Government launches nationwide cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’
On 4th January 2019, The Minister of state (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep S Puri launched the fourth edition of annual cleanliness of Urban India known as “Swachh survekshan 2019”,
Union Minister for HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar inaugurates 27th Edition of New Delhi World Book Fair in Pragati Maidan with Sharjah as Guest of Honour
On 5th January 2019, the 27th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF), which has the UAE‘s third largest emirate Sharjah as its 2019 guest of honour,inaugurated in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The event will conclude on 13th January.
India & Pakistan’s 28th exchanged lists of nuclear installations under Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations Act, 1988 undertook on first day of new year
On January 1, 2019, India, Pakistan exchanged lists of nuclear installations and list of prisoners for the 28th time through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.
i. This was done under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations that was signed in December 1988 which came into force in January 1991.
ii. The pact states that two countries must inform each other of nuclear facilities to be covered under the agreement on January 1 every year.
iii. India handed over a list of 249 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 98 fishermen in its custody.
iv. The Pakistani side handed over a list of 537 prisoners — 54 civilians and 483 fishermen — in its jails.
v. The first such exchange was done in January 1, 1992.
Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s one-day visit to Palamu, Jharkhand
On January 5, 2019,Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palamu, Jharkhand,where he inaugurated projects worth a total of Rs. 3500 crores.
i. The following states the foundations stones laid or the inaugurations done:
- Prime Minister,Shri Narendra Modi witnessed the e-Grih Pravesh of 25,000 beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana.
- He laid the Foundation Stone for the revival of North Koel (Mandal Dam) project, Kanhar Sone pipeline irrigation scheme.
- He explained that a new system has been developed for monitoring the quality of houses constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana via photography and geo-tagging.
ii. He also said 99 big irrigation projects, are now being fast tracked, at a cost of almost 90,000 crore rupees.
iii. Regarding the success of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, he stated that 1.25 crore houses have been built in less than five years and the average construction time has fallen from 18 months to 12 months.
iv. Furthermore, 1.25 lakh rupees is reaching the beneficiary’s account in four instalments, greater than the earlier amount of 70,000 rupees.
♦ Chief Minister: Shri. Raghubar Das.
♦ Governor: Smt. Draupadi Murmu.
♦ National Parks: Click Here
Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s one-day visit to Baripada, Odisha
On January 5, 2019,Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Baripada, in Odisha,where he inaugurated projects worth Rs. 4500 crore.
i. The following lists the inaugurations done by the PM:
- He dedicated the Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of the IOCL’s Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline to the nation, which will ensure easy supply of LPG in parts of Odisha and West Bengal,
- Inaugurated the Multi Modal Logistic Park at Balasore and six Passport Sewa Kendras.
- He laid the foundation stone for the four-laning three National Highway projects.
- He also flagged off the second passenger train from Tatanagar to Badampahar.
ii. He also unveiled a digital plaque to mark the commencement of work for conservation and development of Rasika Ray Temple, and Excavated Structure at Ancient Fort Haripurgarh.
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
♦ Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.
♦ Festivals: Kalinga Mahotsav, Chandan Yatra, Durga Puja, Konark Dance Festival, Rath Yatra, Diwali, Kumar Purnima
Indus Food Meet 2019 to be held in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha to participate as partner state
From 14th January 2019, the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and union commerce ministry is going to organize a two-day mega food international event, the Indus Food Meet 2019, at the India Exposition Mart of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The event will conclude on 15th January 2019.
Encouraging farmers to enrol farmers for the Atal Solar Krishi Pump Yojana: Maharashtra govt
On January 5, 2019, Maharashtra Government announced distribution of free sops to encourage farmers to enrol in the Atal Solar Krishi Pump Yojana.
i. The things included: two LED bulbs, a DC fan and a mobile charging socket.
About Atal Solar Krishi Pump Yojana (ASKP):
- Launched in October 2018, it aims to reduce losses due to non-payment of electricity bills and also promote solar energy.
- 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 and the sops.
- It would provide subsidy of upto 95% on solar agriculture pumpsets.
- Also around 1 lakh solar pumps were distributed to farmers to irrigate 14,000 Ha land.
- The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (Msedcl) is the implementing agency.
Pakistan’s Provincial Government declares Panj Tirath Hindu religious site as national heritage
On 2nd January 2019, the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in northwest Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in the provincial capital Peshawar as national heritage.
