Current Affairs January 23, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of January 23, 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. The insolvency regulator Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up a 11-member working group under the Chairmanship of former SEBI chief UK Sinha to go into the concept of ‘Group Insolvency’ and suggest a suitable framework. This Working Group has been tasked to submit a report — within two months and will recommend a complete regulatory framework to facilitate insolvency resolution and liquidation of corporate debtors in a corporate group within the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). At present, the IBC provides for the resolution or liquidation of only individual stressed companies. So a framework within the IBC is sought to be created for the resolution/liquidation of an entire stressed corporate group having several entities in multiple NCLT jurisdictions.

2. The Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in the Lebanese capital Beirut, in which the Arab leaders and officials issued a joint statement called Beirut Declaration. The declaration calls for the establishment of an Arab free trade zone. It also urged the International community to support nations hosting Syrian refugees and take steps to minimise the impact of the refugee crisis. The declaration stated that the refugee crisis in Arab countries is the worst humanitarian problem since World War II. It points out that the crisis leads to an economic slowdown, increases the expenditure and deficit, imposes burdens on public sectors and infrastructure and poses risks to the society. At the conclusion of the 2019 summit, Arab leaders have agreed a 29-item economic agenda in addition to encouraging the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

3. An Indian-American philanthropist and entrepreneur, Gurinder Singh Khalsa has been conferred with the prestigious 2019 Rosa Park Trailblazer award for his campaign that forced US authorities to change their policy towards headgear of the Sikh community. In 2007, Khalsa was refused access to board an aeroplane because of his turban. Thereafter Khalsa mobilised more than 67,000 people nationwide for petitions and took the issue to all the way to the US Congress, which forced Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to change its headgear policy towards the Sikh community. As a result, Sikhs can now wear their turban through airport security in the US. Khalsa natively belongs to village Adhoi in Barara block of the Ambala district.

4. On 20th January 2019, Masazo Nonaka, a Japanese supercentenarian, has passed away in Japan at the age of 113 after living a stress-free life. The Guinness World Records officially recognised Nonaka as the world’s oldest living man after the death of 113-year old Spaniard Francisco Nunez Olivera in 2018. Nonaka was born on 25th July 1905, two years after the Wright Brothers launched the first power-driven flight and just months before Einstein published his theory of relativity. Japan has one of the world's highest life expectancies and was home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

5. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently announced the men’s Test and ODI teams of the year 2018. Three players, each from India and New Zealand, were named in Test team while four players, each from India and England, were named in ODI squad. Virat Kohli has been named captain of both sides following a remarkable 2018 as batsman and skipper. The Test team also features his compatriots, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is the only player apart from Kohli to feature in both sides. The ODI team has opener Rohit Sharma, spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah from India side. The awards, which honour performances during a calendar year, saw the India captain Kohli walk into both sides which were selected by the ICC Voting Academy comprising former players, members of the media and broadcasters. In the last calender year, skipper Kohli scored more than 2,500 runs in both formats of the game combined with 11 centuries. Kohli also ended 2018 as the top-ranked Test and ODI batsman in the ICC Player Rankings while his side finished the year as the top-ranked side in Tests and number two in ODIs, behind England.

6. The annual meet of World Economic Forum (WEF) has started in Davos with theme 'Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution'. The aim of the 5-day event is to discuss what's ailing the world amid fears of the global economy sleepwalking into a crisis. Those expected to attend include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Swiss President Ueli Maurer, Japan's Shinzo Abe, Italy's Giuseppe Conte and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu among more than 30 heads of states/government, as also CEOs of global corporations, central bankers, economists, civil society leaders, media heads, celebrities and heads of international organisations like IMF, WTO, OECD and World Bank, among more than 3,000 participants. More than 100 CEOs from India are expected to participate in the meet. Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and filmmaker Karan Johar are also going to be a part of session which would be open for public.

7. On 19th January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India’first Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) built by a private company - Larsen & Toubro (L&T) - at Hazira in Surat, Gujarat. This is the India’s first private facility where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured. Spread over 40 acres within L&T's 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC is executing the K9 Vajra guns programme. The K9 Vajra contract involves delivery of 100 such systems in 42 months, which is the largest contract awarded to a private company by the Ministry of Defence. L&T had signed a transfer of technology contract for guns with South Korean company Hanwha Corporation. The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at a 43-kilometre distance target. It can turn around at zero radius. The ASC is a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture and integrate advanced armoured platforms such as self-propelled artillery Howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (FICV), future ready combat vehicles (FRCV) or future main battle tanks.

8. Raghbir Singh Bhola (92), the former India hockey player, has passed away in New Delhi on January 21, 2019. He represented India in the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics, winning a gold and silver medals respectively for the country. His dedication and passion for field hockey continued in various aspects throughout his life and he served in diverse roles such as member of the IHF selection committee, FIH international umpire, manager of the Indian hockey team, TV commentator and government observer at the Olympic Games. He successfully captained the Indian Air Force hockey and Services team from 1954-60 and won the Inter Services Hockey Championship three times and the National Hockey Championship on two occasions. In 2000, he was honoured with the Arjuna Award for his life time achievements in Field Hockey.

9. The states of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura celebrated their 47th statehood day on 21st January 2019. On this day in 1972, all the three states became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.The erstwhile princely states of Tripura and Manipur were merged with India in 1949 and became full-fledged states in 1972. Meghalaya was a part of Assam before it was carved out as a full-fledged state under the NER Act of 1971.

10. According to recent Union Home Ministry communique, Aadhaar cards are now valid travel documents for Indians under 15 and over 65 years travelling to Nepal and Bhutan. Indians other than those in the two age brackets will not be able to use Aadhaar to travel to the two neighbouring countries, for which no visas are needed. Indian citizens going to Nepal and Bhutan don’t need a visa if they have a valid passport, a photo identity card issued by the Government of India (GoI) or an election ID card issued by the Election Commission (EC). Earlier, persons over 65 and under 15 could show their PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card or ration card, but not the Aadhaar, to prove their identity and visit the two countries.

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