January 2018 Daily News Current Affairs

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  1. Jan 17, 2018
    1. Thomson Reuters Corp's First ‘Top 100 Global Technology Leaders list 2018 -
      1. Top 3 - Microsoft (1), Intel (2), Cisco Systems (3)
      2. 45 % of 100 tech companies are headquartered in USA. Japan and Taiwan are tied for second place with 13 companies each, followed by India with 5 tech firms (TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra).
    2. Afghanistan residents awarded Donald Trump a bravery medal for rebuking Pakistan over its failure in curbing terrorist havens.
    3. Sikkim Government allowed people to forge fraternal ties with trees, under Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017. Purpose is to preserve trees by encouraging people to forge relationship of brotherhood with trees through tradition locally known as Mitini / Mith.
    4. China constructed a 330-foot tall air purifying tower in Xian (Shaanxi Province), biggest in world. It has produced more than 10 million cubic meters of clean air since launch.
    5. Noted Brazilian Footballer Formally announced his retirement. He was although not playing for national side since last 2 years.
    6. NITI Aayog launched first course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) at IIT Kanpur’s outreach centre in Noida (UP). This is first course under Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) Program of HRD Ministry, that aims to boost quality of higher education through international collaboration.
      1. Course aims to impart high level remote sensing and GIS skills to allow them managing rapidly changing urban environment, with focus on water related activities.
    7. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved procuring 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on fast track basis for INR 3,547 crores, to meed needs of Army that is countering continuous threats from Pakistan and China.
    8. Indian IT Firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) signed over GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) deal with M&G Prudential (UK and European savings and investments business of Prudential plc).
    9. Government sanctioned projects over 10,000 crore rupees in North East for better network connectivity, Including uncovered areas in North Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
    10. S Selvakumar is appointed as Chairman and Manging Director (CMD) of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL).
    11. Tracey Crouch is appointed as UK’s first-ever minister for loneliness, charged to tackle loneliness and combat social isolation. This role has been created in memory of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016.
    12. A 910-carat gem diamond, considered 5th largest gem-quality diamond ever found has been discovered in a Lesotho mine (Africa). It is more valuable as it is colourless, with worth of approx $40 million.
    13. Government lowered additional borrowing requirement for current fiscal to INR 20000 crores from previous estimate of 50000 crores, considering revenue receipts and expenditure pattern. Lesser borrowing will enable resttricing fiscal deficit within target.
    14. Karnataka Government will hold a Blockchain Hackathon for Governance, for students, startups, and other IT professionals. Cloud-based blockchain technology providers will be invited to provide platforms for use in this hackathon. Karnataka is 3rd Indian State (After Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) to announce plans to adopt blockchain for governance.
    15. Haryana Government will form a non-banking financial company named Haryana State Financial Services Limited, for efficient management of funds. It will be in-house treasury manager and will be responsible for efficient management of surplus funds of State public enterprises. Authorised capital of this NBFC will be Rs.10 crore while the paid up capital will be Rs. 2 crore.
    16. Dev Information Technology will sett up DevX, largest Accelerator Center for startups in Gujarat.
    17. World Economic Forums’s (WEF’s) Global Risks Report 2018 -
      1. On dimensions of Likelihood and impact, 5 environmental risks - extreme weather, major natural disasters, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, man-made environmental disasters, and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation are accorded highest weightage.
      2. Top-ranking global risk on dimension of impact was use of weapons of mass destruction while on dimension of likelihood, extreme weather events ranked top.
    18. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that all the 14 designs of Rs 10 coin are valid and legal tender for transactions, as it was observed that some traders and members of public were reluctant to accept INR 10 coins owing to a doubt about it genuineness.
    19. Reliance Communications (RCom) unveiled Eagle express submarine cable system to lay a 68000-km undersea cable for carrying data across Europe and Asia, as a cloud and fiber initiative which will be laid at a cost of $600 million. This submarine cable system will connect its base in India with Italy to west and Hong Kong on east. It is expected to be operational by 2020.
  2. Jan 16, 2018
    1. Department of Commerce signed MoU with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), for integrated development of Logistics sector. Government aims to reduce Logistics cost from 14% of GDP to under 10% by 2022.
    2. External Affairs Ministry announced that Passports will no longer serve as a valid proof of address as Its last page will not printed from now onwards, that includes Names of father / guardian, and address.
      1. Additionally, Passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport. As per Govt., This is meant to identify less educated (under 10th) labourers and prevent them from exploitation abroad.
        1. Note that Indian passports have a blue cover, diplomatic and official passports have white and red jackets, respectively. Applicants who haven’t cleared 10th standard are given a passport with ECR category (now with orange jackets).
    3. A health worker from Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, Verma has featured in World Health Organization (WHO) calendar for 2018, for her efforts to ensure hundred per cent coverage of her area of operation under measles and rubella programme.
    4. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)'s Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), launched IPrism for university students as a unique Intellectual Property (IP) Competition, in association with ASSOCHAM and ERICSSON India.
      1. It aims to foster culture of innovation and creativity in younger generation and invites students to submit films on piracy & counterfeiting under categories of 30 and 60 seconds.
    5. Indo-US joint military exercise Vajra Prahar will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle (USA) in last week of Jan 2018.
    6. Bangladesh, India and Nepal approved operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).
    7. Biennial Joint exercise by Indian and Japanese Coast Guards held in Bay of Bengal, as 8th in series of National Maritime Search and Rescue Workshop and Exercise.
    8. Philippines expressed its displeasure over construction of an apparent airbase on a man-made island in the South China Sea by China.
      1. China reportedly uses cabbage strategy for militarization of large areas in disputed south china sea, which is protsetd by neighboring nations (inlcuding India, Japan, Bhutan, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Brunei ) claiming control on various parts 0f mineral rich south china sea.
      2. Cabbage strategy is also called salami-slicing strateg, Under which a contested area is surrounded by multiple security layers to deny access to the rival nation and is claimed subsequently. As per the observers, China, for a long time, has been pursuing this strategy.
    9. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated project commencement of Rajasthan oil refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district, as first one to be set up in Rajasthan. It is as a joint venture of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Rajasthan government, with budget of INR 43000 crores and expected to be operational in 4 years.
    10. Government decided to end Haj subsidy from this year, as a part of its policy to 'empower minorities without appeasement'.
      1. Note that despite withdrawal of subsidy, record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims would be Haj undertaking pilgrimage this year from India after Saudi Arabia increased India's quota by 5,000.
    11. Mihai Tudose resigned as Prime Minister of Romania (Southeastern Europe).
    12. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore launched official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.
      1. Government will extend cash incentives to grassroots level coaches of medal-winning athletes in International Games. Now, when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth / Asian / Olympic Games, 20 % of money will go to coaches who worked on them at grass-root level and 30 % will be given to developmental coaches.
      2. Under Khelo India, Sports Ministry will select 1000 athletes every year Through School Games, for a scholarship of Rs 5 lakhs each for eight successive years.
      3. Mascots of Khelo India School Games are Vijay the tiger and Jaya the black buck. While, Aur khelna chahte hain hum is official anthem.
    13. On 16th January, Goa celebrated Opinion Poll Day as Asmitai Dis (Identity Day). It marks historic poll in 1967, when people of Goa voted not to merge with Maharashtra.
    14. WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) will induct retired player Goldberg into WWE Hall of Fame class, first in 2018.
    15. Bank of Baroda tied up with Digital invoice discounting marketplace Invoicemart, as TReDS (Trade Receivables Electronic Discounting System) partner. TReDS is an online platform through which, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can access funds for working capital without hassle of applying for loans. Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank and mjunction services.
    16. India attended meeting of international military cooperation departments of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for first time, in Beijing(China).
    17. Iranian government lifted restrictions on use of Internet, including messaging app Telegram, that were put after protests against unemployment and rising consumer prices in December 2017.
    18. J & K government signed MoU with Central Govt. to create normalcy in Jammu & Kashmir by means of education reforms, named School Education Transformation Roadmap.
    19. Odisha State Government announced ‘Mukshyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Jojana’ (MMKSJ), under which artists from across the state will get a monthly assistance of Rs 1200, to benefit approx 50000 artists from across state.
      1. Odisha government also changed eligibility criteria as compared to previous artist assistance scheme, under which only 4000 artists were being given Rs 1000 per month. As per new criteria, any male artist can avail assistance under scheme after attaining the age of 50 years (earlier 60 years), while females have relaxation of 10 years.
    20. West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha opted out of Central Government’s Transformation of Aspirational Districts scheme.
      1. Aspirational districts refer to selected 115 backward districts that are lagging on specific development parameters. Central Government undertook a major policy initiative for rapid transformation of these districts. With exit of 3 states, total districts under this scheme is now reduced to 102.
      2. These states objected that criteria for identifying backward districts was fixed without taking respective State Governments into confidence.
      3. Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ conference was held in New Delhi in rcently, in which NITI Aayog said it will come out with a ranking of 115 aspirational districts by April 2018.
