘Roma’.
Christian Bale won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for ‘Vice’ at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, while Lady Gaga’s song ‘Shallow’ from ‘A Star is Born’ won Best Original Song. Oscar-winning ‘Moonlight’ actor Mahershala Ali won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for ‘Green Book’. Rami Malek, Glenn Close win Best Acting awards at Golden Globes 2019 .
12. RBI sets up panel under Nandan Nilekani to boost digital payments
The Reserve Bank of India Tuesday constituted a high-level committee under Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments in the country. The five-member panel on deepening of digital payments has been constituted with a view to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation .
Besides Infosys co-founder Nilekani, other members of the panel are former RBI deputy governor H R Khan, former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank Kishore Sansi and former secretary in ministries of IT and steel Aruna Sharma. The fifth member is Sanjay Jain, chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad.
13. Journalist Dinu Randive conferred with lifetime achievement award
Veteran journalist Dinu Randive conferred with the lifetime achievement award by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, an association of journalists covering Maharashtra legislature and secretariat.
He also participated in the freedom struggle, the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement. Award winners in other categories included Vishwas Waghmode, Mahesh Tiwari and Prajakta Pol.
14. Andhra Pradesh tops ACIs Ease of Doing Business Index
Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively. EDB index is based upon three parameters called ABC – Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies.
15. Hopman Cup: Roger Federer & Belinda Bencic retain title for Switzerland
Hopman Cup, an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament was held in Perth, Western Australia. It is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries.
This year Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic secured a 2-1 victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev to win the Hopman Cup for the second year in a row. It was Switzerland’s fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six. This year’s tournament is the 31st edition of the Hopman Cup and potentially be the final edition of the tournament as it will be replaced by an ATP tournament from next year.
16. All homes will have electricity by March 31, assures Modi govt
The government has said that it’s on track to meet its official March 31 target to electrify every home. It added that a December 31 deadline promoted publicly by the Power Ministry was only an “internal target”.
As of December 31, about 10.48 lakh households were left to be electrified in four states – Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh. In April, the government launched the initiative – “Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana,” which translates to Prime Minister’s Power Plan for Every Home – “to achieve universal household electrification in the country by Dec. 31, 2018.”
17. Indian Panorama Film Festival begins in New Delhi
A 10-day long Indian Panorama Film Festival began at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. The films to be shown in the Festival reflect the economic progress the country has made and the changes that society has undergone. One minute silence was observed in honor of Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen who passed away recently. Sen was a crucial figure of India’s parallel cinema along with Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. A total of 26 Feature Films and 21 Non-Feature Films will be screened during the festival.
18. ASI declared 6 monuments of National Importance in 2018
♦ The 125-year-old Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra;
♦ Two Mughal-era monuments in Agra – Haveli of Agha Khan and Hathi Khana;
♦ The ancient Neemrana Baori in Rajasthan’s Alwar district;
♦ The Group of Temples at Ranipur Jharail in Odisha’s Bolangir district;
♦ The Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand
are the Six monuments that have been listed. In 2016 and 2017, no new monument was included in the list of sites of national importance.
19. Alok Verma reinstated as CBI Chief by Supreme Court
Alok Verma reinstated as the CBI chief by the Supreme Court, three months after the government divested him of his powers and sent him on forced leave. Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were both sent on leave in October amid a bitter feud between the CBI’s top two.
Supreme Court strikes down CBI Chief Alok Verma’s removal. However, at present, Alok Verma cannot take any major policy decisions. Supreme Court stated that the High Power Committee under the DSPE Act needs to act within a week to consider Alok Verma’s case.
20. Maharashtra to host 2nd edition of Khelo India Youth Games
Maharashtra is all set to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games which will officially begin tomorrow in Pune. More than 9000 players from different states will participate in 18 different games at Khelo India Youth Games. It has already been announced that Youth Olympic Gold Medallist in shooting Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhari, as well as weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, will be among the cream of India’s youth sporting talent competing at these games.
Three 10-year-old athletes including footballer Pratima Kumar from Jharkhand, hockey player Laltlanchhungi from Mizoram and West Bengal’s 10m air rifle shooter Abhinav Shaw, will pick up their first experience of competing in a large-scale multi-discipline event.