Current Affairs

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25th GST Council meet slashes rates on 29 items to zero per cent

The GST panel, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, at its 25th meeting at Vigyan Bhawan decided to reduce the tax rate on 29 items and 53 categories of services with effect from January 25. The major highlights of the meeting are: 1. Filing of GSTR 3B. . . . .

Maharashtra became 1st state in country to unveil Public Cloud Policy

Maharashtra became the 1st state in the country to unveil Public Cloud Policy that virtually mandates state government departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud. The Maharashtra government announced its State Innovation and Start-up Policy, aiming to generate five lakh jobs in the next five years. It also. . . . .

10th edition of Global Forum for Food & Agriculture was held in Berlin, Germany

The 10th edition of Global Forum for Food & Agriculture was held in Berlin, Germany from 18th -20th January 2018. Indian delegation to the event is led by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The event was organized by Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture. . . . .

Centre plans setting up of Cyber Warrior Police Force to tackle internet-related crimes

The government has decided to set up a Cyber Warrior Police Force (CWPF) and Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to tackle internet-related crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography, and online stalking. The CWPF is likely to operate under the National Information Security Policy and Guidelines. . . . .

HDFC Bank becomes first Indian bank to cross Rs5 trillion market capitalisation

India’s most-valued lender HDFC Bank Ltd crossed Rs5 trillion market capitalisation for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone. In intraday trade, the stock touched a fresh record high of Rs1,53.75 on the BSE, up 3.31% from its previous close. The scrip closed at Rs1,931.80,. . . . .

ICC Awards 2017: Full list of winners

India captain Virat Kohli struck it big at ICC Awards 2017 by bagging two top honors - Cricketer of the Year (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) and ODI Cricketer of the Year. He was also named the captain of both Test and ODI teams of the year. Australia captain Steve Smith has been crowned the International Cricket. . . . .

India attends its first SCO military cooperation meeting

India, for the first time, took part in a meeting of the international military cooperation departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) since joining the bloc last year. An Indian delegation led by Major General Ajay Seth participated in the meeting, which discussed issues of practical cooperation. . . . .

North, South Korea to march together under one flag at Winter Olympics

North and South Korean athletes will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony under a unified flag. The two Koreas also agreed during rare talks to form a combined women's ice hockey team. These are the first high-level talks between the two Koreas in more than two years. The Games will take place. . . . .

Bank of Baroda Partners with Invoicemart as a TReDS Partner

Digital invoice discounting marketplace - Invoicemart has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to discount invoices for MSMEs. Buyers and sellers registered in the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda. Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank. . . . .

India test-fires nuclear-capable ICBM Agni-V

India test-fired its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its final operational configuration from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast, taking another step forward toward its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). The nuclear-capable Agni-V missile can reach. . . . .

PM Modi, Netanyahu inaugurate iCreate centre in Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the iCreate Centre at Deo Dholera in Ahmedabad. iCreate paves way for the two nations to jointly script new stories of success through innovation, which the two leaders have been strongly advocating.

President presents Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards

President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2016 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.   The Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are recognized as among the most. . . . .

Israeli PM inaugurates 3rd edition of annual Raisina Dialogue

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurates 3rd edition of the "geopolitical" conference, "Raisina Dialogue". PM Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attend the inaugural session of the three-day event. This year's topic of Raisina Dialogue is Managing Disruptive Transitions - Ideas, Institutions, and. . . . .

IWDRI-2018 concludes successfully

The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded here today, setting the stage for taking the dialogue on resilient infrastructure forward at the global level.   The Workshop was organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) jointly with United. . . . .

NITI Aayog initiates the first course on Sustainable Urban Planning

NITI Aayog initiates the first course on Sustainable Urban Planning using Remote Sensing and GIS at IIT Kanpur's outreach center at Noida. Shri Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog inaugurated the first GIAN course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and GIS. . . . .

DIPP arm launches competition for college students

Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, has launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth. The competition - IPrism - invites students to submit films on. . . . .

No Haj subsidy from this year: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to end Haj subsidy from this year as a part of its policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement. This decision was taken based on the recommendations of Afzal Amanullah Committee and May 2012 Supreme Court order.