  3. Jan 15, 2018
    1. Jan 15, 2018 - 70th Indian Army Day. It commemorates the day when K.M Carriappa took over command of Indian Army from F.R.R Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949.
    2. Visits to India (Jan 11 - 20, 2018)
      1. Prime Minister 0f Israel, Benjamin Netyanahu Visited India. Several MOUs were signed during his visit -
        1. Cyber Security.
        2. Oil and Gas
        3. Air Transport
        4. Film-co-production
        5. Homeopathic Medicine
        6. Space
        7. During this Visit, central Delhi's Teen Murti Chowk is formally renamed as Teen Murti-Haifa after Israeli City Haifa.
        8. Both PMs dedicated to nation, the iCREATE facility located near Ahmedabad (Gujarat). iCreate is an independent Centre created with the objective of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, engineering and leveraging emerging technologies to deal with major issues such as food security, water, cybersecurity, IT and electronics, energy, bio-medical equipment etc.
    3. Ajendra Bahadur Singh is appointed as Chief of Western Naval Command of Indian Navy.
    4. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA) introduced face authentication as an additional means of Aadhaar authentication along with fingerprint and iris scan, to enable easy authentication for those who face difficulties in other biometric authentication such as fingerprint and iris scan. It will be available by 1 July, 2018.
    5. Federal Bank partnered with Hedge Equities Ltd for providing Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) services to NRIs.
    6. Hyderabad Hunters won 3rd Premier Badminton League championship in Hyderabad, after beating Bengaluru Blasters in final.
    7. Assam Hockey won 8th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2018 (B Division) in Assam, defeating Rajasthan.
    8. Chhattisgarh High Court asked all trial courts in state to obtain Aadhaar Cards of accused persons and sureties before issuing release warrant of a prisoner/accused, to curb rampant practice of obtaining bail on the basis of forged revenue papers or by impersonating real surety.
    9. NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescope discovered SPT0615-JD as farthest known galaxy in universe so far (2,500 light-years away). It is a cluster of 500 million year-old stars.SPT0615-JD was found in Hubble’s Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS) and companion S-RELICS Spitzer programme.
    10. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved appointment of Vijay Kumar as Managing Director and CEO of National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
    11. Actor Sudhir Dalvi is honored with Janakavi P Sawlaram award, instituted by Thane Municipal Corporation and Janakavi P Savlaram Kala Samiti.
    12. Punjab Government signed MoU with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up bio-gas and bio-CNG plants in state, to find sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning. Total 400 such plants will become operational in 3-4 years with investment of INR 5000 crores.
    13. Brazil’s securities regulator prohibited local investment funds from buying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum.
    14. Ecuador granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
      1. In 2012, Assange, an Australian-Ecuadoran, was granted asylum at Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced an investigation over rape allegations.
    15. Indian peacekeepers in UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have re-built a 300-metre-long river bridge in Akoka village in record time. This bridge will enable people to cross the river and reach a town to access basic services.
    16. Chinese Bike Sharing Firm OFO launched its services across seven Indian cities (Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai), in partnership with digital payments firm Paytm.
  4. Jan 14, 2018
    1. Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley launched India’s First Agri-commodity Options in Guar Seed by National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). It is first-of-its-kind hedging tool in India, as an effort to make agri-economy more efficient and bring huge amount of value for the farmers.
    2. 12th International Film Festival on Art and Artist began in Bhubaneswar, organised by Bhubaneswar-based Jatin Das Centre of Art (JDCA).
    3. First India-UK Createch Summit will be held in Mumbai in February 2018, to explore convergence of creativity and technology, ‘Createch’ and its application across a range of areas.
    4. NBFC Capital First has been merged with IDFC Bank. Merged entity will have assets under management of Rs 88000 crore,customer base of over 5 million and branch network of 194.
    5. YES Foundation (social development arm of YES Bank) launched 5th YES! i am the CHANGE’ (YIAC) campaign to inculcate spirit of responsible youth citizenship and drive social impact through the medium of films.
      1. Yes foundation invited participation in YIAC Social Filmmaking Challenge, to depict stories of change in a three-minute film. Selected entities will receive a grant of Rs 7.5 crore, for scaling up and capacity building and will also receive three-year mentoring for creating onground tangible social impact.
    6. As per RBI, housing loans in up to Rs. 2 lakh slab had the highest level of non-performing assets (NPAs).
      1. For housing loan slab up to 2 lakh, NPAs of Public Sector Banks and HFCs was 10.4 % in FY17 as compared to 9.8 % in FY16.
      2. Lowest NPAs were reported for housing loans in Rs. 25 lakh and above slab.
    7. Bhogali Bihu harvest festival, also called as Magh Bihu festival began in Assam.
    8. Bikaner camel festival celebrated in Rajasthan to honour camels.
    9. Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) launched India’s internationally benchmarked Forest Management Certification Standard (FMCS). FMCS enlists measures to be taken for responsible utilisation of natural resources and trade of forest products.
    10. Global Manufacturing Index released by World Economic Forum (WEF, titled Readiness for the future of production report -
      1. Japan is at top, while India is ranked 30th. Top 5 Nations -
      2. 1 Japan
        2 South Korea
        3 Germany
        4 Switzerland
        5 China
    11. Bombay Stock Exchange’s India International Exchange (India INX) listed Indian Railway Finance Corporation’s (IRFC’s) green bonds on its debt listing platform, Global Securities Market (GSM). India INX lists IRFC’s green bonds, becomes first debt security at IFSC.
      1. Green Bonds: Main difference between regular bond and Green Bond is that funds raised through Green Bonds are used for financing projects/business activities that are environment-friendly.
    12. Maharashtra Health department and Johnson and Johnson signed MoU to train rural midwives and social health activists regarding tuberculosis and maternal and infant mortality. Nearly 10,000 auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and 60,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Maharashtra will be trained by Johnson and Johnson at district level.
    13. Karnataka topped among all states with investment intentions of Rs. 1.49 lakh crore till October 2017, accounting for 43 % of India’s total investment intentions.
    14. Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) appointed Pramod Agarwal as its new chairman.
    15. Indian Army established a Skill Training Centre in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, to empower nd Train Kashmiri youth.
  5. Jan 13, 2018
    1. General Conferences (Jan 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Ministry of Culture organized 7th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix in Karnataka.
      2. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated ‘Economic Democracy Conclave at Thane (Maharashtra), organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (charitable organisation in domain of training of social-political activists).
      3. International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) organized by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Delhi.
      4. 65th Meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held under Chairmanship of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in Delhi.
      5. 3rd geo-political conference Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi, attended by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and jointly organised by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF). 2018's theme is Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idiom’.
        1. Raisina Dialogue is an annual conference held in New Delhi, envisioned as India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics.
        2. Indian and Israeli PM duo also launched I4Fund Call for Proposal, that provisions establishing a 40 million USD Fund by India's Department of Science and Technology and National Innovation Authority of Israel.
    2. American and Japanese armies launched 13th edition of their joint exercise named Iron Fist, in California (USA).
    3. South Africa's Kagiso Rabada became youngest bowler ever (22 years age) to top ICC Test Bowlers' rankings.
    4. Former Indian Cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography Imperfect has been launched.
    5. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd will launch its own cyptocurrency based on Blockchain Technology, named JioCoin, led by Mukesh Ambani’s son Akash Ambani.
    6. China will provide financial support to construct counter-terrorism base in Badakshan province of northern Afghanistan that would prevent cross-border infiltration of Chinese Uyghur militants.
    7. Indian Navy decommissioned INS Nirbhik and INS Nirghat warships.
    8. Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas launched month long Saksham 2018 (Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav, that aims at creating focused attention on fuel conservation through people centric activities and sensitize masses about efficient use of petroleum products.
    9. Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Zone Startups India launched Accelerator Program for three months, to promote startups in early revenue stage. It will help startups achieve product-market fit through a curated customer validation process. It will introduce startups to investors, relevant customers and industry connects.
    10. Norway's fertiliser firm Yara International acquired India's Tata Chemicals’ 1.2 million tonnes per annum production capacity urea plant at Babrala in Uttar Pradesh, for INR 2682 crores. It is first foreign direct investment (FDI) in India's urea sector.
    11. China Navy commissioned indigenously deveoped missile frigate named Rizhao and a new 4000-ton Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate.
    12. According to wealth index based on data from 4th National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16,
      1. Wealth index was prepared on basis of information of scores on ownership of consumer goods and household characteristics such as availability of clean drinking water, classified into wealth quintiles.
      2. State wise wealth Distribution -
        1. Delhi and Punjab are richest with over 60% of their households in top wealth quintile. They are followed by Goa (54.5% in top bracket). Bihar is poorest with half of its households in bottom quintile. Rajasthan has most equitable wealth distribution with similar number of households in all quintiles.
