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Important Current Affairs 3rd January 2019

National

 Cabinet gives ex post facto approval to India's Approach for COP 24, Katowice, Poland
•    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating stand of India at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Katowice, Poland from 2-15 December 2018.
•    The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
•    The key focus of meeting was to finalize guidelines for implementation of Paris Agreement in post 2020 period. India's approach was guided by principles and provisions of UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBPR-RC).


PM to inaugurate Indian Science Congress at Jalandhar
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress at Jalandhar on January 3, an annual congregation that witnesses deliberations by top scientific minds of the country.
•    The theme for ISC-2019 is ‘Future India-Science and Technology’ and it will be hosted by the Lovely Professional University (PLU), Jalandhar from January 3-7


Cabinet approves restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority 
•    Union Cabinet has approved the restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana.
•    National Health Authority will be chaired by Union Health Minister to enable the decision making at a faster pace, required for smooth implementation of the scheme.
•    National Health Authority will have full accountability, authority and mandate to implement the Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process.


Assam CM welcomes Cabinet decisions on Assam Accord
•    Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has welcomed the Union Cabinet's decision to implement the Assam Accord signed in 1985.
•    The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the setting up a high-level committee for implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord and measures envisaged in the Memorandum of Settlement, 2003 and other issues related to the Bodo community.


Cabinet approves amendment to Trade Unions Act, 1926
•    The Cabinet has approved amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926 to make provisions regarding recognition of trade unions.
•    The approval will facilitate recognition of Trade Unions at Central and State level.
•    The proposed bill will ensure that the nomination of workers’ representatives in tripartite bodies by the government will become more transparent.

Economy and Banking

Cabinet approves first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking 
•    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the scheme of amalgamation for amalgamating Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks.
•    The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with the amalgamated bank being India's second largest Public Sector Bank.
•    The amalgamation will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies.
 

Obituary

Ramakant Achrekar dies in Mumbai 
•    Ramakant Achrekar, childhood coach of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, died on Wednesday. 
•    Achrekar, 87, who is known to shape Tendulkar's career, took his last breath at his Shivaji Park residence in Dadar, Mumbai.
•    Besides Tendulkar, he also coached some prominent players in Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.
 

Space Science

China's lunar rover Chang'e 4 makes historic landing on dark side of Moon 
•    Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, a historic first landing on a mission seen as an important step for China's space programme.
•    Chinese state television said the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the "soft landing" at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the dark side of the moon.
•    Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon but none has landed on it.
 

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Important Current Affairs 1st January 2019

National

ISRO launches Samwad with students to engage them on space science activities 
•    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched Samwad with Students as part of its outreach programme. The Indian Space agency will engage youngsters across the country in activities concerning space science under this programme.
•    During the inauguration in Bengaluru yesterday, 40 students and 10 teachers from select schools interacted with ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan about the Indian Space Programme and their benefits to the common man.
•    The Chairman asked students to study science and mathematics with absolute seriousness which would enable them to take up challenging careers.
 

International

Pakistan, India exchange list of nuclear installations 
•    India and Pakistan on Tuesday exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between them.
•    In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said, the list was exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad
•    Under the 1988 agreement, the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities on the first of January every year.


US, Israel quit UNESCO citing bias 
•    The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The countries had announced their decisions in 2017 of withdrawing from the agency, accusing it of bias against Israel.
•    America has demanded fundamental reform in UNESCO, which was co-founded by it after World War II to foster peace. Israel joined the agency in 1949. It is best known for its World Heritage program, which designates cultural sites and aims to preserve traditions
•    The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the US stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state.


Qatar will cease to be a member of OPEC
•    Qatar will cease to be a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries today. The country had sent an official notification to the OPEC expressing its wish to pull out and to focus on its liquefied natural gas production in December.
•    The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states.
•    These countries accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Qatar has strongly refuted these allegations.


Bangladesh: Awami League registers landslide victory in Parliamentary elections 
•    Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League has registered a landslide victory in Parliamentary elections.
•    The ruling Awami League-led grand alliance bagged 266 seats and its ally Jatiya Party secured 21. The opposition National Unity Front (UNF) with BNP being its key partner got only seven seats. Independent candidates won in two seats. The election was postponed in one seat due to the death of a candidate.


