Latest Current Affairs – January 09 2019
1. India allows Iran’s Bank Pasargad to open branch in Mumbai
The government has allowed Iran’s Bank Pasargad to open a branch in Mumbai while India’s state-owned UCO Bank will be opening a branch in Iran. The move is expected to facilitate transactions related to India’s oil purchases from Iran amidst US sanctions. The banks will also handle transactions relating to operation at Iran’s Chabahar Port which India is developing.
2. IIT-Madras team create ‘space fuel’ to curb greenhouse gases
IIT-Madras scientists have created a ‘space fuel’ which they claim could help curb greenhouse gases and provide a new, sustainable source of energy. The solid fuel was created in a vacuum, one thousand billion times below atmospheric pressure in conditions similar to deep space. Called clathrate hydrates, they are water molecules with gases like methane and carbon dioxide trapped inside.
3. Boeing world’s largest planemaker for 7th straight year
US-based Boeing has retained its position as the world’s largest planemaker for the seventh year in a row, delivering a record 806 aircraft in 2018. Overall, the company saw 893 net orders valued at $143.7 billion. Boeing was followed by its European rival Airbus which delivered 800 aircraft last year.
4. Japan’s passport ranked world’s most powerful, India’s 79th
Japan has retained its top spot as the world’s most powerful passport this year, with its citizens able to enter 190 countries without requiring a visa, according to the Henley Passport Index. India’s passport was ranked 79th, having visa-free access to 61 destinations. The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).
5. India’s growth rate to touch 7.5% in 2019-20: World Bank
The World Bank has said that India’s economy will accelerate to 7.5% in 2019-20 as consumption remains robust and investment growth continues in the country. It also added that India will retain its position as the fastest growing major economy in the world. World Bank’s report has also projected India’s 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years’ growth rate at 7.5%.
6. Cabinet approves ST status for 6 communities in Assam
The Union Cabinet has approved Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for six communities in Assam, including the Moran and Matak communities. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said a bill in this regard will be introduced in the Parliament in the near future. He added, “Full safeguards will be provided to protect the interests, rights and privileges of existing Scheduled Tribes of Assam.”
7. Tamil Nadu announces creation of 33rd district Kallakurichi
Tamil Nadu CM EK Palaniswami on Tuesday announced in the state Assembly the creation of the 33rd district named Kallakurichi, which will be carved out by bifurcating Viluppuram. The district will have four Assembly constituencies and one parliamentary constituency, Palaniswami added. Notably, late CM J Jayalalithaa had promised to make Kallakkurichi a district in her 2016 election campaign.
8. Lok Sabha passed the ‘DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019’
The purpose of this Bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country. The key components of this Bill include: establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board; accreditation of DNA laboratories undertaking DNA testing, analysing, etc.; establishment of the National and Regional DNA Data Banks, as envisaged in the Bill, will assist in forensic investigations. The Bill also aims to add value in empowering the criminal justice delivery system by enabling the application of DNA evidence, which is considered the gold standard in crime investigations.
9. DRDO receives Exhibitor of the Year Award
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) pavilion received ‘Exhibitor of the Year Award’ at 106th Indian Science Congress held at Lovely Professional University (LPU), Phagwara, Punjab. DRDO’s outdoor exhibits included surface-to-air missile system – Akash, model of BrahMos missile, remotely operated vehicle – Daksh, heavy weight torpedo – Varunastra, Laser Ordnance Disposal System (LORDS) and Vehicle Mounted Dazzler etc.