Current Affairs January 25, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of January 25, 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 Arunachal Pradesh government has recently declared the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF)–the state’s only conservation festival, as a “State Festival”. The purpose of the fest is to recognise the role played by the resident Nyishi tribe in conserving hornbills in the Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR), to devise alternative sources of income for a region that relies on hunting and logging, and to tell the rest of the country about the wonders of the PTR and its surrounding areas. As part of the festival, visitors are treated to cultural programmes, food stalls, plays, sightseeing, river and village walks, bird-watching, screenings of short films as well as local tribal sports and dances.

2. The Andhra Pradesh government has approved a proposal to grant 5% quota to the Kapu community in the state, after the Central Government recently passed a Bill to provide 10% reservation to Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) from the general category in jobs and education. The decision to ensure that half of the quota under the EBC category be reserved for upper caste Kapus was taken after a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The Kapus are primarily an agrarian community based in the Andhra-Telangana region. It is one of the dominant caste groups with political influence in the state. The Kapu community comprises nearly 26% of the state’s five crore people.

3. Noted Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra has been awarded the 27th edition of the Saraswati Samman 2017 for his poetry collection in Gujarati named “Vakhar”. He received the award by the noted film director and author Gulzar at a solemn function at National museum auditorium in New Delhi. The prestigious award is instituted by K.K.Birla foundation & is given every year to an outstanding work of an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years in any of the languages mentioned in Schedule 8 of the constitution. The award comprises of a citation and a plaque apart from award money of Rs. 15 lakh. Mr. Yashashchandra, recipient of the Padmashri in 2006, is known for seamlessly blending history with poetry.

4. India has been ranked 80th at the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) 2019, according to a report released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group. It was released during the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos on 22nd January 2019. The list is topped by Switzerland, followed by Singapore, the US, Norway and Denmark. According to the report, India's biggest challenge is to improve its ability to attract and retain talent. Above all, there is a need to address its poor level of Internal Openness (116th) -- in particular with respect to weak gender equality and low tolerance towards minorities and immigrants and its disappointing showing in lifestyle (112th) indicators. The survey measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent, ranking 125 countries and 114 cities across all groups of income and levels of development.

5. The National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is celebrated every year on January 24 in India to raise awareness against the social stigma and discrimination faced by girl. The day also highlights the need to protect girl child who is prone to sex selective abortions, sexual abuse and trafficking in India. The 2019 theme “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow” was celebrated with objectives of generating awareness on the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and create a positive environment around valuing the girl child. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) celebrated the NGCD-2019 day at Pravasi Bharti Kendra in New Delhi. The programme also observed anniversary of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme. A booklet on “Innovations under BBBP” was also released on the occasion. The Ministry has compiled 38 Innovative Activities from Districts across the country to set an example for other Districts. These interventions have been categorized according to five themes, which are Survival, Protection, Education, Participation and Valuing Girls.

6. India has been ranked at 54th position in the list of world’s most innovative countries, according to Bloomberg 2019 Innovative Index. It is for the first time that India has made it to the rankings. South Korea has topped the Index for the sixth time in a row with a total score of 87.38, followed by Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, U.S., Japan and France in the top 10. The annual Bloomberg Innovation Index (BII) analyses dozens of criteria using seven metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies. In the 2019 Index, India is among the new entrants from the world’s largest emerging economies with a total score of 47.93. Barring India, other nations include Mexico, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia also made a surprise entry. Bloomberg has published top 60 economies out of 95 economies analyzed for the ranking process for the year 2019. Each economy has been assigned a score from 0-100 on the basis of seven equal-weighted metrics.

7. The Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX-2019) will be conducted at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering in Pune from March 18 to 27. The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries and India to synergise humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations. The IAFTX-2019 is a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of African continent and will boost the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries.

8. Bhanu Prakash Singh (90), the former Union minister, ex-Goa Governor and head of the Narsinghgarh royal family, has passed away in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on January 24, 2019. He was elected as an MP from Rajgarh Lok Sabha seat in 1962 as an independent candidate. Singh later became close to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and joined the Congress in 1964. He became a minister in her cabinet. However, when Indira Gandhi abolished privy purses, Singh revolted and resigned from the Congress. In 1991, he became the Governor of Goa.

9. The Government of India (GoI) has recently instituted an annual award titled Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. The award is to be announced every year on 23rd January on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. For the year 2019, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Ghaziabad has been selected for the award for its commendable work in Disaster Management. The Award recipient will receive a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh. The 8th Battalion of NDRF was raised in 2006 and is a highly specialised Rescue and Response Force with large area of responsibility covering National Capital Region (NCR), Uttarakhand, Western UP & Haryana. The battalion has participated in 314 major operations and rescued over 50,000 people. In the devastating Kerala floods in 2018, the battalion had rescued 5,338 victims and evacuated 24,000 people to safety. Other major disasters in which this NDRF battalion participated are Leh cloud burst (2011), Kedarnath floods (2013), cyclone Hudhud (2014), Chennai floods (2015) and Tripura floods (2018).

10. As per latest United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report 2019, India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.4% during 2018-19 and improve to 7.6% in FY20. The report also expected that India's economy to expand by 7.4% in 2020-21. Referring to the global economy, the report said it would continue to grow at a steady pace of around 3% in 2019 and 2020 amid signs that growth has peaked. The report also highlighted that global trade tensions pose a threat to the economic outlook. The 2019 report offers timely warnings about a range of macroeconomic challenges facing policymakers as they aim to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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