Afghanistan presidential election delayed until July 20
•    Afghanistan's presidential election will be delayed until July 20 next year, three months later than the ballot had been scheduled to be held.
•    The announcement by the Independent Election Commission comes after weeks of speculation that the vote would be postponed to create space for US-led efforts to end the 17-year war with the Taliban.
•    The presidential ballot was originally scheduled for April 20.
 

Economy and Banking

Govt infuses nearly Rs 11,000 cr capital in public sector banks
•    The government has infused 10,882 crore rupees in four public sector banks, including UCO Bank and Syndicate Bank. It is part of 28,615 crore rupees capital infusion to be done in seven public sector lenders.
•    UCO Bank has received 3,074 crore rupees in the equity by way of preferential allotment yesterday. Besides, Bank of Maharashtra got 4,498 crore rupees, Syndicate Bank 1,632 crore and the Central Bank of India 1,678 crore.
•    The government has already announced infusion of 10,086 crore rupees in Bank of India, 5,500 crore in Oriental Bank of Commerce and 2,159 in United Bank of India.
 

Obituary

Veteran Actor Kader Khan Dies At 81 
•    Veteran actor Kader Khan died in a hospital in Canada on Monday. He was 81.
•    Born in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 22, Kader Khan was best known for his work as an actor and a writer in numerous films. 
•    He has worked with directors like Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. 
•    He has featured in over 300 films.
 

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Important Current Affairs 31st December 2018

National

Government to appoint Committee to monitor DFI implementation 
The government will soon be appointing a committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) committee. This committee will oversee the implementations of various recommendations and have specific terms of reference.
Together with supervising and monitoring, it will even handhold those involved in implementing the recommendations.
Committee on Doubling Farmers Income (DFI)
The government had appointed an expert committee headed by Ashok Dalwai in 2016 to look into the entire agriculture ecosystem in the country to suggest ways and means to reform it so that farmers’ income can be doubled by 2022.


Delhi Police becomes first police force in India to digitise all malkhanas
With the launch of ‘E-Malkhana’ in the remaining 10 districts at Chinamaya Mission, the Delhi Police has become first in country to have digitalised malkhana in Police Stations of its all districts. Malkhanas are rooms for keeping seized arms and ammunition. According to the release, around 3,11,600 case properties have been encrypted in digital form across all the police stations in the state.

PM releases commemorative stamp on Maharaja Suheldev 
PM Narendra Modi released a commemorative stamp on Maharaja Suheldev. He described Maharaja Suheldev as a brave warrior and a hero who inspires the people and said that the Union Government is determined to preserve the legacy of all those who contributed to the cause of India’s defence and security, and to its social life.
Legacy of Maharaja Suheldev
Maharaja Suheldev is a semi-legendary king whose references are found somewhere between the boundary of fiction and history.


Khushi Scheme of Odisha 
Khushi scheme of Odisha aims to provide good menstrual hygiene care to women of the state. The initiative aims to promote health and hygiene among school going adolescent girls leading to higher retention in school and greater empowerment of women.
About the Initiative
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 scheme is being implemented by the health and family welfare department of the state at a cost of Rs 70 crore per year.


Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin initiative 
The oil marketing companies have launched Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Initiative, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Odisha.
According to the data from the National Family Health Survey-4, overall use of sanitary napkins in Odisha is 33.5 per cent and only 42.8 per cent of rural women between the age of 15 and 24 years use proper hygienic methods of protection during menstruation. The oil companies came up with this initiative keeping this scenario in mind.


PM launches comprehensive pension management software SAMPANN 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29th December launched a comprehensive pension management software SAMPANN to facilitate pensioners of the telecom department. SAMPANN, an acronym for System for Accounting and Management of Pension, will help in the timely disbursement of pensions, he said at a public meeting in Varanasi. PM Modi said the Centre is using technology to improve ease of living and greater ease of access to citizen-centric services.
 