BANKING & FINANCE
Government amalgamated three Regional Rural Banks-Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank into a single Bank
With the effect from 1st January 2019, the three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) – Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank has been amalgamated into a single RRB by the Government.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Govt exempts rupee payments for Iran oil from taxes: FinMin
On January 2, 2019, the finance ministry in it’s notification exempted rupee payments to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) that it gets from Indian refiners, from a withholding tax.
i. The exemption, put in place December 28 but backdated to November 5, will allow Indian refiners to settle about $1.5 billion of outstanding payments to NIOC.
ii. India and Iran on Nov. 2, 2018, signed a bilateral agreement to settle oil trades through an Indian government-owned bank, UCO Bank, in the Indian currency.
Vijay Mallya first person to be named ‘fugitive economic offender’, under ED’s plea: PMLA Mumbai
On January 4, 2019, Vijay Mallya became the first person to be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ under Section 12 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018 by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai.
i. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed an application before the court in November, 2018 and this declaration was made by Special judge MS Azmi.
ii. The ED had also sought immediate confiscation of about Rs 12,500 crore worth of assets.
iii. He is wanted in India for defaulting on Rs. 9,000 crore in loans to his failed Kingfisher Airlines from a consortium of 12 banks led by the State Bank of India.
SoftBank renames early venture arm with focus on Asia
On 2nd January 2019, SoftBank Ventures Korea, the early-stage investment vehicle of Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank Group, has renamed itself SoftBank Ventures Asia and will focus on finding artificial intelligence-related startups globally, with an emphasis on Asia.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Andhra Pradesh Minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao receives award for Polavaram Project
On 4th January 2019, the Water Resources Minister of Andhra Pradesh (AP), Devineni Umamaheswar Rao received the ‘Central Board of Irrigation and Power Award-2019‘ for better planning and construction of Polavaram Irrigation Project on the Godavari River.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards
On 4th January 2019, Home Minister Shri Rajnath singh presented the prestigious 13th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards to 29 winners in 18 categories across Print, Broad cast and purely digital to recognize the outstanding contributions of journalists in 2017 in New Delhi.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Shri Chhabilendra Roul took charge as Secretary, Department of Fertilizers
On January 3, 2019, Shri Chhabilendra Roul was appointed as the new Secretary, Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India.
i. His tenure commenced effectively from 31.12.2018.
ii. He succeeded Smt. Bharathi S. Sihag, IAS (HP:83) who completed her tenure.
Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. D. V. Sadananda Gowda.
♦ Minister of state: Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Rao Inderjit Singh
Subramanian resigned from Bandhan Bank following appointment as Chief Economic Advisor
On January 5, 2019, Bandhan Bank announced the resignation of independent director Krishnamurthy V Subramanian following his appointment as the chief economic advisor (CEA) to the government.
i. On December 7, 2018, the government appointed Subramanian as the CEA for a period of three years.
ii. He replaced Arvind Subramanian, who resigned from the post in June 2018.
Rakesh Aggarwal took over as new JIPMER director
On January 1, 2019, Dr Rakesh Aggarwal assumed charge as the new director of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry.
i. He succeeded Dr S Vivekanandan.
ii. He is also an elected fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences (India) and National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
US scientists successfully launched a telescope from Antarctica that analyses X-rays arriving from distant neutron stars, black holes
Scientists from Washington University of United states of America (USA) successfully launched a telescope (X-Calibur instrument) from the McMurdo Station in Antarctica that will analyze X-rays arriving from distant neutron stars, black holes and other exotic celestial bodies.
i. The X-calibur instrument is carried aloft on a helium balloon intended to reach an altitude of 130,000 feet which is four times the cruising altitude of commercial airliners.
ii. Neutron stars are object of very small radius around 30 km and a very high density composed of closely packed neutrons.
Cyclonic Storm ‘PABUK’ over Andaman Sea & neighbourhood
On 5th January 2019, a warning was issued by The India Meteorological Department (IMD) that a Cyclonic storm “PABUK” over Andaman Sea and neighbourhood is moving towards west-northwestwards with a speed of 21 kmph.Cyclone warning for Andaman Islands is “ORANGE MESSAGE”.
About Andaman & Nicobar Islands
♦ Capital: Port Blair
♦ Lieutenant Governor: Admiral (ret.) Devendra Kumar Joshi
Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera slams 13 sixes, scores 140(74), breaks 22-yr-old record
On 5th January 2019, 29 years old Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera smashed 13 sixes against New Zealand in the 2nd ODI to break the 22 years old record of maximum sixes in an ODI innings by a Sri Lankan player. The previous record was held by Sanath Jayasuriya who smashed 11 sixes in an innings.
Thisara Perera’s maiden century in which he scored 140 runs in just 74 balls,Since it pulled off a thrilling victory of 21-runs for New Zealand.