Current Affairs Weekly Updates – January 2018 Week I

AWARDS AND HONOURS

 NAME OF THE AWARDAWARD WINNERKEY POINTS TO NOTE
Best central banker in Asia-PacificRavi MenonHe is Managing director of Singapore’s central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed memorial AwardNitish KumarBihar Chief Minister

APPOINTMENTS

NAMEDEPT/FIELD
Vijay Keshav GokhaleForeign secretary
Salil ParekhMD and CEO of Infosys
AbhayDG of Narcotics Control Bureau
T S TirumurtiSecretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry
A R RahmanBrand ambassador of Sikkim
Devika ShahMD and CEO of Indian Clearing Corporation Ltd (ICCL).
Rajinder KhannaDeputy National Security Adviser (NSA)
Gopal GuruEditor of the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW)

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

  • Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi. Users can log on to nari.nic.in.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has entered into an unchartered territory as far as bankruptcy and insolvency Code is concerned and would continue to modify the law dealing with the issue.
  • A bill to allow the government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments was passed in the Lok Sabha.
  • Union health ministry launched a seven-month online course designed by Tata Memorial to help non-cancer specialists detect early signs of the disease, especially in villages and smaller cities.
  • The government has announced the launch of cleanliness survey for this year as part of Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate a three-day ‘International Dharma Dhamma Conference’ at Rajgir beginning on January 11.
  • The government has formed a ministerial committee headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley to decide what to do with old, pre-existing projects in ports, which have become unviable.

NEWS IN STATES

  • The CPI-M-led LDF government in Kerala has decided to set up a Kerala Madrasa Teachers Welfare Fund Board to make available pension and other benefits for Madrasa teachers.
  • ‘Utsavam 2018’, conceived as an attempt to rejuvenate traditional folk art forms of Kerala, will be held across the state from January 6 to 12.
  • ‘Utsavam 2018’, conceived as an attempt to rejuvenate traditional folk art forms of Kerala, will be held across the state from January 6 to 12.
  • The Telangana government on January 01, 2018 launched a round-the-clock power supply to the state’s 2.3 million farmers free of cost.
  • Telangana government has inaugurated the park, which has speech therapist, physiotherapist, vocational training instructors for the differently-abled children.
  • The Haryana government has approved service bye-laws for contractual employees working under the National Health Mission (NHM) in the state.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed the irrigation department to implement the integrated solar-based micro irrigation scheme in all districts of the state.
  • Cobblers in Haryana can now look forward to getting bank loans of up to Rs 15,000 for setting up kiosks in the state under a new scheme.
  • The Haryana government has set up a state road safety council under the chairmanship of transport minister and district road safety committees.
  • Haryana has achieved the distinction of becoming the first state in the country to launch High Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal.
  • India’s first floating market is set to open for public in January 2018, in Kolkata.
  • The Centre has approved a logo designed and conceptualised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the state’s symbol.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport has become the 5th airport in India having CAT III landing system.
  • Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has launched a free CT Scan service under ‘Chief Minister Free Diagnostic Services’ at Shri Shri Pitambar Dev Goswami Civil Hospital in Majuli island.
  • Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated various skill development centres across the state.
  • Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ceremonially launched ‘Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela 2017-18’ by distributing cheques to beneficiaries at a function held at Sarbananda Singha auditorium in Tinsukia.
  • After deciding to set up 100 international schools across Maharashtra, the state has planned to form the Maharashtra International Education Board (MIEB).
  • Meghalaya was signed the Host City Contract with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for hosting the 39th National Games in 2022.
  • Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma inaugurated the 40 mw Umtru hydro-electric project at Dehal in Ri Bhoi district.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has inaugurated and laid foundation stones for nearly 200 projects worth more than Rs 300 crore in this district as part of his state-wide “Vikas Samiksha Yatra”.
  • The UP education board has been approached by the government of Nepal for “support and guidance”.
  • State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd today said it has commissioned the country’s second largest rooftop solar power plant.
  • The green cover of northeastern state of Manipur, a solid waste treatment plant has been set up at Lamdeng in Imphal West.
  • A Defence Innovation Centre would be set up in Coimbatore by industry body CODISSIA to assist small industries in manufacturing components for the defence sector.
  • The Tamil Nadu government has launched an e-governance policy to provide various services digitally.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government is set to launch a major welfare initiative for workers in the unorganised sector to provide them institutionalised socio- economic security.
  • Arunachal Pradesh would get its first Film and Television Institute, being set up by the union government as part of tapping the potential of the North Eastern region.
  • The international kite festival was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Sabarmati Riverfront in Gujarat.

