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1st (&) 2nd January 2019.
100% Houses in 25 States Electrified Under Saubhagya Yojana
The country achieved yet another milestone in the power sector with the completion of electrification in 100% households in 25 states at year end. Now, only about 10.48 lakh households are left to be electrified in 4 states - Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh. These states are also taking all concerted efforts to achieve, at the earliest, saturation of household electrification.
Government Sets Up Export Promotion Cell For MSMEs
The MSME ministry has established an export promotion cell to create a sustainable ecosystem for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The ministry has also proposed to formulate a governing council that will be chaired by the secretary of the MSME ministry. The benefits likely to accrue from the setting up of the cell include integration MSMEs into global value chain, evaluation of readiness of MSMEs to export their products and services, and recognition of areas where improvements are required in order to be able to export effectively and efficiently.
Minister Launches 100 Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Units in Odisha
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan launched 'Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins' initiative saying it will go a long way in making Odisha's 2.25 crore women empowered and self-reliant. Under the novel initiative, which will cover 93 blocks in 30 districts of Odisha, oil marketing companies (OMC) will set up 100 manufacturing units at the Common Service Centres (CSC) at an estimated cost of Rs 2.94 crore.
Qatar Withdraws From OPEC
Qatar has withdrawn its membership from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The country had sent an official notification to the OPEC expressing its wish to pull out and to focus on its liquefied natural gas production in December. Qatar has been in OPEC for 57 years. The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states.
US, Israel Quit UNESCO Citing Bias
The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The countries had announced their decisions in 2017 of withdrawing from the agency, accusing it of bias against Israel. America has demanded fundamental reform in UNESCO, which was co-founded by it after World War II to foster peace. Israel joined the agency in 1949.
France Introduced GAFA Tax On Global Internet, Technology Firm
The finance minister of France Bruno Le Maire announced that France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1. France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” -- named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon -- to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.
Amitabh Chaudhry Takes Charge As Axis Bank MD & CEO
Axis Bank announced its Managing Director and CEO Shikha Sharma has retired from the post and Amitabh Chaudhry will be the new managing director and CEO of the bank with effect from January 1, 2019. Chaudhry, the former MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, was in September named the MD and CEO of Axis Bank for a period of three years.
V K Yadav Assumes Charge of New Railway Board Chairman
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani retired, despite strong indications that the Narendra Modi government could grant him an extension. General Manager, South Central Railway, V K Yadav has been appointed the national transporter’s senior-most bureaucrat by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Jair Bolsonaro Takes Oath As New President of Brazil
Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil's President in a ceremony at Brazil's National Congress Building. Bolsonaro is a former Army captain and admirer of the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship. Bolsonaro, 63, was a seven-term fringe congressman who rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to became Brazil's first far-right president since a military dictatorship gave way to civilian rule three decades ago.
Justice TBN Radhakrishnan Sworn In As 1st Chief Justice of Telangana High Court
Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court. The oath to the office was administered to Justice Radhakrishnan by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan. With this, the state of Telangana will have its first independent high court.
Allahabad Bank, SBI Life Join Hand For Bancassurance Partnership
Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Insurance came together and signed a bancassurance pact, to offer a holistic financial planning solution to consumers. This will empower the consumer to address their complete financial needs under one roof. The tie-up, one of the largest Bancassurance partnerships in the country, will see 3,238 branches of Allahabad Bank across the country offer SBI Life's range of protection, wealth creation, and savings products to its customers.
Government Infused Rs 10,882 crore in 4 Public Sector Banks
The government has infused 10,882 crore Rupees in four public sector banks, including UCO Bank and Syndicate Bank. It is a part of 28,615 crore rupees capital infusion to be done in about half a dozen public sector lenders. UCO Bank has received 3,074 crore rupees in the equity by way of preferential allotment yesterday. Besides, Bank of Maharashtra got 4,498 crore rupees, Syndicate Bank 1,632 crore rupees and Central Bank of India 1,678 crore rupees.
RBI Lifts Six Month Ban From Paytm Payments Bank
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed Paytm Payments Bank to restart opening new accounts for its consumers after almost six months of the ban. Paytm Payments Bank stopped enrolling new customers in June 2018, following an audit by the RBI, which made certain observations about the process the company follows in acquiring new customers and its adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
RBI Provides For One-Time Restructuring Of Loans To MSMEs
Reserve Bank allowed a one-time restructuring of existing debt up to Rs 25 crore for the companies which have defaulted on payment but the loans given to them have continued to be classified as standard assets. The decision will help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are facing a cash crunch in the wake of demonetization and GST implementation.
RBI Releases The Financial Stability Report
The Reserve Bank of India has released the 18th issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR). The FSR reflects the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on risks to financial stability, as also the resilience of the financial system. The Report also discusses issues relating to the development and regulation of the financial sector.
CII Forecasts India’s Economy To Grow 7.5% In 2019
In its ‘Growth Outlook for 2019’, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that the GDP growth will be in the range of 7.5% in 2019. A settled goods and services tax (GST), improving credit availability and capacity expansion from increasing investment in infrastructure are among seven key drivers that will help Indian economy grow 7.5% 2019.
Jasprit Bumrah Becomes Highest International Wicket-Taker in 2018
The 25-year-old fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah became the highest international wicket-taker across formats in 2018. He took a total of 78 wickets in the calendar year. Bumrah surpassed South Africa's Kagiso Rabada's tally of 77 wickets to reach the milestone. While on the third position is Bumrah's countryman Kuldeep Yadav who took 76 scalps.
Veteran Actor-Writer Kader Khan Passes Away
Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passed away in Canada at the age of 81. Kader Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna’s “Daag”. Before becoming an actor he had written dialogues for Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan’s “Jawani Diwani”.

3rd January 2019
Cabinet Approves Setting Up HLC for Implementation of Assam Accord
The Union Cabinet took several key decisions including setting up of a high-level committee (HLC) to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord to hold discussions with all stakeholders on the quantum of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for Assamese people among other decisions. Union Cabinet has approved the setting up a high-level committee for implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord and measures envisaged in the Memorandum of Settlement, 2003 and other issues related to Bodo community.
RBI Forms Expert Panel On MSMEs Under Ex-SEBI Chief UK Sinha
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up an expert committee under former Sebi chairman U.K. Sinha to suggest long-term solutions for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSME sector. RBI has announced the panel a day after it allowed a one-time restructuring of existing debt up to INR 25 crore for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which have defaulted on payment but the loans given to them have continued to be classified as standard assets.
Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair Declared As Authorized Immigration Check Post
Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair has been declared as an authorized Immigration Check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers. The announcement was made by Information, Public Relations and Tourism Division of Andaman and Nicobar Administration. This decision of the Union Government will open up the Port Blair Airport for direct international flight and immigration facilities.
PM Modi Inaugurated 106th Indian Science Congress At Jalandhar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC-2019) at Jalandhar, Punjab. The ISC is an annual congregation that witnesses deliberations by top scientific minds of the country. ii. The theme for which is 'Future: India-Science and Technology'. This will be his 5th address to Indian Science Congress after assuming office as Prime Minister.
West Bengal Government Announced 2 Initiatives for Farmers
The West Bengal government announced two welfare initiatives for farmers. Both initiatives, which are part of the ‘Krishi Krishak Bondhu’ scheme, will come into effect from 1st January 2019. The first of the two initiatives will provide Rs 2 lakh to the family of a deceased farmer. Under the second initiative, farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land.
Centre Approves Renaming Of Allahabad As Prayagraj
Days before Kumbh Mela, the Union Home Ministry has approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. In October 2018, the Yogi Adityanath-led government had proposed the change in name of Allahabad to Prayagraj. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHA will now ensure that names of other institutes in the district, including railway station, High Court and university, are also changed.
Important Cabinet Approvals: 2nd January 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows:
The Cabinet has approved-
1. Apprised of MoU between India and Morocco on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security.
2. Apprised of Progress under NHM and Decisions of Empowered Programme Committee and Mission Steering Group of NHM.
Complaints With Bank Ombudsman Surge 25% In FY18: RBI Report
The number of complaints registered at banking ombudsman offices have seen a 25% increase in the fiscal year 2018, with the majority of these complaints coming from urban centres owing to increased awareness and poor internal redressal mechanisms of banks. "The banking ombudsman offices in tier-1 cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad accounted for more than 57% of the total complaints received by all BO offices," the RBI Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India has stated.
Saurabh Kumar Appointed As Chairman Of Ordnance Factory Board
Saurabh Kumar has been appointed as the Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Kumar, a 1982-batch Indian Ordnance Factory Service officer, is an M-Tech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. An expert in the manufacture of ordnance, Kumar was on deputation to the Ministry of Defence as the director of planning and coordination from 2002 to 2009.
Hemant Bhargava Appointed LIC’s Acting Chairman
The government has appointed Hemant Bhargava, Managing Director, Life Insurance Corporation of India, as the Acting Chairman. The move comes after VK Sharma retired from the top job at LIC on December 31. While traditionally the senior-most MD is appointed the chairman, Bhargava is due to retire in July 2019.
Cabinet Approves Merger of Vijaya Bank & Dena Bank With Bank of Baroda
The cabinet has approved the merger of Vijaya Bank & Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda. After this merger, Bank of Baroda will become the third biggest public sector bank. The merger will be effective from April 1. This is also the first ever three-way merger in Indian banking. Bank of Baroda (BoB) finalised the share swap ratio for the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with itself. As per the Scheme of Amalgamation, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In case of Dena Bank, its shareholders will get 110 shares for every 1,000 shares of BoB.
Sachin’s Coach Ramakant Achrekar Passes Away
Veteran cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar, who trained Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, among others, passed away following a heart attack. He was 87 and breathed his last at his home in Dadar. Achrekar, honoured with Padma Shri in 2010 and Dronacharya Award in 1990, was instrumental in shaping the careers of Tendulkar, Kambli and over a dozen other top cricket stars.
Veteran Kannada Actor CH Loknath Passes Away
Veteran Kannada actor CH Lokanath passed away after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 91. Lokanath was in the Kannada film industry for nearly six decades and was affectionately addressed as 'Uncle Lokanath' by his fans. He had acted in over 600 movies and more than 1,000 plays. His famous movies are Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu, Minchina Ota, Nagarahaavu, Nodi Swami Navidru Heege, Katha Sangama and Kittu Puttu.

4th January 2019
Parliament Passes Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Indian Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools. The legislation is significant as it brings accountability in the elementary education system.  The Bill seeks to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no-detention” policy in schools. Under the current provisions of the Act, no student can be detained up to class VIII.
Parliament Passes National Council For Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Indian Parliament passed the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, following the approval of the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act, 1993. The bill aims to grant retrospective recognition to Central and State institutions which had conducted teacher education courses without approval by the Council. This will ensure that the future of about 17 thousand students having degrees from such institutions is secured.
Trump Signs Asia Reassurance Initiative Act Into Law
U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which passed the U.S. Senate earlier in December. According to the White House, the act establishes a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region. Specifically, the ARIA will authorize $1.5 billion in spending for a range of U.S. programs in East and Southeast Asia and develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region, and for other purposes.
Arunima Sinha Becomes World's 1st Female Amputee To Scale Antarctica's Highest Peak
Arunima Sinha, the first female amputee to have conquered Mt Everest, created yet another record as she became world's first woman amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica. Apart from Mount Everest, the 30-year-old has climbed the highest peaks of five continents and plans to do so in all seven.
HDFC MF Surpasses ICICI Prudential MF to Become Largest AMC in India
HDFC Mutual Fund has pipped ICICI Prudential MF to become the country's largest asset management company after a gap of over two years. As of December-end, HDFC MF manages assets to the tune of Rs 3.35 lakh crore, while those of ICICI Prudential MF stood at Rs 3.08 lakh crore, as per the latest data available with Association of Mutual funds in India (Amfi).
Syndicate Bank And SBI Life Insurance Signed  Bancassurance Pact
Syndicate Bank and SBI Life Insurance signed a bancassurance pact aiming to offer a comprehensive financial planning solution to its customers. The pact was signed between Syndicate Bank MD & CEO, Mrutyunjay Mahapatra and MD and CEO of SBI Life, Sanjeev Nautiyal. Through the pact, Syndicate Bank will provide penetration in the market with its 3,000 branches and SBI Life’s diverse range of protection, wealth creation and savings insurance products will be brought to the table to the customers.
SEBI Allows Custodial Services In Commodity Market
Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed custodial services in the commodity derivatives market. The move is aimed at enabling the participation of institutional investors such as mutual funds and portfolio managers in the commodity derivatives market. Under the new framework, existing custodians will be permitted to add commodities as an asset class and provide physical delivery of both the securities and commodities.
Veteran Bengali Writer Dibyendu Palit Passes Away
Renowned Bengali writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Dibyendu Palit passes away due to age-related ailments. He was 79-year-old. Palit was conferred the Sahitya Akademi for his novel ‘Anubhab’ in 1998. He was awarded the ‘Bankim Purashkar’ for ‘Dheu’ in 1990 and ‘Ananda Purashkar’ in 1984 for ‘Sahojoddha’.

