Current Affairs January 03-04 , 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of January 03-04 , 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. France has recently introduced a new “GAFA tax” - named after the large internet and technology companies viz. Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive businesses in Europe. The so-called GAFA tax targeting major digital firms comes into force on 1st January 2019. Some other EU member states such as Britain, Spain and Italy are also working on national versions of a digital tax, with Singapore and India also planning their own schemes.

2. Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has become the highest international wicket-taker all formats in the calendar year 2018. He took 48 wickets in 9 Tests, 22 wickets in 13 ODIs and 8 wickets in 8 T20I matches. Hence, a total of 78 wickets in 2018 was taken by Bumrah. He surpassed South Africa's Kagiso Rabada's tally of 77 wickets to reach the milestone. While on the third position is Bumrah's countryman Kuldeep Yadav who took 76 scalps.

3. The 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC-2019) has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar, Punjab from 3rd January 2019. The theme of the 5-day science congress is ‘Future India: Science & Technology’. Approx 30,000 delegates, including 300 top scientists and Nobel Laureates from across world are attending the congress. In it, around 100 plus conferences and events of scientific and technology origin will also be held, where eminent personalities from DRDO, ISRO, DST, AIIMS, UGC, AICTE, and many elite universities of the USA, UK, India and other countries will participate. The event will play a pivotal role in stimulating scientific research effort and raising the scientific temperament in the country and the world. There will also be four parallel mega events, including the children’s science conference; women’s science conference; science communicators’ meet; and, science exhibition. The exhibition will see participation from the national and international science companies, especially from the US, Australia, Germany and Switzerland.

4. On 2nd January 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda (BoB). With the merger, BoB will become the third largest bank after State Bank of India and ICICI Bank. The move will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable the realization of wide-ranging synergies, leveraging of networks and low-cost deposits and substantial rise in customer base and operational efficiency. The scheme will come into effect from 1st of April this year. The pay and allowances and services of the employees of all three banks will remain same as earlier. As per the Scheme of Amalgamation, the shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In case of Dena Bank, its shareholders will get 110 shares for every 1,000 shares of BoB.

5. The Union Cabinet has recently approved amendment to the Trade Unions Act of 1926 to make provisions regarding Recognition of Trade Unions. The amendment provides for insertion of section 10A in the principal Act to power centre and state governments to recognize trade unions and federation of Trade Unions at Central as well as State level. The proposed bill will also provides for insertion of clause (ba) in Section 29(2) of the Act, which empowers the centre and states to make regulations for manner of recognition of trade unions and deciding disputes in this regard. After the amendment Act is passed, the manner of recognition will be prescribed in the regulations. The present act provides for only registration of trade unions. Currently, there is no provision for recognition of unions in the Act.

6. The Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair has been declared as an authorized Immigration Check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers. It was declared under sub-rule (b) of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules of 1950. This decision of the Union Government will open up the Port Blair Airport for direct international flight and immigration facilities. For this purpose, the Superintendent of Police (CID), Andaman and Nicobar Police has been appointed as the ‘Civil Authority’ at Port Blair airport for the purpose of the immigration check post. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory and comes under the administrative control of the home ministry. Recently, the three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago have been renamed as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. These are as follows: the Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.

7. President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Justice AK Sikri as the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) with effect from December 31, 2018. The post got vacant after the retirement of Justice Madan B Lokur. The NALSA was constituted on 5th December 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. Its purpose is to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to organise Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief, while second seniormost judge of Supreme Court of India (SCI) traditionally takes over as the Executive Chairman of the Authority. The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of judiciary.

8. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed an 8-member expert committee headed by former SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha to comprehensively review and propose long-term solutions for the economic and financial sustainability of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. The MSME sector has been facing stress due to the demonetisation exercise and implementation of GST. The panel would review the current institutional framework in place to support the MSME sector, and examine the factors affecting the timely and adequate availability of finance to the sector. The panel will also review existing MSME-focussed policies and their impact, and study the global best practices with respect to MSMEs and recommend their adoption in India. The committee will submit its report by the end of June 2019.

9. Prof. Manoj Das, an eminent English and Odia Litterateur, received the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. This ceremony was instituted by the Berhampur University, Odisha. During the 53rd foundation day ceremony, the university also honoured noted folk dance guru Nabaghana Parida with Dakshin Odisha Loksanakruti Samman.

10. The West Bengal government has launched Krishak Bandhu scheme to provide financial assistance to farmers and landless labourers. The state government will give an annual financial assistance (cash dole) of Rs 5,000 per acre in two instalments – one during kharif and another during rabi – for a single crop. Farmers can take the financial assistance at one go too. Farmers can take the financial assistance at one go too. Under the scheme, the state government also announced a life insurance cover of Rs 2, 00,000 in case of death, irrespective of the cause, of an earning family member (farmer) aged between 18 and 60 years. Farmers need not pay any premium for availing this life insurance cover. The registration of farmers and share-croppers under this scheme will start February onwards. Benefits will accrue from January 1, 2019.

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