      3. Wealth distribution in religious groups -
        1. Jains - 70% population in top quintile.
        2. Sikhs - 59.6% in top quintile.
        3. Hindus and Muslims have similar and also most equitable wealth distribution across all quintiles.
      4. Community wise wealth distribution -
        1. Scheduled tribes are poorest with 45.9% of their people in lowest quintile.
      5. Rural and Urban wealth -
        1. 29% of rural India belongs to bottom quintile, while it is just 3.3% for urban India.
    13. Visits from India (Jan 11 - 12, 2018)
      1. Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju Visited UK. On this occasion, India and UK signed 2 MoUs dealing with return of Indians residing in Britain as illegal migrants and sharing of criminal records and intelligence.
      2. Minister for Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad visited Sri Lanka. During His Visit, India and Sri Lanka signed agreements for
        1. Collaboration in Information and communication technology (ICT) sector
        2. Connecting National Knowledge network (NKN) for collaboration among universities and academics
        3. Setting up of e-office system.
    14. India contributed $50,000 to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s Office of Envoy on Youth to help with its mission of involving young people in UNs goals.
    15. Researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) discovered a new species of moth, scientifically named Elcysma Ziroensis in Talley Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.
    16. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Football Delhi (governing body for football in Delhi) signed MOU for development of sport in Capital.
  6. Jan 12, 2018
    1. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 31 satellites along with Cartosat-2 surveillance satellite (weighing total 1383 KG), onboard 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) rocket.
      1. Among 31 satellites, 3 belong to India and rest 28 are of six other countries.
      2. Cartosat-2 series Satellite weighs 710 KG, making it heaviest satellite that PSLV has carried till now. It will beam high-quality images for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and utility management.
    2. Jan 12 - National Youth Day in India. It marks birth anniversary of legendary social reformer Swami Vivekananda.
      1. On this occasion, 22nd National Youth Festival (NYF) organised in New Delhi by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports at Gautam Buddha University (Greater Noida).
      2. On this occasion, Jharkhand Govt organized Skill Summit and Provided Employment to 27852 Youth in Private Sector.
    3. China has set up world’s first 3D-printed bus stops in Fengjing (Shanghai). The bus stops have a closed loop design, accommodating two-round stools inside the structure.
    4. Nepal started accessing internet from China after commercial operations began at Nepal-China optical fibre link via Rasuwagadhi gateway across Himalayan Mountains. It ends Nepal’s dependence on India for internet bandwidth, considered strategic loss for India. It is believed that initial speed by Chinese fibre link will be 1.5 Gigabit per second (gbps), less than 34 gbps provided by India.
    5. Actress Kajol became an advocacy ambassador for a Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat initiative.
    6. Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation signed A MOU with Bihar and Jharkhand state governments for completion of balance works of North Koel reservoir project at an estimated cost of INR 1622 crores.
      1. North Koel project was started in 1972 but was later halted in 1993. It is situated on North Koel river (a tributary of Sone river), that will provide irrigation to 1,11,521 hectares of land annually in most drought prone areas of Palamu and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad and Gaya districts in Bihar.
      2. Out of cost of balance works of INR 1622 crores, component of INR 1013 crores shall be borne by central Govt. as a grant from LTIF under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
    7. India’s factory output, measured by Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose to 17 Months high of 8.4% in November 2017, up from 2% in October 2017, due to better performance by manufacturing and capital goods sectors.
    8. Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) refused captive breeding of Chiru (Tibetan antelope), whose underfur is used for making famous shahtoosh shawls.
      1. Chiru have been for long time for their underfur, which is renowned for its quality which is traditionally woven into an extremely fine fabric to make Shahtoosh shawls.
    9. China launched 2 BeiDou-3 satellites to provide navigation and positioning services to countries along Belt and Road initiative (BRI) by end of 2018. Launched satelites were BeiDou-3 M7 and BeiDou-3 M8 (26th and 27th satellites) in BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
    10. As per a survey by Ixigo, Kozhikode railway station (Kerala) is ranked best in terms of cleanliness, while Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) is ranked lowest. Among trains, Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani is rated cleanest train while Karnataka Express is given lowest ratings.
    11. Kerala government allowed prisoners in Kerala jails to donate organs to their close relatives.
    12. 4th ASEAN-INDIA Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry held in New Delhi .ASEAN stands for Association of SouthEast Asian Nations.
    13. India and Buhtan jointly unveiled Special logo for Golden Jubilee (50 years) celebrations through video-conference. During 2018, India and Bhutan will conduct several high-level exchanges.
    14. India provided financial assistance of USD 45.27 million to Sri Lanka for upgrading Kankesanthurai (KKS) Harbour (northern Sri Lanka) into a commercial port, through Export and Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).
    15. Government of South Australia approved building a major solar thermal plant which will be largest such thermal power plant in world and will power 35 % of households in South Australia. It will be developed by a US Firm, Solar Reserve at cost of Australian Dollar 650 million.
    16. India become top borrower from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans in 2017.
      1. Indonesia is at second position with USD 600 million worth loans.
      2. AIIB is headquartered in Beijing (China) and has authorized capital of 100 Billion USD. India is 2nd largest shared holder in AIIB (8.52%) after China (26%). AIIB is preferred lender as it charges only 1 to 1.5 % interest with long term repayment and 5 year grace period.
    17. Kazakhstan surpassed Iraq as biggest oil over-producer in among Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Nations. Kazakhstan’s oil output in November and December 2017 was nearly 130000 barrels a day and Kazakhstan promised to pump out 20000 barrels a day less as per OPEC pact.
    18. As per data by International Air Transport Association (IATA), India topped worldwide growth chart of domestic air passenger traffic for November 2017 with growth by 16.4 %, highest in world.
    19. GAIL will set up coal to synthesis gas conversion plants in Odisha, with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) as technology partner.
      1. Synthesis gas is expected to be cheaper than domestic gas as its a mixture comprising of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
    20. Annual survey of Gallup International ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as 3rd among world leaders, with German chancellor Angela Merkel at top and French president Emmanuel Macron at 2nd place.
    21. Anil Khanna is appointed as Chairman of Finance Commission of Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
    22. Book Majuli: Resources and Challenges, that appreciates beauty and challenges of Majuli (Assam) has been released. It is by Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti.
  7. Jan 11, 2018
    1. Railways launched SFOORTI (Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard. Features Include -
      1. Freight Operation Information System Map View provides Layered views of freight trains on Railways, that can help plan traffic flows and optimize freight operations.
      2. Forecasted Rakes Awaiting Interchange enables Monitoring of all loads, which have been forecasted for the divisional interchange, but the same interchange has not yet reported.
      3. Stock Specific / Commodity specific Rake Position can be viewed. Loaded and Empty Rakes of specific Rake Types are plotted on Railways network map in Different colours.
      4. Monitoring of New Origination-Destination Added in Railways.
      5. Loading Trends for Major Commodities during a period.
      6. Performance of Freight Trains can be monitored
    2. An important heritage attraction at National Rail Museum (New Delhi) - a 108 years old monorail became operational, that was used by Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh. The Museum takes visitors on an exciting journey into Railway history and heritage and depict their contribution to industrial and economic progress of country.
    3. India’s IndiGo is ranked 4th most Punctual mega carrier in world, ahead of British Airways and Lufthansa in a List by Aviation Analytics Company OAG. The list ranks Japan Airlines is at top.
    4. Bahrain will hold first ever Baby Olympics in April 2018, where medals will be contested by 2 - 4 year-olds, to promote Olympic principles at very young age.
    5. Supreme Court collegium recommended senior advocate Indu Malhotra for appointment as a judge of Supreme Court. She is first woman lawyer from India to be directly elected for post of judge of Supreme Court.
    6. Election Commission constituted a 14 member committee headed by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, to suggest changes to Section 126 of Representation of People Act 1951 (RP Act) in view of social media expansion.
      1. It will study impact of new media and social media during the silence period(48 hours period prior to elections) and its implications. It will suggest modifications to election law and model code of conduct.
    7. South Korea and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) signed MoU for industrial co-operation, with a focus on automobile, defence and textiles sectors. It aims to help Gujarat-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore opportunities through joint ventures with South Korean firms.
    8. India's first food testing lab in IITs opened in IIT Kharagpur campus, after National Accreditation Board for Calibration and Testing Laboratories (NABL) approved it for certifying food items based on nutritional value and perform adulteration checks.
    9. Western Railways introduced modern Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Kiosk Machines for fast and easy printing of tickets booked through UTS App, in mumbai. Additionally, Bhopal became first railway station to have Sanitary napkin Vending Machine.
    10. Retired Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra is appointed as head of a new committee to re-investigate 186 closed cases related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
    11. Kerala Government appointed V J Mathew as Chairman of Maritime Board.
    12. Central Government divested 2.52 % of paid-up capital in National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) for approx INR 1200 crores.
    13. World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide $440 million debt to Mahindra Renewables Pvt. Ltd, Acme Group and global private equity fund Actis Llp to build Rewa solar park in Madhya Pradesh.
      1. Earlier, three 250MW projects were awarded to Acme Solar Holdings, Mahindra Renewables and Actis LLP’s Solenergi Power.
