Ministry of HRD constitutes a task force to look into the issue of JNV suicides
On 3rd January 2019, the Ministry of Human Resource Development constituted a task force to look into the circumstances of reported suicides of 49 students, including Dalits and Adivasi students, of residential Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) between 2013 and 2017.
Government notifies High-Level Committee for implementation of Clause VI of Assam Accord
Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has notified a High-level committee of nine members under the chairmanship of Shri M.P. Bezbarauah for implementation of Clause VI of the Assam Accord.
What is Clause VI?
The Clause VI of Assam Accord envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu unveils schemes for marginalized Brahmins
On 4th January 2019, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu unveiled various welfare scheme for the marginalized and economically backward Brahmins through AP Brahmin Welfare Corporation such as distribution of Cars to the Unemployed Brahmin youths, loans and subsidies.
Zero percent interest for loans upto Rs. 3 lakhs for Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the Mission Shakti scheme: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
On January 5, 2019, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced interest-free loans of up to Rs.3 lakh for six lakh women self-help groups (WSHGs) benefitting about 70 lakh women in Odisha.
i. This was announced at the ‘Mission Shakti’ convention attended by about 50,000 women.
ii. In the convention, the chief minister did the following:
30th Edition of 9-day long International Kite Festival kicks off in Ahmedabad,Gujarat
On 6th January 2019,30th Edition of the nine-day long international kite festival inaugurated ahead of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, the day when winter season starts changing to summer and farmers welcome the approaching harvest season, at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Secunderabad Railway Station: the first Railway station to hoist Tricolour National flag on a 100 feet tall pole under Railway’s order
On January 2, 2019, Secunderabad Railway Station, in Hyderabad, became the first railway station of South Central Railway (SCR) zone to hoist a huge tricolour on a 100-foot tall pole.
i. This was done according to the Railway Board’s order to hoist the national flag at 75 A1 category railway stations.Kacheguda, Hyderabad became the 2nd and 3rd railway Stations to hoist the100-foot tall pole.
ii. The flag would be guarded by the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
iii. Furthermore according to the order, SCR has taken the initiative to hoist the National Flag at 2 other ‘A1’ category Railway Stations they are Vijaywada and Tirupati.
AAI signed MoU with SAMEER for boosting R&D in the field of communication
On January 4, 2019, Airport Authority of India (AAI) signed MoU with Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) for joint research programs in the field of Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS).
i. The MOU is under government of India’s ‘Make in India’ concept to indigenously design and develop CNS systems.
ii. SAMEER is an autonomous research and development (R and D) institute under Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY).
Iran approved anti-money laundering bill for ease of business
On January 5, 2019, Iranian council known as the Expediency Council approved an anti-money laundering bill to ease trade
i. This bill will be in line with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Iran is alone with North Korea on the FATF’s blacklist — although the Paris-based organisation has suspended counter- measures since June 2017 while Iran works on reforms.
♦ Capital: Tehran.
♦ Currency: Iranian rial.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI limits customer liability in fraudulent PPI transactions
On 4th January 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notification for all authorised non-bank Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) Issuers in order to limit the liability of Customers in unauthorised electronic payment transactions in Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) comprising mobile wallets, prepaid payments cards, and paper vouchers such as Sodexo.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Veteran journalist Dinu Randive conferred with lifetime achievement award: Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh
On January 6, 2019, Veteran journalist Dinu Randive was conferred with the lifetime achievement award for his lifelong contributions in journalism, who started his journalistic career in 1956.
i. He also participated in the freedom struggle, the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement.
ii. The award was given by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh which is an association of journalists covering Maharashtra legislature and secretariat.
iii. Award winners in other categories included Vishwas Waghmode, Mahesh Tiwari and Prajakta Pol.
♦ Capital: Mumbai.
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
♦ Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao.
♦ National Parks: Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve, Chandoli National Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Navegaon National Park
National Awards conferred to 97 Anganwadi Workers under ICDS Scheme by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in NewDelhi
On January 7, 2019,Ministry of Women & Child Development,Union Minister Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers(AWWs) for Exceptional Achievements for the year 2017-18, under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in New Delhi.
About the selection:
i. National Level awards to AWWs are given to the awardees nominated by States/UTs out of the State/UT Level awardees.
ii. The nominations received from the States/UTs are screened and recommended by a Screening Committee headed by Rakesh Srivastava,Secretary, MWCD.
iii.The selection of awardees is made by the Selection Committee headed by Hon’ble Minister for Women & Child Development.
About the Award:
i. The awards of National Level will comprise of cash prize Rs. 50,000, which has been increased from Rs. 25,000, and a citation.
ii. The number of awards has also been doubled.
iii. State Level award comprises of a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 and a citation.
The scheme of awarding AWWs was formulated by the government in the year 2000-2001.
Ministry of Women and Child Development:
♦ Union Minister: Smt Maneka Gandhi.
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Virendra Kumar.
♦ Secretary: Shri Rakesh Srivastava.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Pentagon chief of staff Kevin Sweeney resigned
On January 6, 2019, Kevin Sweeney, the chief of staff of the US Department of Defence, resigned from his position.He held his post for two years from January 2017.
i. Kevin Sweeney retired as a Rear Admiral from the US Navy in 2014.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
China: Lunar rover named ‘Yutu-2’, lands on the far side of the moon
On January 4, 2019, Lunar rover Yutu-2 or Jade Rabbit-2 of the Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon.
i. Images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite ‘Queqiao’.
ii. In Chinese folklore, Yutu is the white pet rabbit of Chang’e, the moon goddess who lent her name to the Chinese lunar mission.
iii. China’s lunar probe is a part of its ‘Made in China 2025’ project.
iv. It follows a homegron Chinese Global Positioning System named BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.
♦ Capital: Beijing.
♦ Currency: Renminbi.
16-year-old Indian Footballer Rohit Danu became I-League’s youngest ever goal-scorer
On January 5, 2019, 16-year-old Indian Footballer Rohit Danu became I-League’s youngest ever goal-scorer while scoring a goal on the ongoing match against Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl, Mizoram.
i. He defeated his team mate Jitendra Singh in this title.
ii. Earlier,Arrows’ Jitendra,was the youngest goal-scorer at the age 16 years, six months and 13 days when he scored against Shillong Lajong on December 26, 2017.
Hopman Cup: Roger Federer & Belinda Bencic retain title for Switzerland
From 29 December 2018, the Hopman Cup which is an annual international eight-team indoor hard court tennis tournament was held in Perth, Western Australia. It is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries. The Event was concluded on 5th January 2019.
ATP World Tour tennis tournament (Maharashtra Open 2019)
From 31st December 2018, 24th Edition of ATP World Tour Tennis tournament, Maharashtra Open – 2019 also known as Tata Open Maharashtra organized by Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was held in Pune, Maharashtra. The event concludes on 5th January 2019.