Current Affairs Today January 31 2018
We are here for you to provide the important current affairs January 31 2018 which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, India Today, Indian Express, Business Standard, all Government official websites. Our complete current affairs helps you to get more marks in Banking, insurance, UPSC, SSC, CLAT, Railway and all other competitive Exams.
Bihar cabinet grants Rs 105 crore for Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission
On 30th January 2018, the Bihar cabinet allocated funds worth Rs 105 crore for Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission, which formulates and implements schemes for the most backward sections among the Scheduled Castes.
Rs 105 crore for Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission:
i. This was declared in a Bihar cabinet meeting headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
ii. The Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission was established in 2008. It is an autonomous body and functions under the SC/ST Welfare Department.
iii. In the cabinet meeting, it was also decided to construct a high security jail in Phulwarisharif block of Patna. The construction of this jail would cost around Rs 56.72 crore. Maoists and dangerous criminals will be held in this jail.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in India:
Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary – Bhagalpur District
Udaypur Wildlife Sanctuary – West Champaran District
Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary – Kaimur District
Uttar Pradesh launches Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana Gramin
On January 30, 2018, Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet launched ‘Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojna Grameen’, a new scheme to construct houses in rural areas.About Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana Gramin:
i. Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana Gramin is for those who have not been covered under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and those who are not beneficiaries of any other government housing schemes.
ii. Under this scheme, Rs 1.30 lakh financial aid (for constructing houses) will be given to people residing in Naxal-affected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rs 1.20 lakh to selected beneficiaries.
iii. Beneficiaries under this scheme also includes those families, who have been affected with Kala Azar or Japanese Encephalitis and those who belong to Vantangia or Musahar tribes and do not have houses or are living in “Kuchcha” houses.
iv. Uttar Pradesh State Government has already identified about 25000 beneficiaries for this scheme.
Quick Facts about Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Current Governor – Ram Naik
♦ Current Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
♦ Important National Park – Dudhwa National Park
Maharashtra government to give sanitary pads to 7 lakh girls at Rs 5 a pack
On 30th January 2018, the Maharashtra state cabinet approved the introduction of Asmita (dignity), a scheme to provide sanitary pads to 7 lakh girls in government schools for Rs 5 a pack.
i. The scheme Asmita aims to provide sanitary pads at subsidized price to girls in the age of 11 to 19 years.
ii. It has been launched with a motive to increase the usage of sanitary pads in rural areas of Maharashtra from the current usage rate 17 % to targeted 75 %.
iii. Three small scale manufacturers would produce the sanitary pads. It would be supplied through women self- help groups (SHGs).
iv. This scheme will cause a burden of Rs 12.75 crore on the state government annually. This scheme will be launched on 8th March on the World Women’s Day.
v. Apart from school girls, 1.75 crore rural women will also be covered under this scheme. But they will be not be provided subsidized prices, they will have to pay the original price.
Some museums in Maharashtra:
♦ Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History – Pimpri-Chinchwad
♦ Pragati Aerospace Museum – Nashik
♦ Gargoti Museum – Nashik
India slips to 42nd place on Global Democracy Index; Norway tops the list
India has ranked 42nd on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Democracy Index 2017. This marks a drop by 10 spots as compared to 32nd rank last year.
Highlights of EIU Global Democracy Index 2017:
i. India along with US, Italy, Japan, France, Singapore, Israel and Hong Kong have been placed in the category of ‘flawed democracies’………………………Click here to Read more
EIU Global Democracy Index 2017 – Top 10:
U.S. lifts Ban on Refugees from 11 ‘High-Risk’ Countries
On 30th January 2018, United States lifted its ban on refugees from 11 “high-risk” countries.
U.S. lifts Ban on Refugees from 11 ‘High-Risk’ Countries:
i. US has lifted its ban on refugees from the high-risk countries but people aiming to enter US will face very tough assessments.
ii. Name of the “high-risk” countries have not been revealed. But refugee groups state that, they might be Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
iii. The applicants are insisted to furnish detailed histories and proofs of their past activities. They are also asked to allow access to their personal gadgets and social media accounts.
Some of the world’s busiest airports:
♦ Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport – Atlanta, Georgia
♦ Beijing Capital International Airport – Chaoyang-Shunyi, Beijing
♦ Dubai International Airport – Garhoud, Dubai
♦ Los Angeles International Airport – Los Angeles, California
Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Russia
On 29th and 30th January 2018, the Syrian National Dialogue Congress was held in Sochi, Russia.
Syrian National Dialogue Congress:
i. The Syrian National Congress was organized by Russia, Iran and Turkey. Around 1,500 delegates participated in the congress. Representatives from various countries and international organizations also took part in the congress.
ii. Issues discussed were related to ending the seven-year civil war, necessary amendments to the constitution and post-war reconstruction.
iii. An important outcome of the congress is formation of a constitutional committee to promote a constitutional reform. The committee consists of Syrian government delegation and the opposition delegation.