    14. IndusInd Bank will introduce India's first battery-powered, interactive payment cards, in association with Dynamics Inc (Pennsylvania(USA) based firm that manufactures intelligent, battery-powered payment cards). New card will have multiple buttons which will allow consumers to pay in multiple ways (through credit points / monthly instalments).
    15. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) will collaborate to accelerate curbing environmental health risks.
    16. West Bengal Govt. launched water ATM project to ensure bacteria-free drinking water in schools, initially in Kolkata.
    17. Committee of Governors submitted report titled Rajyapal —Vikas Ke Rajdoot: Catalytic Role of Governors as Agents for Change in Society to President Ram Nath Kovind. Committee of Governors was Formed in October 2017 during 48th Conference of Governors in New Delhi.
  8. Jan 10, 2018
    1. Jan 10 - World Hindi Day. It marks holding first World Hindi Conference on 10 January, 1975. Jan 10, 2018 also marks 25th Raising Day of Army Air Defence.
    2. Cabinet Approvals on 10-01-2018 -
      1. FDI Policy Changes -
        1. 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading
        2. 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development
        3. Foreign airlines allowed investing up to 49% under approval route in Air India
        4. FIIs/FPIs allowed investing in Power Exchanges through primary market
      2. CCEA Approvals-
        1. Fixed term of 3 years for Chairperson and Members of National Trust for the Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Plasy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
        2. Continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till term of 14th Finance Commission (31-03-2020). It will entail total allocation of INR 11850 crores over 3 years, with additional annual allocation of 5 crore for monitoring through independent agency(ies) and for capacity building/training to State/District officials.
      3. MOUs -
        1. With Canada for cooperation in Science & Technology.
    3. Bilateral Meetings -
      1. 5th Bilateral Technical Meeting of India and Malaysia on cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine held in New Delhi.
    4. Government appointed Sivan K as New Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and Secretary in Department of Space. He will relpace A S Kiran Kumar as ISRO Chief.
    5. Aanchal Thakur from Himachal Pradesh became first Indian to win an international medal in skiing after she won Bronze at Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) in Erzurum in Turkey.
    6. Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese is appointed as Chairman of World Business Council for Sustainable development( WBCSD).
    7. Scientists from Duke University in North Carolina (USA) for first time have developed working human skeletal muscle from stem cells in lab.
      1. Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide to produce more stem cells, found in multicellular organisms.
      2. Scientists developed human skeletal muscle using adult skin or blood cells that were reprogrammed into a juvenile, versatile state. This may benefit several people suffering of degenerative muscular diseases. It will allow scientists to grow endless amount of functioning muscle in lab to test to test drugs and gene treatments for degenerative diseases.
    8. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned Charlie-435 patroling vessel at Karaikal in Puducherry.
    9. Sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) looking into issues of girl’s education has recommended free and compulsory education for girls up to post-graduate level across country.
    10. India missed December 2017 deadline announced for elimination of Kala Azar (black fever) in 2017-18 Budget by Government.
      1. Elimination is defined as reducing annual incidence of disease to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at sub-district level.
      2. Kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis) , also known as black fever and Dumdum fever is most severe form of leishmaniasis. It is slow progressing indigenous disease caused by single-celled parasite of Leishmania family.
    11. Harjinder Singh is appointed as Chef De Mission of Indian Contingent participating in 23rd Winter Olympic Games to be held in Pyeongchang (South Korea) in February 2018.
    12. To Address Privacy Concerns, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) introduced a new concept of Virtual ID which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, wherever Aadhaar number is necessary to provide.
      1. Virtual would be a random 16-digit number and a user can generate as many Virtual IDs (Older ones will be cancelled when generating new).
      2. It will give limited details (like name, address and photograph), which are sufficient for verification by any authorised agency .
      3. Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting virtual ID from March 1, 2018 and From June 1, it will be obligatory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept Virtual ID from their users.
    13. Paytm has set up a new entity called Paytm Money that will offer investment and wealth management products and will invest close to $10 million in new entity. Paytm Money is 4th product from One97 Communications, after Paytm Mall, Payments Bank and wallet.
    14. JK Tyres & Industries appointed Rajiv Prasad as president of India Operations.
    15. e-Commerce Major Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos became richest person ever as his wealth has hit $105.1 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' previous record from 1999 (Gates is now worth $93.3 billion).
    16. Rajasthan government will digitise administrative and historical records of Rajputana’s princely states (10000 Pages/day), to to protect old and fragile documents.
      1. Rajasthan State Archive consists of 30-40 crore administrative and historical records of 22 princely states, and will digitise 3-4 crore documents considered important.
    17. Visits to India (Jan 01 - 10, 2018)
      1. King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho (Southern African Nation) visited India.
      2. H Wiranto (Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs) visited India, To attend first bilateral security dialogue between India and Indonesia.
    18. Visits from India (Jan 1-10, 2018) -
      1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited three South East Asian countries – Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
        1. Indonesia - Co-chaired 5th meeting of India-Indonesia Joint Commission.
        2. Singapore - Inaugurated Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of ASEAN countries.
      2. Union Minister (Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) Nitin Gadkari visited Singapore to inaugurate ASEAN India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
    19. General Conferences (Jan 01 - 10, 2018) -
      1. 8 day long New Delhi World Book Fair begun in New Delhi, with theme Environment and Climate Change and European union as Guest of Honour country.
      2. 18th All India Whips’ Conference held at Udaipur (Rajasthan). During this, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) proposed rolling out of e-Sansad in Parliament and e-Vidhan in State Legislatures to digitize and make their functioning paperless.
      3. Annual Conference of DGPs and IGPs held at BSF (Border Security Force) Academy in Tekanpur (Madhya Pradesh). It was attended by PM Narendra Modi.
      4. 4th International Conference on Dharma-Dhamma held at Rajgir (Bihar), organised by Nalanda University with an aim to provide an opportunity to academics and policy makers from India and abroad to share ideas.
      5. Conference on Transformation of Aspirational Districts held in New Delhi, organized by NITI Aayog. During This, NITI Aayog announced to issue a ranking of 115 aspirational districts by April 2018.
      6. Centre for Transportation Research and Management (CTRAM) organized a National Rail Transport Seminar with theme Railways for Sustainable Development in New Delhi.
  9. Jan 09, 2018
    1. Jan 09 - Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in India, marking return of M K Gandhi to India from south africa on Jan 9, 1915. It was first celebrated by NDA Government in 2003.
      1. This year marks 25th anniversary of India's partnership with ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Nations and theme wasAncient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in Dynamic ASEAN INDIA Partnership.
      2. On this occasion, first ever Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference held in Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK) in New Delhi.
    2. 2 Days after Saudi Arabia Allowed Indian Haj Pilgrims to travel to Haj via Sea Route, Saudi Arabia has now Increased India's Haj Quota for 2018 to 175025 (1 Lakh 75 Thousand and 25 Pilgrims), an increase of 5000 compared to previous year.
      1. Additionally, Women above 45 years of age will be allowed to travel for Haj in groups of 4 or more women, without a Mehram (Male Companion).
    3. A MOU is signed Between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Allahabad Bank to provide a centralized platform for processing interest subsidy to eligible beneficiaries under Self Employment Programme (SEP) component of Deendayal AntyodayaYojana- National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
      1. The Portal will -
        1. Enable processing interest subsidy for NULM schemes, which will be credited to Aadhaar linked beneficiary accounts through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer).
        2. Facilitate on-line validation of loans granted by Banks, through Urban Local Bodies.
      2. Self-Employment Component (SEP) of NULM and Need for Portal -
        1. Under SEP, loans for setting up micro- enterprise are available to individuals (upto 2 lakhs) and groups (upto 10 lakhs). Interest subvention from Ministry is available for amount of interest charged above 7%. Women SHGs are eligible for additional 3% subvention on timely loan repayment.
        2. Currently, interest subvention is processed manually, making it a time taking Process and No mechanism was there to ascertain whether beneficiary has received subsidy or not.
        3. Under Proposed Common centralized IT platform to be maanged by Allahabad Bank, Claims will be uploaded by Central/Zonal HQ of banks on portal, concerned States/ULBs will verify thebeneficiaries, after which the claim amount will be transferred.
        4. Allahabad Bank will charge a service fee of 1.05% of interest subsidy amount released.
    4. Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) of Railways has launched New Online Vender Registration System, to make related procedures digital and transparent. New system provides major improvements such as Public access to information, expeditious process completion with defined timelines, round-the-year services, availability of all related information on RDSO Website etc.
    5. First all-women staff (41 females) railway station in India, Matunga on Central Railway (CR) in Mumbai, entered Limca Book of Records.
    6. Government announced completion of 1st phase of BharatNet project, after laying 254895 km of optical fibre cables (OFC) covering 1,09,926 GPs out of which 1,01,370 GPs are service ready.
      1. BharatNet project forms backbone for Digital India initiative. It aims to bring high speed broadband to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre by March 2019. It approved in 2011 as National Optical Fibre Netwok.