5th January 2019
Government Launches  ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’
Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, launched the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’, the fourth edition of the annual nationwide cleanliness survey of urban India in New Delhi. The Swachh Survekshan 2019 aims to evaluate the achievements in the cleanliness level in urban areas of the country. It is launched as a part of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.
6 Monuments Declared Of National Importance In 2018 By ASI
The Ministry of Culture announced that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared 6 monuments as ‘protected and of national importance’ under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, in 2018.
These sites are:
125-year-old Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra,
The Group of Temples in Ranipur Jharail in Bolangir district of Odisha,
2 Mughal era monuments in Agra- Haveli of Agha Khan and Hathi Khana,
The Neemrana Baori in Alwar district of Rajasthan,
The Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
New Delhi World Book Fair Begins
The 27th New Delhi World Book Fair has begun at Pragati Maidan. Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 9-day annual event. The theme of this year is 'Readers with Special Needs'.
Indian Panorama Film Festival Begins In New Delhi
Indian Panorama Film Festival has begun at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare Inaugurated the Festival. A total of 26 Feature Films and 21 Non-Feature Films will be screened during the festival. The festival is being organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
NGT Imposes Rs 100 Cr Fine On Meghalaya Govt
The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of 100 crore rupees on Meghalaya government for its failure to curb illegal coal mining in the state. The amount of the fine has to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board within two months. The action comes after a high-level committee submitted an adverse report to a bench headed by NGT chairperson AK Goel.
National Table Tennis Championship Begins In Cuttack
The 80th National Table Tennis Championship began at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack. As many as 35 teams, including 550 players from different parts of the country are participating in the mega championship.
ICICI Bank, SBFC Joined Hands To Provide Loans Worth Rs. 1 Crore To MSMEs For 15-year Tenure
ICICI Bank, in a first-of-its-kind programme, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Business FinCredit India Pvt. Ltd. (SBFC), a systemically important Non-Banking Finance Company for entrepreneurs, to jointly provide credit worth up to Rs 1 crore to MSMEs for a tenure of 15 years. Under this arrangement, ICICI Bank will co-originate loan against property with SBFC at a mutually agreed ratio.
Andhra Tops ACI's Ease Of Doing Business Index
Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore's 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively. EDB index is based upon three parameters called ABC - Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies. Andhra Pradesh rose from the 5th rank in 2016 to the top spot in 2018.
Vijay Mallya First Tycoon To Be Named "Fugitive Economic Offender"
Vijay Mallya became the first tycoon to be charged under a new anti-fraud law, with a court in Mumbai naming him as an offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018. According to the new law, a fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for his or her involvement in economic offenses involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has left India to avoid prosecution.

6th (&) 7th January 2019
Cabinet Approves 10% Job Quota For ‘Economically Weaker’ Upper Castes
The Union Cabinet approved a 10% reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government jobs. Ahead of the General Elections this year, the government has announced reservation in jobs for those belonging to the upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year. A bill to amend Article 15 and 16 of the constitution will be moved in Parliament to this effect.
Govt Allocates Rs 10,900 Cr For Development Of 40 Satellite Launch Vehicles
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr. K Sivan stated that the Union Government has allocated 10,900 crore rupees for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next 4 years. Dr. Sivan also stated that Chandrayan Mission will be launched within three months. It will land in one part of the Moon which is still unexplored. He also said that the human spaceflight Gaganyaan is planned to be launched by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.
AAI Signs MoU With SAMEER For Boosting Communication
Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed MoU with Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) for joint research programs in the field of Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS). The MOU, on the one hand, will provide for the transfer of skill by SAMEER experts in the areas of Radio Frequency, Millimetre Wave and Antenna-related solutions to AAI domain experts, while on the other hand, it will pave way for exposure for the SAMEER researchers to the challenging Aviation field.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Announces Interest Free Loans For Women SHGs
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced interest-free loans of up to Rs. 3 lakh for women self-help groups (WSHGs) in the state. There are around six lakh WSHGs in Odisha. The initiative will benefit about 70 lakh women. During the convention, Mr. Patnaik launched a scheme to distribute Rs. 15,000 seed money per group to three lakh new self-help groups. The chief minister announced incentives of Rs. 500 per month for Anganwadi workers and Rs. 200 for helpers.
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg In India On 3-Day Visit
Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg has arrived in New Delhi on a three-day state visit to India. She was accompanied by senior officials from her government and a large business delegation. She will participate in the Indo-Norwegian Business Conference. The Norwegian Prime Minister will deliver the Inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue. The visit of PM of Norway will provide an opportunity to review the progress in bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
HRD Ministry Constitutes Task Force To Look into Suicides of JNV Students
The Union Human Resource Development Ministry constituted a task force to look into the issues of suicides of the students in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. The task force has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Psychiatrist, Dr Jitendra Nagpal. The task force will look into the circumstances leading to the suicidal deaths of students residing in the hostels of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas residential schools. It will also suggest ways and means to arrest the trend of suicides by students.
High-level Committee Headed By MP Bezbaruah Notified on Assam Accord
The government had notified a High-Level committee for implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord. Retired IAS officer M.P. Bezbaruah is chairman of the 9-member Committee. The committee will examine the effectiveness of actions since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. The clause envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards: Complete List Of Winners
Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards in 18 categories across print, broadcast, and purely-digital for outstanding work done in 2017. The Express Group instituted the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2005 as part of the centenary year celebrations of its founder, Ramnath Goenka.
Golden Globe Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List of Winners
The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California, the USA. These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2018. This year’s event was hosted by actors Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, who took over from 2018 host, comedian Seth Meyers.
Pentagon Chief of Staff Kevin Sweeney Resigns
In the United States, Department of Defence, Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney has resigned, a month after Defence Secretary James Mattis announced his departure. He is now the third senior Pentagon official to announce his resignation since President Donald Trump announced US forces would leave Syria.
Hopman Cup: Roger Federer & Belinda Bencic Retain Title For Switzerland
Switzerland's Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic secured victory over Germany's Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev to win the Hopman Cup for the second year in a row. In a rerun of 2018 final, Federer beat Zverev to give the Swiss an early 1-0 lead. Wimbledon champion Kerber then overcame Bencic to level the tie. However, the Swiss claimed a tight win in the mixed doubles to claim their fourth Hopman Cup title.
Government Amalgamates 3 RRBs Into A Single Bank
The government has amalgamated three Regional Rural Banks - Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank - into a single RRB. The sponsor banks of the RRBs are National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Government of Punjab and Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Punjab and Sind Bank.

8th January 2019
106th Session of Indian Science Congress Concludes in Jalandhar
The 106th session of Indian Science Congress (ISC), 2019 concluded in Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Punjab. The five-day session was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi and attended by Union Science & Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan. As a part of the Indian Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress was held which was inaugurated by Union Minister for Textiles & Industry Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani. The major attractions were the 55-feet, 25-ton massive robot ‘Metal Magna’ installed at the entrance gate.
4th Edition Of Raisina Dialogue Held In New Delhi
The fourth edition of the Raisina Dialogue has begun in New Delhi. Norway Prime Minister Ms. Erna Solberg delivered inaugural address in presence of PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The theme of the Dialogue this year is “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”.
HRD Ministry Introduced a 70-Point Grading Index To Assess The Quality Of School Education
The HRD ministry has introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states. A state performance grading will be done wherein the states will be marked out of 1,000 scores on 70 parameters. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that it will give the correct picture of where every state stands. There will be a fair competition to improve each other's performances.
In A Historic Move, Private FM Channels Permitted to Carry All  India Radio News
Union Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd.) launched the sharing of All India Radio News with private FM broadcasters. This will be done free of cost, on trial basis initially till 31st May, 2019. Any Private FM broadcaster which intends to broadcast the news bulletins will first have to register with News Services Division: All India Radio.
1st Ever Global Aviation Summit To Be Held In Mumbai
In a first, the 2-day long Global Aviation Summit 2019 with the theme “Flying for all” will be organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in collaboration with FICCI from January 15-16, 2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The summit is supported by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Federal Aviation Administration of US (FAA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), CiviI Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), Airports Council International (ACl) and Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
Sheikh Hasina Sworn-In As Bangladesh PM For 4th Term
Sheikh Hasina sworn-in as the Bangladesh Prime Minister for the fourth term. It is her third consecutive term after her victory in the 11th Parliamentary elections. President Mohammad Abdul Hamid administered the oath of office to Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. This is the first time Hasina is forming a cabinet with the members of her own party.
Malaysia’s King Muhammad V Becomes 1st Monarch To Resign Before Completing Tenure
Malaysia’s King Muhammad V abdicated after two years on the throne, the first time a monarch has stepped down before completing their five-year tenure. The king’s resignation took effect immediately. A week ago, the king, 49, had resumed duties after spending two months on medical leave.
Kumar Rajesh Chandra Appointed Director-General of SSB
Civil Aviation Security head and senior IPS officer Kumar Rajesh Chandra was appointed as the director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Chandra, a 1985-batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre, is at present the director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). He has been appointed as SSB DG up to December 31, 2021, i.e., the date of his superannuation, the order said.
Alok Verma Reinstated As CBI Chief By Supreme Court
Alok Verma has been reinstated as the CBI chief by the Supreme Court, three months after the government divested him of his powers and sent him on forced leave. Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were both sent on leave in October amid a bitter feud between the CBI's top two. Supreme Court strikes down CBI Chief Alok Verma's removal. However, at present, Alok Verma cannot take any major policy decisions. Supreme Court stated that the High Power Committee under the DSPE Act needs to act within a week to consider Alok Verma's case.
Jim Yong Kim Resigns As President Of The World Bank
World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim has made the surprise announcement that he is stepping down after six years in the post. His resignation will take effect from 1 February. Mr. Kim, 59, was not due to leave until 2022 after he was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017.
CSO Forecasts Indian Economy To Grow At 7.2% In 2018-19
Releasing the first advance estimates of National Income for 2018-19, Central Statistics Office (CSO) stated that the growth in GDP during 2018-19 is estimated at 7.2% as compared to the growth rate of 6.7% in 2017-18, mainly due to improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg described the 7.2% GDP growth projection as very healthy. Mr. Garg stated that India continued to remain the fastest growing economy in the world and at current prices, GDP grows by 12.3% rising to 188. 41 lakh crore.
Per Capita Income Doubled In 7 Years: CSO
The income earned by an average Indian doubled in 7 years, from Rs 63,642 per year in 2011-12 to Rs 1.25 lakh in 2018-19, the first advance estimates of national income released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show. The year-on-year growth in per capita income had touched its bottom in 2017-18 under the current national accounts series (the base year 2011-12) at 8.6 %. In 2018-19, it has bounced back to 11.1%. Per capita net national income in nominal terms has been taken as an indicator representative of the average income per person.

