Weekly Current Affairs January 2018 3rd Week

1. Romania’s PM Mehai Tudose resigns

Romania’s Prime Minister Mehai Tudose resigned after his party withdrew its support for him amid a power struggle with the party chairman.

  • Social Democratic Party officials said Development Minister Paul Stanescu would serve as interim prime minister.
  • Tudose is the second prime minister ousted by the Social Democrats since they won Romania’s December 2016 general election.

Points to Remember

  • Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe.
  • Its capital and largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth-largest city in the EU.
  • Klaus Lohannis is the President of Romania. Leu is the Currency of Romania.

2. 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 in Beijing, which discussed issues of practical cooperation among SCO nations.
  • India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the grouping in which China plays an influential role.
  • The SCO comprises of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

3. 10th Global Forum for Food & Agriculture, Berlin, Germany

Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is leading the Indian delegation to 10th Global Forum for Food & Agriculture from 18-20 January, 2018 which includes the 10th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference.

  • The theme of this year’s event is “Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”.
  • The discussions will focus on sustainable and productive animal production among other issues.

Points to Remember

  • The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry.
  • The GFFA is organised by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH.

4. China Opens ‘World’s Largest Air Purifier’

China has built a 100 metre high, nearly 328 feet tall air purifier, touted to be world’s largest, to combat the deadly pollution in the country.

  • The world’s largest air purifier is built in Xian in Shaanxi province of northern China and the preliminary results have shown that smog levels have come down and there is some improvement in the air quality.

5. International Solar Alliance Forum at World Future Energy Summit

In one of its first outreach programmes post-ratification, the ISA hosted a two Day Event ‘International Solar Alliance Forum’ during 17-18th January, 2018 at the Future World Energy Summit (WFES) 2018.

  • WFES is a signature event of a global initiative, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar scheduled during 15-18th January, 2018 at Abu Dhabi (UAE).
  • During the ISA event an ISA Pavilion was also set up for dissemination of information about ISA and its activities and programmes.

Points to Remember

  • On receipt of 15 ratifications, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement entered into force on the 6th December, 2017 thereby making ISA a de jure treaty based international intergovernmental organisation.
  • So far 19 countries have ratified and 48 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement.

6. Boost for NSG membership, India joins Australia Group

After gaining entry into two export control regimes – MTCR and Wassenaar, India has joined the Australia Group (AG), which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

  • On 19 January 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG).
  • It is a cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups.

7. Malta’s Valletta becomes Europe’s Capital of Culture

Valletta has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture.

  • Over 140 projects and 400 events have been planned in 2018 around three main themes: Island Stories, Future Baroque and Voyages.
  • With about 6,000 inhabitants, Valletta is the smallest capital in the European Union.
  • It is located in a fortress and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8. India at 62nd Position on WEF’s Inclusive Development Index

India ranks 62nd among emerging economies on the Inclusive Development Index, falling from its last year’s ranking of 60th, according to a report released on Jan. 22 by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

  • The rank is also much below that of its neighbors, with China taking the 26th spot while Pakistan is at 47th place.
  • Norway is once again the world’s most inclusive advanced economy while Lithuania tops the list of emerging economies.

Points to remember

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos.
  • It was founded in 1971. Klaus Schwab is the executive chairman of WEF.

9. India fifth most attractive market for investments: PwC survey

India has emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level, a survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC said.

  • Around 46 per cent of global CEOs consider the US as one of the three most important countries for growth, followed by China (33 per cent) and Germany (20 per cent) at second and third places, respectively. At the fourth spot is the UK (15 per cent).
  • India (9 per cent) bumps Japan (8 per cent) as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.

10. Odisha CM launches Mukhya Mantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched the Mukhya Mantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana for the welfare of the artistes in Odisha.