    7. Defence Ministry sanctioned raising Territorial Army (TA) battalion comprising ex-servicemen of Indian Army as part of its mission to clean Ganga by 2020, named as Composite Ecological Task Force (CETF) battalion.
      1. CETF will be raised in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh as a pilot project for which INR 167 crores are allocated. It will be commanded by Colonel-rank officer. It will have 8 officers, 20 JCOs and around 500 other ranks on its roll.
    8. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will launch National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, as a new scheme free treatment of Hepatitis C from 2018-19, with focus on free anti-viral treatment of Hepatitis C. For this, budget of INR 600 crores is marked for 3 years.
    9. Supreme Court stayed Karnataka High Court's order to reduce size of pictorial warnings on packages of tobacco products to 40% of package space from earlier 85%.
      1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in 2014 prescribed mandatory 85% statutory warnings space on both sides of tobacco packaging telling consumers that cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing were harmful to health.
      2. In December 2017, Karnataka HC quashed MoHFW rules related to 85% statutory warnings on packaging of tobacco products, holding that they violated Constitutional norms. This order is now stayed by Supreme Court.
      3. Supreme Court also ruled that playing national anthem before screening movies in cinema halls is not mandatory. Government has formed a committee to finalize on the same and committee will submit report in 6 months. Commitee is headed by B.R. Sharma (Additional Secretary in MHA).
    10. Dilip Asbe is appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
    11. BCCI banned Yusuf Pathan for five months after failed a dope test. However the backdated ban will get over on Jan 14, 2018.
    12. India at recent misc sports events -
      1. Aditya Mehta won Kolkata Open 2018 International Invitation Snooker Championship, defeating England’s Alfie Burden.
    13. Rajesh Ranjan is appointed as next High Ambassador of India to Botswana.
    14. Sita Ram Mardi is appointed as new Director General of Police (DGP) of Himachal Pradesh.
    15. Noted Musician AR Rahman is apppointed as brand ambassador of Sikkim State, during Red Panda Winter Festival in Gangtok (Sikkim).
    16. French government will present Legion of Honour award to Indiann actor Soumitra Chatterjee, at 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair.
      1. France will be Theme country for International Kolkata Book Fair 2018.
    17. RS Puram Police station in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) is named best in India in SMART Police Stations initiative of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). SMART stands for Sensitive and Strict, Modern with mobility, Alert and Accountable, Reliable and Responsive and Trained and Techno-savvy.
    18. Gujarat topped Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index released at 3rd meeting of Council for Trade Development and Promotion.
      1. LEADS Index is about mobility of goods and efficiency of logistics chain, developed by Commerce and Industry Ministry along with Deloitte.
      2. Gujarat is followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Among UTs, Daman & Diu topped, followed by Delhi and Chandigarh.
    19. Flipkart-owned payments firm PhonePe tied-up with FreeCharge Wallet to enable over 45 million users to link their existing FreeCharge Wallet to PhonePe app. PhonePe customers will be able to utilise their FreeCharge wallet balance for all online and offline transactions.
    20. Punjab National Bank (PNB) and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) signed MoU to provide financial assistance to Scheduled Caste (SC) families living below Double Poverty Line (DPL).
      1. Persons with annual family income below 40000 in rural areas and 55000 in urban areas are considered to be below double poverty line.
    21. Bihar Government banned electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), that are handheld battery-run devices which are used like a conventional cigarette. However the ingredient (in liquid form) may differ.
    22. Government notified Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 that amends Some provisions of Companies Act 2013 and eases implementation of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.
      1. Amendment Act allows companies to issue shares at a discount to its creditors in instances wherein its debt is converted into shares, which was prohibited under Section 53 of Companies Act 2013.
      2. For defaulting companies, payment of managerial remuneration in excess of 11 % of net profits will now require approval of all stakeholders involved (banks, public financial institutions and other creditors).
  10. Jan 08, 2018
    1. International Kite Festival held at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
    2. TrackChild and Khoya-Paya portals launched by Ministry of Women and Child Development to track missing and found children. Ministry also provides support for children in trouble through the dedicated toll free number - 1098.
    3. WTA Auckland Women's Tennis Open (New Zealand) -
      1. Singles - Julia Görges (Germany)
      2. Doubles - Sara Errani (Italy) AND Bibiane Schoofs (Netherlands)
    4. Acer launched Acer Swift 7, that claims to be the world’s thinnest laptop, priced at $1,699. It has thickness of 8.98mm and is powered by Intel Core i7 processor.
    5. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is awarded first Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Award for Probity (Honesty) in Public Life, instituted by J & K government to mark death anniversary of Mufti M Sayeed.
    6. A Defence Innovation Centre would be set up by CODISSIA in Coimbatore, to assist small industries in manufacturing components for the defence sector. CODISSIA will identify small and micro units as well as start-ups, that can manufacture components required for defence production.
    7. Iran banned English from being taught in primary schools, amid suspected Western cultural invasion.
    8. 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival (world’s largest ice festival) began in Harbin (north-east China). It highlights ice sculptures of castles, historic landmarks and famous figures.
    9. Uttar Pradesh Government banned use of unauthorised loudspeakers at public places, including religious places.
    10. Delhi Govt. launched a common card for rides on public buses and metro, becoming first Indian city to have such common mobility card.
    11. BSES Rajdhani Power launched Solar City Initiative (in partnership with USA agency for International Development (USAID) PACE-D and Indo-German Collaboration (GIZ)) aimed to maximise rooftop solar power use in south and west Delhi. Under this, rooftop solar installations will be provided at a single point for entire apartment complex unlike conventional method of having individual installations.
  11. Jan 07, 2018
    1. Switzerland won 3rd Hopman Cup (Tennis) as Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber at Perth Arena (Australia).
    2. 2018 Maharashtra Men's Tennis Title (Also called Tata Open) -
      1. Men's Singles - Gilles Simon (France), defeating South Africa's Kevin Anderson
    3. Brisbane International Tennis 2018 -
      1. Men's Singles - Nick Kyrgios (Australia)
      2. Women's Singles - Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)
      3. Men's Doubles - Henri Kontinen (Finland) AND John Peers (Australia)
      4. Women's Doubles - Netherlands's Kiki Bertens AND Demi Schuurs
    4. 2018 Shenzhen Women's Tennis Open (China) -
      1. Singles - Simona Halep (Romania)
      2. Doubles - Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu AND Simona Halep
    5. Kajal Kumari and Moha. Ghufran won women s singles and men's singles respectively in 24th Federation Cup All India Carrom Championship in Mumbai.
    6. 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (honoring best film and American television of 2017), Winners are -
      1. Motion Picture -
        1. Drama - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
        2. Musical/Comedy - Lady Bird.
      2. Director -
        1. Drama- Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water).
      3. Actor -
        1. Drama - Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
        2. Musical / Comedy - James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
      4. Actress-
        1. Drama - Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
        2. Musical/Comedy - Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
      5. Actor in a Supporting role -
        1. Motion Picture - Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
      6. Actress in a Supporting role -
        1. Motion Picture - Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
      7. Original Song - This Is Me (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) - The Greatest Showman.
      8. Animated Feature Film - Coco.
      9. Foreign Language Film - In the Fade (Germany/France)
      10. Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award - Oprah Winfrey.
    7. 3 day annual Flamingo Festival held at Pulicat lake and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Sullurpet mandal (Andhra Pradesh). Somewhere between 9,000 to 12,000 Migratory birds from Siberia visit this place during winter season for breeding.
    8. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) relaxed norms for levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) for insolvent companies, to make Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 more effective and minimise hardships faced by companies going in for insolvency resolution.
      1. Minimum alternate tax (MAT) aims is to bring into tax realm the companies who do not pay any tax.
      2. This exemption facility will be available only for companies against whom application for corporate insolvency resolution process has been admitted by the adjudicating authority.
      3. This decision was taken after various hardships were faced by companies against whom application for corporate insolvency resolution process was admitted by Adjudicating Authority due to restriction in allowance of brought forward loss for computation of book profit.
    9. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with minimum worth of $1 billion by June 2018.
      1. Minimum size of issuance will be 1 billion USD, which will be increased upon increase in demand for first bond.
      2. Bond Maturity will be 3 - 5 years, depending on investor demand. AIIB plans to cap its total 2018 borrowing volume at US $3 billion.
    10. Mankidia tribe in Odisha has been denied habitat rights in Similipal Tiger Reserve (Odisha) amid possibilities of tribals being attacked by wild animals (especially tigers). It is notified under historic Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.
      1. Mankidia is one of 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) and depends on making rope with siali fibre that’s richly available in Similipal.
    11. India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops (PF) supercomputer named Pratyush (meaning Sun) unveiled at Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). It will enable better weather related forecasts including monsoon, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, lightning etc.
      1. Pratyush has 6.8 PF computational power installed at two MoES Institutes. 4.0 Peta Flops HPC facility at IITM, Pune and 2.8 Peta Flops facility at NCMRWF, Noida.
      2. Pratyush is fourth fastest supercomputer in world for weather and climate research, after supercomputers in Japan, US and UK.
