Current Affairs January 17 2019

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CA Jan 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Suresh Prabhu inaugurates Global Aviation Summit 2019 in Mumbai
On 15th January 2019, the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the Global Aviation Summit (GAS) 2019 which is being organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Mumbai.
i. The Vision 2040 for aviation sector and the Air Cargo Policy was launched during the summit.
ii. The domestic aviation market in India has been growing at 20 percent annually for the last four years and this growth has been the highest in the world…………………………………...Click here to Read more

PM inaugurated spiritual circuit development project in Kerala
On 15th January 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the project “Development of Spiritual Circuit: Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple – Aranmula-Sabarimala” at the cost of Rs. 92.22 crores under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Tourism Ministry in Kerala. He also dedicated  the 13-km Kollam bypass on NH 66 in Kerala to the nationModi visit to KeralaKey Points
i. 
The Sree Padmanaaswamy Temple is one of the 108 Divyadesams of Lord Vishnu and majority of the work under this project has been carried out at this temple.
ii. Under the Project, the ministry of tourism has developed and rejuvenated the temple along with its surroundings keeping in mind the factors of heritage and socio-cultural aspects.
iii. Ministry of tourism has sanctioned 7 projects in Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for an approximate amount of Rs 550 crores.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme
♦ Swadesh Darshan Scheme was launched in 2014-15 and it is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country. Till now, 77 projects worth Rs. 6131.88 Crores has been sanctioned under this scheme in 30 States and UTs.
About Kerala
♦ Governor: P. Sathasivam
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Capital: Thiruvanthapuram

SC issues notice to Centre against order allowing agencies to monitor computers
On 14th January 2019, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the government’s notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system.
Key Points:
i. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice after the central government on 20th December 2018 had issued a notification allowing 10 government agencies to intercept communication on all social platforms and electronic devices.
ii. The ‘cyber and information security’ division of the Union Home ministry under the authority of Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba had passed the government order under the section 69 of the IT Act.
iii .The 10 agencies include: Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police.
iv. The notification by the government bounds the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do so will invite seven-yearimprisonment and fine.
About Ministry of Home Affairs:
♦ Minister: Rajnath Singh
♦ Minister of State: Kiren Rijiju, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir
♦ Home Secretary: Rajiv Gauba

MP CM launches Rs 50,000 cr farm loan waiver scheme  ‘Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana
On 15th January 2019, “Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana” scheme was launched by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri. Kamal Nath.It is Rs 50,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme for farmers. The loan waiver forms could be submitted till February 5 and farmers would start getting the benefits from February 22.
Key points
i. On 5th January 2019, the state cabinet decided to waive crop loans of 55 lakh small and marginal farmers in the state.The eligibility cut-off date has been extended to December 12, 2018 from March 31, 2018.
ii. Only those farmers who have not registered themselves to pay GST and income tax can avail benefits under this schemes.
iii. Earlier former Chief Minister Shri. Shivraj Singh Chouhan also launched similar scheme named ‘Bhavantar Yojana’.
About Madhya Pradesh
♦ CM: Shri.Kamal Nath
♦ Governor: Smt.Anandiben Patel
♦ National park: Kanha National Park,Madhav National Park,Mandla Plant Fossils National Park,Panna National Park,Pench National Park,Sanjay National Park,Satpura National Park,Van Vihar National park.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuary:Bori WLS, Gandhi Sagar WLS , Ghatigaon WLS,Ken Gharial WLS, Narsighgarh WLS,National Chambal WLS,Orcha WLS,Kuno WLS,Sardarpur WLS,Son Gharial WLS.

India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19 held in Chandimandir
On January 14, 2019, India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX begun at Chandimandir , headquarters of the Western Command in Chandigarh.India-Myanmar bilateral army exercisei .It is the second edition of the IMBEX EXERCISE.
ii .The motive of IMBEX 2018-19 are:
.To train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations peace keeping operations under the UN flag.
2.It provided opportunities to the army personnel of both the nations to serve effectively in UN missions as also understand each other’s training, tactics, procedures and best practices.

