Daily G.K Current affairs 12 January 2019

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This post contains important current affairs (National, International, Business and Sports) of 12 January 2019. Very useful to prepare for the General Knowledge section of various competitive and recruitment exams.

    ic: Daily Current Affairs - Business

    • The Reserve Bank of India has allowed tokenization of debit, credit and prepaid card transactions to enhance the safety of the digital payments ecosystem in the country. The central bank has allowed card schemes like Visa, Mastercard and others to start issuing tokens for third party payment applications as well. "Tokenisation and de-tokenisation" shall be performed only by the authorized card network and recovery of original Permanent Account Number (PAN) should be feasible for the authorized card network only. Tokenisation acts as an additional layer of security as it masks sensitive card data such as the 16-digit Account Number, expiration date and security code.
    • Ashok Chawla resigned as chairman of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) with immediate effect "in light of recent legal developments". Chawla's resignation came on a day the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told a special court in Delhi that it has obtained the sanction of the ministries concerned to file charges against him and four other former bureaucrats in the Aircel-Maxis case. 
    • Industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the ICSIs Lifetime Achievement Award for 'Translating Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality'.
    • The World Bank projected India' GDP, expected to grow at 7.3% in the fiscal year 2018-19, and 7.5% in the following two years. The Bank said India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy in the world. In India, the growth has accelerated, driven by an upswing in consumption, and investment growth has firmed as the effects of temporary factors wane, the World Bank said in its latest report. Domestic demand has strengthened as the benefits of structural reforms such as Goods and services Tax (GST) harmonization and bank recapitalization take effect. In 2018,China's Projection is 6.5 and 6.2% each in 2019 and 2020 and 6% in 2021, according to the January 2019 Global Economic Prospects report released by the World Bank. Strong domestic demand is envisioned to widen the current account deficit to 2.6 per cent of GDP next year. The World Bank's estimate suggest that India's potential growth rate is around 7%, and is expected to remain around 7%.  
    • The 32nd Meeting of GST Council was concluded in New Delhi. The Limit of annual turnover for composition scheme increased to 1.5 crore rupees effective from April 1, 2019. The Council has decided to increase the GST registration threshold limit to 40 lakh rupees from 20 lakh. The Taxpayers who are giving Services of up to Rs 50 lacs per annum will be taxed under 6% under Composition Scheme. The council has decided to simplify the compliance under the composition scheme.