      3. It will enable mapping regions in India at resolution of 3 km and globe at 12 km.
      4. Fastest Supercomputers in world -
        1. Supercomputer Peak speed
          (Rmax)
          Location
          TaihuLight (Sunway) 93.01 PFLOPS China
          Tianhe-2 (NUDT) 33.86 PFLOPS China
          Piz Daint (Cray) 19.59 PFLOPS Switzerland
          ZettaScaler (Gyoukou) 17.14 PFLOPS Japan
          Titan (Cray) 17.59 PFLOPS USA
    12. USA Space Firm SpaceX launched secret Zuma Mission for USA government, onboard Falcon 9 rocket.
      1. Zuma mission remains a secret as its nature or purpose and the agency behind it has not been made public.
    13. Indian Railways will deploy Drone cameras (UAV/NETRA) for various railway activities especially maintenance of tracks, project monitoring and other railway infrastructure, in-line with Railways’ desire to use technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations.
      1. Railways also finalised plan to equip over 8500 stations with Wi-Fi facilities at an estimated cost of INR 700 crores, by March 2019.
      2. At 1200 stations, Wi-Fi facility will be provided to rail passengers while at about 7300 stations, facility will be available to all (passenger and locals).
    14. India and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement, allowing Indian Haj pilgrims through sea route also (that was suspended in 1995). Sending pilgrims through ships will help cut down travel expenses significantly.
    15. Brazilian football player Philippe Coutinho became second most expensive soccer transfer ever after Liverpool FC sent him to Barcelona FC for 160 million Euros ($192 million).
      1. Brazilian football player Neymar is most exensive ever with his 200 million pounds worth transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain in 2017.
    16. Arunachal Pradesh would get its first (and India's 2nd) Film and Television Institute (FTII). First Film and Television Institute of India of India was set up in Pune in 1960.
    17. Haryana became first state to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal, to help in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases and ensure their timely referral to civil hospital. This portal is designed to track every high-risk pregnant woman till 42 days after delivery.
    18. Indian Navy signed MoU with Cochin Port Trust (Kerala) for leasing of 228 metres of berths at Mattancherry Wharf for 5 years, to meet requirements of Navy with sizeable increase in its fleet scheduled in the near future.
    19. Government sanctioned construction of 14460 bunkers at cost of INR 416 crores for people living along Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir. It is aimed at protecting locals from ceasefire violations from Pakistan.
    20. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government launched Muhafiz (meaning Guardian in English) scheme, for providing institutionalized socio-economic security to workers in unorganised sector. Registered workers will also be offered Micro Credit facility with a credit limit of INR 10000.
  12. Jan 06, 2018
    1. Telangana government's Telangana Industrial Health Clinic Ltd received RBI clearance to function as a non-banking finance company (NBFC). It had won SKOCH Platinum Award earlier under smart governance category in MSME segment.
    2. Paytm Payments Bank partnered with Induslnd Bank to introduce a facility to create a fixed deposit (FD) when customer's balance exceeds Rs. 1 lakh at end of day, and earn up to 6.85 % annual interest.
    3. Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 held at Kathmandu (Nepal), to highlight hydropower potential of Nepal.
    4. 2nd Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships held in Haryana.
    5. Indian Coast Guard Ship C-161 (ICGS C -161) commissioned at Porbandar in Gujarat.
    6. Tamil Nadu government appointed B. Rajendran as chairperson of Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) for Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Additionally, T S Tirumurti is appointed as the Secretary (Economic Relations) in External Affairs Ministry.
    7. Gopal Guru IS appointed as Editor of the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW).
    8. As per data by Sri Lanka Govt., India remains top source of tourists to Sri Lanka in 2017, with over 3.8 Lakh Indians visiting Sri Lanka. India was followed by followed by China and United Kingdom (UK).
    9. China will build its second foreign naval base in Pakistan, after Djibouti (Nation in Horn of Africa).
      1. It will be set up in Gwadar on the southwestern coast of Balochistan, that holds strategic significance as Gwadar is located near Chabahar port in Iran, that is being jointly developed by Iran, India and Afghanistan.
    10. Border Security Force (BSF) launched Operation Alert along 200 km long International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent infiltration attempts by terrorists from Pakistan.
    11. Telangana Government inaugurated India’s first National Park for differently abled people in Hyderabad. It has speech therapist, vocational training instructors and physiotherapist for differently-abled children.
    12. Himachal Pradesh govt will set up 24X7 ‘Gudiya helpline‘ for reporting crimes against women. Under which, three special crime cells would be set up (one each at Mandi, Shimla and Kangra).
  13. Jan 05, 2018
    1. Former Australian Cricketer Ricky Ponting has been appointed head coach of IPL Team Delhi Daredevils.
    2. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched new design chocolate brown ten rupee note, with height 63mm (unchanged) and width 123mm (slightly lesser than 137mm width of existing note). Another difference is that reverse of note will carry a motif of Konark Sun Temple, as compared t0 images of fauna of India - rhinoceros, elephant and tiger o existing note.
    3. USA placed Pakistan on newly formed Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom, as pakistan continues to harass its religious minorities, tolerates extra-judicial violence in the guise of opposing blasphemy.
      1. Moreover, USA also re-designated 10 countries as Countries of Particular Concern under International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act - Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
    4. Defence Ministry approved procurement of P-8I Training Solution for Indian Navy and Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for Indian Army at total cost of INR 2419 crores.
      1. Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) will be procured from Bharat Electronics Limited for 470 crores.
      2. P-8I Training SolutionThe P-8I Training Solution will be brought from Boeing (USA) for Rs.1949.32 crore.
    5. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will soon launch two missions - GOLD (Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk) and ICON (Ionospheric Connection Explorer), to explore ionosphere (96 km above Earth’s surface).
      1. ICON will launched in low-Earth orbit (LEO) located at 560 km above Earth and GOLD will be launched in geostationary orbit over Western Hemisphere (about 35,398 km above earth).
      2. It will help in full-disk view of ionosphere and upper atmosphere beneath it every half hour.
    6. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) approved 5 Namami Gange projects worth Rs 295 crores in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
    7. Scientists at University of California (USA) stated that increase in warmer global temperatures and dryer weather conditions could pose a threat to survival of fragile cocoa plant, leading to disappearance of chocolate by 2050. To avoid this, gene-editing technology CRISPR must be used to evolve crops that can survive environmental challenges.
    8. India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education increased from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.2% in 2016-17, according to All India Higher Education Survey (AIHES) 2016-17. Tamil Nadu has highest GER at 46.9%, while Bihar has least with GER of 14.9%.
    9. Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) appointed Hasan Sardar as head coach of national team.
    10. Yes Bank and Nearby tied up to provide Aadhaar- enabled cardless and pinless ATM service through which, customers can deposit or withdraw money at retailers’ place, using PayNEARBY mobile application.
    11. Bank of Cyprus selected digital security company Gemalto to supply world’s first biometric payment card for both chip and contactless payments. These cards will use fingerprint recognition instead of a personal identification number (PIN) to authenticate the cardholder.
    12. Residents of Bhanakpur village in Faridabad (Haryana) will begin day by singing national anthem daily at 8 am. Panchayat has installed 20 loudspeakers and 22 CCTV cameras for the purpose. This village is first in Haryana and second in India (after Jammikunta Telangana), to introduce this system.
    13. Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport became 5th in India having CAT III B landing system runway, enabling flights to land even when visibility is 50 metres with decision height of 15 meters.
    14. Central Government approved state Logo designed by West Bengal Government, highlighting the “Biswa Bangla” theme with Ashoka Pillars.
    15. Maharashtra Government will form an education board for non-English medium schools, that will prepare syllabus for non-English medium schools in Maharashtra.
  14. Jan 04, 2018
    1. Government launched Savings Bonds with 7.75% Interest, commencing from 10th January 2018. Features -
      1. Applications in form of Bond Ledger Account will be received in designated bank branches and SHCIL (numbering about 1600).
      2. Bonds will be issued in multiples of INR 1000 (face value).
      3. Interest on the Bonds will be taxable under Income-tax Act 1961. Bonds will be exempt from Wealth-tax under Wealth Tax Act 1957.
      4. Bonds will have a maturity of 7 years carrying interest at 7.75% per annum payable half- yearly (cumulative value of 1000 at end of 7 years will be 1703).
    2. Health Ministry launched India’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by Tata Memorial Center, to train doctors for early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers.
    3. Jan 04 - World Braille Day. It commemorates contribution of Louis Braille who invented reading and writing system that helped blind people across world.
    4. Nation-wide cleanliness survey Swachh Survekshan launched to evaluate achievements in cleanliness level in Urban areas, Deemed as world’ biggest survey. It will be conducted in over 4,000 cities and will run till 10 March 2018.
    5. Israel’s parliament passed a law requiring a supermajority to relinquish (leave) control over any part of Jerusalem, that could hamstring city’s division in any future peace deal. It wil bar the government from ceding Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem without approval of at least 80 of the legislature’s 120 members.