President – Bashar al-Assad
Prime Minister – Imad Khamis
BANKING & FINANCE
India, ADB sign $250 million loan for rural road projects in five states
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Indian Government have signed USD 250 million loan agreement for construction of all-weather roads in five Indian states under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
Details about India-ADB Loan Agreement for rural roads projects:
i. Funds procured through this loan will be used for construction of 6254 kilometres all-weather rural roads in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
ii. First tranche of this loan is part of the USD 500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme for India, which was approved by ADB in December 2017.
iii. Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme envisages enhancing rural connectivity by improving 12000 kilometres Rural Roads across the 5 states.
iv. USD 800 million First Rural Connectivity Investment Programme (executed in 2012, financed by ADB) added about 9000 kilometres of all-weather rural roads in the above mentioned states.
Quick Facts about Asian Development Bank (ADB):
♦ Formed in – 1966
♦ Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
♦ Current President – Takehiko Nakao
SBI to provide credit cards to farmers
State Bank of India (SBI) has initiated a pilot scheme of credit cards for farmers.
SBI Credit Cards for farmers:
i. SBI credit cards for farmers will extend credit facility to farmers for 40 days just like regular credit card. However the major difference as compared to regular credit cards is that the interest rates on farmers’ credit card would be much lower.
ii. SBI has launched this facility on a pilot basis in three States – Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar has stated that it will roll out this facility on national level on basis of response received and experience gathered during the pilot phase.
iii. It is to be noted that SBI has partnered with Farmcart and Dealer Bandhu apps to provide payment gateway.
iv. These two apps, which have been conceived by a Mumbai-based start-up, POORTI Agri Services would enable farmers to do online shopping for their farm inputs and produce.
Quick Facts about State Bank of India (SBI):
♦ Renamed in – 1955
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Chairman – Rajnish Kumar
Government constitutes high powered group to look into sharing utility infrastructure
On January 30, 2018, Prime Minister-appointed Group of Infrastructure, headed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari constituted a high-level committee to look into procedures for sharing of infrastructure for utilities like water pipes and telecom cables.
Details about the committee:
i. The committee will be headed by telecom secretary and will comprise secretaries of power and petroleum, road transport and highways and member (Engineering), railways.
ii. It has been decided that ministries would enter into an agreement in this regard. The Ministries would not charge each other for setting up projects and the payment would be on government-to-government basis.
iii. Along with Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways – Nitin Gadkari, Railway and Coal Minister – Piyush Goyal, Environment Minister – Harsh Vardhan, Telecom Minister – Manoj Sinha and Power Minister – R K Singh were also present at the Group of Infrastructure meeting.
World Bank commits $100 million to boost Tamil Nadu’s rural economy
On January 30, 2018, Indian Government and World Bank signed a $100 million loan agreement to promote rural economy in across 26 districts of Tamil Nadu (TN).
World Bank Loan for boosting TN Rural Economy:
i. Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Project envisages creation of an enabling environment for producer organizations and enterprises to promote businesses in select value chains.
ii. Local communities will identify commodities and subsectors in the value chain for preparing business plans. 30% of the financing for these business plans will be raised through a grant program from the project and the remaining 70% will be raised by roping in various financial institutions.
iii. The project will boost rural enterprises by facilitating their access to finance. A booming rural enterprise will create employment opportunities for youth, particularly women, in selected blocks of Tamil Nadu across 26 districts.
iv. It is estimated that total 400000 people will get direct benefits from this project.
Quick Facts about World Bank:
♦ Formed in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US
♦ Current President – Jim Yong Kim
World Bank signs $30 mn MoU with RUMSL to develop world’s largest solar power plant
On January 31, 2018, Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) and the World Bank signed USD 30 million loan agreement to develop solar power plants in Rewa and Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh.
Details about World Bank – RUMSL Loan Agreement:
i. The agreement was signed between World Bank’s – Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) – and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) in New Delhi.
ii. IREDA is the nodal project implementation entity for the loan.
iii. RUMSL is a joint venture between the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikash Nigam Limited (MPUVNL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) which is developing the world’s largest 750 MW solar power plant in Rewa district and 250 MW solar power plant in Mandsaur.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Lt. Gen Anil Chauhan takes charge as DGMO of Indian Army
On 30th January 2018, Lt. Gen Anil Chauhan assumed charge as the new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army.
Lt. Gen Anil Chauhan – DGMO of Indian Army:
i. Lt. Gen Anil Chauhan replaces Lt General A K Bhatt. Lt General A K Bhatt will take charge of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
ii. Lt. Gen Anil Chauhan has held various important posts in the Army. He has vast experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern regions.
iii. Earlier he served as the commander of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps. He was also a military observer for UN peacekeeping mission in Angola. His role as DGMO, will be to manage operations of the Army.
