Current Affairs Daily Digest – January 27 and 28 2018

Latest Current Affairs January 27 and 28 2018

Latest Current Affairs

1. Punjab Government launches Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana

Punjab chief minister has launched the release of benefits under ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’ aimed at the inclusive growth of the distressed sections of the society. He appealed to the state’s debt-ridden farmers not to commit suicide since his government was committed to the total implementation of its farm debt waiver scheme by November 2018.

2. India to host informal WTO Ministerial gathering in March 2018

India will host an informal WTO Ministerial meeting in March this year. The meeting will be held in Delhi on March 19 – 20.

India’s offering to host the meeting was made after trade ministers from various countries including Australia, Japan and Switzerland met for an informal WTO ministerial gathering in Davos to discuss the way forward for the global trade organisation.

3. Government relaxes norms of Atal Pension Yojana to expand coverage

The Centre would now allow small finance banks and payment banks to offer the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which is expected to significantly increase the coverage of the scheme. As of January 23, 2018, there were more than 84 lakh subscribers registered under the APY with an asset base of more than ₹3,194 crore.

4. Panipat to get country’s first smart grid project 

India’s first smart grid project has been launched in the city of Haryana Panipat. The project has been established in collaboration with a Japanese company, New Energy Industrial Technology and Development Organisation (NEDO), at the cost of about Rs145 crore.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), said 14 such smart grid projects had been allotted across the country and the first project had been established in Panipat city in collaboration with NEDO.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar
Japanese Ambassador to India Yoshi Peru Sato

5. Mehul Garg: Indian-origin boy sets new Mensa record

A 10-year-old Indian-origin boy in the UK has become the youngest applicant in a decade to achieve the highest score in the Mensa IQ test, beating geniuses like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Mehul Garg, also known by his nickname Mahi, decided to take the test to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, 13-year-old Dhruv Garg, who had also scored the highest score of 162 last year. His score is two points higher than Einstein and Hawking and places him in the top one per cent of people in the world who achieve this distinction.

6. Rotavac: First India-designed vaccine to pass WHO test

For the first time, a vaccine conceived and developed from scratch in India has been “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organisation.

The Rotavac vaccine, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited last year, was included in India’s national immunisation programme. To be “pre-qualified” means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America.

The Rotavac vaccine protects against childhood diarrhoea caused by the rotavirus and was built on strain of the virus isolated at the the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here over 30 years ago.

7. WEF launches Global Centre for Cybersecurity

In a bid to safeguard the world from hackers and growing data breaches — especially from nation-states — the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity. Headquartered in Geneva, the centre will become operational from March.

Cyber breaches recorded by businesses are on the rise. In the last five years, these have almost doubled to an average of 130 breaches per business in 2017.

8. Government announces PM’s Shram Awards for 2016 to 50 workers

The government of India has said the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for 2016 are to be awarded to 50 workers with departmental undertakings, public sector undertakings and private sector units employing 500 or more workers.

Of these, 34 workers are from the public sector and 16 from the private sector. Shram Awards are given in four categories — Shram Ratna Award, Shram Bhushan Award, Shram Vir/Shram Virangana and Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awards.

The awards are given by the Labour Ministry in recognition of the workers’ distinguished performance, innovative ability, outstanding contribution in the field of productivity and exhibition of exceptional courage and presence of mind.

9. S Jaishankar retires as India’s Foreign Secretary

S Jaishankar, the architect of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy, retires after a three-year term as foreign secretary. Appointed by PM Modi on January 28, 2015, Jaishankar is India’s longest serving foreign secretary in four decades.

The distinguished diplomat has an experience of almost 40 years in the foreign service. He was India’s ambassador to China from 2007 to 2009, acted as high commissioner to Singapore, and served as ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2001 to 2004.

10. Maharashtra wins best tableau at Republic Day; Assam second

The award for best tableaux was awarded to Maharashtra. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the awards. Maharashtra displayed the coronation of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The second and third positions were backed by Assam and Chhattisgarh respectively. The award for Best marching Contingent among the three services went to Punjab Regiment Contingent.

The Best Marching Contingent award among Para-Military forces and other auxiliary marching contingents went to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Marching Contingent.

11. Federer lifts record 20th Grand Slam after winning Australian Open

Switzerland’s Roger Federer became the first male tennis player to win 20 Grand Slam titles, after winning a joint-record sixth Australian Open title. The 36-year-old defending champion beat Croatia’s first Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Only Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf have won more singles Grand Slams in tennis history.

12. India and Cambodia ink four agreements

India and Cambodia has signed four agreements in the field of cultural exchange, an exchange line of credit of $26.9 million, memorandum of understanding to cooperate in legal matter and an agreement on prevention of human trafficking.

The documents were exchanged in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Cambodian PM Hun Sen following delegation-level talks between the two countries. New Delhi has agreed to set up a centre of IT excellence in Cambodia.

13. Aadhaar named Hindi Word of the Year, beats Bahubali, Mitron

The Oxford Dictionaries announced ‘Aadhaar’ as its 2017 ‘Hindi Word of the Year’ at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The shortlist included words such as ‘Mitron’, ‘Notebandi’, ‘Bahubali’ and ‘Gau-rakshak’, among others. ‘Aadhaar’ was chosen due to its involvement in debates and controversies regarding the 12-digit unique identification system introduced by the Indian government.

14. Veteran Bengali film actress Supriya Devi is dead

Veteran Bengali film actress Supriya Devi died of a severe cardiac arrest at the age of 85. Born in 1933, Supriya Devi was known for her work over five decades. She had made her debut in Uttam Kumar-starrer Basu Parivar in 1952. She received the Padma Shri and West Bengal government’s highest civilian award Banga Vibhushan, besides the Filmfare East Lifetime Achievement Award.

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