  • The age limit of the male artistes has been relaxed from 60 to 50 years of age, and from 50 to 40 years of age for female artists to get pension.
  • Currently, 4000 artistes are getting the monthly pension. However, with the new age relaxation, around 50,000 artistes will be enlisted and reap the benefit.

11. Israeli PM Inaugurates Raisina Dialogue In Delhi

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in India for a 6-day official visit, inaugurated the 3rd annual Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.

  • The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premiere foreign policy and geo-political conference.
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu will be the first foreign head of government to speak at the Raisina Dialogue.
  • The Raisina Dialogue is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
  • The theme of the Raisina Dialogue this year is ‘Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms’.

12. Modi lays foundation stone of Rs 43,000 cr Barmer refinery project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Rs 43,129 crore refinery project in Barmer and said it will change the economic landscape of Rajasthan.

  • The refinery, a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Rajasthan government, will have the capacity to refine 90 lakh crude oil annually.
  • Due to be completed by 2022, the project is expected to bring Rs 34,000 crore to the state government coffers annually.

13. PM Modi, Israeli PM Netanyahu dedicate iCreate to the nation

Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicated to the nation, the iCREATE facility located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

  • iCreate is an independent Centre created with the objective of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, innovation, engineering, product design and leveraging emerging technologies to deal with major issues such as food security, water, connectivity, cybersecurity, IT and electronics, energy, bio-medical equipment and devices etc.
  • iCreate aims to develop an ecosystem in India to generate quality entrepreneurs.

 14. MoS, Textiles inaugurates 60th India International Garment Fair

The 60th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) was inaugurated by Minister of State for Textiles, Shri Ajay Tamta, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

  • Recalling that business worth US $200 million was conducted in the previous edition, the Minister extended his best wishes to all participating buyers and exporters.
  • A total of 294 exporters from 11 states are participating at the 60th IIGF.

15. 65th meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education held in New Delhi

The 65th Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under the Chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

  • The meeting was attended by the Union Minister for Culture and MoS(Independent Charge) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr. Mahesh Sharma and Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State for HRD.
  • The Education Ministers of the States, CABE Members actively participated in the discussions.

16. Successful Fifth Flight Test of Agni-5 Ballistic Missile

Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile, Agni-5, was successfully flight tested for its full range from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.

  • This was the fifth test of the Missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher.
  • All the five missions have been successful.
  • The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, range stations and tracking systems all through the mission.

17. Government to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects

Government will set up a $350 million fund to finance solar projects, Power Minister R.K. Singh said, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.

  • India will need at least $125 billion to fund a plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022.
  • The country, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion.
  • Installed renewable power capacity is currently about 60 GW

18. Andhra CM launches e-Pragati platform

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has launched the e-Pragati CORE platform, which will be a common portal for all citizen services online.

  • As envisioned by the Chief Minister, a single source of truth and one portal to monitor everything, from insights to action, will be enabled by this platform.

19. MEITY launches Cyber Surakshit Bharat to strengthen Cybersecurity

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), announced the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners at an inaugural event in Delhi.

  • It will include an awareness program on the importance of cybersecurity; a series of workshops on best practices.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat is the first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity.

20. Silvassa tops the List of Cities selected in Round 4 of Smart Cities

Shri Hardeep S. Puri , Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has announced the Round 4 winning cities of National Smart Cities Challenge.

  • The Minister informed that Silvassa from Dadar & Nagar Haveli has topped the list of winning cities in this round of competition.
  • Other winning cities are –
  • Erode, Tamil Nadu
  • Diu, Daman & Diu
  • Biharsharif, Bihar
  • Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
  • Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
  • Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and
  • Kavaratti, Lakshwadeep

21. Gehlot inaugurates national conference on improving accessibility

In a path breaking initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot in New Delhi.

  • Websites were launched on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’.
  • Accessible Websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.
  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a “Website Accessibility Project” for State Government/Union Territories

22. Maitre-2 bus services to connect India and Bangladesh

Maitre-2, the second passenger bus to Kolkata via Dhaka is started from Agartala, Tripura, to give a boost to the trans-border relationship between India and Bangladesh.