    6. European Nation Iceland became First Nation to legalise equal pay between men and women, by passing a law that makes it illegal to pay men more than women, applicable for Companies employing minimum 25 people.
    7. Ravi Menon, The Indian Origin Managing director of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has been named best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018 by UK-based magazine The Banker.
    8. Obituaries -
      1. Radha Vishwanathan - Carnatic vocalist (daughter of legendary classical singer M S Subbulakshmi).
      2. Anwar Jalalpuri - Noted Urdu poet.
      3. Ambalavaner Sivanandan - Noted Sri Lankna novelist.
      4. John Young - Noted American astronaut, who walked on Moon and was only agency astronaut to go into space as part of Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs.
      5. Shrivallabh Vyas - Bollywood Actor.
      6. Jerry Van Dyke - Noted American comedian and actor.
      7. Peter Sutherland - Former Irish World Trade Organization (WTO) director general.
      8. Shashikant Bhagwat - Noted sports journalist.
      9. Saksham Yadav - Former Powerlifting world champion.
      10. Baldev Raj - Noted Nuclear Physicist and Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS).
      11. Sukhchain Singh Cheema - wrestler and Asian Games bronze medalist.
      12. Doodhnath Singh - Noted Hindi writer.
      13. Charu Rohatgi - Noted TV Actress.
      14. Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta - Sarod maestro.
      15. Raghunath Jha - Ex-Union minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterpries.
      16. Gnani Sankaran - Noted Tamil writer and journalist.
      17. NK Trikha - Noted Journalist.
      18. W.B. Rao - Noted Hindi film cinematographer.
    9. Ministries of Railways, Human Resource Development and Department of Science & Technology signed an MoU for joint funding of Technology Mission for Indian Railways, worth approx 300 Crores INR. Funding percentage is - Railways (30%), Human Resource Development (25%) AND Department of Science & Technology (25%).
    10. Allahabad Bank became 11th bank to face prompt corrective action (PCA) by RBI, amid rise in its bad loans.
    11. New Zealand's Colin Munro became first cricketer to score 3 hundreds in T20 internationals, when he scored 3rd T20 100 against west Indies.
    12. Meghalaya signed Host City Contract with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to host 39th National Games in 2022.
    13. A new endangered flowering plant species named ‘Primula Zhui’ has been discovered by scientists in Yunnan Province of China, known in Chinese as Zhu Hua Baochun.
    14. Pakistan Navy successfully test fired indigenously built surface-to-surface anti-ship missile Harba, from newly commissioned Fast Attack Craft PNS Himmat.
    15. Hyderabad became 2nd large city (above 1 crore population) to be declared open defecation free (ODF), after Mumbai.
      1. Maharashtra government also imposed spot fine of Rs 500 for open defecation, littering, spitting and urinating in public places.
    16. Central Government formed committee headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to decide on old, pre-existing projects in ports, which have become unviable.
    17. Telangana government formed state Minorities Commission with Mohammed Qamaruddin as Chairman and Rajarapu Pratap as vice chairman.
    18. Indiabulls Housing Finance raised INR 1000 crores by selling India’s first Social Bonds, that are debt instruments issued to raise funds which is to be deployed in financing/re-financing eligible social projects such as affordable housing, water supply, sanitation, transport etc. Yes Bank was sole investor in these bonds with 5 year maturity.
    19. India excluded Pakistan from list of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries with which it will be connecting its National Knowledge Network (NKN), a multi-gigabit pan-India network aimed at providing a unified high speed network backbone for educational institutions in India. Researchers from different educational networks can collaborate with each other through NKN.
      1. NKN will be connected from these countries either to Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, depending on the proximity.
    20. Madhya Pradesh government imposed 50 paisa per litle cess on petrol and diesel, to be used for strengthening road infrastructure across state and laying metro railroad in Bhopal and Indore.
    21. Kookhyun Shim is appointed as MD and CEO of Kia Motors India (subsidiary of Hyundai India). While, Tata Motors appointed Hanne Birgitte Sorensen as an additional and independent director.
  15. Jan 03, 2018
    1. Bulgaria taken over European Union’s six-month revolving presidency, from Estonia.
    2. Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and Netherlands joined UN Security Council as non-permanent members.
      1. UN Security Council has 15 members, including 5 with permanent seats who have power to veto resolutions – Britain, China, France, Russia and USA.
    3. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years (till 2020), to promote cruise tourism in India.
    4. Cabinet Approvals on 04-01-2018,
      1. Establishment of new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
      2. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Construction of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel on Srinagar-Leh section connecting NH-1A in Jammu and Kashmir, to provide all-weather connectivity to Leh region. It will be Asia’s largest 2-lane bi-directional tunnel (14.150 km long).
        2. Implementation of Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on 1,380-km Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW1) on Ganga River, at cost of INR 5,370 crores. It will enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the Ganga river.
        3. Mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for Jute Year 2017-18 (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018). It aims at sustaining core demand for jute sector and supporting livelihood of workers and farmers dependent on Jute sector.
        4. Amendments in Model Concession Agreement (MCA) to make Port Projects more investor-friendly and make investments more attractive in Port Sector. It calls for setting up Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes - Ports (SAROD-PORTS) as d6ispute resolution mechanism, similar to provision available in Highway Sector.
      3. MOUs Approved -
        1. With London’s transportation authority Transport for London to improve public transport in India.
        2. With Italy for co-operation in Renewable Energy.
        3. With Israel for co-operation in Oil and Gas Sector.
        4. With Belgium for co-operation in ICT&E.
        5. With Myanmar on Land Border Crossing, as an enabling arrangement for movement of people across border of both counties.
        6. Will sign MOU with Sri Lanka for cooperation in traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy.
    5. World Health Organisation (WHO) has given its pre-qualification to Typbar Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TVC) developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech for global use.
      1. Typbar TCV is world’s first typhoid vaccine clinically proven to be administered to children from six months of age to adults, and confers long-term protection against typhoid fever.
    6. Scientists discovered 4 new balsam species from various locations in Eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh. They are - Impatiens haridasanii, Impatiens pseudocitrina, Impatiens nilalohitae and Impatiens roingensis.
    7. SBI and NABARD signed agreement with five NGOs in Bengal for promotion of 2,500 joint liability groups (JLGs) in select districts. JLGs are informal groups of 4-10 members engaged in similar economic activities and willing to jointly repay loans taken by group.
    8. Pakistan allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions. Chinese Yuan is an approved foreign currency for denominating foreign currency transactions in Pakistan.
    9. Tamil Nadu Government launched e-governance policy to help public, government and commercial establishments avail all services through digital medium. It lets government to allocate 0.5 % of annual funds for digital initiatives and further increase it to 3 % in 5 years.
    10. Haryana government mandated installation of Solar Photovoltaic Power plant in new buildings as per specified norms, aimed at conserving electricity and use it efficiently.
    11. Assam Govt. launched Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela 2017-18, that enables INR 2500 to be credited to accounts of people belonging to tea community, who opened bank accounts during demonetisation.
    12. 11 days Dhanu Yatra festival held in Bargarh district of Odisha.
    13. Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) signed agreement for training of IPPB employees in area of payment banking.
      1. IPPB is Government's attempt to boost financial inclusion by providing basic banking services to unbanked population.
    14. Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) operationalised its first desktop ATM in Warangal (Telangana), to facilitate customers to withdraw small amounts.
      1. Desktop ATM has low power requirements and is designed to work in harsh climatic conditions. It is meant for rural customer who typically have small cash needs.
    15. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore loan assistance to Odisha for irrigation and rural bridge projects, that are to be undertaken during Jan- March 2018 period, under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
    16. Reliance Industries commissioned and achieved design throughput of world’s largest refinery off-gas cracker at Jamnagar (Gujarat). Refinery will have a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum along with downstream plants and utilities.
    17. Government appointed AB Mathur as its representative to hold talks with United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
    18. Railways will standardize trains in terms of number of coaches so that all trains can run on all routes. Soon, all trains would have 22 coaches, making them suitable for running on any route.
      1. Currently, coaches are of two kinds (ICF and LHB) and number of coaches in a train could be 12, 16, 18, 22 or 26, depending on its demand, making it difficult for the railways to substitute one with the other.
  16. Jan 02, 2018
    1. Haryana government will implement integrated solar based micro irrigation scheme (ISBMI) in all districts and formed a Committee to chalk out a plan in this regard.
      1. ISBMI will focus on saving electricity and water, and will also be economical for farmers as they will not be required to install tubewells at their own level instead they just have to pay a nominal amount for water according the crops.
    2. Government notified terms of Scheme of Electoral Bonds, to curb flow of illegal money into political acvtivities -
      1. With issuance of electoral bonds, donors can purchase electoral bonds from specific State Bank of India (SBI) branches, and receiving political parties can encash them only through a designated bank account.
      2. Electoral bonds will be available at specified SBI branches for 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October.
      3. Electoral Bond shall be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note (P-notes) and an interest-free banking instrument. Any Donor can buy bonds of any amount among INR 1000 / 10000 / 100000 / 1000000 and 10000000.