First one- day Turtle Festival celebrated in Puri, Odisha to promote conservation of olive ridley turtles
On January 12, 2019, Odisha celebrated its 1st one day Turtle Festival in Puri, Odisha.
i. The festival was organized by Cox & Kings Foundation in association with Humane Society International/India and Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA).
ii. It was done to create awareness and promote ideas on conservation of olive ridley turtles.
iii. It was done in the interest of integrating conservation efforts with tourism and involving locals, tourists and others to be a part of the movement.
Background:
Odisha is the largest recipient of Olive Ridley Turtles that recorded about a million of them visiting the coastal State in October 2018.The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Odisha:
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
♦ Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.

55-day long Kumbh Mela 2019 commenced in Uttar Pradesh; it will continue till March 4, 2019
On January 15, 2019, the 55-day long Kumbh Mela 2019 commenced with the Shahi Snan of Akharas at Sangam- the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati -at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.Kumbh Mela 2019i. ”Chalo Kumbh Chale” was the slogan used by the devotees commencing the mela.
ii. An area of 20 lakh sq.ft area, was designated for the street art projects under an initiative by Kumbh Mela Authority called ”Paint my city.”
iii. The whole kumbh area is divided into 20 sectors and 9 zones for keen vigil by sector and zonal magistrates.
iv. For the first time at the Kumbh Mela, a transgender ashram, known as the Kinnar Akhara, led by rights activist Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi from Mumbai, joined the first bathing day.
v. The Kumbh Mela is the largest human congregation in the world, with the participation of over 130 million pilgrims.
Contribution of the Ministries/state government:
i. 15 state government departments, 28 central government departments and six union ministries are managing the Kumbh Mela 2019.
ii. The UP government has allocated Rs.4,200 crore for the Ardh Kumbh (twice in 12 years).
iii. Union minister Harsh Vardhan, launched a special weather service for the Kumbh Mela, which includes four automatic weather stations. It will provide information of the prevailing weather and forecasts for the next three days.
iv. Forty police stations, 58 police outposts including three women police station are erected where more than 20 thousand security personnel have been deployed.
v. A mobile app named ‘Kumbh Mela Weather Service’ has also been developed to disseminate the live weather information on temperature, humidity, rainfall and winds.
vi. Alongside 21 Snan Ghats set up for bathing, over 120000 toilets have been erected for making Clean Kumbh.
Background:
The Kumbh Mela, which runs until March 4, was recognised as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2017.
Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath.
♦ Governor: Ram Naik.
♦ National Parks: Dudhwa National Park,
♦ Tiger Reserve: Philibit Tiger Reserve,
♦ Bird Sanctuary: Sandi Bird Sanctuary.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuary: Bakhira WLS, Chandraprabha WLS, Hastinapur WLS, National Chambal WLS, Nawabganj WLS.
♦ Uttar Pradesh has 23 wildlife sanctuaries across 27 districts covering over 5,000 sq km

7-Member GoM constituted under Nitin Patel for boosting the Real Estate Sector under the GST regime: FinMin
On January 15, 2019, the Finance Ministry announced constitution of a 7-member Group of Ministers (GoM) under the title ‘GoM for boosting Real Estate Sector under the GST regime’.
i.This decision was taken under the suggestion of the 32nd Meeting of GST Council held on 10 January 2019 at New Delhi.
ii.Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat is convener of the GoM.
iii.6 other members of the group include:
1.Sudhir Mungantiwar, Finance Minister, Government of Maharashtra,
2.Krishna Byre Gowda, Finance Minister, Government of Karnataka,
3.Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Government of Kerala,
4.Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Government of Punjab,
5.Rajesh Agarwal, Finance Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh and
6.Mauvin Godinho, Minister of Panchayat, Government of Goa.
iii. Manish Sinha, Joint Secretary (TRU-II), CBIC, was made the Secretary for the GoM for boosting the Real Estate Sector under GST regime.
iv. The functions of the GoM are:
1.Analysing tax rate of GST by providing a Composition Scheme for Residential Construction Units referred to GoM for boosting the sector,
2.Examining and suggesting the composition scheme,
3.Examining various aspect of levy of GST on Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and Development Rights in a joint Development Agreement and suitable model,
4.Examining legality of inclusion/exclusion of land or any other ingredient, in Composition and suggest Valuation Mechanism.
v. The Conveners of Law Committee and Fitment Committee will assist the GoM.
vi. Any approval regarding the issues will be done by the Union Minister of Finance and Chairperson of GST Council.
vii.Currently, GST on the under-construction flats and houses is 12% whereas ready-to-move-in flats with a completion certificate attract no GST.
Finance Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Shri P. Radhakrishnan