9th January 2019
Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 Passed in Lok Sabha
The Citizenship Amendment bill seeking to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan was passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill provides for Indian citizenship to such immigrants after six years of residence in India instead of 12 years currently. Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha and was passed after a discussion. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 in order to grant citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years.
RBI Forms Committee To Boost Digital Payments
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a High-Level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion. The five-member committee will be headed by UIDAI’s former Chairman Nandan Nilekani.  RBI stated that the committee will review the existing status of digitisation of payments and suggest ways to bridge any gaps in the ecosystem if any.
Interim Budget To Be Presented on 1 February
The interim budget for 2019 will be presented on 1 February during the budget session of the parliament. The budget session of the Parliament to be held from 31 January to 13 February. The decision was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
NHAI Collaborates with Oil Marketing Companies for Issuance of FASTags
To ensure easier availability of FASTags, Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. (IHMCL), a company promoted by NHAI, has signed MoUs with state-run Oil Marketing Companies (IOCL, BPC, and HPC). It will ensure availability of FASTags at petroleum outlets across India. In the first phase, the tags will be available across 50 Fuel Station in Delhi NCR, which will subsequently be expanded to outlets across India.
MoU On 'India-Norway Ocean Dialogue' Exchanged
Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks in New Delhi. Prime Minister Modi said that both the countries have vibrant trade ties. MoU were exchanged on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue. Erna Solberg also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. She also delivered the Inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue and addressed India-Norway Business Summit in New Delhi.
MoU Signed Between Indian Army And PNB
An MoU was signed between the Indian Army and Punjab National Bank on the Defence Salary Package. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar. Salient features of the improved and updated MoU are free ‘RAKSHAK PLUS’ Scheme for serving pers and veterans, overdraft facility range from Rs 0.75 to 3.0 lakhs, multicity ‘At Par’ cheques, instant credit of outstation cheques, preferential allotment of lockers at concessional AMC and free SMS alerts.
World Bank Pegs India’s GDP Growth At 7.3 % in 2018-19
India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3% in the fiscal year 2018-19, and 7.5% in the following two years, the World Bank has forecast, attributing it to an upswing in consumption and investment. India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy in the world, according to the World Bank. China’s economic growth is projected to slow down to 6.2% each in 2019 and 2020 and 6% in 2021, according to the January 2019 Global Economic Prospects report released by the World Bank.
Pranav R Mehta Becomes 1st Indian to Head Global Solar Council
A visionary in the field of Solar Energy and the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation, Pranav R Mehta, has taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC). He has become the first Indian to head the GSC.  The Global Solar Council (GSC) was launched on December 6, 2015, following the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP 21).
Egypt to Host 2019 African Cup of Nations
Seven-time champions Egypt have won the hosting rights for the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations. Egypt beat South Africa by 16 votes to one at the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) Executive Committee.
Sydney and Brisbane Chosen To Host $15 million  ATP Cup In 2020
Australian cities Sydney and Brisbane have been announced as the first two host locations for the newest team event in men’s tennis for the multi-million dollar ATP Cup from 2020. The third Australian city for the tournament is yet to be determined. The tournament will comprise more than 100 players from 24 nations with $15 million in prize money and 750 ATP Ranking points.
2nd Edition Of Khelo India Youth Games Begins In Pune
The second edition of Khelo India Youth Games has officially begun in Pune, Maharashtra. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis attended a virtual torch ceremony at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the event through a video message. More than 9,000 players from different states will participate in 18 different events.

10th January 2019
PM Modi Launched Various Development Projects in Solapur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched development projects worth Rs 1,100 cr at Solapur in Maharashtra. Referring to the passage of The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, PM, Modi described it as a landmark moment in the nation’s history.  PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for an over 1800 crore rupee housing project of 30,000 units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. It will benefit the homeless poor like rag pickers, rickshaw pullers, textile and beedi workers.
Rajya Sabha Passes Reservation Bill Granting 10% Quota For Upper Caste EWS
The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 to award 10% reservation to economically weaker sections was passed with a majority in Rajya Sabha. It was already passed in Lok Sabha. The Constitution (124rd Amendment) Bill has passed the Rajya Sabha test with 165 'Yes' and 7 'No' votes. This was brought to the Upper House after the sitting of the House was extended by a day.
Government Launched Web- Wonder Women Campaign
The government launched Web-Wonder Women Campaign to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women who have influenced and impacted society through social media. The Campaign aims to recognize the fortitude of Indian women stalwarts from across the globe who have used the power of social media to run positive campaigns to steer a change in society.
Andaman To Be First Island To Operate Seaplanes Under UDAN-3
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, islands in Andaman will soon be connected by seaplanes that can land on or take-off from the water. To facilitate the same, the government has approved flight operations on 13 water aerodrome routes under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme. The government had opened bidding under the third phase of its regional connectivity scheme, UDAN-3, in November, and had received a total of 111 proposals by 15 airlines.
Polavaram Project Enters Guinness Book of World Record For Concrete Pouring
The Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh entered the Guinness Book of World by pouring 32,100 cubic meters of concrete in a matter of 24 hours. While the staff of Navayuga Engineering company performed the task, project, and state government officials remained at the site until the goal was completed. The entire event was witnessed by the representatives of Guinness Book of World Record with the help of drone cameras.
UGC To Set Up CARE To Strengthen Research Publication
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a list of journals, in that the UGC has decided to establish a Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (CARE). The good quality Research Journals in disciplines under Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Arts, Culture, Indian Knowledge Systems etc., will be maintained by CARE and referred to as ‘CARE Reference List of Quality Journals’. This will be used for all academic purposes. UGC has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. P. Balram, to review its quality mandate relating to promotion of Research and to review the existing M.Phil/ Ph.D Regulations.
SEBI Constitutes Research Advisory Committee Headed By Sankar De
Market regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted a "Research Advisory" committee which will assist in formulating policy to undertake research relevant for development and regulation of capital markets. According to SEBI, the committee would comprise prominent financial economists and market practitioners. It will be headed by Sankar De. Another key task of the committee will be to maintain databases relevant for capital market regulation research.
‘National Consultation on Child Protection’ Held in New Delhi
The First ‘National Consultation on Child Protection’ for 2019 was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development. The meeting was organized to follow up on the exercise of monitoring of the CCIs by States/UTs, to deliberate upon various aspects of child protection and to take stock of the efforts made by States/UTs regarding improvements in the Child Care Institutions.
BEE and CPWD Sign MoU On Promoting Energy Efficiency In Buildings
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) signed an MoU, kick-starting cooperation in building energy efficiency. According to the MoU, BEE and CPWD will cooperate on promoting designs and construction of Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) compliant new buildings, star rating of CPWD managed buildings across the country with no registration or renewal fee, awareness of energy efficiency in the building sector and support for capacity building of CPWD officials in ECBC.
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Gets USD 400 Million Swap From RBI
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank announced that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide USD 400 million under a swap arrangement to boost the island nation’s reserves. It stated that a further request to the RBI for another SWAP arrangement of USD 1 billion is “under consideration”. These are to be made available under the SAARC SWAP facility. The RBI has agreed to provide the funds under its SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Swap Facility.
India Allows Iran's Bank Pasargad To Open Branch in Mumbai
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that India has allowed an Iranian bank, Pasargad Bank, to open a branch in Mumbai. The move is aimed at circumventing US trade and investment sanctions as India builds a strategic port in the West Asian country. Iran’s Pasargad Bank has received the necessary clearances to open its branch in Mumbai. Alongside, India’s UCO Bank will open a branch in Iran.
IRCTC Partners With Bharti AXA General Insurance
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Railways’ subsidiary, will offer insurance of up to INR50 lakh for free for air passengers who book their tickets through its portal. IRCTC has tied up with Bharti-Axa for the offer. IRCTC’s service charge of INR59 is the cheapest compared with travel websites. IRCTC has tied up with Galileo, a computer reservation system, for powering the flight search engine.
India To Become World’s 3rd Largest Consumer Market By 2030: WEF
A report by World Economic Forum stated that India is set to become the world’s third largest consumer market behind only USA and China by 2030. The report was titled as ‘Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Market – India’. As per the report, consumer spending in India is expected to grow from 1.5 trillion US dollar at present to six trillion US dollar by 2030. With the annual GDP growth rate of 7.5%, India is currently the world’s sixth largest economy.
Malala Pens New Book On Refugee Girls Titled We Are Displaced
Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai pens a new book, titled 'We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World,' charting her experiences traveling the world and visiting refugee camps.
Mohamed Salah Named African Footballer Of The Year
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been named as the 2018 Confederation of African Football Player of the Year. For the second consecutive year he has won the award. Egypt forward Salah, 26, beat Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the title. Houston Dash and South Africa forward Thembi Kgatlana was named Women's Player of the Year.
World Hindi Day:10 January
World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year, marking the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference which was held in 1975. The first World Hindi Conference was inaugurated by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. World Hindi Day was first observed on January 10, 2006.  World Hindi Day and National Hindi Diwas are completely different. National Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on September 14. On that day in 1949, the constituent assembly adopted Hindi, written in Devanagari script, as the official language of the Union.

