GA- 11 Jan 2018

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GA- 11 Jan 2018

Jan 10: World Hindi Day

  • The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed every year across the globe on Jan 10 to mark the first anniversary of World Hindi Conference (WHC) which was held in 1975.
  • The first WHC in 1975 was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius.
  • The National Hindi Divas (NHD) is celebrated every year in India on Sep 14 to mark the day on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union.

World Bank projects 7.3% growth for India in 2018

  • World Bank, in his 2018 Global Economics Prospect (GEP), has projected India’s growth rate to 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years i.e. 2019 and 2020.
  • According to report, India, despite initial setbacks from demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), is estimated to have grown at 6.7% in 2017, higher than 6.5% estimated by Govt.
  • India’s economy is likely to grow 7.3% in 2018 and then accelerate to 7.5% in the next two years.
  • China grew at 6.8% in 2017, 0.1% more than that of India, while in 2018, its growth rate is projected at 6.4%.
  • And in the next two years, the country’s growth rate will drop marginally to 6.3 and 6.2%, respectively.

Cabinet approvals

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval.

Approves amendments to FDI Policy

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy, aimed at liberalising and simplifying the FDI policy in several sectors so as to provide ease of doing business in the country.
  • The liberalisation of the FDI policy, which includes allowing 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading, 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in Construction Development, allowing Foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India and allowing FIIs/FPIs to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market.
  • The liberalized policy will lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.
  • While extant FDI policy on SBRT allows 49 per cent FDI under automatic route, and FDI beyond 49 per cent and up to 100 per cent through government approval route, it has now been decided to permit 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for SBRT.

Approves fixed term for chairperson and members of National Trust

  • The Union Cabinet decided to fix three-year term of chairperson and the members of the board of the National Trust, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Proposal to amend National Trust for Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act (NTA), 1999 has been amended in this regard. 

Approves MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in field of S&T

  • The Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada for cooperation in field of Science & Technology.
  • The MoU was concluded by Department of Science and Technology (DST) with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. 

India misses 2017 deadline for Kala Azar elimination

  • India has missed Dec 2017 deadline announced for elimination of Kala Azar (black fever) in 2017-18 Budget by the Union Govt. 
  • In recent times endemic blocks have increased from 61 to 68 in 17 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Elimination is defined as reducing the annual incidence of Kala Azar (KA) to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.
  • Further, a little-known skin condition called Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) — a red flag for transmission of KA — has been growing steadily over the past few years.
  • KA is a slow progressing indigenous disease caused by a single-celled parasite of the Leishmania family.

CABE sub-committee recommends free education for girls up to PG level

  • The sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), looking into issues of girl’s education, has recommended free and compulsory education for girls up to post-graduate level across the country.
  • The sub-committee is likely to submit an interim report to Union Human Resource Development Ministry  (HRD) during CABE meeting on Jan 15, 2018. 
  • The committee will also recommend establishing of exclusive residential degree colleges for SC and ST women besides provision of health and hygiene kits to girls.
  • All these schemes are already being successfully implemented in Telangana. 
  • The meeting of sub-committee was held in Hyderabad, Telangana and was chaired by Kadiam Srihari, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister of Telangana.

Railways launches online vendor registration system

  • The Railways has launched “New Online Vender Registration System” that will allow small and medium enterprises to become railway vendors. 
  • The new online vendor registration system has been developed by Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of the Railways which is headquartered in Lucknow.
  • With the new online system implemented by the RDSO, the vendor can now deposit registration fee, submit documents, download technical drawings and specifications and interact with RDSO online.
  • This new system provides major improvements and paradigm changes in the registration system over the earlier system. 

Governors’ committee submits report to President Kovind

  • The committee of governors submitted a report, titled ‘Rajyapal —Vikas Ke Rajdoot: Catalytic Role of Governors as Agents for Change in Society’ on best practices to President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The report has focused on key work areas of development and the role that governors can play in taking it forward. 
  • This committee was constituted to examine the role of governors in taking forward the developmental process.
  • In its report, it describes an action-outcome framework that can be adopted by Raj Bhavans in their role as change agents and lists out potential priorities. 
  • The committee of governors was constituted in October last year at the 48th conference of governors.
  • The five-member committee, which oversaw the drafting of the report, included ESL Narasimhan, governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana; Banwarilal Purohit, governor of Tamil Nadu; Ram Naik, governor of Uttar Pradesh; Tathagata Roy, governor of Tripura, and Acharya Devvrat, governor of Himachal Pradesh.