  • Recently, the Maitre-2 buses were flagged off by Tripura Road Transport Corporation Chairman Rajendra Reang and MLA Ratan Das in Agartala.
  • The first Maitre bus service was launched in the year 2015.

23. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban Launches Smart Star-Rating

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs along with the Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parrikar launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ in Goa.

  • The star-rating initiative, developed by the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban will be rating cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators.
  • Cities can be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with the protocol conditions specified for each of the rating.
  • Further city should be ODF(Open Defecation Free) before it could be given rating of 3 star or above.
  • While cities may self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA will carry out an additional verification through an independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star.
  • Cities will need to get recertified themselves every year to retain their star-status.

24. Fourth India International Science Festival to be held in Lucknow

The fourth edition of the India International Science Festival will be held in Lucknow.

  • The decision to hold the Festival in Lucknow was taken at the first preparatory meeting for the 4th India International Science Festival (IISF) chaired by Union Minister for Science & Technology, Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
  • The 1st IISF was held at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) New Delhi in December, 2015.

25. Delhi launches Girl Child Week

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched Girl Child Week programme to celebrate the girl child and spread awareness on gender equality.

  • The Girl Child Week is held from 18 January to 24 January 2018.
  • 24 January is celebrated as National Girl Child Day.

26. Centre to declare 2018 as ‘national year of millets’

Nutrient-rich millets have got a boost with the Union government deciding to declare 2018 as the ‘national year of millets’.

  • This decision has been taken following a request by Karnataka, which is the country’s leader in the millet sector.
  • At the inauguration of the three-day international trade fair of organics and millets, Union Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said the Union Agriculture Ministry had already completed the formalities in this regard.

27. Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) Crosses One Crore Mark

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his un-daunting support to the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), as the programme crossed one crore mark in antenatal check-ups.

  • The Union Health Minister stated that Hon’ble Prime Minister of India had envisioned that 9th of every month, symbolizing the 9 months of pregnancy, should be dedicated to pregnant women.
  • The PMSMA programme was launched in 2016 to fulfil his vision and ensure comprehensive and quality antenatal checkups to pregnant women across India.

28. Centre bans import of pet coke for trading purpose in Delhi and NCR

As part of measures to control air pollution, the Union environment ministry has banned import of pet coke for purpose of trading in Delhi and its neighbouring states.

  • It has notified do’s and don’ts for its sale and use in cement plants and other end user industrial units, including refineries.
  • The ministry listed 13 points to regulate use of pet coke which is one of the key sources of air pollution in the region.
  • The notification was issued in compliance with the 2017 Supreme Court order.

29. Chennai to host DefExpo in April

For the first time, Tamil Nadu will host DefExpo 2018, an international exhibition on Defence, in April, showcasing some of the latest technologies and products manufactured by both Indian and foreign companies.

  • It will also give an opportunity for the State to showcase its strength as one the largest manufacturing hubs for defence production.
  • The event, which is the largest in the defence sector in India, will attract visitors from over 80 countries, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

30. National Conference of State, PSBs and RRBs of NHFDC held

A National Conference of the State channelizing Agencies, Public Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks of National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) held on 19th January 2018 in New Delhi.

  • Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot and Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar addressed the participating agencies and advised for better coordination with NHFDC and Channelising agencies for the smooth and better implementation of NHFDC Schemes for the benefit of larger number of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan).

31. International Dam Safety Conference to be held at Thiruvananthapuram

India will be hosting the International Dam Safety Conference – 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram on January 23-24.

  • Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala will inaugurate the conference and Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will preside over the inaugural function.
  • Central Water Commission is organizing the event in association with Kerala Water Resources Department (KWRD), Kerala State Electricity Board, National Institute of Technology Calicut and College of Engineering, Trivandrum.

