Current Affairs February 01, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of February 01, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. On January 29, UNESCO official launched the International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT-2019) at its headquarters in Paris to raise awareness of chemistry and its applications for sustainable development. The year 2019 also marks the 150th anniversary of its creation by Russian scientist Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev. The aim of the year-long celebration is to recognize the importance of the periodic table as one of the most important and influential achievements in modern science, reflecting the essence not only of chemistry, but also of physics, biology and other basic sciences disciplines. The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is a unique tool that enables scientist to predict the appearance and properties of matter on the Earth and in the rest of the Universe.

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2. Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), has been elected as the new chairman of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC). He succeeded Nakul Chopra. It may be recalled that Goenka was the founder chairman of BARC India and played an instrumental role in setting up of the TV Viewership measurement company. It was under his leadership that BARC India established its measurement system. BARC India is a joint industry company founded by stakeholder bodies that represent Broadcasters, Advertisers and Advertising & Media Agencies. Its headquarters is located in Mumbai.

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3. 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. It will establish an additional means for the central financial transfer systems of the two countries and enable banks to directly deal with each other in conducting financial remittances. 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.

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4. In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has recently launched the new ‘Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development’ in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and FAO to fight climate change and boost sustainable development in Africa. The centre will provide a fast-track, demand-driven mechanism for African countries to access grant resources that support policies, initiatives, and best practices on climate change, food security, access to water, clean energy, and accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. The Africa Centre has its roots in a declaration endorsed by the G7 meeting of the Environment Ministers in 2017. The new centre is established to facilitate coordination among the G7 and African countries on common initiatives in Africa to develop and scale-up innovative solutions for sustainable development, and to achieve the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

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5. Global watchdog Transparency International (TI) has recently released 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Here, India has improved its ranking and jumped three positions to 78th with a CPI score of 41 at the 2018 index. Denmark has topped the index with 88 points, followed by New Zealand (with 87 points) and Finland with 85. Sudan was the worst with a score of 10 points, while Somalia and Syria followed it up with 13 points each. Overall, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50 in the 2018 CPI, with an average score of only 43. The 2018 index revealed that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy around the world. While there are exceptions, the data shows that despite some progress, most countries are failing to make serious inroads against corruption.

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6. Mohammed Shami has become the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets, during the first ODI against New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier on 23rd January 2019. Shami reached the milestone in his 56th match, with the wicket of opener Martin Guptill. Before Shami, Irfan Pathan reached the 100-wicket mark in 59 ODIs, while Zaheer Khan (65 matches), Ajit Agarkar (67) and Javagal Srinath (68) are the other Indian bowlers to complete a century of wickets in the quickest time. The world record is currently held by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who took 44 matches to reach the mark and broke the record of 52 matches, set by Mitchell Starc of Australia.

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7. After Srinagar (J&K), India’s second Tulip Garden will come up at Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand over 50 hectares of forest land near Chandak hill top at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The proposed tulip garden will be developed by the ONGC under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. Tulip is the flower from Holland that blooms from mid March to May. The site in Mad village near Chandak hilltop for the garden has been selected under the state Government’s ’13 districts, 13 new destinations’ scheme to attract more tourists to the district. According to the project officer of the scheme the land available for the project in Chandak hill top is ideal for the growth of the flower as it is situated at a height of 1,950 metres from the sea surface and remains sunny and cold throughout the year. Tulip is the flower from Holland that blooms from mid March to May.

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8. Former Indian umpire Dara Dotiwalla (85), who officiated in the famous tied Test match in Chennai between India and Australia in 1986, has passed away in Mumbai on January 30, 2019. Born on 30th October 1933, Dotiwalla had officiated in six Test matches from 1982 to 1987, including the tied Test between India and Australia at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He had also officiated in eight One Day Internationals (ODIs) from 1982 to 1988. He is best remembered for officiating the Chennai Tied Test of 1986 along with V Vikramraju. The match is the only the second tied Test in cricket history, and ended with Vikramraju controversially adjudging India’s No. 11 Maninder Singh lbw to Greg Matthews. Dotiwalla’s first ODI as an umpire was the fixture between India and Sri Lanka in Bengaluru in 1982, while his last one was India versus New Zealand in 1988 in Cuttack. The Delhi Test between India and West Indies in 1987 was his last assignment as a Test umpire.

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9. Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has been awarded the Carnot prize for his contribution towards sustainable energy solutions by the team of University of Pennsylvania on January 30. The award recognizes Goyal’s tenure as minister of power in which he is credited to have reformed the electricity sector and extended access to electricity to 18,000 villages, as documented by the International Energy Agency (IEA). He was to be awarded the prize by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Design in October 2018. But, he had to skip the event because of the Amritsar tragedy in which over 60 people died after being mowed down by a train.

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10. The 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition ‘PETROTECH-2019’ is being organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in Greater Noida from 10th to 12th February, 2019. India’s flagship hydrocarbon international conference is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister of India. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries have been invited by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas to participate in the Conference. The 3-day mega event will showcase the recent market and investor friendly developments that have taken place in the India’s oil and gas sector. It is expected to see participation of over 86 eminent speakers and 7000 delegates from around 70 countries, including technologists, scientists, planners, policy-makers, management experts, entrepreneurs, service-providers and vendors.

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