11th January 2019
India's Longest Single Lane Steel Cable Bridge Opened in Arunachal Pradesh
India’s longest 300-meter single lane steel cable suspension bridge was inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. He also laid the foundation stone for a district secretariat building. The bridge across the Siang river at Yingkiong in Upper Siang district has been named Byorung Bridge. It is built at a cost of Rs48.43-crore provided by the DONER (Department for Development of North Eastern Region) Ministry. The Bridge will reduce the distance from Yinkiong to Tuting by almost 40 km.  The Centre had sanctioned 268 road projects worth Rs3,800-crore under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Mr. Khandu also announced Rs10-crore for a project to check river erosion at Yingkiong and Tuting.
Important Cabinet Approvals: 11th January 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows:
The Cabinet has approved-
1. MoU on Maritime issues between India and Denmark.
2. MoU between India and Japan on Development of Advanced Model Single Window.
Centre launches 5-yr Plan To Combat Pollution In 102 cities
The Environment Ministry launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) aimed at reducing toxic particulate matter in 102 Indian cities by 2024. The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year plan with 2019 as the first year, while 2017 will be the base year for comparison of concentration. An amount of INR300 crore has been sanctioned for this purpose.
25th Edition of Partnership Summit Held in Mumbai
The 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019, a global platform for dialogue, debate, deliberation and engagement among Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India was held in Mumbai. The two-day event was inaugurated by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu. The Summit was organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, State Government of Maharashtra and Confederation of Indian Industry.
29th Indian Paint Conference 2019 Started in Agra
The Indian Paint Association (IPA), the apex body of the country's paint industry announced that the 29th biennial Indian Paint Conference started in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The theme of the Conference is 'Paints Pe Charcha - Naye Aayaam'. This is the largest trade show of the estimated INR 500 billion (50,000 Crore) Indian Paints & Coatings industry.
Maduro Sworn In As Venezuela President for 2nd Term
Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's President amid the economic and humanitarian crisis faced by the Latin American country. Maduro was re-elected last year. The US, EU and 13 other countries have stated that they would not recognise Maduro's Presidency.
IWF President Named As Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics
President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Birendra Prasad Baishya, has been named Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is for the first time that the Weightlifting has been accorded with the honor of Chef de Mission for the Olympics. Baishya is also one of the Indian Olympic Association Vice Presidents.
India Ranks 79th, Japan Tops List Of Most Powerful Passports
According to the Henley Passport Index,  India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th in 2019. Japan retained its top spot as the world's most travel-friendly passport. China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year. The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
Harendra Singh Discontinued as Indian Men's Hockey Team Coach
Indian men's hockey coach Harendra Singh was removed from the position and offered the task of helming the junior squad by the national federation. Harendra Singh was brought in as men's coach in May 2018 after Sjoerd Marijne was moved back to the women's camp. Hockey India stated that it will be inviting applications for the position of chief coach and in the interim, the team will be overseen by Hockey India High-Performance Director David John and current Analytical Coach, Chris Ciriello.
Mary Kom Attains No. 1 Position in AIBA Rankings
M C Mary Kom has attained number one position in the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) latest world rankings. She became the most successful boxer in world championships’ history when she claimed the 48kg category top honors in Delhi in November 2018. In the 51kg category list, Pinki Jangra is placed eighth. Asian silver-medallist Manisha Maun is placed eighth in the 54kg category. In the 57kg division, former world silver-medallist Sonia Lather was placed at the second spot.
12th January 2019
6 States Sign Agreement For Renukaji Multipurpose Dam Project
An agreement for Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project was signed in New Delhi among the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in the presence of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari. All the six Chief Ministers were present on the occasion. Under the agreement, three storage projects are proposed to be constructed on the river Yamuna and two of its tributaries – Tons and Giri in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
India's 1st Manned Mission To Space By December 2021: ISRO
ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan has announced that the organization is well prepared to meet the targets of launching Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space by December 2021. Under Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back. 332 launches are planned this year. Important among them are Chandrayaaan -2 mission to the moon in mid-April. GSAT-20 Satellite for high bandwidth connectivity to be launched in September-October.
4th Meeting of CTDP Held In New Delhi
Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, chaired the 4th meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP) in New Delhi. Suresh Prabhu informed in the meeting that the Government of India has formulated an Agricultural Export Policy for the first time with a focused plan to boost India’s agricultural exports to USD 60 billion by 2022.
MEA Sushma Swaraj On 2 Day Visit To Uzbekistan
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj embarked on a two-day visit to Uzbekistan. Mrs. Swaraj will be in Samarkand for the First India-Central Asia Dialogue which she will co-chair with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov. The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will participate in the Dialogue as a special invitee for the session dedicated to connectivity issues in the region. 
Yes Bank Appoints Brahm Dutt As Non-Executive Part-Time  Chairman
Yes Bank, India’s fourth-largest private sector bank, announced the appointment of Brahm Dutt as non-executive part-time chairman up till July 4, 2020. Brahm Dutt has been on Yes Bank’s board since July 2013 as an independent director and contributed to almost all the sub-committees of the board over the past five and a half years.
Ashok Chawla Resigned As NSE Chairman
Ashok Chawla resigned as chairman of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) with immediate effect “in light of recent legal developments”. Chawla’s resignation came on a day the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told a special court in Delhi that it has obtained the sanction of the ministries concerned to file charges against him and four other former bureaucrats in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Su Tseng-chang Appointed PM of Taiwan
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has appointed Su Tseng-chang as Prime Minister, during a Cabinet reshuffle following the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's heavy losses in local elections. Su is a former premier appointed in 2006 by then-President Chen Shui-bian and was a chairman of Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party for two terms.
National Youth Day: 12 January
The National Youth Day is celebrated across the country on 12th January. NYD 2019 is the 156th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Since 1985, his birth anniversary has been celebrated as National Youth Day. Vivekananda died at the young age of 39, attaining Mahasamadhi in 1902.
GST Registration Threshold Limit Increased To Rs 40 Lakh
The 32nd Meeting of GST Council was concluded in New Delhi. The Limit of annual turnover for composition scheme increased to 1.5 crore rupees effective from April 1, 2019. The Council has decided to increase the GST registration threshold limit to 40 lakh rupees from 20 lakh. The Taxpayers who are giving Services of up to Rs 50 lacs per annum will be taxed under 6% under Composition Scheme.
EIU Democracy Index 2018: Norway Tops, India Ranks 41st
The 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world. In the list, Norway topped and India ranked 41st place on the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual Global Democracy Index. The Index was started in 2006. The top 3 performing countries on the Democracy Index 2018 are:
1.  Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden.
Adi Godrej Conferred ICSI Lifetime Award
Industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the ICSIs Lifetime Achievement Award for 'Translating Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality'.  The awards were instituted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), which is celebrating its golden jubilee. The 18th ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance were bagged jointly by Cipla Ltd and Dabur India Ltd and five others: ACC Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Indian Oil Corp, Tata Metaliks Ltd and Indian Hotels Co Ltd.
Albie Morkel Retires From All Forms Of Cricket
Albie Morkel, the South African all-rounder, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Morkel, who played for close to 20 years of professional cricket, made his first-class debut for Easterns against Northerns in the 1999-00 domestic season. Morkel earned a call-up into the South African ODI set-up for the series against New Zealand in 2004 after snaring 12 scalps in List A games in the 2003-04 season.
13th (&) 14th January 2019
Gujarat Becomes The First State To Implement 10% Quota For General Category
Gujarat has become the first state to implement the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of the general category. This comes a day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani stated that it will also be applicable to jobs for which announcement has been made but the procedure is yet to commence.
Sushil Modi To Head Committee On GST Revenue Shortfall Faced By States
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi will head the 7-member committee to look into revenue shortfall being faced by the states after the GST roll-out and suggest steps for augmenting collections. The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state ministers, had on December 22, 2018, decided to set up a group of ministers (GoM) to analyze reasons for the shortfall in revenue collections by the states since July 2017.
Sikkim CM Launched ‘One Family, One Job’ Scheme
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling launched the ‘One Family One Job’ scheme, under which for every family one government job has been allotted, in Gangtok. New recruits were taken for Group C and Group D posts in 12 departments. Thus, Sikkim became the first state in the country to carry out such a programme for the people entitling them to state government employee benefits. He also declared that all loan debts in the farming and agriculture sector would be revoked.
Rajyavardhan Rathore Launched 'National Youth Parliament Festival 2019'
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore launched the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 at a function in New Delhi. The theme of the festival is- 'Be the Voice of New India and Find solutions and contribute to policy'.
India, US Hold 2+2 Inter-Sessional Meeting in New Delhi
A 2+2 Inter-Sessional meeting between the United States and India took place in New Delhi, focusing on the progress of defence and foreign policy issues between the two countries. The Indian delegation was led jointly by Joint Secretary (AMS) from the Ministry of External Affairs Gourangalal Das, and Joint Secretary (PIC) from the Ministry of Defence, Shambhu S Kumaran.
US Launches 'Fair Value for Innovation' At Raisina Dialogue
The Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of United States Chamber of Commerce launched a new innovation strategy at Raisina Dialogue, 2019 in New Delhi. The Initiative is titled as “Fair Value for Innovation”. The Initiative will examine economic underpinnings in order to enable breakthrough innovation and explore the opportunities to harness innovation capital in India and around the globe through research, advocacy, partnerships, and programs.
Namita Gokhale Wins Sushila Devi Literature Award
Writer Namita Gokhale has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel “Things to Leave Behind”. She was awarded in the ‘Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author’ category at the inaugural edition of Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF).
Presidential Award Presented to PM Narendra Modi
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, received the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award, in New Delhi. The Award focuses on the triple-bottom-line of People, Profit, and Planet. It will be offered annually to the leader of a Nation. Prof. Philip Kotler is a world-renowned Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Owing to his ill-health, he deputed Dr. Jagdish Sheth of EMORY University, Georgia, USA, to confer the award.
TCS Appoints Daniel Callahan As Independent Director
India’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services has appointed Don Callahan as an additional and independent director for a period of 5 years, based on the recommendations of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee. He was the Chief Administrative Officer and Head of Operations and Technology at Citigroup and was a member of Citi’s Operating Committee earlier.
Khelo India Youth Games Concludes: Maharashtra Tops Medal Tally
Maharashtra topped the medal tally with 37 golds at the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune. It had 111 medals in its kitty with 37 gold, 31 silver and 43 bronze. Delhi was at second position with 35 gold and Haryana too maintains its third position with 29 gold. 10-year old Abhinav Shaw became the youngest gold medallist in the shooting. He teamed up with Mehuli Ghosh to help West Bengal win the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
Kartik Singh Becomes Youngest Indian to Win Junior World Title
Gurgaon’s 8-year-old Kartik Singh has won the under-8 category at the Kids' Golf World Championship organized by US kids Golf in Malaysia, which makes him the youngest Indian to win the title.
Bengaluru Raptors Won 1st Ever PBL Title
Bengaluru Raptors have won their first ever Premier Badminton League, PBL title. In the title clash played at Bengaluru, Bengaluru edged out Mumbai Rockets, with a 4-3 win. Star player Kidambi Srikanth, Vu Ji Trang and the Men’s Doubles pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Satiawan won their matches for Bengaluru guiding them to victory.

15th January 2019
Government Launched 2 National Level Initiatives in Field Of Science Communication. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Doordarshan (DD), Prasar Bharati launched two science communication initiatives, DD Science and India Science. The initiatives were inaugurated by Union Science & Technology Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. While DD Science is an one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, India Science is a internet-based channel, which is available on any internet-enabled device, and will offer live, scheduled play and video-on-demand services.
India's Largest Startup Ecosystem Inaugurated in Kerala
India got its largest startup ecosystem when Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated a 1.8-lakh-square-feet facility housing incubation set-ups across a string of segments in modern technology. The Integrated Startup Complex under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) includes the ultra-modern facilities of Maker Village that promote hardware startups, the BioNest that promotes medical technologies, BRINC which is the country's first international accelerator for hardware startups.
Government Launches ‘Womaniya on GeM’ Initiative
Government e Marketplace (GeM) has launched “Womaniya on GeM”, an initiative to enable women entrepreneurs and women self-help groups (WSHGs) to sell handicrafts and handloom, accessories and many other products. The initiative seeks to develop women entrepreneurship on the margins of society to achieve gender-inclusive economic growth. Government e-Marketplace is a 100% government owned company set up under the aegis of Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Madras  HC Forms Committee To Weed Out Invasive Plant Species
The Madras High Court has set up an expert committee to find a solution to root out invasive species of plants from the Western Ghats. The committee shall be headed by Cherukuri Raghavendra Babu, the chairman of the expert committee on invasive species in Chennai National Biodiversity Authority. It has also directed the panel to file a report on the ways to weed out such species within two months.
Macedonia Renamed As 'The Republic Of Northern Macedonia'
The Parliament of Macedonia has passed the resolution to amend the constitution of the country to rename it as the Republic of Northern Macedonia. The name change will help resolve a decades-long dispute with neighboring Greece opening the way for Skopje to join NATO and the European Union.
Ananth Narayanan Steps Down As Myntra-Jabong CEO
Ananth Narayanan has stepped down as CEO of Myntra and Jabong to pursue external opportunities. Amar Nagaram has been named as Head, Myntra and Jabong, reporting to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group. Amar, who recently moved to Myntra from Flipkart, has been with the group for around seven years and has played a pivotal role in making shopping accessible and affordable on connected devices.
ICICI Bank Appoints B Sriram, Rama Bijapurkar Independent Directors
Private sector ICICI Bank inducted former SBI Managing Director B Sriram and management consultant Rama Bijapurkar on its board as independent director. Both are appointed for 5 years, subject to the approval of shareholders, ICICI Bank stated in a regulatory filing on stock exchanges. Sriram retired as the managing director of IDBI Bank in September 2018.
Indian Army Day: 15 January
Army Day is observed on January 15 in India. On this day in 1949, Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief. Army day is dedicated to the soldiers who fought to safeguard the country's honour. This is the 71st celebration of the Indian Army Day.
Shakil Ahmed Sets World Record In Indoor Rowing
Asian Cup gold medallist Shakil Ahmed has set up a world record in indoor rowing by completing 1 lakh meters in above-40 years category in Kolkata. Shakil began his record-setting indoor rowing feat in Salt Lake stadium complex and achieved the milestone of covering 1 lakh meters of simulated distance in 10 hours.
Fields Medal-Winning Mathematician Passes Away
Sir Michael Atiyah, a British mathematician who received the 1966 Fields Medal, also known as the 'Nobel for Mathematics,' passed away at the age of 89. Atiyah was best known for his co-development of a branch of mathematics called topological K-theory and the Atiyah-Singer index theorem. Atiyah was also the President of the Royal Society from 1990-1995.

16th January 2019
1st National EMRS National Sports Meet 2019 Held in Hyderabad
The 1st National Level Sports Meet for the students of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) was inaugurated by Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs at G.M.C Balayogi Stadium, Hyderabad. The Minister also launched an app ‘EMRS Sports Meet’ dedicated on the occasion. The event had participation of 1777 students comprising of 975 boys and 802 girls representing 20 States of the country.
9th International Micro Irrigation Conference Held in Aurangabad
In order to promote Micro irrigation amongst farmers, Ministry of Water resources and River development has organized 9th International Micro irrigation conference in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The conference focused on the theme of “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”. Union Minister for water resources and river development Shri Nitin Gadkari officially inaugurated the event.
'Global Aviation Summit 2019' Begins in Mumbai
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 'Global Aviation Summit 2019' in Mumbai. The summit is a union and it will address the problems being faced. The summit, with a theme 'Flying for all-especially the next 6 Billion', is being organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with FICCI.
Important Cabinet Approvals: 16th January 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows:
The Cabinet has approved-
1. MoU between India and Australia on the safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station.
2. Regularisation of Pay Scales of below Board Level Executives in NHPC Ltd., North East Electric Power Corporation, THDC India Ltd. and SJVN Ltd. w.e.f. 1.1.97.
Government Constitutes 7-Member GoM to Boost Real Estate Sector Under GST Regime
The government has constituted a seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM) to boost the real estate sector under the GST regime. Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel is the convener of the GoM. Finance Ministers of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and the Panchayat Minister of Goa are the members. The committee will examine legality of inclusion and exclusion of land or any other ingredient, in composition and suggest valuation mechanism.
India's 1st CWG Boxing Gold-Medallist Mohammed Ali Qamar Appointed Women's Team Coach
Mohammed Ali Qamar, the man who won India's first Commonwealth Games gold medal in boxing, has taken over as the chief coach for the country's female boxers. He has replaced veteran Shiv Singh. Qamar, who is set to turn 38, is also the youngest person to land the job. Qamar's CWG gold came in the 2002 Manchester edition in the light flyweight category.
Manu Sawhney Appointed New ICC CEO
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Manu Sawhney has been appointed as the organization's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Sawhney, the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, will join the organization before formally taking over the reins from David Richardson in July following the ICC World Cup 2019.
Stephen Constantine Resigns As Coach Of Indian Football Team
Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine has stepped down after the team’s shock 0-1 defeat to Bahrain which led to its exit from the Asian Cup. The Anglo-Cypriot coach took over the reins of the team in 2015 for a 2-year tenure. He was given one-year contract extension twice. It was his second stint as India coach after serving as the coach in 2002-05.
Yu Wensheng Wins Franco-German Human Rights Award
A detained Chinese rights lawyer Yu Wensheng has won a Franco-German human rights award for his 'exceptional contribution' to the protection and promotion of human rights. Yu Wensheng, who is in pretrial detention on subversion charges, has been held incommunicado by authorities in Jiangsu's Xuzhou city for more than a year. His wife Xu Yan received the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law on her husband's behalf from the French and German ambassadors to China.
Chennai’s Gukesh Crowned India's Youngest Grandmaster
Tamil Nadu lad D Gukesh became the 2nd youngest Grand Master in the world and the youngest Indian to achieve the feat at 12 years, 7 months and 17 days, erasing the mark set by his state-mate R Praggnanandhaa in June 2018. Gukesh becomes India's 59th Grand Master. Ukraine's Sergey Karjakin remains the youngest-ever GM, having achieved the feat at the age of 12 years and 7 months in 2002.
Malayalam Director Lenin Rajendran Passes Away
Malayalam director and screenwriter Lenin Rajendran has passed away at 67. He was a five-time recipient of the Kerala State Film Awards and also received the International Federation of Film Critics Award for the best Malayalam film for his film ‘Makaramanju’.