Smriti Irani addresses Conclave dedicated to Chaar Sahibzaade of Guru Gobind Singh

A national conclave was organized in the national capital dedicated to the martyrdom of four sons of Sikh's 10th Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal and other dignitaries attended the programme organized by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak. . . . .

PM inaugurates work on Barmer refinery

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates commencement of work for the Barmer Refinery in Rajasthan; the project to be completed in four years with employment generation potential for 40,000 people. The biggest advantage with the refinery is that it is being set up in the vicinity of its oil source. The project is a Joint. . . . .

President Kovind addresses 45th Convocation of AIIMS

President Ram Nath Kovind graced and addressed the 45th convocation of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. Union Health Minister JP Nadda also participated in the 45th annual convocation.

India, Israel ink nine pacts on cybersecurity, other sectors

India and Israel signed nine documents to further the cooperation. These include cooperation in Cybersecurity, cooperation in the field of Petroleum and natural gas, document for the amendment to the air transport agreement, cooperation in film co-production, cooperation in the homeopathy medicines,. . . . .

‘Khelo India’ Anthem launched by Rajyavardhan Rathore

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveiled the Khelo India Anthem, a spirited composition, which resonates with the vision of the programme, of nurturing a rich sporting culture in the country. Khelo India is a unique programme which is focused on building. . . . .

Digital launch of ‘I4Fund call for proposal’ website at India-Israel Business Summit

The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs. The "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)" was announced in July, 2017 during the PM’s visit to Israel. Under this, the Department of Science. . . . .

India ranks 30th on WEF global manufacturing index

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Manufacturing Index putting India on the 30th position, five places below China, which is continuously striving to develop better avenues of manufacturing by boosting infrastructure. Meanwhile, Japan topped the rankings on the back of developing the best structure. . . . .

India contributes USD 50,000 to UN Youth Envoy's Office

India has contributed USD 50,000 to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres's Office of Envoy on Youth to help with its mission of involving young people in the world body's goals. The contribution is voluntary with no strings attached and is in addition to the regular payments India makes to the UN's. . . . .

15th January 2018 is celebrated as Indian Army Day

The 70th Army Day is being celebrated today i.e,. 15th January 2018. The day is celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.  Every year on this day, the ‘Army Day’ is celebrated to commemorate. . . . .

Nepal gets internet bandwidth from China

Commercial operation of Nepal-China optical fiber link is a major milestone for the development of internet infrastructure in Nepal. The launch of commercial optical fiber link between state-owned Nepal Telecom and China Telecom Global has provided an additional internet route in the. . . . .

Fourth ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture & Forestry held in Delhi

India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations agreed to jointly work to mitigate the challenges of climate change, enhance livelihood opportunities through agroforestry, exchange farm machinery and develop heterotic rice hybrids. They also called for joint efforts towards managing food security. . . . .

UN Environment, WHO to jointly curb environmental health risks

UN Environment and WHO agreed to a new collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12 million deaths a year, mostly in developing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The agreement will step up joint actions to combat air pollution, climate change and anti-microbial. . . . .

Nissan, NASA to collaborate on research into future autonomous vehicles

In a bid to create a roadmap for the technology and business evolution of the automotive industry, Nissan has announced a fresh agreement with NASA. NASA Ames Research Centre in California's Silicon Valley and Nissan will collaborate on research and technology development for. . . . .

PM Modi ranked among top 3 world leaders in survey

An international survey has ranked Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the top three leaders of the world. An annual survey by "Gallup International" has put Prime Minister Modi at number "three" among the global leaders. The respondents in the survey, which was conducted among the people across 50 countries, had rated. . . . .

First ever women-only car exhibition opens in Saudi Arabia

Women flocked to Le Mall in Jeddah to check out the kingdom’s first car exhibition aimed at women, a few months after Saudi Arabia granted them the right to drive. Pink, orange, and yellow balloons hung in the mall’s showroom as women posed for photos and selfies in front of the cars. One woman in the driver’s. . . . .

22nd National Youth Festival (NYF) was held in New Delhi

The 22nd National Youth Festival (NYF) was held in New Delhi. The National Youth Day has been celebrated every year on 12 January. This is the day when Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest social reformers, thinkers, and philosophers of India, was born. The Indian government had declared back in 1984 that Swamiji’s. . . . .

