Current Affairs January 07, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of January 07, 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. In Thailand, Tropical storm Pabuk caused floods and blackouts leaving nearly 30,000 people in evacuation shelters across the southern part of the country on January 5, 2019. Pabuk packed winds of up to 75km an hour and brought heavy rains and storm surges as it lashed the entire south of the kingdom. It is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in 30 years. The storm was downgraded to a depression early today as it moved into the Andaman Sea. Meanwhile, ‘yellow’ alert has been issued for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As per the latest data, no warning has been issued for Odisha but due to cyclonic activities near the Andaman Islands, weather in the eastern Indian state will be cloudy and dry. IMD has predicted heavy rainfall over the Andaman Islands from the evening of January 5. People in the Andaman Islands have been advised to remain in safe places and IMD has advised fishermen to stay out of the sea.

2. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has recently approved the establishment of a Centre for Classical Language at the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University in Tirur, Kerala. The Ministry has communicated the decision to the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysuru. In view of this, the State government would be required to prepare a detailed project report and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry. The aim of the proposed centre is to study and research and other aspects of Malayalam language & will prove beneficial in implementing various projects for Malayalam language development. The centre would also assist the Malayalam University in its various initiatives.

3. Parliament has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, with the Rajya Sabha approving it on 3rd January 2019. The bill seeks to amend a law to abolish the 'no detention policy' till Class VIII by enabling state governments to allow schools to fail students. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill seeking to further amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009 to abolish the no-detention policy in schools on July 2018. Under the current provisions of the RTE Act, no student can be detained till class 8 and all students are promoted to the next grade. As per the amendment, it would be left to the States to decide whether to continue the no-detention policy. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar assured the Rajya Sabha that no child will be excluded from school in case he or she fails. The Bill provides for a regular examination in classes V and VIII and if the child fails, he or she shall be given additional opportunity for re-examination in two months’ time.

4. U.S. President Donald J. Trump has recently signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) into law. The act seeks to establish a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region. Specifically, the ARIA authorises a spending of US$1.5 billion over a five year period to enhance cooperation with America’s strategic regional allies in East and Southeast Asia. The act will pave the way to develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region, and for other purposes. Hence, the act is designed to counter the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate US leadership in the region.

5. Indian mountaineer Dr. Arunima Sinha has become the world’s first female Amputee to scale Antarctica's Highest Peak - Mount Vinson on 4th January 2019. Apart from this, she was also the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013. Sinha was a national level volleyball player who was pushed from a running train by some robbers in 2011 while she was resisting them. As a result, one of her legs had to be amputated below the knee. Now, her aim is to climb all the continents' highest peaks and hoist the National Flag of India. She has already scaled five peaks — Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Ebrus, Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Aconcagua.

6. HDFC Mutual Fund has surpassed ICICI Prudential MF to become the India’s largest Asset Management Company (AMC). As per the latest data available with Association of Mutual funds in India (Amfi), HDFC MF manages assets worth Rs 3.35 lakh crore, while ICICI Prudential MF stood at Rs 3.08 lakh crore as of December 2018. MFs are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors and invest in stocks, bonds and money market instruments, among others.

7. Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently allowed custodial services in the commodity derivatives market. Under the new framework, existing custodians will be permitted to add commodities as an asset class and provide physical delivery of both the securities and commodities. Currently, the regulation on the custodian of securities provides safekeeping of securities, gold or gold related instruments, title deeds of real estate and incidental services. However, it is not applicable for protection of goods, which are underlying assets of commodity derivatives. To enable participation of institutional investors in commodity derivatives market, the regulator has made necessary amendments in the custodian regulations so as to provide for requisite custodial services. The responsibility of custodians will not be limited to holding of securities but would also include holding of goods. The move is aimed at enabling the participation of institutional investors such as mutual funds and portfolio managers in the commodity derivatives market.

8. Dibyendu Palit (79), the renowned Bengali writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee, has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal on 3rd January 2019. Born in Bhagalpur in Bihar in 1939, Palit had studied comparative literature in Jadavpur University and his first short story ‘Chhandopatan’ was published in 1955 in the Sunday edition of Anandabazar Patrika. It was followed by his first novel ‘Sindhu Baroan’ published in 1959. He was awarded the ‘Bankim Purashkar’ for ‘Dheu’ in 1990 and ‘Ananda Purashkar’ in 1984 for ‘Sahojoddha’. He was conferred the Sahitya Akademi for his novel ‘Anubhab’ in 1998.

9. The 13th edition of Global Healthcare Summit (GHS-2019) will be held in Hyderabad, Telangana from July 21 to 24. The summit is being organized in partnership with the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. It would have over a 100 speakers, who would share their expertise on clinical practice. The summit would have an international research competition for which the American Association of Physicians with Indian Origin (AAPI) would work in collaboration with a leading academic medical college in Hyderabad. The competition would be for medical students, residents, fellows and junior doctors. It would have five categories for abstract submission, including basic sciences, hospital administration, innovation, AYUSH and clinical science and patient-based research. A medical quiz competition for medical students would also be held during the summit. Winners would be given Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh for first, second and third prizes respectively. More than 500 physicians are expected to attend the summit.

10. The 80th National Table Tennis Championship began at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on January 4, 2019. As many as 35 teams, including 550 players from different parts of the country are participating in the mega championship. Medal winners at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games Manika Batra, Senior players like Sharath Kamal, Madhuriba Patkar, Olympian Ankita Das are some of the key players who will be in the limelight during the event. Odisha State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) is hosting the championships after a gap of 18 years. The event will conclude on January 9.

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