17th January 2019
PM Dedicates Kollam Bypass in Kerala to Nation
PM Narendra Modi has dedicated the Kollam Bypass on the National Highway-66 to the nation. It reduces travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram. This is the first National Highway project in the country taken up on a 50:50 Centre-State partnership. He also launched development projects worth over Rs 1,500 cr in Odisha.
MP CM Launches Rs 50,000 cr Farm Loan Waiver Scheme  ‘Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath launched his government's Rs 50,000-crore farm debt-waiver scheme named 'Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana'. It is expected to benefit 55 lakh small and marginal farmers. The eligibility cut-off date has been extended to December 12, 2018, from March 31, 2018. Only those farmers who have not registered themselves to pay GST and income tax can avail benefits under this scheme.
Maharashtra FM-led GoM To Look At Issues Related To Lottery Under GST
A ministerial panel headed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will examine uniformity of taxation on lottery under GST or other issues arising out of it. Uder GST, state-organized lottery falls under the 12% tax slab while state-authorized lottery attracts 28% tax. The GoM for the lottery will submit its report to GST Council in the next meeting for approval.
India-Myanmar Joint Training Exercise Begins In Chandimandir
The second edition of the India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19, commenced at Chandimandir Military Station, that houses the headquarters of the Western Command, Chandigarh. The aim of this joint training programme, spread over six days, is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations under the UN flag.
India’s Satyarup Becomes World’s Youngest Mountaineer To Climb 7 Peaks, 7 Volcano Summits
Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta conquered Antartica's highest point, Mount Sidley. With this feat, he became the first Indian and youngest man to climb the 7 highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents. He achieved the feat at the age of 35 years and 262 days. Satyarup hails from South Kolkata and is a software engineer by profession.
Palestine Takes Reins At UN's Group G77
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has pledged to protect the interests of all 134 countries in the UN's Group of 77, as Palestine took the chairmanship of the group from Egypt for 2019. The G77 group was originally founded by 77 members in 1964 but has expanded to 134 mainly developing nations. The decision to elect Palestine as the 2019 Chair of the G77 was taken in September 2018 by the foreign ministers of the Groups’ member states.
Gandhi Peace Prize Conferred for Last 4 Years
The Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 has been conferred on the following: For 2015: Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari for their contribution in Rural Development, Education , Development of natural resources. For 2016: Jointly to Akshaya Patra Foundation for its contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of children across India and Sulabh International for its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation in India and emancipation of manual scavengers. For 2017: Ekal Abhiyan Trust for their contribution in providing Education for Rural and Tribal Children in remote areas pan India, Rural Empowerment, Gender and Social Equality. For 2018: Shri Yohei Sasakawa for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world.
Cabinet Approves Recapitalization of Export-Import Bank of India
The Union Cabinet has approved the recapitalization of EXIM Bank.
The details are as follows:
1. Issuance of Recapitalization Bonds by the Government of India to the tune of Rs.6,000 crore for capital infusion in Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).
2. The equity will be infused in two tranches of Rs. 4,500 crore in FY 2018-19 and Rs.1,500 crore in FY 2019-20 respectively.
3. The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorized capital of Exim Bank from Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 20,000 crore.

18th January 2019
PM Modi 3-Day Visit to Gujarat: Complete Highlights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a 3-day visit to Gujarat. He attended/inaugurated various initiatives at the different venues. Here are the complete highlights of the visit of PM Modi to Gujarat: PM Modi Inaugurates the Ahmedabad Shopping Festival-2019 PM unveils Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show in Gandhinagar. PM Modi to inaugurate 9th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Summit today
BES EXPO 2019 Begins In New Delhi
Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare and TRAI Chairman RS Sharma inaugurated the 25th International conference and exhibition on terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, BES EXPO 2019 in New Delhi. The theme for this exhibition is Next Gen Broadcasting in the IT World. Nearly 300 companies from 25 countries are displaying their products at the Expo.
Dr. Jitendra Singh Inaugurated UNNATI Programme of ISRO in Bengaluru
Minister of State in Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the UNNATI (Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training) programme organized by ISRO in Bengaluru, Karnataka. UNNATI, a capacity building programme on Nanosatellite development, is an initiative by ISRO to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space (UNISPACE-50).
2nd World Orange Festival Begins In Nagpur
 The second World Orange Festival has begun in Nagpur. The festival, while offering its famed oranges to the world, will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export. Agricultural experts and scientists from various countries will participate in the workshops and guide farmers.
Suresh Prabhu Inaugurates 10th Edition of India Rubber Expo 2019
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 10th edition of the India Rubber Expo – 2019 in Mumbai. The three-day event being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre is one of the most anticipated events in the rubber industry’s calendar.
Vinesh Phogat Becomes First Indian Athlete To Be Nominated In Laureus World Comeback of Year Award
Ace Indian female wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian athlete to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. She has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years. The 24-year-old Vinesh from Haryana made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games.
Dr. Rattan Lal Honoured With 2019 Japan Prize
The Japan Prize Foundation announced India born professor Dr. Rattan Lal, University Professor of Soil Science at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A, as the recipient of the 2019 Japan Prize for his contributions in the field of “Biological Production, Ecology”. Dr. Yoshio Okamoto was announced to be the recipient of the 2019 Japan Prize on of “Materials and Production” field. A cash award of 50 million Japanese yen (approximately $450,000 USD) will also be given to each prize field.
Reliance Retail, Jio to Launch New e-Commerce Platform
Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani announced that group companies Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio Infocomm would jointly launch a new e-commerce platform in the country. Gujarat would be the first state to get it. The announcement was made at the inauguration of the three-day Vibrant Gujarat summit.
GDP To Be A Tad Higher To 7.5% In FY20: India Ratings
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), a Fitch Group Company, estimated India's GDP growth could touch 7.5 % in the financial year 2019-20 as against 7.2 % during current fiscal i.e. 2018-19. India Ratings believes investments are slowly but steadily gaining traction with gross fixed capital formation growing 12.2 % in FY19 and projected to clock 10.3 % in FY20.
The Global Risks Report 2019 Released By World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum released the 14th edition of its annual Global Risk Report, 2019. The report’s findings are based on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, private sector, academia, and civil society assess the risks facing the world. The report was released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Trade tensions, cyber and technological threats, rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions, and environmental degradation dominated the list.
India 1st Away Team To Win Bilateral Series in All Formats in Australia
India defeated Australia in the third ODI today to clinch the three-match series 2-1. With this, India became the first visiting side to win a bilateral series (two or more matches) in all three formats in Australia.

19th January 2019
PM Narendra Modi Launches National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai. The development of the Museum was guided by the Museum Advisory Committee headed by Shyam Benegal. An innovation Committee headed by Prasoon Joshi provided an upgrade to the NMIC. Built at a cost of Rs 140.61 crore, the museum depicts the journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a story telling mode.
India To Host 14th Session Of The Conference Of Parties To UNCCD
India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to address the issue of land degradation and desertification which will have participation from over 100 countries. It is likely to be held in October 2019. The UNCCD, established in 1994, has 197 parties working towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.
Tripura Launches Project For Sustainable Catchment Forest Management
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched a project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management at State Forest Academy Ground in West Tripura and stated that the project would help develop the quality of forestlands and livelihood of forest dwellers in the state. The project is jointly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Government of India. JICA is providing Rs. 1,000 crores for a span of 10 years.
India’s 2nd Defence Innovation Hub to come Up In Nashik
Nashik in Maharashtra will be the site of the country’s second defence innovation hub after Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre stated that the defence innovation hub at Nashik will help local industries and entrepreneurs in the country’s defence sector.
Saksham 2019 Launched By Petroleum Ministry In New Delhi
‘Saksham’, an annual high intensity one-month long people-centric mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) was launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. ‘Saksham’ Cycle Day in 200 cities, Cyclothons, Workshops for drivers of commercial vehicles, Nationwide campaign through Radio, TV, Digital Cinemas, Outdoor media etc. will be conducted, with a focus on reaching out to various segments of fuel users.
India Signs Long Term Contract With Uzbekistan For Supply of Uranium
India has signed a long-term contract with Uzbekistan for supply of uranium ore concentrates to widen its source base for the nuclear fuel. Uzbekistan is the seventh largest exporter of uranium in the world. The Exim Bank signed an agreement with Uzbekistan to extend a 200-million US dollar line of credit for financing housing and social infrastructure projects.
Japan Launches Satellite For World's 1st Artificial Meteor Shower
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has launched Tokyo-based startup Star-ALE's mini-satellite aimed to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower. The satellite carries 400 tiny balls, will be enough for 20-30 events, that will glow as they rush down the atmosphere on being released. ALE plans to deliver its first show in Hiroshima in early 2020.
BHEL and LIBCOIN To Build India’s 1st Lithium Ion Giga Factory
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in dialogue to form a world-class consortium to initially build 1GWh lithium-ion battery plant in India. Its capacity will be scaled up to 30GWh in due course. With this, India has finally taken steps into its energy security and clean energy commitment to the world.
HDFC Standard Life Insurance Renamed To HDFC Life Insurance
HDFC Standard Life Insurance has changed its name to HDFC Life Insurance following the receipt of relevant approvals from regulatory authorities. The change in name is effective right off the bat and the company will henceforth operate under the name HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Prabhat Singh Appointed DG In NHRC
The Department of Personnel & Training, Government of India has appointed Senior IPS Officer Prabhat Singh as Director General (Investigation) in the National Human Rights Commission. Singh, a 1985 batch IPS Officer of AGMUT cadre is at present Special Director, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He has been appointed to the post for a period up to April 30, 2020
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer Mary Oliver Passes Away
Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet passed away. She was 83. The cause of death was lymphoma. Oliver — author of more than 15 poetry and essay collections — wrote brief, direct pieces that sang of her worship of the outdoors and disdain for greed, despoilment and other human crimes.