Isro launches 100th satellite

Indian Space Research Organisation is back in the game as its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) successfully placed 31 satellites in two different orbits in one of the longest missions. PSLV-C40, in its 42nd flight, placed 31 satellites -- Cartosat-2 Series, Microsat, 28 foreign nanosatellites. . . . .

Indu Malhotra, the first woman lawyer recommended directly for Supreme Court judge

 The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra unanimously recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court. She will be one of only seven women judges that the top court has had so far since independence. At present,. . . . .

Ministry of Railway launches Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) Application

In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways has launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight. . . . .

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated 4th International Conference on Dharma-Dhamma at Rajgir in Bihar


President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated 4th International Conference on Dharma-Dhamma at Rajgir in Bihar.  The Conference is being organised by Nalanda University in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Religion and Society, India Foundation, and the Ministry of External Affairs with an aim to provide an opportunity. . . . .

UIDAI introduces new two-layer security system to improve Aadhaar privacy 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a system of virtual authentication for citizens enrolled on its database and limited the access available to service providers in a move aimed at allaying widespread concern over security breaches that have dogged the world's largest repository of citizen data.

Dilip Asbe appointed MD & CEO of NPCI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for retail payment systems in India, which aims to allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services has appointed Dilip Asbe as Managing Director and CEO of the organisation, replacing A.P.Hota, who retired in August. NPCI:. . . . .

ASEAN leaders to meet to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN ties

Leaders of all ASEAN nations will be in New Delhi to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN ties. Talks ranging from trade to security and counter-terrorism are expected to take ties to new heights. On the 25th Anniversary of India-ASEAN ties, leaders of 10 nations will be in India on January 25. India will present a blueprint. . . . .

'Rocket Man' K. Sivan to take over as new ISRO chief

Senior space scientist Dr K.Sivan has been appointed the new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization ISRO. Dr Sivan is currently the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, an arm of the national space agency ISRO. Under his stewardship, the ISRO will be launching several prestigious. . . . .

Indian-origin businessman appointed World Business Council for Sustainable Development Chairman

Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Verghese, 57, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore's agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first World Business Council for Sustainable. . . . .

Mumbai's Matunga Railway Station Enters Limca Records For All Woman Staff

Mumbai’s Matunga station on Central Railway (CR), entered the Limca Book of Records as a first all-women station in India. The station has a staff of 41 women and the unique initiative was taken by CR General Manager DK Sharma in July 2017 with the aim of empowering women. Accordingly, women staffers were posted. . . . .

Gujarat tops logistics performance index chart

Gujarat has topped a perception-based index of mobility of goods and efficiency of the logistics chain, closely followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.  Based on indicators such as infrastructure, services, the safety of cargo, timeliness, track and trace the state has been ranked the highest in the index, as per the. . . . .

Cabinet approves 100% FDI in single brand retail via automatic route

The Union government allowed overseas investors to make 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) in single-brand retail trading and construction development without any government approval.The decisions were taken at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. It also approved changes. . . . .

Aanchal Thakur Becomes First Indian To Win International Medal In Skiing

Aanchal Thakur created history as she gave India the first-ever international medal in skiing. The 21-year-old, who hails from Manali, won bronze in Alpine Ejder 3200. She clinched the medal in the slalom race category. The Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) in Turkey. Turkey. . . . .

Direct tax collection rises 18.2% in Apr-Dec

The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for Financial Year (F.Y.) 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore). from April to December 2017 Gross collections adjusting have increased by 12.6% to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore. Refunds amounting to Rs.1.12 lakh crore have been issued during April to. . . . .

GDP growth to touch 7.3 percent in 2018-19: World Bank

The World Bank is estimating India’s economy to grow by 6.7 percent during the current fiscal year, higher than the 6.5 percent estimate by the Indian government. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to rise to 7.3 percent in 2018-19, making India again the world’s fastest growing economy,. . . . .

Indian Railways launches transparent and efficient "New Online Vendor Registration System" in its research arm RDSO

To make systems and procedures digital and transparent, Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, has launched New Online Vendor Registration System.  This system was evolved after "Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush. . . . .

Playing national anthem in cinema halls not mandatory

Playing the national anthem in cinema halls is not mandatory anymore. The Supreme Court stated this on 09/01/2018, a day after the government asked it to review its October 2016 order, in which it had made playing Jana Gana Mana mandatory to instil “committed patriotism and nationalism.”



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