32. Haryana to set up NBFC for efficient management of funds

The Haryana government has decided to form a non-banking financial company (NBFC) — Haryana State Financial Services Limited — to act as an in-house treasury manager for efficient management of surplus funds of State public enterprises and autonomous bodies.

  • The NBFC will provide better deposit rates on overnight funds of State government entities.
  • Besides, it would provide better deposit rates throughout the year to State government entities, said State Finance Minister Abhimanyu.
  • The NBFC would enable quick and hassle-free lending and create financial discipline among the State government entities.

33. Bank of Baroda partners with Invoicemart as 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 on the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda.
  • Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank Ltd and mjunction services ltd.
  • TReDS is an online mechanism that helps MSMEs unlock working capital without the hassle of applying for loans.
  • Recently Government of India advised all public sector banks and undertakings to get registered on TReDS platforms.

34. FY’19 growth at 7.1%: India Ratings

India’s economic growth is set to bounce back to 7.1 per cent next fiscal, from the estimated 6.5 per cent in 2017-18,, rating agency India Ratings said.

  • In its outlook for 2018-19, the agency projected average retail inflation at 4.6 per cent.
  • The World Bank too has projected a 7.3 per cent growth for India in 2018.

35. Yes Bank ties up with Amplus Energy Solutions

Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.

  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at International Solar Alliance pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.
  • Under the partnership, the total projects capacity is likely to be up to 1,000 mw and these projects would be developed by Amplus by 2023.

36. HDFC first Indian bank to cross Rs5 trillion market cap

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.

  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are the other two companies which crossed market capitalisation of Rs5 trillion.
  • The bank also reports bad loan ratio below 1%, the lowest among Indian lenders.

37. Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list

Thomson Reuters Corp has published its debut “Top 100 Global Technology Leaders” list with Microsoft Corp in the no. 1 spot.

  • Microsoft was followed by chipmaker Intel Corp and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc.
  • According to the list, 45 percent of these 100 tech companies are headquartered in the United States.
  • Five Indian Companies have also made to the list.

38. Axis Bank partners NGO Srijan to mentor IIM graduates

Axis Bank is partnering with NGO Srijan through an initiative called Buddha Fellowship Programme to help nurture talent for the development sector.

  • The bank is mentoring 15 graduates from the Indian Institutes of Management at Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Shillong, who have been taken on board by Srijan as campus hires.

39. Mauritius largest source of FDI in India, says RBI

Mauritius was the largest source of foreign investment in India, followed by the US and the UK, according to a census by the Reserve Bank.

  • Singapore and Japan were the next two sources of foreign direct investment (FDI), said the Reserve Bank of India.

40. AU Small Finance Bank inks MoU with LIC to offer PMJJBY scheme

Banking finance company AU Small Finance Bank has signed an MoU with LIC to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), a company official said.

  • Under the MoU, LIC will give a life cover of Rs 2 lakh in case of death to the customer at a nominal premium of Rs 330 per annum.
  • The aim is to provide best services to the customers under one roof, MD and CEO of the company, Sanjay Agarwal said in a statement.
  • The Hindu Business Line

41. ONGC acquires 51.11pc of Govt stake in HPCL

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), the largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in India, has acquired the government’s shareholding of 51.11 per cent in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)

  • ONONGC Board on January 19, 2018 considered the proposal and approved acquisition of the entire 51.11 per cent shareholding at a cash purchase consideration of Rs 473.97 per share with a total acquisition cost of Rs 36,915 crore.

42. Mercedes-Benz becomes first to launch BS-VI, locally made car

German auto major Mercedes-Benz unveiled a BS-VI-compliant S Class produced at its Pune facility, more than two years ahead of the government deadline of April 2020 for switching to new emission norms.

  • Along with the unveiling of the new car, the company also received the certificate of compliance to the CMVR (Central motor vehicles rule) from the Automotive Research Association of India.