20th (&) 21st January 2019
15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Begins At Varanasi
The 15th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The 3 day event is being organized in Varanasi for the first time. The theme this year is, 'Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India'. Several world leaders of Indian origin, including the Chief Guest Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, will take part in the event and share their insights on the theme.
India and JICA Sign Loan Agreements on Loan to India
India and Japan-India Cooperative Actions (JICA) signed the loan agreements under the Japanese Official Development Assistance Loan Program in New Delhi. The agreements under the Japanese Official Development Assistance Loan were signed for two projects. These are:
(a) Project for the Construction of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road (Phase 1) for Japanese Yen 40.074 billion (around Rs 2470 Crore), and
(b) Program for Japan-India Cooperative Actions towards Sustainable Development Goals in India for Japanese Yen 15.000 billion (around Rs 950 Crore).
UK Sinha-Headed Working Group To Suggest Suitable Framework
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up an 11-member working group under the Chairmanship of former SEBI chief UK Sinha to go into the concept of ‘Group Insolvency’ and suggest a suitable framework. This Working Group has been tasked to submit a report within two months recommending a complete regulatory framework to facilitate insolvency resolution and liquidation of corporate debtors in a Group.
2-Day Agri Vision 2019 Conference Concludes in Hyderabad
The 2-day Agri Vision 2019 Conference on envisioning Agro solutions for Smart and Sustainable Agriculture was held in Hyderabad. It was inaugurated by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. The conference was jointly organized by Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and Cornell University, USA.
IIT-H Launches Full-Fledged B.Tech In Artificial Intelligence
Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) has announced the launch of a full-fledged bachelor's programme in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology from the new academic session, a first for the country and only the third globally. Besides IIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both of which are in the US, offer full-fledged B.Tech programmes in AI. The new course will have 20 seats and the eligibility is clearing the JEE-Advanced test.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Inaugurated The Diffo Bridge In Arunachal Pradesh
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 426 meters long Diffo Bridge over Chipu River in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. Border Roads Organization (BRO) has constructed the bridge along Indo-China border. The construction of the bridge began in 2011. The total cost to build the bridge was Rs 4,847.83 lakh and was funded by the Union ministry of road transport and highways.
Nepal’s Central Bank Announces Ban of Indian Notes Above Rs100
Nepal’s central bank has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations, a move that could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation where Indian currency is widely used. Nepal Rastra Bank issued a circular prohibiting Nepali travellers, banks and financial institutions from holding or carrying and trading Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven Reelected For Second Term
The Swedish Parliament approved Stefan Lofven as Prime Minister for a second four-year term.
Rio de Janeiro Named As 1st World Capital of Architecture for 2020
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020. Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a programme launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. The city beat Paris and Melbourne to get the position.
Arab Economic And Social Development Summit Held In Beirut
The Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in Lebanon’s capital Beirut. The leaders of many Arab countries took part in the summit aimed to make a joint statement on a 29-item agenda that ranges from discussions on an Arab free trade zone and the economic effect of Syrian refugees on host countries.
WEF Annual Meet Begins in Switzerland
The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet had begun in Davos, Switzerland. The meeting will continue for 5 days. The theme of the event would be ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
India To Surpass UK in World’s Largest Economy Rankings in 2019: PwC
India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world’s largest economy rankings in 2019, to become the world’s fifth largest economy, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC. PwC’s Global Economy Watch report projects real GDP growth of 1.6% for the UK, 1.7% for France and 7.6% for India in 2019. The US was the world’s largest economy with a size of 19.39 trillion dollars, followed by China at 12.23 trillion dollars at the second place in 2017.
MP Anurag Thakur Honoured With Sansad Ratna Award
Himachal Pradesh MP Anurag Thakur has been bestowed with Sansad Ratna Award for his distinguished performance as a parliamentarian under Jury Committee Special Award category. Thakur became the first BJP MP to receive the Jury Committee award. 12 parliamentarians were honored with the Sansad Ratna award, which was set up in 2010 on the suggestion of ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Indian-American Gurinder Singh Khalsa Presented With Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award
The Indian-American Sikh Gurinder Singh Khalsa, 45, who lives in Fishers of Indiana, US was presented with the prestigious 2019 Rosa Park Trailblazer award after being selected for champions of the diversity by the Indiana Minority Business Magazine.
RBI Approves Appointment of V Vaidyanathan as MD, CEO of IDFC First Bank
The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of V Vaidyanathan as MD and CEO of IDFC First Bank for a period of three years. In December 2018, IDFC Bank and non-banking financial company Capital First completed their merger, creating a combined loan asset book of Rs 1.03 lakh crore for the merged entity IDFC First Bank.
Ankita Raina Wins ITF's Tournament In Singapore
India's Ankita Raina has won the International Tennis Federation's 25,000-dollar Women's tournament in Singapore. In the Final, Ankita defeated top seed Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands. She will play two more tournaments before gearing up for the Fed Cup, starting in the first week of February at Astana, Kazakhstan.
World's Oldest Man Masazo Nonaka Passes Away At 113
The world's oldest man, Masazo Nonaka of Japan, has died at the age of 113.  Nonaka, who was officially recognized as the oldest male in the world by Guinness World Records in April 2018, passed away at his home in the north of Japan's Hokkaido island.

22nd January 2019
15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas: All You Need To Know
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. For the first time, the three day long convention is being organized in Varanasi from 21-23 January, 2019. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”.
India Signs MoU With Sri Lanka to Modernize Facilities At Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies in Batticaloa
India and Sri Lanka signed an MoU to provide modern infrastructural facilities to Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies of Eastern University in Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka. The project involves refurbishment of the auditorium and construction of a modern building complex with recording cum editing facilities and supply vehicles to the institute through a grant of over 27 crore Sri Lankan rupees from the Government of India.
India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference Begins in Mumbai
India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference had begun in Mumbai. The three-day event organized by the Ministry of Steel helped chart out the future growth path of the steel industry. The event provided an opportunity for all the stakeholders to deliberate and identify ways to contribute towards building a robust roadmap for the further growth of the steel sector.
Dell Launches India’s First PolicyHack for Teachers
Dell, as a part of its three-city PolicyHack series, hosted an interactive hackathon, where teachers focused on their learning journey in New Delhi. The initiative allows the teaching fraternity to come up with solutions for problems faced by teachers inside and outside the classroom. PolicyHack in India was conducted at two levels. Over 80 schools pan-India took part in it. The maiden hackathon for teachers was won by the Government Boys Senior Secondary School No 1 Ghonda, Delhi who presented the most promising and innovative ideas and solutions.
Andry Rajoelina Sworn In As Madagascar President
Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina, has sworn into office after taking the oath in Antananarivo before nine judges of the High Constitutional Court.  He won nearly 56% to defeat another former president, Marc Ravalomanana.
China's Economy Grew At 6.6% In 2018, Slowest Rate In 3 Decades
China's economy grew at 6.6% in 2018, its slowest rate in almost 3 decades. The world's 2nd biggest economy was grappling with the effects of the current trade war with the US and declining exports. In the 3 months to December, the economy grew 6.4% from a year earlier, down from 6.5 % in the previous quarter. China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that last year's growth rate was down from 6.8% in 2017 and was the lowest since 1990 when the growth rate was 3.9%.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Presented Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards and SAGY Awards
The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu presented the 2nd Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards to students and their mentors and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) Awards to institutions at an event organized by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in New Delhi.
Ranjani Murali Wins 'Woman’s Voice Award' At AKLF 2019
US Based Indian poet Ranjani Murali was awarded the “Woman’s Voice Award” at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF). The Objective of the award is to recognize and encourage creative writing by women in India. The Award carried a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh along with a citation. Ranjani Murali’s second book “Clearly you are ESL” won the Great Indian Poetry Collectives (GIPCs) Editor’s Choice award. Her first book “Blind Screens” was published in July 2017.
2018 ICC Awards: Virat Kohli Takes 3 Major Honours
Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018. The International Cricket Council also announced the men’s Test and ODI teams of the year with Virat Kohli named captain of both sides.
Bharat Ratna CNR Rao Chosen For  International Prize For Materials Research
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research announced that the Centre for Advanced Materials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) chose Eminent Scientist and Bharat Ratna recipient CNR Rao for the first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research. The Award containing a plaque, a medal and a Cash Prize of USD 100000 will be presented by Sheikh Saud to Professor CNR Rao.
India Among The Most Trusted Nations Globally: Report
India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, noted that the Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52. China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments. India was at the 2nd place in the informed public category and 3rd place in the general population category. The findings are based on an online survey in 27 markets covering over 33,000 respondents.
Microsoft Launches e-Commerce Platform for Handloom Weavers
Microsoft India has launched a new e-commerce platform re-weave.in for handloom weavers under its Project ReWeave, part of its philanthropic initiatives. This e-commerce platform will help connect artisans to buyers directly, enabling them to expand to newer customers and markets.

23rd January 2019
Important Cabinet Approvals: 23rd January 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows:
The Cabinet has approved-
1. MoC between India and Japan in the field of Food Processing Industry.
2. Extension of Delhi Metro corridor from Dilshad Garden to New Bus Adda Ghaziabad
3. MoU between India and Kuwait for cooperation on the Recruitment of Domestic Workers
4. Amendment to the ‘Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries’ to incorporate ‘Standby Swap’ amounting to USD 400 million operated within the overall size of the facility.
5. Creation of the National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT).
Indian Navy Coordinates Largest Ever Coastal Defence Exercise: SEA VIGIL
Ten years after "26/11", the Indian Navy commenced the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast.  Exercise SEA VIGIL, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
Omega Healthcare Inks MoU With IIIT-Bangalore
Omega Healthcare Management Services has signed a pact with IIIT-Bangalore for advanced use of the latest technology in providing healthcare solutions. The MoU is aimed at building industry-grade AI engines that can be embedded as part of Omega's business solutions to solve healthcare business challenges.
JNPT Becomes Only Indian Port To Be Listed Amongst World’s Top 30 Container Ports
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India’s premier container port got listed amongst the top 30 container ports globally, as per the latest Lloyds Report. JNPT notched up five spots, to be 28th on the list, compared to its previous ranking. This is a validation of all the efforts and strategic initiatives being implemented at JNPT in order to enhance overall port efficiency.
Arunachal Government Declares Pakke Hornbill Fest As ‘State Festival’
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu declared Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) as the “State Festival” at Seijosa in East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) is only conservation festival of Arunachal Pradesh. He announced that Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department will fund the festival from 2020 and permanent infrastructure will be constructed for the festival ground.
Andhra Pradesh Cabinet Decides To Give Quota For Kapus Community, EBCs
Andhra Pradesh cabinet has decided to cater 5% reservation each for Kapu community and the economically backward classes (EBCs) among the forward castes. The cabinet approved the decision of doubling the welfare pensions given under the NTR Bharosa Scheme. Pensions of Rs 1000 and Rs 1500 are doubled to Rs 2000 and Rs 3000 respectively.The cabinet decided to give exemption of life tax for autos and quarterly tax for tractors.
Government Constitutes NITI Aayog-led Committee To Monitor Pricing Of Drugs
The government has constituted a high power committee to monitor the pricing of medicines and healthcare products. The committee will be headed by a Niti Aayog member (Health). The Standing Committee on Affordable Medicines and Health Products (SCAMHP) will be the recommending body to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
President Ram Nath Kovind Confers Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019. The awards were presented to 26 shortlisted awardees including one joint award for National Child Award (now renamed as Bal Shakti Puraskar) under the category of innovation, scholastic, sports, art and culture, social service and bravery. Under National Child Welfare Awards category, 2 individuals and 3 institutions were awarded. The names of awardees were finalized by the National Selection Committee under the Chairpersonship of Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi.
Noted Gujarati Poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra Awarded Saraswati Samman 2017
Noted Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra has been awarded Saraswati Samman, 2017, for his poetry collection in Gujarati named “Vakhar”. This is the 27th edition of the prestigious award instituted by K.K.Birla foundation.  The award comprises of a citation and a plaque apart from award money of 15 lakh rupees. Mr. Yashashchandra, recipient of the Padmashri in 2006, is known for seamlessly blending history with poetry.
Facebook To Set Up Institute For AI Ethics With Initial Investment Of $7.5 Million
Social media giant Facebook announced that it will create an independent Institute for Ethics in Artificial intelligence (AI) with an initial investment of $7.5 million over a period of five years. Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany will collaborate with this project which aims to explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.
Vodafone Idea Board Approves Rights Issue for Rs25,000 crore
India’s largest telecom operator by subscriber base Vodafone Idea announced that its board had approved a rights issue of Rs25,000 crore to existing eligible equity shareholders in line with the recommendations of a capital raising committee it had set up in November 2018. The fund infusion will come at a time when it is critical for the company to raise resources to compete in the telecom market disrupted by the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016, which brought down tariffs, hitting revenue streams of other operators.
India Ranks 80th On Global Talent Competitiveness Ranking: Survey
India has moved up one position to rank 80th on the global talent competitive index, but remains a laggard among the BRICS nations. Switzerland continues to top the list, released on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting at Davos by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
The top 3 countries in the list are:
1. Switzerland,
2. Singapore,
3. The United States.
Rishabh Pant Named ICC Emerging Player Of The Year
Rishabh Pant was named the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Emerging Player Of The Year following an impressive show in India's first-ever Test series win in Australia. With an unbeaten 159-run knock in the 4th Test in Sydney, Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in Australia.
Mohammed Shami Becomes Fastest Indian Bowler To Reach 100 ODI Wickets
Mohammed Shami became the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets, during the first one-dayer against New Zealand at Napier. Shami reached the milestone in his 56th match, with the wicket of opener Martin Guptill. The Indian record was previously held by Irfan Pathan, who got there in his 59th match, against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2006. The world record is currently held by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who needed only 44 games to reach the mark.
Former Indian Hockey Player Raghbir Bhola Passes Away
Former Indian hockey player Raghbir Singh Bhola, a two-time Olympic medallist, has passed away aged 92. In 2000, he was honored with the Arjuna Award for his achievements in hockey. He served in diverse roles such as the member of the IHF selection committee, FIH international umpire, manager of the Indian hockey team, TV commentator and government observer at the Olympic Games.