Global Housing Technology Challenge India launched in New Delhi to build houses under PMAY in shorter time: MoH&UA
On January 14, 2019, Shri Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the “Global Housing Technology Challenge-India” (GHTC- India) in New Delhi.
About Global Housing Technology Challenge-India:
i. Under this, the best globally available innovative construction technologies would be adopted by India to deliver ready to live-in houses in a shorter time, with lower cost and quality construction. This will be implemented under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) Mission.
ii. The challenge has three components. They are:
1.Conduct of Grand Expo-cum-Conference,
2.Identifying Proven Demonstrable Technologies from across the world and
3.Promoting Potential Technologies through setting up incubation centers at selected IITs and organizing accelerator workshops under the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-India) Program.
iii. This transition will contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as laid out by the United Nations (UN), the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Climate Accord.
iv. A Grand Expo and Conference will be organized and conducted biennially to provide a platform to exchange knowledge and business among stakeholders.
v. Thus this challenge would enable:

  • conservation of natural resources;
  • bringing speed in construction;
  • utilization of industrial and construction demolition waste;
  • reduction in air and noise pollution;
  • optimum use of water;
  • increased labour productivity;
  • cost reduction;
  • safe and disaster resilient houses; and
  • all weather site execution etc.

Ministry of House and Urban Affairs:
♦ Minister of State (I/C): Shri. Hardeep Puri.

3-day 9th International Micro irrigation conference was inaugurated by Water Resource minister Nitin Gadkari in Aurangabad, Maharashtra
On January 16, 2019, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the three-day long 9th International Micro irrigation conference at Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The conference would conclude on January 18, 2019.International Micro irrigation conferencei. Aim of the conference was to share experiences the use of new technologies and best management practices in drip, micro-sprinkler, and other localized irrigation systems.
ii. The Theme of the conference was: “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”.
iii. The conference was organized by Ministry of Water Resources and River Development.
iv. 740 delegates including 100 foreign delegates from 56 countries are participating in the conference.
Ministry of Water Resources:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Satyapal Singh, Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal.

ASER 2018 by NGO Pratham: One out of every 8 students in rural India can’t read simple texts
On January 16, 2019, as per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018, one out of every four Class 8 students in rural India is unable to read.
About the report:
1.The report was made after the survey conducted by an autonomous unit of education-NGO Pratham.
2.The survey covered around 3.5 lakh households and 546,527 children between the ages of three and 16 across 596 rural districts.
Highlights:
i. Moreover, over one in two Class 8 students cannot solve a problem that involves basic division.
ii. Only a little more than half of all children enrolled in Class 5 can read a Class 2 level text.
iii. This improvement can be seen due to an improved performance by Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
iv. The proportion of children not enrolled in school has fallen below 3% to 2.8% for the first time ever in India.
v. Also the percentage of girls in the 15-16 age group who were not enrolled in school dropped from 20% in 2008 to 13.5 in 2018%.
vi. The number of schools with a serviceable girls’ toilet doubled between 2010 and 2018 with two-thirds of all girls’ schools in rural India having toilets.
vii .Additionally, the number of students seeking admission in private schools in rural India has dropped which gives impetus to the government schools to flourish.
NGO Pratham:
♦ Chairman: Ajay G. Piramal.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bengaluru pipped Hyderabad to top list of world’s most dynamic cities: 6th City Momentum Index by JLL
On January 15, 2019, according to the 6th City Momentum Index, released by property consultant JLL, Bengaluru has emerged as the world’s most dynamic city with a robust technology and innovation ecosystem in place.world’s most dynamic citiesAbout the Report:
i. The report is titled: ‘JLL City Momentum: The World’s Top 20 Most Dynamic Cities’.
ii. The 2019 edition of the survey was conducted on 131 cities over a period of 3 years.
iii. The key theme in this year’s index was cities having a robust technology and innovation ecosystem.
Highlights:
i. Among other Indian cities, Hyderabad ranked second with Delhi at fourthPune at fifthChennai at seventh and Kolkata at fifteenth position featuring in top 20 cities.
ii. 19 of the top 20 cities ranked were from Asia Pacific region.
iii. The other cities include Hanoi at the third position, Nairobi at 6th, Ho Chi Minh City at 8th Xi’an at 9th Guangzhou at 10th.
iv. The reasons behind India’s success in the rank goes to the implementation of reforms such as RERA and GST with a focus on improving infrastructure and improving ease of doing business that have brought in more transparency in the real estate sector.
For more information: Click Here
JLL:
♦ CEO & country Head, JLL India: Mr. Ramesh Nair.

