Current Affairs

Weekly Current Affairs January 2019: Week I

National Events

  • The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India had launched the Yarn Bank Scheme as one of the components of PowerTex India Scheme with an aim to avoid fluctuation in yarn price. Under the Scheme, an interest-free corpus fund up to Rs 2 crore would be provided to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)/Consortium formed by power loom weavers.
  • The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Modi has approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as National Health Authority.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a high-level committee for the implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
Weekly Current Affairs January 2019: Week I
  • The Government has launched the Green - Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture project for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes in association with Global Environment Facility (GEF).
  • The Sabarimala Shrine has been opened for the annual 21-day Makaravilakku festival season.
  • An ambitious web-based single-window system PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub) for environmental clearances will be rolled-out at state levels by January 15.
  • The Union Home Ministry has approved the proposal of the Uttar Pradesh Government to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
  • The Panel headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy has suggested All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), not to allow setting up of new Engineering colleges from 2020.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Rice Research Institute South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC) in Varanasi. It is the sixth campus of IRRI SARC.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for the Mandal Dam Project on the North Koel River. The Mandal Dam Project would be boon for the states of Jharkhand and Bihar.
  • The Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI) has released the Ease of Doing Business Rankings for Indian states. Andhra Pradesh has topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place respectively.
  • The New Delhi World Book Fair will be held at the Pragati Maidan. The theme of the 27th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair is “Readers with special needs”. The UAE’s third largest emirate Sharjah is the guest of honour for the New Delhi World Book Fair.
  • Ministry of Railways has planned to set up 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by 2020-21. This would help Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewable source.

State Events

  • The Government of Maharashtra has decided to give two LED bulbs, a DC fan and a mobile charging socket as freebies to farmers enrolling under the Atal Solar Krishi Pump Yojana. Under the Scheme, farmers with less than five acres will have to pay 5 per cent of the cost of a 3 HP solar pump while farmers with more than five acres will get a 5 HP solar pump for Rs 30000.
  • The oil marketing companies have launched Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Initiative, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Odisha.
  • Khushi Scheme of Odisha aims to provide good menstrual hygiene care to women of the state. Under the Scheme, the Government will provide free sanitary napkins to 17 lakh girls studying in Classes 6 to 12 in Government and Government-Aided Schools.
  • The Government of Madhya Pradesh has announced setting up of a new Adhyatmik Vibhag (Spiritual Department).
  • The government of West Bengal has announced the Krishak Bandhu scheme to address farm distress in the state. The West Bengal government will give annual financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre in two instalments, one during Kharif and another during Rabi season.
  • Madhya Pradesh had become the first state in the country to create Happiness Department. The government had also announced the setting up of the Happiness Institute
  • The new Government of Rajasthan has abolished the condition of a minimum educational qualification to contest local body elections. The cabinet also decided on holding the election of mayors and chairmans in corporations through the direct system instead of the indirect method introduced by the previous government.
  • The Government of Uttar Pradesh has initiated "One District, One Product" Scheme to encourage indigenous and specialized products and crafts of the state.

International Events

  • Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar of North Western Pakistan as national heritage.
  • Japan has announced its decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
  • The government of Pakistan has decided to launch Panda Bonds to raise loans from Chinese capital markets.

Banking and Financial Awareness

  • The Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court in Mumbai has declared Vijay Mallya as a Fugitive Economic Offender. Vijay Mallya is the first businessman to be charged under the new Fugitive Economic Offender's Act 2018.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed an expert committee to look into the various challenges being faced by MSMEs and suggest ways and measures to rejuvenate them. The eight-member committee would be Chaired by former Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman UK Sinha.
  • The RBI has proposed a one-time loan restructuring scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme is applicable to the stressed accounts provided the total fund and non-fund based exposure to such a borrower does not surpass Rs 25 crore.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals (SRPHi). The Survey will capture payment habits of individuals in cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an expert committee, headed by its Former Governor Bimal Jalan, to suggest how the Central Bank should handle its reserves and whether it can transfer its surplus to the Government.

Awards and Honours

  • Kathak exponent Anindita Neogy Anaam has been honoured with the prestigious National Nritya Shiromani award for her contribution towards preserving and promoting the dance form across the world.
  • Andhra Pradesh was conferred with CBIP’s “Best Implementation of Water Resources Project” for better planning, implementation, monitoring and speedy execution of Polavaram multipurpose project on the Godavari River.

Summits and Conferences

  • Prime Minister, Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at the 106th session of the Indian Science Congress. The 106th Indian Science Congress is being held at Jalandhar. The theme of the 106th science congress is 'Future India: Science and Technology'.

Important Days

  • The United Nations observed the first official World Braille Day on 4th January to create awareness about the importance of Braille.

Appointments

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated Justice AK Sikri as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
  • Saurabh Kumar has been appointed as the Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in Kolkata.

Science and Technology

  • The New Horizon Spacecraft of NASA has flown past Ultima Thule, a trans-Neptunian object located in the Kuiper belt.
  • China's Chang'e 4 probe spacecraft has become the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the Moon.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched an outreach programme called Samwad with Students.
  • The Panel headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy has suggested All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), not to allow setting up of new Engineering colleges from 2020.
Weekly Current Affairs January 2019: Week I Weekly Current Affairs January 2019: Week I Reviewed by Inderjeet Virdi on January 07, 2019 Rating: 5

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