24th January 2019
Global Investors Summit Held In Chennai
Tamil Nadu Government organised the 2nd edition of Global Investor summit in Chennai. The state government would soon unveil e-vehicle policy to give a boost to electric vehicles manufacturing in the state. In the opening ceremony, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the chief guest. Tamil Nadu government has allocated nearly Rs 75 crores to conduct the event.
PM Modi Launched Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year. The first batch of 40 Indian-origin people are at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and from here they will begin their tour.
IAFTX 2019: India Africa Field Training Exercise Held in Pune
The final planning conference to work out the modalities for Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 was conducted at Pune, Maharashtra. The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries & India. It aims at synergysing humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations.
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba Commissioned New Naval Air Base ‘INS Kohassa’
Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissioned the new Naval Air Base ‘INS Kohassa’ at Diglipur in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The airbase will be used to handle operations of helicopters and small aircraft like the Dornier. The new airbase in the northernmost part of the Andaman Nicobar Islands will be used for both Defence and civil aircraft.
2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 Held In Goa
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, inaugurated the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the ‘Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products; Advancing global collaboration’ in Goa. The organizers of the forum are the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, under the Ministry of AYUSH.
Venezuela Breaks Off Diplomatic Ties With The US
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he is breaking off diplomatic ties with the United States after his American counterpart Donald Trump recognized Opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country's interim President. Nicolas Maduro gave all US diplomatic staff in Venezuela 72 hours to leave the country. The Venezuelan President accused the US government of attempting a coup d'etat.
Ravneet Gill To Replace Rana Kapoor as Yes Bank MD and CEO
Yes Bank has appointed veteran banker Ravneet Singh Gill as its new MD & CEO and the lender has also received the RBI’s approval for the same.He will join the bank on or before March 1, 2019. Mr Gill is currently the chief Deutsche Bank’s India operations. Gill joined Deutsche Bank in 1991 and has worked across different businesses including corporate banking, capital markets and wealth management.
Piyush Goyal Named Interim Finance Minister
Piyush Goyal has been named the interim Finance Minister and interim Minister of Corporate Affairs during Arun Jaitley's indisposition. Goyal will retain his existing portfolios of coal and railways. Union Minister Arun Jaitley, 66, had left for the United States for a regular medical check-up. Jaitley will be designated as a minister without a portfolio during his period of indisposition.
India's Growth to Accelerate From 7.4% to 7.6% in FY20: UN Report
With robust private consumption and 7.4% GDP growth rate in the current fiscal, the Indian economy is expected to accelerate at a rate of 7.6% in 2019-20, according to a report by the United Nations titled United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019.
3 Indian expats From UAE Win Prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
Three Indian expats from the UAE are amongst those who won the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award the highest honor conferred on Indian diaspora. President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the award on Girish Pant, Surender Singh Kandhari and Dr. Zulekha Daud and other awardees at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention in Varanasi. Girish Pant is a social worker, Surender Singh Kandhari is chairman of the Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple and a philanthropist, businessman, Dr  Zulekha is founder and chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare Group.
National Girl Child Day: 24 January
National Girl Child Day is celebrated in India on 24 January. Women and Child Development Ministry celebrated the National Girl Child Day 2019 at Pravasi Bharti Kendra, New Delhi. The programme also observed the anniversary of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme. The theme of National Girl Child Day 2019 was “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow” and celebrating with objectives of generating awareness on the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR).
International Day of Education: 24 January
Today (24th January) is International Day of Education. On 3 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus a resolution proclaiming 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

25th January 2019
ISRO Successfully Launched PSLV C44 Carrying Kalamsat & Microsat R
The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launched the PSLV C 44 carrying Kalam sat and imaging satellite Microsat R. The satellite was launched from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Kalamsat is a ten cm cube weighing one-kilogram communication satellite with a life span of two months.
DRDO Launches Long Range Surface to Air Missile Off Odisha Coast
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) from naval warship INS Chennai. The test was conducted off the coast of Odisha. The LR-SAM hit a low flying aerial target during the test.
Telangana To Set Up ‘Save Tiger Protection Force’
The Telangana government has decided to form a 'State Tiger Protection Force' to save the Big Cat population in the State. The State Forest Protection Committee headed by Chief Secretary S K Joshi took the decision to form the STPF. The State and Central government will share the cost of the force on 40:60 basis. Fund amount of 2.25 Cr was also sanctioned to protect the tigers and to prevent forest fire accidents. The Committee decided to act tough against those felling forest trees and committing other related crimes.
Sultan Abdullah Elected New Malaysian King
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as Malaysia's new king by the members of the country's royal families. The 59-year-old was earlier appointed the Sultan of the Malaysian state of Pahang. He replaced Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, who stepped down recently, making it the first abdication in Malaysia's history.
IndiGo Appoints Ronojoy Dutta As New CEO
IndiGo owner InterGlobe Aviation has appointed Ronojoy Dutta as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company with immediate effect. Ronojoy Dutta will remain as the company CEO for the next five years.
Government Institutes Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar
The government has instituted an annual award titled Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. It will be announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The Award carries a certificate and a cash prize of 51 lakh rupees. This year, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force located at Ghaziabad has been selected for the Award for its commendable work in disaster management.
National Voters Day: 25 January
25 January is celebrated every year as National Voters Day to spread awareness about the necessity of voting and to encourage young generation towards the voting rights. National Voters Day Theme 2019 is “No Voter to be left behind”. This is the ninth year of celebrating National Voters Day. 25th January is the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI) which came into existence in 1950.
Johan Botha Announces Retirement From Cricket
Former South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha has announced his immediate retirement from all forms of Cricket. Botha played for South Africa in 5 test matches, 78 one-day internationals, and 40 T20 Internationals from 2005 to 2012. Botha captained the Proteas in 10 ODIs and took the team to the No. 1 ranking after they defeated Australia 4-1 in Australia in 2009.
Sahitya Akademi Award Winning Bengali Writer Atin Bandyopadhyay Passes Away
Sahitya Akademi award winning Bengali writer Atin Bandyopadhyay passed away of brain stroke. Winner of 2001 Sahitya Akademi award for his compilation of short stories Panchashati Galpo, Bandyopadhyay had also penned popular fiction pieces like Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje, Aloukik Jaljaan, Nil Timi, Ekti Jaler Rekha in his illustrious career spanning over decades. He had also received the Bankim Puraskar (1998) for Dui Bharatbarsho.
Jnanpith Winning Hindi Writer Krishna Sobti Passes Away
Eminent Hindi author and essayist Krishna Sobti passed away in Delhi. She was 93. She was a recipient of many coveted awards like Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith awards and was also offered Padma Bhushan, which she had declined. Some of her celebrated works include Daar Se Bichhudi, Mitro Marjani, Zindaginama, Dil-o-Danish, Badalom ke Ghere, Ai Ladki and Gujarat Pakistan Se Gujarat Hindustan.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist Russell Baker Passes Away
Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program "Masterpiece Theatre," passed away in Leesburg, Va. He was 93. Baker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1979. It was the first Pulitzer for commentary awarded to a humorist.

26th, 27th (&) 28th January 2019
India’s Fastest Indigenous Train Renamed As Vande Bharat Express
India’s fastest indigenous train which will run from Delhi to Varanasi has been named as Vande Bharat Express. Its previous name was Train 18. The new name has been given after taking suggestions from the general public. It is a train built completely in India by Indian engineers in a span of 18 months and it is an example that it is possible to make world-class trains under Make in India.
Assam Rifles Creates History By Showcasing “Nari Shakti” At Parade
The all-women Assam Rifles contingent created history this year by participating for the first time in a Republic Day (26th January) parade. Contingents of the Navy, India Army Service Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals were all led by women officers. Capt Shikha Surabhi from the Corps of Signals became the first woman to perform bike stunts, alongside her male teammates as part of daredevils. Lt. Bhavana Kasturi, a lady officer, for the first time led a contingent of the India Army Service Corps and Capt Bhavna Syal, a third-generation officer in the armed forces, led the transportable satellite terminal’s contingent.
PM Modi Dedicates Kochi Refinery Project to Nation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Kochi Refinery project and IOCL LPG Bottling Plant to the Nation in Kochi, Kerala. Prime Minister also laid a foundation stone for Petrochemical Complex. PM also laid the foundation stone for Skill Development Institute at Ettumanoor. He laid the foundation stone of AIIMS in Tamil Nadu's Madurai.
Roshni, An Android App Developed To Help Visually Impaired Identify Notes
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has developed an app Roshni that would help the Visually Impaired to recognise currency notes. The app can recognise both old and new notes and gives audio information as to which note you are holding in your hands. This app was launched in Chandigarh. Roshni is the first Android app, which recognise INR currency notes.
Ministry of Defence Launched ‘RDP INDIA 2019' App
As a new initiative in sync with the Digital India campaign of the Government, Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app 'RDP India 2019' on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event. This app contains information about the Parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, including Order of the March, details of the tableaux presented by different States and Ministries, children cultural performances, fly past and names of recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019.
BFW, Universal Robots To Co-Create Robots For MSMEs
Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW), a Bengaluru-based machining solution provider, has partnered with Universal Robots, a Danish robot maker and a leader in collaborative robots, to co-create robots for MSME sector. BFW and Universal Robots plan to redefine the production processes by deploying the robotic arms through modular, flexible and user-friendly integration solution platform — Arjun.
IRDAI Sets Panel Headed By Praveen Kutumbe To Identify Systematically Important Insurers
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set up a panel headed by Praveen Kutumbe, to identify domestically systematically important insurers (SIIs) and an augmented regulatory framework is logically established in this regard. Praveen Kutumbe, Member- Finance and Investment, IRDAI, has been asked to submit the report in six months.
Nari Shakti Is Oxford Dictionary’s Hindi Word Of The Year 2018
The Oxford Dictionaries announced ‘Nari Shakti’ as the Hindi Word of the Year. The Hindi Word of the Year chosen every year, reflects the conversations, ethos of a particular year. The word this year, Nari Shakti, has been derived from Sanskrit and when broken down, the word ‘nari’ means women and ‘shakti’ means power.
Madya Pradesh Launched Employment Scheme “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana” For Urban Youth
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath announced the launch of the 'Yuva Swabhiman Yojana' for youths from the economically weaker sections in urban areas. Under this scheme, 100 days of employment will be provided to youths from economically weaker sections in urban areas. They will also be given skill training.
Kerala To Launch  'Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme'
The Kerala government has floated a 'Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme' to provide regular pension to Non-Resident Keralites on a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh. Governor P. Sathasivam announced the scheme during his address to the state Assembly. There are 2.1 million migrants from Kerala across the world. A non-resident Keralite can invest an amount ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, as a whole or as 6 installments paid within 3 years. Each beneficiary will be entitled to receive pensions ranging from Rs 5,000-50,000 every month, 3 years after the total amount is deposited, at a dividend rate of 12%.
Sugarcane Juice Declared As National Drink Of Pakistan
The Pakistan government declared sugarcane juice as the “national drink” of the country. They came at this decision after asking People’s opinion in twitter to choose one among orange, carrot and sugarcane. According to the poll, 7,616 people or 81% cast their votes favouring sugarcane juice, 15% voted for orange juice while 4% chose carrot.
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards 2019 Announced: Complete List of Winners
“Black Panther” took home the top award for best performance by a cast in a motion picture at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards. On the TV front, “This Is Us” nabbed the ensemble award for drama, while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the comedy prize. The award ceremony was held at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. The 25th annual ceremony highlights performances across film and television. Among individual acting awards, Rami Malek was recognized for playing the iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Glenn Close won for “The Wife.”
D N Chakraborty Gets Assam Republic Day Journalism Award
Assam government has conferred the Republic Day Journalism Award 2019 to veteran journalist and former editor Dhirendra Nath Chakraborty. Chakraborty has been honored for his lifelong contribution to journalism in the state. The award comprises Rupees one lakh in cash, a citation, the Assamese 'xoraai' (the bell metal memento presented as an honour), 'jaapi' (headgear) and an angavastra.
Bharat Ratna Awarded to Nanaji Deshmukh, Dr Bhupen Hazarika and Pranab Mukherjee in 2019
The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
The Bharat Ratna Awardees in 2019 are:
1. Pranab Mukherjee
2. Bhupen Hazarika (Posthumously)
3. Nanaji Deshmukh (Posthumously)
India 6th in GDPR Readiness Index: CISCO
Nearly 65% of Indian organizations are better prepared for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making the country the sixth leading nation globally in the GDPR readiness index, global networking leader, according to CISCO. The GDPR, which focused on increasing protection for EU residents' privacy and personal data, came into force in May 2018 and organizations globally have been working steadily towards getting ready for it.
SBI Card And Etihad Guest Tie-up To Launch Premium Card For International Travel
SBI Card and Etihad Guest, the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, have joined hands to launch a travel-specific Visa credit card for members and Indian travellers. This is the first international co-brand partnership of SBI Card, the country's second-largest credit card issuer. The card will be available in two variants, Etihad Guest SBI Card and Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card, will bring an unmatched value proposition to Etihad Guest members and international travellers from India.
Indonesia Masters Title 2019: Complete List of Winners
The 2019 Indonesia Masters, officially the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2019, is a badminton tournament that takes place at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Indonesia and has a total purse of $350,000. Anders Antonsen won the men's singles title and Saina Nehwal won the women's singles title. Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won her first Indonesia Masters title after three-time world champion Carolina Marin limped out of the final due to a leg injury.
Australian Open 2019 Concludes: Complete List of Winners
The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually in Melbourne Park, Australia. The 2018 Australian Open was the 107th edition of the tournament. Novak Djokovic from Serbia won the Men's Singles event and Naomi Osaka of Japan won the Women's singles event. Roger Federer was the defending champion.
Holder Becomes 1st Top-Ranked Windies Test All-Rounder After Sobers
West Indies captain Jason Holder has become the first player from the country in 45 years to top the list of all-rounders in the International Cricket Council Test Player Rankings after slamming an unbeaten double-century that helped script a memorable 381-run win over England in the first Test in Bridgetown. West Indies legend Gary Sobers was at the top last in March 1974 and Holder has now emulated him following his 202 not out off 229 balls in the second innings in Bridgetown, which is the third highest score by a number eight batsman in Test history after the Pakistan pair of Wasim Akram (257 not out) and Imtiaz Ahmed (209).
Oscar-Winning French Composer Michel Legrand Passes Away
Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand has passed away aged 86. During a career spanning more than half a century, Legrand won three Oscars. His first was in 1969 for the song ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’ from the film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’.