Indian universities move up in global ranking with 49 institutions
On 15th January 2019, the London-based, Times Higher Education (THE) released the Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 report which shows that India has improved its ranking and secured a higher position with 49 institutions making it to the list.
Key Points:
i. According to this year’s report 25 Indian institutions figure in the top 200 institutes, a rise from 17 last year.
ii. The report stated that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc),Bangaluru retains the highest spot for India (14th), followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (27th). Last year India had 42 institutions in the overall list.
iii. China remains the most represented nation with 72 institutions in total and claiming four of the table’s top five positions with Tsinghua University topping the chart.
iv. Nearly 450 universities from 43 countries, across four continents were compared this year.
About United Kingdom:
♦ Prime minister: Theresa May
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound Sterling

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI-Govt to jointly relax PCA norms for some better-off lenders
On January 14, 2019, the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India will work towards the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for stressed banks.i. This would only be availed by those lenders that have shown considerable improvement in addressing bad loans.
ii. On December 2018, the government gave an additional Rs 41,000 crore to state-run lenders, enhancing the total recapitalisation in the current financial year to Rs 1.06 lakh crore from Rs 65,000 crore.
About PCA:
♦ Prompt corrective action (PCA) is based on breach any of the three key regulatory trigger points — capital to risk-weighted assets ratio, net non-performing assets and return on assets.
Background:
♦ 11 state-run banks and one private lender are under the PCA framework.
♦ Gross bad loans of public sector banks have declined by Rs 23,860 crore in the first half of the financial year 2018-19. There has been a record recovery of Rs 60,000 crore.

PSU banks to bring down govt equity to 52%: FinMin
On January 16, 2019, Finance Ministry asked the public sector banks to bring down the government’s equity to at least 52 per cent in the first phase.
Objective:To align with the best corporate practices
Key Points:
i.Dilution of government stake will help banks to meet 25 per cent public float norms of market regulator SEBI.
ii.This would also encourage the banks to follow the prudential lending norms.
Steps taken regarding this move:
i. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has already initiated step for Rs 20,000 crore share sale through qualified institutional placement (QIP).
ii. This would dilute the existing government stake of 58.53 per cent in the bank.
iii. Accordingly, other banks like Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, and Oriental Bank of Commerce among others have already issued or in process of issuing Employee Share Purchase Scheme (ESPS).
iv. The government had also merged 3 RRBs-Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank — into a single RRB with effect from January 1, 2019.
v. Also, Punjab Gramin Bank (PNB), and Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank (UCO Bank) has been amalgamated with Madhya Bihar Gramin Bank (PNB).
Background:
1.Some of the public sector banks have government’s holding beyond 75 per cent.
2.Currently, the Centre holds 50 per cent in RRBs, while 35 per cent and 15 per cent are with the concerned sponsor banks and state governments.
Finance Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Shri P. Radhakrishnan

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India to buy $5 billion oil, gas from US & spend $18 billion in defence
On 16th January 2019, India has decided to purchase $5 billion worth of oil and gas from the US per annum and $18 billion worth for defence equipment. India-US bilateral trade has increased from $119 billion to $140 billion in past two years.India got first Iranian oil parcelKey points
i. The US export to India has gone up by at least 30 per cent.
ii. Orders of 300 airplanes of $40 billion have been placed by commercial Indian airlines.
iii. The United States is India’s largest trading partner.
About The US
♦ Capital: Washington DC
♦ President: Donald Trump
♦ Currency: US Dollar.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Mukesh Ambani in Top Global Thinkers List of Foreign Policy
Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani who is also the Richest Indian, has been featured in the Top “Global Thinkers 2019”ranking released by the prestigious Foreign Policy publishing.Mukesh Ambani India's richest for 9th consecutive year - ForbesKey Points
i.Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos and IMF Head Christine Lagarde also featured in the list of few names released by Foreign Policy Publishing.
ii.The Full list of ‘Global Thinkers 2019’ will be published on 22nd January 2019 at the 10th Anniversary of Global Thinkers listing.
iii.Mukesh Ambani has replaced Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma to become the Asia’s Richest person with a fortune of 44.3 billion dollar.