About Indian Army:
♦ Chief of the Army Staff – General Bipin Rawat
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Motto – Service Before Self
Shailendra Kumar Joshi appointed as Telangana Chief Secretary
On 31st January 2018, Shailendra Kumar Joshi was named the Chief Secretary of Telangana.
Shailendra Kumar Joshi – Telangana Chief Secretary:
i. Decision regarding Shailendra Kumar Joshi’s appointment was taken by Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrashekhar Rao.
ii. Shailendra Kumar Joshi is at present the Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation. He replaces S.P. Singh as Telangana Chief Secretary.
Some wildlife sanctuaries of Telangana:
Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary
Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary
Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Odisha wins Geospatial world excellence award
Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and Technology, YS Chowdray presented the Geospatial World Excellence Award-2018 to Odisha at the Geospatial World Forum Meeting, in Hyderabad.
Odisha wins Geospatial world excellence award:
i. The Geospatial world excellence award has been awarded to Odisha for successful IT application on tracking of mineral production, dispatch and value obtained in real time by i3MS website based software.
ii. The award was received by Pradipta Mishra, Senior Scientist of Odisha Space Application Center (ORSAC) on behalf of Odisha government.
iii. Nearly 3000 geospatial experts from 90 countries attended the Geospatial World Forum Meeting.
iv. The i3MS (Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System) was designed by ORSAC scientists.
v. The i3MS software is a GPS (Global Positioning System) linked web based software. All mineral transporting trucks and mines are monitored using this technology.
About Odisha Space Application Center (ORSAC):
♦ Formed – 1984
♦ Chairman – Aditya Prasad Padhi
♦ Location – Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee receives the Legion of Honour
On January 30, 2018, Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee received the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian award.
Accomplishments of Soumitra Chatterjee:
i. Soumitra Chatterjee has been conferred this honour for his contribution to cinema.
ii. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India conferred the insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur), on Soumitra Chatterjee in Kolkata on January 30, 2018.
iii. Soumitra Chatterjee has acted in more than 110 films.
iv. 14 of Soumitra’s films had been directed by Satyajit Ray. Interestingly, almost 30 years ago, Satyajit Ray was conferred Legion of Honour by French President Francois Mitterrand in 1987.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Navy launches 3rd Scorpene class submarine Karanj in Mumbai
On January 31, 2018, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba’s wife Reena Lanba launched the third Scorpene class submarine Karanj at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Details about India’s 3rd Scorpene class submarine Karanj:
i. Karanj will undergo rigorous tests for the next one year and thereafter it will be commissioned in Indian Navy.
ii. Karanj is the third of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built by MDL under the Project 75 programme of Indian navy.
iii. Under Project 75 (initiated in 2005), Indian Navy intends to acquire six next generation diesel submarines with Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) technology.
iv. In December 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had commissioned the first of the six Scorpene-class submarine, INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy. INS Khandari, the second Scorpene class submarine was launched on January 12, 2018 and is currently undergoing sea trials.
v. Scorpene class submarines are capable of undertaking various missions such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence gathering, area surveillance and mine laying.
Government launches e-marketplace GeM 3.0
The government has launched GeM 3.0 – the Government e-marketplace portal.
i. GeM 3.0 will provide standardised and improved catalogue management, powerful search engine, demand aggregation, user rating and analytics.
ii. It would bring sellers, service providers and services under one roof. It will also enhance the growth of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
iii. Some improvements made in this version of GeM are: market based generic requirements, standardisation of specifications, transparent transactions, price comparability, etc.
About Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises:
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Giriraj Singh
Sharath Kamal lifts National Men’s singles Table Tennis title for the eighth time
On 30th January 2018, Sharath Kamal won the National men’s singles title for the eighth time at the 11Even Sports Senior Table Tennis Nationals, in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Sharath Kamal – National men’s singles title:
i. Sharath Kamal defeated Anthony Amalraj 4-1 in the finals and won the National men’s singles title for the eighth time at the 11Even Sports Senior Table Tennis Nationals.
ii. He was awarded two lakh rupees as prize money. Suthirta Mukherjee defeated Manika Batra 4-3 in the finals and became the women’s champion. She received a prize money of 1.5 lakh rupees.
About International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF):
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ President – Thomas Weikert
World’s oldest man Francisco Nunez Olivera dead at 113
On 29th January 2018, Francisco Nunez Olivera named “the world’s oldest man” passed away in Bienvenida village, Spain.
Death of Francisco Nunez Olivera:
i. He died just a month after he turned 113 years. He was born on 13 December 1904.
ii. His long life has been credited to his consumption of vegetables he cultivated in his own land and a glass of red wine every day.
iii. Spanish media mentions Francisco Nunez Olivera as the world’s oldest man. But his name is not mentioned in the list of Gerontology Research Group.
About Gerontology Research Group (GRG):
♦ Founders – L. Stephen Coles, Stephen M. Kaye
♦ Purpose – Gerontology research
♦ Headquarters – University of California, Los Angeles