Obituary

Noted filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away
Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen passed away at the age of 95 in Kolkata this morning. A Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, Sen paved the way for parallel cinema in the country with films like Ek Din Achanak, Padatik, Mrigaya, Akaler Sandhane, Chorus, Kharij, Khandahar, Bhuwan Shome, Akash Kusum and Calcutta 71.
 

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Important Current Affairs 18th December 2018

Obituary news

Yoga Exponent Geeta Iyengar Passes Away
Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar, the eldest daughter of legendary Yoga guru, B.K.S. Iyengar and a noted exponent of the yogic science in her own right, passed away at her residence on Sunday, aged 74.
Dr. Iyengar’s sudden death comes barely two days after the conclusion of the birth centenary celebrations of ‘Yogacharya’ Iyengar held at the city’s Balewadi sports complex.
Her book ‘Yoga: A gem for women’ became the primer for women across the world and was translated in half-a-dozen European languages.

National news


Lok Sabha passes transgender rights Bill
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill seeking to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, seeking to define transgenders and prohibit discrimination against them, was introduced in the Lok Sabha two years ago.
It was passed with 27 amendments.
Highlights of the Bill
The Bill defines a transgender person.
A transgender person must obtain a certificate of identity as proof of recognition of identity as a transgender person and to invoke rights under the Bill.
The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person.


India’s first railway university
India’s first railway university has been opened in Vadodara– It is named as the National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI).
The Railway University will be first of its kind institution in the nation and the third in the world after Russia and China.

Sports news

Joshna Chinappa Wins Her Record 16th National Title
Joshna Chinappa and Mahesh Mangaonkar bagged the women’s and men’s singles titles respectively at the National Squash Championships in New Delhi on Sunday. Both of these wins were memorable for the champions for different reasons.Squash star Joshna Chinappa equalled Bhuvneshwari Kumari’s record of 16 national titles by edging out Urvashi Joshi. Mahesh Mangaonkar won his maiden crown on the concluding day of the premier domestic event.

International new


Indonesian Volcano Eruptss
Mount Soputan, on the northern part of Sulawesi Island, erupted twice Monday morning. A volcano in Indonesia has erupted, blasting columns of thick ash 24,000 feet into the sky.
Soputan, which stands 5,853 feet tall, is one of Indonesia’s more than 120 active volcanoes. Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”


Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Australian government officially recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this despite is not resolved yet.


Wickremesinghe : New Sri Lanka’s PM
On Sunday morning Wickremesinghe was sworn in by Sirisena, who had sacked him on October 26 and appointed former president, the pro-China Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his place. The move brought the country’s government to a standstill.
Delhi will now push for an early implementation of India funded development projects in Sri Lanka

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Important Current Affairs 10th December 2018 English

(Obituary)

Mushirul Hasan passes away

  • Historian Mushirul Hasan, passed away .
  • Mr. Hasan was the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University. He has also served as the Director-General of the National Archives of India, and the President of the Indian History Congress.
  • Contribution :
  1. extensively written on India's Partition(India Partition: The Other Face of Freedom)
  2. documented Islam and Muslims of South Asia.
  3. He documents how Jawaharlal Nehru decided to guide India on to the world stage as a modern nation, contrary to Mahatma Gandhi's imagination of Hind Swaraj.

(National news)

Swaraj India launches iCan19
Swaraj India, has launched a new platform to encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics, set an agenda and select independent candidates who will speak on behalf of farmers and youth.

Centre Amends Rules For 3 Nations Minorities
•    Union Home Ministry has notified amendments to the Citizenship Rules, 2009.
•    Amendment:  to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
•    Citizenship to six persecuted minorities who came to India before 2014.

Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district.
The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly had on August 29 passed a bill for the creation of three new districts -- Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi.
 

(Economy news)

Urjit Patel steps down as RBI Governor
Dr. Urjit Patel announced that he was stepping down from his position as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.
He was appointed the Governor of the RBI in 2016. He was previously the Deputy Governor of the central bank.
 