Hindu Literary Prize 2018 Winner list announced at The Hindu Lit for Life 2019
On January 15th 2019, during the Hindu Lit for Life event 2019 the Hindu Literary Prize 2018 was announced to honour writers who have spent their lifetime mining the human spirit through their words and ideas.
Winners under different categories are

CategoryWinner
Fiction CategoryNeelum Saran Gour author of Requiem in Raga Janki
non-fiction categoryManoranjan Byapari author of Interrogating my Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit
The Hindu Young World-Good Books Award for best book FictionVenita Coelho for Boy No: 32
The Hindu Young World-class Good Books Award for best book non-fictionA Brush with Indian Art of Mamta Nainy
The Hindu Young World-Good Books Award forBest picture book Story:Vinayak Varma’s Angry Akku,

Best picture book illustration:Rajiv Eipe’s Ammachi’s Amazing Machines

India’s Satyarup Siddhanta became World’s Youngest Mountaineer to climb 7 Peaks, 7 Volcano Summits
On January 16, 2019, software engineer and mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta, hailing from Haridevpur in South Kolkata, became the first Indian and youngest man to climb the seven highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents.Satyarup Siddhanta became World's Youngest Mountaineer to climb 7 Peaks, 7 Volcano Summitsi. This feat was attained after he conquered Antartica’s highest point, Mount Sidley.
ii. He achieved the feat at the age of 35 years and 262 days.
iii. In 2018, Satyarup had scaled the highest volcanic peak in North America, Pico de Orizaba.
iv. He beat the record of Australia’s Daniel Bull who had done it at the age of 36 years 157 days.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Former ESPN-Star Sports CEO Manu Sawhney appointed ICC’s chief executive:
On January 15, 2019,The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed former ESPN star sports CEO and former chairman of Singapore based sport hub Manu Sawhney as its new chief executive officer, replacing David Richardson.
i .David Richardson, will step down after the World Cup that is to be held in England.
ii .Manu Sawhney will officially join the organisation In the month of July.Until then Sawhney will work along with outgoing CEO Richardson to ensure a smooth transition of leadership before assuming control .
iii .The appointment process was led by the apex body’s chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.

India’s 1st CWG Boxing Gold-Medallist Mohammed Ali Qamar appointed as Women Team’s youngest Coach: BFI
On January 15, 2019, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) appointed India’s first Commonwealth Games gold medalist in boxing, Mohammed Ali Qamar, as chief coach for the country’s women pugilists.India's first Commonwealth Games gold medallisti. The 38-year old became the youngest ever to be appointed in the position.
ii. He replaced veteran Shiv Singh.
iii. Prior to this, he has been an assistant coach in the national camp for more than a year.
iv. Additionally, the Arjuna awardee has coached the Railways Sports Promotion Board’s women’s team for more than three years.
v. In addition to this, the BFI also appointed 39-year-old C A Kuttappa as the chief coach for the men’s camp.
BFI:
♦ Headquarters: Haryana.
♦ President: Ajay Singh.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon craft departed from the International Space Station
On January 13, 2019,The SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon cargo craft departed from the International Space Station and making a remark as the first night splashdown and recovered theDragon vehicle.SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon transported more than 2,500 kilograms (5,600 pounds) of cargo to the space station and orbited Earth for five weeks.
i. SpaceX-CRS-16 Dragon is a Commercial Resupply Service mission to the International Space Station launched by NASA.
ii. The SpaceX-owned commercial cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California on January 13, 2019, closing out a 39-day mission.
iii .The cargo delivery included 40 mice sent to the space station to study the effects of microgravity on the animals’ immune systems, muscles and bones.
iv .It was the second nighttime splashdown of a Dragon spacecraft, following a return before dawn in July 2017.The returned SpaceX refurbished the spacecraft for another launch, a practice the company followed for five of its resupply missions to the space station