29th January 2019
GST On Haj Reduced From 18% To 5%
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stated that GST on Haj has been reduced from 18% to 5% and this will significantly lower the airfare thus saving Haj pilgrims’ 113 crore rupees this year. Mr. Naqvi also stated that for the first time since the independence 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram.
Odisha Announces Jiban Sampark Project
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced "Jiban Sampark" project in partnership with UNICEF India to generate awareness about the development and welfare initiatives of state government among the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of the state.  The announcement was made after Patnaik inaugurated the annual tribal fair popularly known as "Adivasi Mela".
Uttarakhand's First Tulip Garden In Pithoragarh
Uttarakhand's first tulip garden will come up over 50 hectares of forest land in Pithoragarh district at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The state government has obtained the Centre's nod for development of the garden. To be developed by the ONGC, under its corporate social responsibility programme, the proposed tulip garden will be the country's second after the one located in Srinagar (J&K).
Cable-Stayed 'Atal Setu' Inaugurated In Goa
A 5.1-km long cable-stayed "Atal Setu" on the Mandovi river in Goa, a third such bridge to connect the state capital with North Goa, was opened to the public by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik also attended the event to inaugurate the four-lane bridge which at 2.5 lakh tonnes is equivalent to the weight of 570 Boeing aircraft.
Pakistan Appoints Its First Ever Female Hindu Civil Judge
Suman Kumari has become the first Hindu woman to have been appointed as a civil judge in Pakistan after passing an examination for induction of judicial officers. The first judge from the Hindu community was Justice Rana Bhagwandas, who served as the acting chief justice for brief periods between 2005 and 2007.
Poonam Khetrapal Singh Re-appointed Regional Director Of WHO South-East Asia
Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been appointed Regional Director for World Health Organization South-East Asia, for a second five-year term. The WHO Executive Board unanimously endorsed Dr. Khetrapal Singh, who was earlier also unanimously nominated by 11 Member countries of the Region for another five years.
India Bags The Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ At NYTTS 2019
India received the Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ at the New York Times Travel Show 2019, the largest travel show in North America. India was honoured during the Closing Bell Ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India participated as the ‘Presenting Partner’ in the New York Times Travel Show (NYTTS 2019) organised at Jacob K Javits Centre, New York.
India, China Sign Protocol For Exports Of Indian Tobacco Leaves To China
India and China have signed the protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China. The protocol was signed during the recent visit of Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan to Beijing. Dr.Wadhawan also had the bilateral meeting with Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs, Zhang Jiwen for examining market access and quarantine issues for India’s agriculture and allied products.
Kartik Sharma Wins New South Wales Men’s Amateur Golf Championship
India's Kartik Sharma won the New South Wales men's Amateur Golf Championship in Australia. Kartik notched up a magnificent win over Australia's Nathan Barberie in the scheduled 36-hole final to emerge as champion.
Rohit Paudel of Nepal Youngest Batsman To Hit International Half-Century
Nepal batsman Rohit Paudel has become the youngest male cricketer to score an international fifty at the age of 16 years and 146 days, breaking Sachin Tendulkar's previous mark. He is also the youngest man to score a one-day international half-century, beating Shahid Afridi, who smashed a 37-ball century in an incredible first inning against Sri Lanka aged 16 and 217 days. Indian legend Tendulkar scored his maiden Test fifty when 16 years and 213 days old.
India Replaces Japan To Become Second-Largest Crude Steel Producer
India has replaced Japan as the world’s 2nd largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel, accounting for more than 51% of production, according to the World Steel Association. China’s share increased from 50.3% in 2017 to 51.3% in 2018. India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, up 4.9% from 101.5 MT in 2017.
Data Protection Day: Jan 28
The Council of Europe had launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, was opened to the signature. Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called Data Privacy Day outside Europe.
Former Defence Minister George Fernandes Passes Away
Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passed away in Delhi at the age of 88. Fernandes also served as the Railways Minister in former Prime Minister VP Singh's government. His last stint as a parliamentarian was as a Rajya Sabha MP between August 2009 and July 2010.

30th January 2019
National Salt Satyagraha Memorial Inaugurated At Dandi
In commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi dedicated grand and iconic ‘National Salt Satyagraha Memorial’ constructed by the Central Public Works Department at Dandi, Gujarat to the Nation. This prestigious work entrusted to CPWD by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India has been completed by the dedicated team of CPWD in 20 months’ time well within the sanctioned amount of Rs. 72.23 crores.
UP Government Approves Construction Of Ganga Expressway
Uttar Pradesh state cabinet has approved construction of a four-lane Ganga Expressway connecting Prayagraj to Western Utter Pradesh which would cost about 36,000 crore rupees. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated that this expressway will provide better connectivity to Prayagraj. Ganga Expressway will be 600 kilometres long and can be expanded to six-lane in future. Chief Minister also stated that after completion it would be longest in the world.
RBI To Inject Rs 37,500 Crore Through OMO In February
The Reserve Bank of India has stated that it will inject Rs 37,500 crore into the system through the purchase of government securities in February to increase liquidity. RBI stated that it has decided to conduct the purchase of government securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs) for an aggregate amount of Rs 375 billion in the month of February 2019.
FDI Rose 18% In FY18 To Rs 28.25 Lakh Crore: RBI data
Reserve Bank of India has released a data on “Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies, 2017-18” which shows that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased 18% to Rs. 28.25 lakh crore in FY18. FDI increased by Rs 4,33,300 crore, including revaluation of past investments, during 2017-18 to reach Rs 28,24,600 crore in March 2018 at market value. Overseas direct investment (ODI) by Indian companies increased by 5% to Rs 5.28 lakh crore.
First Swadesh Darshan Project Inaugurated In Sikkim
K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism has inaugurated the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Project of the Union Ministry of Tourism at the Zero Point, Gangtok, Sikkim. This project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in June 2015 for Rs. 98.05 crores. Swadesh Darshan Scheme is one of the flagship scheme of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned manner.
EPFO's Central Board of Trustees Notifies 3 New Committees
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has notified three new committees on Finance, Investment and Audit Committee (FIAC), the Pension and EDLI Implementation Committee (PEIC) and the Exempted Establishments’ Committee (EEC). All the 3 committees will continue to have central government representatives as well as 2 representatives each of the employers and the employees and domain experts.
ICAR Launches National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has launched the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country. It is inaugurated at the fourth Convention of 2-day “Agrivision-2019” organized by Vidyarthi Kalyan Nyas in Pusa, New Delhi.
Dilip Sadarangani Appointed As Chairman Of Federal Bank
Kerala based private sector lender Federal Bank has appointed Dilip Sadarangani as the part-time chairman. The appointment of Sadarangani, who has been on the bank's board since 2013, has been cleared by the Reserve Bank.
Dubai Airport Retains Top Position As World's Busiest Airport
Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained its position as the world's busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2018. It overtook the crown of the world's busiest hub for international travel from London's Heathrow in 2014.
India Ranks 54th In 'Bloomberg Innovation Index’ Of 60 Economies
India has been ranked in Bloomberg’s 2019 list of most innovative countries in the world - 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index - for the first time ever. India has grabbed the 54th spot with a score of 47.93 out of 100 in the Innovation Index of 60 economies. South Korea has topped the Index for the sixth time in a row with a total score of 87.38, followed by Germany and Finland.
Global Corruption Index Released, India Ranks 78
Transparency International has released the Global Corruption Index 2018. India rose by 3 points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world with a score of 41. China lagged far behind at 87 and Pakistan ranked 117.
Ministry Of Textiles Launched 'Artisan Speak'
Ministry of Textiles and Government of India launched Artisan Speak at Elephanta Caves (UNESCO heritage site) to strengthen the handlooms and textiles sector of India. The event has been held to showcase the GI Textiles of India, through a confluence of fashion, music, and dance.
73-yr-old Jean-Luc Wins Round-the-World Sailing Race
French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has won the round-the-world yacht race after 212 days alone at sea without modern instruments. The 73-year-old, who completed his sixth circumnavigation of the globe, became the oldest to complete the 30,000-mile Golden Globe race. Of the 19 sailors who started out in July 2018, only 5 were still in the race.
Civil Aviation Ministry Launched First GI Store In Goa
The Civil Aviation ministry launched the country’s first Geographical Indication (GI) store at Dabolim International Airport in Goa. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu stated that the GI stores will promote local products made by the artisans and handicrafts at the airport.

31st January 2019
Israel Aerospace Industries Announces Agreement With Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced entering into agreements worth $93 million this for providing Naval Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) systems to India. The contracts for the air defence system were entered with the Indian Navy and the Cochin Shipyard. Under the contracts, IAI will provide complementary systems for the air defense system. They involve follow up orders for a range of maintenance and other services for various sub-systems of IAI’s advanced MSRAM ADS.
Maharashtra Launched Special Scheme To Curb Infant Deaths
The Maharashtra government launched a special scheme to curb infant deaths. Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde distributed baby-care kits to the children born in primary health centers and government hospitals. The scheme is applicable only for the first child and will benefit around four lakh women across the state, Women. The cost of the kit is around Rs 2,000.ne in future.
Scientists Develop Artificial Pancreas Smartphone App For Diabetics
Scientists have developed an artificial pancreas smartphone app that will help in regulating blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. This app is capable of interfacing wirelessly with glucose monitors, insulin pump devices, and decision-making algorithms. A clinical trial showed that the artificial pancreas system (iAPS) app is safe. The app is effective in regulating glucose levels under challenging conditions and is suitable for use in unconstrained environments.
Italy, UN, Launch Africa Centre For Climate And Sustainable Development
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte along with UN representative has launched Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable development. The new center is located near the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome. The major objective is boosting the agricultural sectors and promoting rural development in Africa. It will help in implementing the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to stop depending on fossil fuel and cap global warming.
UK Parliament Approves Brexit Amendment on Replacing Irish Backstop
In Britain, lawmakers voted in favor of an amendment in BREXIT plan seeking alternative arrangements to replace the Irish border arrangement known as the Irish backstop. The amendment calls for the backstop to be replaced with unspecified “alternative arrangements” to avoid the reintroduction of border checks in Ireland. The backstop is aimed at keeping an open border between European Union-member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit. Another amendment, rejecting a no-deal Brexit, also won the support of Parliament.
UAE, Saudi Central Banks Launch Common Digital Currency Called 'Aber'
The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called "Aber", which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies. Through this digital currency, both the United Arab Emirates Central Bank (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) are studying the impact on the improvement and reduction of remittance costs and the assessments of risks.
World Leprosy Eradication Day: 30th January
30th January 2019, is celebrated as World Leprosy Eradication Day which stresses the need of eradicating the disease. It also brings to light the discrimination and stigma that people suffer from society every day. This year’s theme for World Leprosy Day is ‘ending discrimination, stigma, and prejudice’. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae.
LT Gen Rajeev Chopra Takes Over as Director General of NCC
Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed the appointment of Director General of NCC (DGNCC). Commissioned in the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra has commanded an infantry battalion in Operation Rhino (Assam). He has commanded a Brigade in Eastern Command and was Inspector General of HQ IGAR (South) in the insurgency-torn state of Manipur.

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