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Eugene Cernan, Last Man to Walk on Moon Passes Away

U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, who as the commander of the final Apollo lunar landing mission in 1972 became known as the "last man on the moon," died on Jan 16. He was 82.
●    NASA confirmed Cernan's death on its website and social media channels, noting he was surrounded by his family at the time he died. 
●    The cause of death was not stated, but he was known to have been ill in recent months.
●    Cernan was chosen with NASA's third group of astronauts in 1963. 
●    His first spaceflight, Gemini 9A, came three years later, after he and Thomas Stafford replaced Elliot See and Charles Bassett in the wake of a jet crash that claimed the original crew members' lives.
●    As the pilot of NASA's seventh Gemini Flight — a three-day mission in Earth orbit that rendezvoused but failed to dock with an unmanned target vehicle, Cernan became only the second American astronaut to go out on an extra-vehicular activity (EVA). 
●    The two-hour spacewalk though, nearly cost him his life.

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Prof. C V Vishweshvara, Black Hole Research Pioneer Passes Away

Professor CV Vishveshwara who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away on 16 January 2017 in Bengaluru following a brief illness. He was 77. 
●    He is survived by wife and two daughters.
●    Popularly called Vishu, he was celebrated as the 'Black Hole Man of India'.
●    In the 1970s at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study black holes even before they were named. 
●    His calculations gave a graphic form to the signals emitted by two merging black holes. This was the waveform detected in 2015 by the LIGO collaboration.
●    This waveform also contained the quasi normal modes, a ringdown stage that sounds like a fading out ringing bell. 
●    He was also the founding director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru. 
●    He had written several books including Einstein’s Enigma and Black Holes in My Bubble Bath.

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Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system, dies

Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, known as the father of Pinyin for creating the system of Romanized Chinese writing, passed away on 14 January 2017 in Beijing, China. He was 111.
●    Pinyin is the writing method that coverts Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet. It changed the way the language was taught. In 1958, it was officially adopted by the Chinese Government. 
●    In 1982, Pinyin became the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7098 after a vote. The United Nations adopted it in 1986.
●    Zhou Youguang was a Chinese economist, linguist, sinologist, publisher, banker, and supercentenarian (someone who has lived to or passed their 110th birthday).
●    He entered Changzhou High School in 1918, during which time he first took interest in linguistics. In 1923, he graduated with honours.
●    He majored in economics from St. John's University, Shanghai.
●    His committee was charged with developing a romanization to represent the pronunciation of Chinese characters.


 

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Surjit Singh Barnala, former Chief Minister of Punjab, dies

Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Surjit Singh Barnala, passed away on 14 January 2017. He was 91.
●    Barnala served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 29 September 1985 until 11 May 1987, a period of Sikh militant movement in Punjab. 
●    Born on 21 October 1925, he completed his graduation in law from Lucknow.
●    His first ministerial assignment was in 1969 when he was sworn in as Education Minister in the Justice Gurnam Singh Government.
●    He had also served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand. 
●    He was the first Governor of Uttarakhand from its creation in 2000 until 2003.
●    From December 1990 to 18 March 1993, he served as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 

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Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth dies

Clare Hollingworth, legendary correspondent who first broke the news of the beginning of World War II, passed away on 10 January 2017 following a brief illness. She was 105.
●    She was famously known as the doyenne of war correspondents.
●    She was the first to report the invasion of Poland by German troops that triggered the outbreak of World War Two.
●    Hollingworth's career took her to Palestine, Iraq and Iran, where she interviewed Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who was overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979.
●    While working as a correspondent for the Economist and the Observer, Hollingworth went to Jerusalem in July 1946 when the King David hotel, where she was staying, was bombed by Zionist paramilitaries led by future Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin.
●    She also covered the conflict in Vietnam where she scored a scoop that peace talks would shortly begin between Hanoi and Washington in 1968.
●    She also reported the defection of British spy Kim Philby, but the story was largely buried by her editors out of the fears of a libel suit. 
●    In 1972, Hollingworth became the Telegraph's first Beijing correspondent since 1949.
●    Later, she returned back to the UK as a defence correspondent and also travelled to Hong Kong to cover the colony's handover to Chinese control in 1997.
●    She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
 

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