      4. Electoral bonds will not carry the name of payee or buyerm and will have a life of only 15 days during which it can be used for making a donation to political parties.
      5. To receive the electoral bonds, Political party must have secured over 1% of the votes polled in last general elections.
    3. Nepal banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, to reduce accidents.
    4. Pankaj Jain is appointed as Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). Additionally, Devika Shah is appointed as MD and CEO of Indian Clearing Corporation Ltd (ICCL).
    5. First draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam containing names of 1.9 crore Indians in state has been released, updated after 1951.
    6. SBI reduced base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each, brining down Base rate to 8.65 % and benchmark prime lending rates to 13.4 %.
    7. Assamese and Manipuri language versions of PM’s Official website (www.pmindia.gov.in) have been launched. Now PM INDIA website is available in 11 regional languages - Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
    8. G Sathiyan became India’s highest ranked player in International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings, with 49th Rank globally. He is followed by Sharath Kamal who is at 51st world rank. In women’s ranking, Manika Batra topped among Indians with world rank 62.
    9. Egyptian Footballer Mohamed Salah is named Arab Football Player of 2017, in a poll conducted by over 100 sports journalists from various Arab countries.
    10. Jharkhand Govt. launched Saubhagya Yojana, aimed at providing 24*7 electricity to approx 30000 villages across state by December 2018. Under this, above poverty line (APL) families would get electricity connection by paying Rs 500 (Rs 50 each month for 10 months).
    11. HDFC Bank partnered with Rajasthan State Government to promote and nurture the start-ups in state, by providing solutions like current accounts, credit cards and other solutions to start-ups in Rajasthan under its SmartUp programme.
    12. Crisil launched FPI Index, to measure performance of investments of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in fixed-income market. It will serve as benchmark for performance of FPI investments in government securities and high rated corporate bonds with maturity greater than three years.
    13. Government stated that from January 1, 2018, customers will not have to pay any transaction charges for payments made through debit card, BHIM app and Aadhaar-enabled payment systems for up to Rs 2000, as Merchant discount rate (MDR) Charges will be borne by Government (costing approx 2500 crores INR). Government will reimburse MDR to banks.
    14. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts -
      1. HSBC predicted 6.5 % GDP Growth for India in FY 2017-18 and 7.0 % in 2018-19.
      2. As per government’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), Indian economy will grow by 6.5% in 2017-18, as compared to 7.1% in 2016-17. GDP Gew by 5.7 % in Apr - June Quarter and 6.3% in July - September quarter.
      3. 2018 Global Economics Prospect (GEP) report by World Bank has projected India’s growth rate to increase to 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5 for 2019 and 2020.
    15. China has developed a new underwater surveillance network which will help its submarines to accurately track target vessels and will protect its interests in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. It will acquire information about underwater environment, streaming acquired information to intelligence centres and providing actionable information to Chinese navy which will use it for tracking, navigation and positioning.
    16. California became 6th USA state (after Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada), to permit sale of cannabis for recreational use.
    17. UNESCO Inlcuded bird language of Black Sea villagers (in northern Turkey) in list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This high pitch system of whistling to communicate in the rugged terrain in Black Sea Regions dates back to some 500 years ago.
    18. Puducherry goverment launched a special police force to safeguard tourists, provided with special blue colour head gears.
    19. 171st Araadhanai Music Festival started in Thiruvaiyaru (Tamil Nadu). Thyagaraja is one of Trinities of Carnatic music.
    20. Defence Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman cleared 2 procurement proposals -
      1. 131 Barak missiles will be procured from Israel’s Rafael Advance Defence Systems of Israel for INR 460 crores.
      2. 240 precision guided bombs will be procured from JSC Rosonboron Exports (Russia0 for INR 1254 crores.
    21. Home Ministry declared Nagaland as disturbed area for 6 more months (till June 2018) under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act – AFSPA.
      1. Under AFSPA, armed forces attain several overriding powers including authority to open fire and use force against any person acting against the law.
  17. Jan 01, 2018
    1. Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi launched NARI portal, aimed at providing women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women.
      1. e-Samvad portal is also developed which will be inaugurated soon. It will be a platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with Ministry of Women & Child Development.
    2. Jan 01, 2018 - 125th Birth Anniversary of Noted Indian Scientist Satyendra Nath Bose.
      1. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in early 1920s, providing foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and theory of Bose–Einstein condensate. He was A Fellow of Royal Society (UK) and was awarded India's second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan in 1954.
    3. Israel formally withdrawn from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Tensions began after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member state in 2011.
      1. Israel has been a UNESCO member since 1949, having 9 sites on UNESCO heritage list.
    4. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga is appointed as new Prime Minister of African Nation Mali (West Africa).
    5. Indo British Scientist Pratibha Laxman Gai is named for damehood (female equivalent of a knighthood), in British Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s Honours List 2018.
    6. As per Govt. Data, India is leading global milk producer globally in past 3 years, with annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with 2.09% globally. India's Milk production was appr0x 163 million tonnes in 2016-17.
    7. NASA will launch Parker Solar Probe in 2018 to explore sun’s outer atmosphere, onboard Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. It aims at Tracing how energy and heat move through solar corona and what accelerates solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.
    8. Saudi Arabia and UAE became first countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) for first time to increase their revenue away from oil reserves.
    9. Indian golfer Shiv Kapur won Royal Cup at Pattaya (Thailand), his 3rd Asian Tour title of 2017.
    10. USA President announced that USA will no longer give any fund to Pakistan to fight terrorism, as Pakistan has not properly utilized approx 33 Billion USD given to it over past decade.
    11. Government appointed Vijay Keshav Gokhale as new Foreign Secretary of India. He is considered Diplomatic Expert on Chinese matters.
    12. Vidarbha won the Ranji Trophy of Cricket for the first time, defeating Delhi in Indore (Madhya Pradesh), with Rajneesh Gurbani named as Man of The Match.
    13. Venezuela Government announced 40 % increase to minimum wage,  amid hyperinflation in oil-rich but crisis-stricken southern american nation.
    14. GAIL commissioned India’s second largest rooftop solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh, as a 5.76 MWp (Mega Watt peak) solar plant at GAIL’s petrochemical complex at Pata in UP, covering area of 65,000 square meters.
      1. Largest rooftop solar plant in India was commissioned in December 2015 by Tata Power Solar in Amritsar (Punjab) with 12 MWp capacity.
    15. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Allied and Health care Professional Database portal to make data repository robust to ensure better systems and frameworks for healthcare workforce in country, to help tracking number of professionals and streams of allied and health care professions.
    16. Department of Heavy Industries (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) allowed Karnataka government to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) under FAME India scheme, at maximum of 60% subsidy.
      1. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India was launched in 2015 under National Electric Mobility Mission (NEMM) aims at promoting eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
    17. FY 2017 - 18 Winter Session passed Bills in Jan 2018 -
      1. Rajya Sabha passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill 2017 to pave way for tightening loopholes in existing code and to make resolution process more effective. It Bill amends Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016. It was passed by Lok Sabha recently. Main Features Include -
        1. It Bill prohibits certain persons from submitting a resolution plan in case of defaults.
        2. A penalty of minimum Rs 1 lakh and maximum Rs 2 crore has been proposed for contravening any of the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
        3. It allows asset reconstruction companies, banks and alternative investment funds registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to bid for insolvent companies.
      2. Parliament passed National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill 2017, with approval of Rajya Sabha (Lok Sabha already passed it in August 2017). It amends NABARD Act 1981 and -
        1. Allows Government to increase capital of NABARD from Rs. 5000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore (even beyond if required, upon Consultaion with RBI).
        2. Government must hold at least 51% capital share of NABARD, and share capital held by RBI valued at 20 crores (.4%) will be transferred to Government.
        3. Bill replaces terms ‘small-scale industry’ and ‘industry in tiny and decentralised sector’ with terms ‘micro enterprise’, ‘small enterprise’ and ‘medium enterprise’ as defined in MSME Development Act 2006.
      3. Lok Sabha passed Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill 2017 to allow government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments. It amends Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act 1958.
      4. Lok Sabha passed High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2017 to hike salaries of judges of Supreme Court (SC) and High Courts (HCs), with effect from January 1, 2016.
        1. It amends HC Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act 1954 and SC Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act 1958.
        2. Hiked Monthly Salaries will be (INR) -
          1. Chief Justice of India (CJI) - 2.80 lakh
          2. Judges of Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts - 2.5 lakh
          3. Judges of High Courts - 2.25 lakh
    18. Rajinder Khanna (Former RAW chief) is appointed as new Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) of India.
      1. Ajit Doval is current National Security Adviser (NSA) of India.
    19. Industrial Awards -
      1. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Mumbai) won Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year award, instituted by maritime industry publication Bhandarkar Shipping.
      2. Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) conferred Special Recognition Award 2018 on Central Water Commission (CWC), for promoting health and safety of large dams in India through World Bank aided Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).

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