Current Affairs

February 1, 2019
  1. The Punjab government approved a rural development scheme worth Rs 384.40 crore to supplement the ongoing works to build village infrastructure and provide essential amenities. Named ‘Smart Village Campaign’, the scheme would be financed with funds from the 14th Financial Commission and MGNREGA works.The scheme was approved at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The SVC is aimed at improving the condition of rural areas by supplementing the ongoing government schemes for building infrastructure and providing essential amenities.
  2. Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed the appointment of Director General of NCC (DGNCC). Commissioned in the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
  3. Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce have been allowed to exit the PCA framework fully. The three lenders were part of 11 government-owned banks put under the framework in 2017 and 2018. In December, the government had announced a capital infusion of Rs 10,000 crore for Bank of India, Rs 5,500 crore for Oriental Bank of Commerce and Rs 4,500 crore for Bank of Maharashtra, which helped the banks coming out of the framework.
  4. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte along with UN representative has launched Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable development. The new center is located near the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome. The major objective is boosting the agricultural sectors and promoting rural development in Africa. It will help in implementing the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to stop depending on fossil fuel and cap global warming.
  5. The 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition ‘PETROTECH-2019’ is being organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in New Delhi 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.
  6. The Defence Acquisitions Council, DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved indigenous construction of six submarines worth 40 thousand crore rupees. It is the second project under the Ministry’s ambitious strategic partnership model aiming to boost the government’s Make in India’ program.
  7. Air India is resuming its services from New Delhi to the holy city of Najaf in Iraq after 25 years. Indian Ambassador to Iraq Dr Pradeep Rajpurohit said, the services will commence from the February 14, 2019.
  8. 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).
  9. Ajai Kumar is appointed as the interim CEO of Yes Bank.
  10. As per the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labor force survey (PLFS) India’s unemployment rate hit a 45 year high of 6.1% in 2017-18. It is the first comprehensive survey on employment conducted by a government agency after demonetization.
  11. Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, PVSM, AVSM, VSM took charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command in Mumbai. ice Admiral Ajit Kumar succeeded Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, who retired upon superannuation, after a career span of four decades in the Indian Navy. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2006, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 and Param Vishist Seva Medal in 2019 by the President of India.
  12. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) signed an MoU on 29th January, 2019. The MoU was signed for capacity building, knowledge generation and sharing in the field of Official Statistics. The MoU would lead to strengthening of data quality of various statistical products and services generated by the Ministry.
  13. Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R K Singh laid the foundation of Regional testing laboratory of Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) at Nashik, Maharashtra on Jan 30, 2019. The lab will test and certify electrical equipment manufactured in the western region as per national and international standards. CPRI is an autonomous body under Ministry of Power.
  14. InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., which owns and operates air carrier IndiGo, has entered into a 20-year agreement with Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). The agreement is to sub-lease five acres of land at Bengaluru Airport to build a Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility. This will be IndiGo’s second MRO, after the one in Delhi. The facility will become operational by 2020.
  15. Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah of central Pahang state was crowned as Malaysia’s 16th king on 31 January, 2019.
  16. The new Campus of the National Museum Institute was inaugurated by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in Noida on 30th January 2019. The foundation stone for this 3 acre campus was laid on 31st January, 2015. Four new courses namely, Archaeology; Palaeography, Epigraphy and Numismatics; Structural Conservation and Cultural & Heritage Management are expected to be commenced at the campus.
  17. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 30, 2019 proposed a new set of relaxed norms for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) to increase access to investors.
  18. The International Cricket Council (ICC) signed a five-year global partnership deal with beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Company.ICC and Coco-cola’s partnership will be continue till 2023. Five years sponsorship includes all ICC events like the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in England, Wales, the ICC men ‘s and women’ s T20 World Cups in Australia in 2020, the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 in New Zealand and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India in 2023. ICC also signed sponsorship with Alcobev brands, Royal Stag and Bira 91.
  19. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that conducts prestigious civil service exams to select diplomats ,country’s bureaucrats appointed Rajiv Nayan Choubey as the member of UPSC. Chairman of UPSC, Aravind Saxena administered the Rajiv Nayan Choubey oath of office. UPSC can have a maximum of 10 members excluding the chairman,with Rajiv Nayan Choubey’ s appointment filled up UPSC’s complete strength.
  20. The Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced various schemes in the Interim Union Budget 2019-20 on February 1, 2019. Government announced fixed yearly income for small and marginal farmers under Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna. This scheme will benefit about 12 crore farmers who have 2 Hectare land. Rupee 6000 per year direct cash transfer in their account. Cash transfer will be given in three equal installments of Rs 2000 each. The benefit under this yojna will be given retrospectively from December 2018. Rs. 75000 crore allotted for this scheme. It is expected to double the farmers income.
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