CABINET APPROVALS

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the construction of Asia’s longest bi-directional Zojila Pass tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of an AIIMS in Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh with an outlay of Rs 1,350 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsa Yojna (PMSSY).
  • The Cabinet was apprised of a pact between India and Italy for cooperation in the field of renewable energy.
  • The Union Cabinet has gave its ex-post facto approval for a pact signed between India and the US for co-hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017 in India.
  • The government has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and London’s transportation authority to improve public transport in the country.
  • The Cabinet has approved an agreement signed between India and Belgium to increase cooperation in the field of information and communication technology.

BANKING AND FINANCE

  • Markets regulator SEBI has imposed a total penalty of Rs 10 lakh on Prime Capital Market and Warner Multimedia for disclosure lapses in the matter of Blue Circle Services.
  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to Odisha by end of the third quarters of the current financial year.
  • Paytm Payments Bank has partnered Induslnd Bank to introduce a facility to create a fixed deposit when the customer balance exceeds Rs 1 lakh at the end of day.
  • China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which India is a second largest shareholder, plans to issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with minimum worth of a USD billion by June this year.
  • Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) has operationalised it’s first desktop ATM at Kasibugga in Mandi Bazar of Warangal in Telangana.

MERGER AND ACQUISITION

  • The US-based Principal Financial Group has proposed to pick up PNB’s stake in Principal-PNB Asset Management Company and Principal Trustee Company in India.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  • Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.
  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates introduced value-added tax from January 01, 2018 a first for the Gulf which has long prided itself on its tax-free, cradle-to-grave welfare system.
  • Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.
  • Beijing is planning to build a 13.8 billion yuan ($2.12 billion) artificial intelligence development park in the city’s west as China pushes ahead to fulfill its ambition to become a world leader in AI by 2025.
  • China’s underwater glider has successfully ended its mission to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea amid reports that the country has developed a new underwater surveillance network to help its submarines lock on to targets.
  • China is planning to build its second foreign naval base in Pakistan, after Djibouti. China needs to set up another base in Gwadar for its warships because Gwadar is now a civilian port.
  • A spectacular ice festival has kicked off in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.
  • Iceland has stepped up for equality and has become the first country in the world to legalise equal pay.
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 40 percent increase to the minimum wage as of January.
  • Turkey has recently entered the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage but could soon be overtaken by modern technology.
  • Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
  • The Pakistan Navy has demonstrated its ability to respond to any aggression by conducting a test fire of a cruise missile from its newly commissioned Fast Attack Craft (Missile), PNS Himmat, off Karachi in the North Arabian Sea.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • NASA has announced that it would launch two missions to explore the little-understood area of 96 km above Earth’s surface.
  • SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year. The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the satellite toward an undisclosed orbit.

DEFENCE NEWS

  • Indian Coast Guard Ship C-161 was commissioned on Friday at Porbandar in Gujarat. The induction is a part of ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security.
  • The Indian Navy has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) towards leasing of 228 metres of berths, Q2 and Q3 at Mattancherry Wharf for a period of five years.
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared two procurement proposals. These missiles are surface to air missiles designed to be used as a ship-borne anti-missile defence system against anti-ship missiles.

SPORTS

  • Star Indian badminton player and Olympian Ashwini Ponnappa has been named ‘Coorg Person of the year, 2017’ in a poll conducted by a news portal dedicated to Kodagu.
  • Indian wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni is all set to open a cricket academy in Singapore. The 36-year old stalwart will inaugurate his second such venture in overseas territory on January 20 at St Patrick’s School.
  • The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, stated that Khelo India would go a long way in achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports.
WINNERTITLENOTE
Mohamed SalahAfrican Footballer of 2017He is From Egypt
Elina SvitolinaBrisbane International WTA titleHeld in Australia
Roger FedererMastercard Hopman Cup 2018Defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev
Julia GoergesWTA Auckland Open Tennis title 2018Held in Auckland, New Zealand

OBITUARY

NAME OF THE PERSONFIELD
Anwar JalalpuriPoet
Madhukarrao KimmatkarFormer Maharashtra Minister
Asghar KhanFirst native commander-in-chief of Pakistan
Jerry Van DykeEnglish Actor and comedian
John YoungUS astronaut
R MargabanduTamil Nadu Politician
A SivanandanSri Lankan native novelist
Saksham YadavPowerlifting world champion

IMPORTANT DAYS

DATE OBSERVEDDAY OBSERVED
January 01Global Family day
January 01World day of peace
January 04World Braille day
January 06World day of war orphans
January 07International Kite Festival
January 09Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas
January 10World Hindi Day

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