43. CBI registers Rs. 80-cr bank fraud case against PNB officials

The CBI has registered 22 cases against officials of Punjab National Bank relating to fraud in bank loans processed by them on the basis of forged documents causing a loss of over Rs. 80 crore to the bank.

  • The cases relate to four branches of the bank in Bhopal and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It said the bank alleged in its complaint that the officials had fraudulently sanctioned and disbursed loans to private persons dealing in coal business from 2011 to 2016.

44. India to overtake China as fastest growing large economy in 2018: Report

India will overtake China to be the fastest growing large economy in 2018 and the country’s equity market will become the fifth largest in the world, says a report.

  • According to a Sanctum Wealth Management report, when the rest of the world offers low growth and insufficient structural change, India, by contrast, is seen as a reforming economy with the prospect of strong long-term growth.
  • At a time when developed economies are cheering 2-3 per cent growth, India is focused on breaching 7.5 per cent, it said.

45. India, Uttarakhand and the World Bank sign $120 million Loan Agreement

The Government of India, the Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank Board signed a $120 million Loan Agreement which will help increase access to improved water supply services in peri-urban areas in the State of Uttarakhand.

  • The Uttarakhand Water Supply Program for Peri-Urban Areas will help the State increase water supply coverage as well as ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas.
  • It will develop and implement a service-oriented and efficient water supply policy for peri-urban areas, strengthen the current monitoring and evaluation systems, and provide dedicated incentives for preparation and adoption of water supply ‘master-plans’ in peri-urban areas.

46. NIIF makes its First Investment

The Government of India is pleased to take note that the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has made its First investment.

  • NIIF has partnered with DP World to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India.
  • The platform will invest in opportunities in the ports sector, and beyond sea ports into areas such as river ports and transportation, freight corridors, port-led special economic zones, inland container terminals, and logistics infrastructure including cold storage.
  • The first close of the NIIF Master Fund took place on October, 16, 2017 with contributions from a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and four Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs), viz., HDFC Group, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Life and Axis Bank.
  • An India-UK Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) is also being set-up under the fund of funds vertical of NIIF, and shall have anchor commitments of GBP 120 million each from Government of India (through NIIF) and Government of UK.

47. IMF forecasts 7.4% growth for India in FY19

On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s keynote address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said India’s growth will pick up in FY19.

  • That will see the country regain the tag of fastest-growing major economy, backing the government’s revival theme.
  • The IMF also said 2017 saw the best global growth in seven years.
  • India is forecast to grow 7.4% in FY19 against 6.7% this year, gaining pace to 7.8% in FY20, the IMF said in its January update of the World Economic Outlook: Brighter Prospects, Optimistic Markets, Challenges Ahead
  • The global economy is expected to grow 3.9% this year.

48. RIL becomes India’s first firm to cross Rs 6-lakh crore market cap

Reliance Industries (RIL) become the first Indian company to cross the Rs 6-lakh crore mark in market capitalisation as its shares touched a 52-week high of Rs 974.5.

  • RIL is owned 40% by its chairman Mukesh Ambani, making him the richest Indian with personal wealth of $40.7 billion and the 20th richest globally.
  • India’s largest software exporter, Tata Consultancy Services follows RIL with market capitalisation of Rs 5,95,946 crore.
  • HDFC Bank become the first bank to cross market capitalisation of Rs 5 lakh crore recently.

49. Romania to have first female prime minister, Viorica Dancila

Viorica Dancila has been named as Romania’s first female PM following the sudden resignation of Mihai Tudose.

  • Ms Dancila, a member of the European Parliament, is regarded as an ally of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea.
  • Ms Dancila, 54, is Romania’s third prime minister in seven months.

50. Anandiben Patel to be next Governor of Madhya Pradesh

Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has been named the next Madhya Pradesh Governor.

  • She replaces Om Prakash Kohli, who has additional charge of the office of MP Governor along with the office of Gujarat Governor.
  • Ms. Patel succeeded Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM after the 2014 parliamentary polls.