Delhi gets its common mobility card

  • The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has launched a common mobility card scheme to aid seamless travel between the city’s bus transport and the Metro system.
  • With this, Delhi has become the India’s first city to have a common mobility card, which can at present be used on 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses plying on different routes, apart from metro trains.
  • The card, which will function like a debit card, will be operational in all DTC and cluster buses from April.
  • The city has around 3,900 DTC and over 1,600 cluster buses.

Matunga station enters Limca Book for all-woman staff

  • The Matunga suburban station on the Central Railway (CR) of Mumbai division has figured in the Limca Book of Records 2018 for having an all-woman staff.
  • The station is being manned exclusively by women staffers since July 2017, a first on the Indian Railways.
  • A team of 41 women staffers at the station includes personnel from the RPF, commercial and operating departments.
  • These staffers work under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni.
  • The staff has been handling all operations of the station round-the-clock for the last six months and results are positive and encouraging.
  • The aim of the initiative is to create an environment where women are encouraged to take a decision about their own personal and professional well-being.

Iran Bans Teaching of English in Primary Schools

  • Iran has recently banned teaching of English language in primary schools to fight against western cultural invasion.
  • Usually, the teaching of English starts in middle school in Iran, at the ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools below that age also have English classes.
  • The head of the state-run High Education Council, Mehdi Navid-Adham stated that teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum are against laws and regulations.

Army Air Defence celebrates 25th Raising Day

  • The Army Air Defence Corps celebrated its 25th Raising Day on Jan 10, with Adjutant General and Senior Colonel Commandant Lt General Ashwani Kumar along with Lt General P. S. Jaggi and veterans laying wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here to pay homage to the braves in a solemn ceremony.
  • The Corps of Army Air Defence was raised on Jan 10, 1994, and since then has grown in stature and has proved its mettle in all major conflicts in the past..
  • The Corps is now going through a transformative period of modernisation with the induction of new weapon systems and upgradation of the existing ones.

Indian Coast Guard commissions patrol vessel, Charlie-435

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned Charlie-435, a state-of-the-art patrol vessel at Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  • It was commissioned by Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy. 
  • The patrol vessel ‘Charlie-435’ is equipped with modern navigation and communication system.
  • It will strengthen coastal security between Chennai and Kanyakumari in the Eastern Coastal region

Rocket expert K. Sivan appointed as new chairman of ISRO

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed rocket scientist K. Sivan as the next Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • He will shortly take over from A.S. Kiran Kumar as the ninth head of the country’s Space establishment. 
  • He will have term of three years. 

AR Rahman becomes the brand ambassador of Sikkim

  • Oscar-winning composer, AR Rahman becomes the official brand ambassador of Sikkim.
  • The declaration was made by Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling who felicitated the legendary music composer during an inauguration of the 2018 Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival at Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.

Soumitra Chattopadhyay conferred with the France’s highest order of merit ‘Legion of Honour’

  • Soumitra Chattopadhyay, the legendary film and theatre actor, will be conferred with the France’s highest order of merit ‘Legion of Honour at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018.
  • The honour will be bestowed on the actor who starred in many of Satyajit Ray’s iconic films by French culture and communication minister Francoise Nyssen in Kolkata.
  • 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 will open on Jan 30 and conclude on Feb 11. 

Sunny Verghese appointed as the Chairman of WBCSD

  • Sunny Verghese, the Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
  • He succeeds Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever.
  • He will serve a two-year term. 

Aanchal Thakur becomes the first Indian to register an International Medal in Skiing

  • Aanchal Thakur, a 21-year-old from Himachal Pradesh, becomes the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing.
  • She clinched bronze in the slalom race category at Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup.
  • Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup was organised by Skiing’s international governing body, Federation International de Ski (FIS) at the Palandoken Ski Centre, in Erzurum in Turkey.

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