Current Affairs Updates - 1 and 2 Jan
Wishing all our viewers a very Happy New Year 2018...!!! We hope this new year fill up your lives with peace and happiness. Also, we wish you all the best for all the upcoming exams of 2018.
Well, today we have brought up some important sorted out headlines of national and international affairs of the last two days. These topics are quite important for your IBPS exams and SSC exams. So make sure you go through them in details. Do not forget to revise it up with the one liners and the quiz at the end of the day.
New Appointments: National
Om Prakash Singh appointed as Uttar Pradesh's new DGP
- Om Prakash Singh will be the new Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh.
- He will succeed incumbent Sulkhan Singh, whose tenure ends today.
Markets regulator Sebi said cross-holding in credit rating agencies (CRAs) will be capped at 10 per cent and also proposed raising the minimum net worth requirement to Rs 25 crore from the current Rs 5 crore.
- It has proposed a slew of measures for tightening the financial and operational eligibility of the promoters of CRAs, besides greater disclosure requirements for them.
- The proposed norms are likely to have an impact on global rating agencies like S&P, Moody's and Fitch which have significant holdings in domestic agencies besides their direct presence.
US buyout giant KKR & Co has become the first foreign investor to fully own an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India as it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India
- KKR, one of the most aggressive investors in financial services, plans to deploy a major chunk from its record Asia fund for buying troubled assets in the country, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The Finance Ministry has accepted markets regulator SEBI’s request to have four whole time members, a move which will help broaden the top leadership at the regulatory authority to faster discharge of duties.
- The demand came in the wake of increased workload seen after Forward Markets Commission merged with Sebi in 2015.
- Currently, Sebi has two whole-time members -- Madhabi Puri Buch and G Mahalingam -- while Sanjeev Kaushik was appointed a whole-time member last month. However, he is yet to join the markets regulator.
Markets regulator Sebi has shortlisted 15 entities, including Tata Communications, Wipro and Tech Mahindra for two separate services - identify and classify security holes in IT infrastructure, as well as protect against security threats.
- To provide these services, Sebi in September had issued separate notices, inviting expression of interest (EoI) from the interested parties.
- The service is related to identify and classify security holes in its entire information technology infrastructure and suggest measures to mitigate such risks.
- The second service pertains to set up a 'network and security operation centre', which will enable it to detect and protect against security threats, including from ransomware.
Nirmala Sitharaman launches start-up incubation centre called the Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL) in Mangaluru.
- Launching the centre in Mangaluru, she said Mangaluru and other cities and towns in coastal districts of Karnataka have around 20 colleges offering engineering, medicine and other fields of study. Terming the region as a fertile ground for talent, she said there is a need to nurture the talent.
Lok Sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill
- Loan defaulters can participate in bidding under the insolvency proceedings after paying due interest and making their bad loan accounts operational, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
- The government cannot allow loan defaulters to "merrily walk back" by paying a fraction of the due amount, he said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill, 2017, which was later passed by a voice vote
In a major boost to the inland waterway transport system in the northeast, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off cargo movement on the Pandu-Dhubri route of the Brahmaputra river.
- He said five bridges would be constructed on the river to ease transportation.
- The bridges would connect Jorhat with Nematighat, Disangmukh with Tekeliphuta, Louit with Khablu, Numaligarh with Gohpur and North Guwahati with Guwahati, the union minister said at the flagging-off ceremony in Majuli Island in Assam.
The Kolkata police has issued a notification banning public display of weapons in the city, to be effective from January 2, 2018, to January 1, 2019.
- The notification issued by the Commissioner of Police, Rajeev Kumar prohibits "carrying of swords, spears, bludgeons, or other offensive weapons in any public place in the 'Town of Calcutta' or in the suburbs of the 'Town of Calcutta'."
The Central Government revealed that an amount of Rs 14,500 crore has been raised through its BHARAT 22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which was created to benefit long-term and retail investors by providing an opportunity to purchase equity stocks of government-run companies and earn stable returns.
- The objective of BHARAT 22 ETF is to invest in constituents (22 companies) of S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index and endeavour to provide returns before expenses, which closely correspond to the total returns of the index.
The Odisha police is all set to go digital from January 1, 2018 with computerisation of police station work under the Criminal Tracking and Networking System (CCTNS).
- The project is being implemented under the national e-governance initiative at a cost of Rs. 61 crore, the officer said.
- Odisha Director General of Police RP Sharma, after reviewing the status of the CCTNS project, said out of 612 police stations across the state, 589 police stations have been equipped with the necessary hardware and software for the implementation of the project.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced that Rs1,250 crore has been sanctioned for overall development of inland water transport of Assam.
- The union minister for road transport, highways and shipping asked the state water resources department to involve a foreign consultant, if required, for preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) within three months.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar laid foundation stones for more than 100 projects worth Rs 700 crore in Nalanda district as part of his state-wide “Vikas Samiksha Yatra”.
- At Chamera village in Ekangarsarai block, the Kumar dedicated to the public 132 projects worth Rs 97.63 crore in addition to the 114, worth Rs 698.65 crore, for which foundation stones were laid, an official release said.