51. Sudeep Lakhtakia appointed new NSG DG

IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia was appointed as the new director general of National Security Guard (NSG).

  • Lakhtakia is a 1984-batch IPS officer of Telangana cadre.
  • He is currently serving as a special DG of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) headquarters.
  • He will take over incumbent SP Singh, who will retire from the post on January end.

52. OP Rawat appointed New Chief Election Commissioner

Om Prakash Rawat has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the law ministry said.

  • Mr Rawat, who is currently an Election Commissioner, will succeed the outgoing Achal Kumar Joti, who is retiring on January 22.
  • Ashok Lavasa, a former finance secretary and an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1980 batch, has been appointed as an Election Commissioner, to fill up the vacancy left behind by Mr Rawat in the three-member poll panel.
  • Sunil Arora is currently the other Election Commissioner.

53. Afghans award Trump ‘Medal of Bravery’

The residents of Afghanistan’s Logar province have awarded United States President Donald Trump a ‘Medal of Bravery’ over his recent stance against Pakistan.

  • The medal is made with funds collected by Afghans from the Logar province, 60 kilometers in the south of Kabul.
  • The bravery award has been handed over to the US Embassy in Kabul.

54. ICSI confers Honorary Fellow Membership to Shri P.P. Chaudhary

Shri P.P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Law and Justice & Corporate Affairs, was conferred the Honorary Fellowship of Institute of Company secretaries of India (ICSI) at the headquarters of the institute at New Delhi.

  • ICSI president CS (Dr) Shyam Agrawal presented the certificate conferring Honorary membership to Shri Chaudhary and administered an oath to him.
  • Shri Chaudhary has conducted around 11,000 cases, mostly Constitutional Litigations for the last 38 years.

55. ICC Awards 2018: Full List of the Winners

  • Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Test Cricketer of the Year – Steve Smith (Australia)
  • ICC M ODI Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Hasan Ali (Pakistan)
  • ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
  • ICC  T20I Performance of the Year – Yuzvendra Chahal (6-25 v England for India)
  • David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus
  • ICC Spirit of Cricket – Anya Shrubsole (England)
  • ICC Fans Moment of the Year – Pakistan stun India to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017
  • The Test and ODI teams of the year were also introduced, with Virat Kohli being named the captain of both the sides.

56. Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust of Odisha wins prestigious UNWTO Award

Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust in Odisha has won prestigious United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Award for Innovation in Tourism Enterprise at 14th UNWTO Awards ceremony held in Madrid, Spain.

  • The award was given in recognition of Mangalajodi’s business model that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable based on principles of community ownership and Eco Tourism.

57. 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018: Complete list of winners

  • Best Film: ‘Hindi Medium’
  • Critics’ Award for Best Film: ‘Newton’
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female): Vidya Balan for ‘Tumhari Sulu’
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male) : Irrfan Khan for ‘Hindi Medium’
  • Critics’ Award for Best Actor (Male): Rajkummar Rao for ‘Trapped’
  • Critics’ Award for Best Actor (Female): Zaira Wasim for ‘Secret Superstar’
  • Best Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari for ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’
  • Best Debut Director: Konkona Sensharma for ‘A Death in the Gunj’
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male): Rajkummar Rao for ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Meher Vij for ‘Secret Superstar’
  • Best Original Story: Amit Newton for ‘Newton’
  • Best Actor (Male) in a Short Film: Jackie Shroff for ‘Khujli’
  • Best Actor (Female) in a Short Film: Shefali Shah for ‘Juice’
  • People’s Choice Award for Best Short Film: ‘Anahut’
  • Best Short Film (Fiction) : ‘Juice’
  • Best Short Film (Non Fiction): ‘Invisible Wings’
  • Best Playback Singer (Male): Arijit Singh for ‘Roke na ruke naina’ – ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’
  • Best Playback Singer (Female): Meghna Mishra for ‘Nachdi phira’ – ‘Secret Superstar’
  • Best Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya for ‘Ullu ka pattha’ – ‘Jagga Jasoos’
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Mala Sinha and Bappi Lahiri

58. 24 hours sports radio channel launched

India’s first online radio channel dedicated to broadcasting sports content including live updates and chat commentaries 24×7 was launched.