    ic: Daily Current Affairs - National

    • The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of three All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat. The institutes will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. These will be in Samba in Jammu at a cost of Rs. 1,661 crore, in Pulwama in Kashmir at a cost of Rs. 1,828 crore, and in Rajkot, Gujarat, at a cost of Rs. 1,195 crore. The objective is to establish the new AIIMS as Institutions of National Importance for providing quality tertiary healthcare, medical education, nursing education and research in the region. The Cabinet approval also involves the creation of a post of director with a basic pay of Rs. 2,25,000 for each of the three AIIMS. The cost of construction, operation, and maintenance of the three AIIMS will be fully borne by the Central government.   
    • An agreement for Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project was signed in New Delhi among the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in the presence of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari. All the six Chief Ministers were present on the occasion. Under the agreement, three storage projects are proposed to be constructed on the river Yamuna and two of its tributaries - Tons and Giri in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. In addition to this, a concession agreement was also signed for Namami Gange projects for the city of Prayagraj under Hybrid Annuity Mode and One City One Operator Concept.
    • The 4th Edition of Raisina Dialogue was organized by Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. The Theme of the Dialogue was "A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes". The Raisina Dialogue whose first edition was held in 2015 is India's flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference. The Aim of the Discussion was to address the issues arising from ongoing global transitions and changes to the world order triggered by unique leadership, innovative partnerships and new technologies. The Inaugural address was delivered by the Prime Minister of Norway H E Ms Erna Solberg in the presence of India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj. More than 600 delegates from 93 countries of the world including influential political leaders, strategic thinkers, policy practitioners, technology innovators and business representatives shared their Vision in the Raisina Dialogue.
    • IIT Kharagpur will launch a six-month course on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for working professionals and engineering students. The aim of the certified programme is to strengthen India's talent pool in Machine Learning and AI. The course will begin from March 2019 & will be offered at institute units in Kharagpur, Bangalore and Kolkata and possibly in Hyderabad. The course will comprise 16 one-credit modules and one capstone project. The course modules have been carefully designed to cover mathematical and algorithmic foundations, artificial intelligence fundamentals and several modules on statistical and machine learning methods
    • Union Cabinet has approved Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities of Assam.The communities that are proposed to be extended ST status include, Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutiya, Matak, Moran and the tea tribes. The move came before the centre introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha. This amendment bill will give a status to the various tribal people.
    • Narasimhan Ram, Chairman, the Publishing Private Limited, has been appointed President of the Alliance for Media Freedom (AFMF), a cross-media advocacy and action group of media organization, promoters, and journalists. While appointing him as the president of the Alliance, his role in thwarting the efforts of governments and authoritarian elements to impede the independent functioning of the media was commended.
    • The 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019, a global platform for dialogue, debate, deliberation and engagement among Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India was held in Mumbai. The two-day event was inaugurated by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu. The Summit was organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, State Government of Maharashtra and Confederation of Indian Industry. 
    • The Lok Sabha passed "The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019" by voice vote after a brief discussion. The Bill has been formulated recognizing the need for regulation of the use and application of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) technology, for establishing identity of missing persons, victims, offenders, under trials and unknown deceased persons. The bill was introduced by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had set up a DNA profiling advisory committee. The key components of this Bill include establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board and accreditation of DNA laboratories undertaking DNA testing, analysing. Establishment of the National and Regional DNA Data Banks, as envisaged in the Bill, will assist in forensic investigations. The Bill will add value in empowering the criminal justice delivery system by enabling the application of DNA evidence, which is considered the gold standard in crime investigations. 
    • The Lok Sabha has passed the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The bill was moved by Minister of State for Law PP Chaudhary. The bill was introduced as various recommendations were made to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce. The bill seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce in five personal laws Hindu Marriage Act(1955), Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act(1939),Divorce Act(1869), Special Marriage Act(1954) and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act(1956). In 2010 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution on the 'Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members', which was signed and ratified by India. The Law Commission of India in its 256th Report recommended the elimination of discrimination against people affected by the disease. Leprosy is a chronic infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. 
    • The Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh got its place in the Guinness book of world record.This project entered the guinness by pouring 32,315.5 cubic meters of concrete non-stop in 24 hours.This project surpassed the leading record of 21,580 cubic metres which was achieved by Abdul Wahed Bin Shabib project. The state government invested Rs 15,380.97 crore on the project ; the central government is to release Rs3,517.84 crore. Polavaram irrigation project,is a multipurpose terminal reservoir will irrigate 38.78 Lac acres of land. It will also set up of 960 mw hydro power plant which will provide drinking water to 540 villages with a population of 28.5 Lac.
    • The Environment Ministry launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) aimed at reducing toxic particulate matter in 102 Indian cities by 2024. The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year plan with 2019 as the first year, while 2017 will be the base year for comparison of concentration. An amount of INR300 crore has been sanctioned for this purpose. 
    • ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan has announced that the organization is well prepared to meet the targets of launching Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space by December 2021. Under Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back. 332 launches are planned this year. Important among them are Chandrayaaan -2 mission to the moon in mid-April. GSAT-20 Satellite for high bandwidth connectivity to be launched in September-October.

      ic: Daily Current Affairs - International

      • Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has appointed Su Tseng-chang as Prime Minister, during a Cabinet reshuffle following the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's heavy losses in local elections. Su is a former premier appointed in 2006 by then-President Chen Shui-bian and was a chairman of Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party for two terms. His appointment follows the widely-expected resignation of William Lai, the second premier to quit since Tsai took office in 2016.  
      • The 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world. In the list, Norway topped and India has slipped to 42nd place on the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual Global Democracy Index.

      ic: Daily Current Affairs - Sports

      • President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Birendra Prasad Baishya has been named as India's Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. it is for the first time that the sport of Weightlifting has been accorded with the honour of Chef de Mission for the Olympics. Baishya is also one of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Vice Presidents. He is a former Union minster and a former Rajya Sabha Member from Assam. The Japanese capital -Tokyo - will host the Games for the second time in 2020 after having organised it 56 years back in 1964.

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