ENVIRONMENT

Death of George the tree snail marked the first extinction of 2019
On 15th January 2019, death of 14-year-old Hawaiian tree snail named George marked the first extinction of 2019. He was last known member of his species.Death of George the tree snail marked the first extinction of 2019 OAbout George
i. He belonged to “Achatinella apexfulva” species.
ii. George was born in a captive breeding facility at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the early 2000s.
iii. He got his name after Lonesome George the Pinta Island tortoise who was also last of his species.
iv. Rebecca Rundell an evolutionary biologist with State University of New York was taking care of George.

SPORTS

1st National EMRS National Sports Meet, 2019 held at Hyderabad
On 14th January 2019, Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor Minister of State for Tribal Affairs launched the 1st National Level Sports Meet for the students of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) at G.M.C Balayogi Stadium, Gachibowli, Hyderabad.
Key points
i. The Minister also launched an app ‘EMRS Sports Meet’ dedicated on the
occasion.
ii. Total 1777 students comprising of 975 boys and 802 girls representing 20 States of the country are participating  in the event which is three day event till Jan.16, 2019.
iii. Shri. Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri. Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, and Shri. Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, Tribal Affairs will also be present for presentation ceremony to be held on Jan 16th 2019.
About Eklavya Model Residential Schools
i. Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) is a Government of India scheme for model residential school for Indian tribals (Scheduled Tribes, ST) across India.
ii. It was established by the Tribal Ministry, Government of India in  the year 1997-98 to ensure tribal students get access to quality education in the remote tribal areas.
iii. Provisions of funding is through Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution.
iv. According to the budget 2018-19 block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons will have an Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.

Chennai’s Gukesh Crowned India’s Youngest Grandmaster
On January 15th 2019, a 12 year old Tamil Nadu boy D Gukesh became the youngest Grand master in India and second in the world. He achieved this feat by beating D K Sharma at 17th Delhi International Open Chess tournament in Delhi.India’s Youngest GrandmasterKey points
i. D Gukesh became India’s 59th Grand Master.
ii. Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine is the world’s youngest Grand master.
iii. This was D Gukesh’s third Grand master norm. His first GM norm was during the Bangkok Open in 2018.
About Tamil Nadu
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
♦ Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced retirement
On January 16, 2019, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced his retirement after having a career spanning 20 years in football.
i. He has a record 202 clean sheets in his 15 seasons in the Premier League since joining Chelsea in 2004 from French club Rennes.
ii. He is also the Czech Republic’s most capped player, making 124 appearances after which he also retired from international soccer in 2016.

Karlovic becomes oldest man in 40 yrs to win an Aus Open match
On 15th January 2019, Croatian tennis player, Ivo Karlovic became the oldest man to win a match at the Australian Open at the age of 40 years as he defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, a man 18 years his junior, to reach the second round.
Key Points:
i. The victory over Hubert Hurkacz made Karlovic the oldest victor at the tournament since Australian icon Ken Rosewall reached the third round of the 1978 tournament at the age of 44.
ii. Karlovic who is currently world number 73, also became the oldest winner at any Grand Slam since a 40-year-old Jimmy Connors beat Jaime Oncins to reach the second round of the 1992 US Open.
About Australian Open:
It is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year in January in Melbourne, Australia. It precedes the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. The tournament features men’s and women’s singles; men’s, women’s and mixed doubles and junior’s championships; as well as wheelchair, legends and exhibition events. It is held on hardcourt surfaces at Melbourne Park, Australia.
About Australia:
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Scott Morrison

OBITUARY

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)Vishnu Hari Dalmia passed away
On January 16, 2019,Vishnu Hari Dalmia, one of the major leaders of the Ram Janmabhoomi protest along with Ashok Singhal and Acharya Giriraj Kishore  passed away in New Delhi. Vishnu Hari Dalmia  i. He also served as ‘Prabandh Nyasi’ (managing trustee) of Sri Krishna Janmasthan Mathura

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