  • The internet radio channel, launched by Sports Flashes, will provide special sports programmes, experts comments, sports news and updates for over 400 sports events from around the world including Premier League, IPL and the FIFA World Cup.

59. Brazil football legend Ronaldinho retires

Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho has formally confirmed his retirement from football, more than two years since his last appearance as a professional.

  • The 37-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona star, a key member of the Brazil side which won the World Cup in 2002, last played in 2015.
  • Ronaldinho made 97 appearances, scoring 33 goals, including two in the 2002 World Cup.
  • He was awarded the Ballon D’Or in 2005.

60. Blind Cricket World Cup: India beat Pakistan to retain title

India retain Blind Cricket World Cup title after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE.

  • Chasing a huge 308-run target in 40 overs, India romped home in the penultimate over of the match.
  • Earlier, riding on Badar Munir’s fine half-century, Pakistan scored 307/8 to give India big target in the final of the fifth edition of the tournament.

61. Renowned cinematographer W B Rao passes away

Renowned cinematographer W B Rao passed away at a suburban hospital of Mumbai.

  • Rao, known for his works in Bollywood hits like “Rangeela”, “Hum” and “Khuda Gawah”, breathed his last at the Bhartiya Arogya Nidhi Hospital.
  • Some of his other notable films include “Dhadkan”, “Judwaa”, “Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega” and others.

62. Veteran actress Ava Mukherjee passes away

Veteran actress Ava Mukherjee, known for playing Shah Rukh Khan’s grandmother in Devdas has passed away the age of 88.

  • Ava is also the mother of filmmaker Romilla Mukherjee.
  • One of her final appearances on the big screen was in the film ‘Darna Zaroori Hai’ directed by Ram Gopal Varma.

63. NBA Hall of Famer Jo Jo White dies at 71

Celtics legend Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, passed away at the age of 71.

  • White, a seven-time All-Star, averaged 17.2 points in 12 NBA seasons.
  • He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • White won a gold medal with the USA Olympic basketball team at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

64. Iconic cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passes away

Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri breathed his last after a brief period of illness, marking the end of a chapter in Bengal’s history of cartoon. Lahiri was 86.

  • He began his career in 1952 at the ‘Dainik Loksevak’ newspaper as a reporter and took to drawing cartoons in 1961.
  • A year later, he joined ‘Anandabazaar Patrika’ and continued there for 50 years before working with other media outlets.

65. Sanjay Manjrekar launches autobiography

Dilip Vengsarkar has released Former Indian Test player Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography, named “Imperfect” published by Harper Collins in Mumbai.

  • Sanjay, who played 37 Tests after making his debut in the Delhi Test against the West Indies under the captaincy of Dilip Vengsarkar in 1987, scored 2,043 runs with a career-best 218 against Imran Khan’s Pakistan at Lahore in 1989.

66. ‘Namaste Shalom’ magazine launched during Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit

The Jewish community has markd Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit with the launch of ‘Namaste Shalom’, a regular monthly magazine on bilateral relations between the two friendly nations.

  • The magazine was launched at the Magen David Synagogue at Byculla in south Mumbai.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon have welcomed the magazine.

67. President Kovind unveils book on self development in Delhi

President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a book on heartfulness techniques and principles titled ‘The Heartfulness Way’.

  • Authored by Kamlesh Patel, the book promises to be a treat for those who are curious about what is heartfulness and how it can change our day-to-day lives.
  • The Heartfulness Way has already achieved the Number One Best-Seller Status on Amazon with pre-orders flooding the website.

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