China has successfully conducted tests on its first solar-powered highway in Jinan city, the capital of Shandong province.
- According to the builders, Qilu Transportation Development Group, the new road is the first freeway photovoltaic pavement experiment section in the world. Situated in the Jinan Ring Expressway, the stretch reportedly consists of three layers, i.e. insulating layer on the bottom, transparent concrete on the top and photovoltaic panels in the middle.
The US embassy in Turkey has announced it is resuming normal visa services for Turkish citizens, saying Turkish authorities fulfilled assurances no local staff would be detained or arrested for performing their duties.
- Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since the two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.
- The United States suspended visa services at its missions in Turkey in October and Turkey reciprocated. In November, Washington said it was resuming limited services upon getting assurances on the safety of its local staff.
Liberian President-elect George Weah declared the country open to investment and pledged to tackle entrenched corruption, in his first speech to the nation since decisively winning an election this week.
- Speaking in front of reporters and aides packed into a small conference room at his party headquarters, Weah thanked his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for enabling Liberia’s first democratic transition in over 70 years but said he was determined to usher in sweeping changes.
The world's largest human genome research project of 100,000 people was launched by China to document their genetic makeup for a study that aims to help generate the precision medicines of the future.
- It is the country's first large project detecting the genetic links between health and sickness and will involve 100,000 people from different ethnic backgrounds and regions, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.
- The project will collect the genetic data of Han ethnic majority people from all over the country and nine other ethnic minority groups with a population of more than 5 million including the Zhuang and Hui peoples.
- There are about 25,000 human genes and the project aims to decode the hereditary information contained in each, according to the CCTV report.
Two years after a joint pledge with the United States to ban the domestic trade in ivory, all of China’s government-licensed carving factories and ivory retailers are about to close.
- As of December 31, China’s legal, government-sanctioned ivory trade will come to a close. All of the country’s licensed ivory carving factories and retailers will be shuttered in accordance with a landmark 2015 announcement from Chinese President Xi Jinping and then U.S. President Barack Obama.
Science & Technologies
ISRO announced that it would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission onboard its Polar rocket on January 10.
- The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.
- The Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board is scheduled to meet in the coming days would take the final call, he said.
- PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota, about 100 kms from Chennai.
Schemes / Programme
GAIL awards major contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga.
- Gail India has placed orders for ~400-km for pipeline connectivity from Dobhi (Bihar) to Durgapur (West Bengal). With these awards, pipe supply orders for 2,100 km and pipeline laying orders for 1,700 km have been finalized for the ‘Jagdishpur-Haldia & Boakro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline’ (JHBPL) also known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project.
Haryana farmers heave a sigh of relief as the government has launched ‘Bhavantar Bharpai’, a special scheme to compensate farmers.
- Initially, this scheme will include four vegetables- potato, tomato, onion and cauliflower. The new scheme will be implemented from 1st January.
- Bhav in Hindi means “Current Price” and Antar means “Difference”. Whereas “Bharpai” means compensation, the name clearly indicates the scheme will pay the deficit price of those four vegetables to farmers. Hence after putting tough effort to plant a new vegetable, the farmers will get at least base price in hand.
State-owned gas utility GAIL India said it has awarded job contracts for laying a 520-km stretch in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga gas pipeline project.
- With these awards, major contracts for phase-II of the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project have been finalised.
The Chhattisgarh Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for the second phase of the Bharat Net project under which 5987 village panchayats will be connected through optical fiber network.
- The MoU will pave the way for laying 32,466 kms of optical fiber cable in 5987 Gram Panchayats of the state at a cost of Rs 1624 crore, Chief Minister Raman Singh said.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al Safadi held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi and discussed deepening bilateral ties across multiple sectors.
- Mr Safadi discussed steps to set up a robust agenda for deepening and diversifying areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contact.
The three-day long 78th session of the Indian History Congress begun in Kolkata.
- The Indian History Congress had six sections this time - Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, Countries Other than India, Archaeology and Contemporary India.
- The aim of conducting Indian History Congress is to promote and encourage the scientific study of Indian History.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Republic Day celebration in 2018 would be "remembered through the ages" because the government for the first time in India's history would host leaders of 10 ASEAN countries as chief guests on January 26.
- "On January 26, the arrival of great leaders of 10 nations of the world as a unit is a matter of pride for all Indians," Modi said in this year's last edition of his monthly radio programme "Mann ki Baat".
- He said January 26 is a historic festival for all Indians but "January 26, 2018, will especially be remembered through the ages".
Sports: Awards & Honours
The Vidharbha cricket team, won their maiden Ranji Trophy final match against Delhi at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on January 01, 2018.
- Quite fittingly, Wasim Jaffer put the finishing touches to the historic script of Vidarbha’s tryst with destiny in this year’s Ranji Trophy.
Professor M. V. Pylee (Moolamattom Varkey Pylee), educationist, third Vice Chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology, and founder director of the School of Management Studies at the university, passed away.
- He was admitted to the hospital with age-related problems.
- A statement issued by the Cochin university said that Prof. Pylee, a brilliant academic, was Vice Chancellor of the university from 1977 to 1981 and was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2006.