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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Centre approves Rs. 10,000 crore for human space mission
- The Union Cabinet approved Rs 10,000 crore budget for the proposed human spaceflight mission (Gaganyaan),
- ISRO’s Gaganyaan will help India become the fourth nation to independently send humans to space.
- ISRO hopes to deploy its biggest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), from the Sriharikota space port in Andhra Pradesh.
- Three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022, as part of India’s ambitious Gaganyaan project by ISRO
India announces Rs. 4,500 crore assistance to Bhutan
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs. 4,500 crore financial assistanceto Bhutan, for its 12th five year planafter holding wide ranging talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering.
- Tshering arrived on his first foreign visit to India after taking charge as PM of the Himalayan nation
Central Railways introduces technology to eliminate manual examination of trains
- The mechanical branch of Central Railways’ Nagpur division has introduced a new state-of-the-art technology called Automated Train Examination System (ATES) for the enhancement of train safety.
- The system, developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, eliminates manual examination of trains and measures axle box temperature, wheel disc temperature and records the under-gear of rolling stock of running trains through infrared and other cameras.
- ATES also checks every train passing through the track on which it is installed and immediately warns about hot axle and brake binding cases
CURRENT AFFAIRS: CABINET APPROVALS
- Hike in MSP for Copra by more than Rs.2000 per quintal for 2019 season
- Listing of 7 unlisted CPSEs on Stock Exchange
- Telecommunication Consultants (India) Ltd.[TCIL]
- RailTel Corporation India Ltd.
- National Seed Corporation India Ltd. (NSC)
- Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDC)
- Water & Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited [WAPCOS Ltd.]
- FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals (India) Limited [FAGMIL]
- Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL)
- Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
- Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018
- Setting up of the National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2018
- Setting up of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2018
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Former President Barack Obama named as Most Admired Man
- According to Gallup survey former President Barack Obama was named the Most Admired Man in America For the 11th year in a row, Present President of USA, DonaldTrump ranked 2nd for the fourth consecutive year.
- Former President Obama’s wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama displaced Hillary Clinton as the Most Admired Woman in the country.
- It was the first time in 17 years Clinton did not top the list.
Israel to allow medical marijuana exports
- The Israeli Parliament (the “Knesset”), passed the 16th amendment to Dangerous Drugs Ordinance on December 25, that concerns the governance and regulatory aspects of exporting medical cannabis from Israel
- Israel will become the third country, after the Netherlands and Canada, to take its medical cannabis global
- The Israeli medical cannabis company iCAN predicts the global industry will reach $33 billion in the next five years.
|Currency||Israeli new shekel|
Madagascar ex-leader Andry Rajoelina wins presidential Election
- A former leader of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, has won the country’s presidential run-off vote
- He won nearly 56% to defeat another former president, Marc Ravalomanana.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
RBI Allows SIDBI to Use Existing Rs. 1000-crore Corpus for Lending to MFIs
- Reserve Bank of India cleared a proposal to give existing Rs 1000-crore corpus to Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for funding micro finance institutions (MFIs).
- The development bank will now use the money to offer soft loans to MFIs on a condition that end borrowers should get loans at 15-17% rate, which is significantly lower than the prevailing 20-22% market rate.
ICICI topped in list of banks penalising staff for fraud in 2015-2017
- According to Reserve Bank of India between 2015 and 2017, private lender ICICIBankpenalised the highest number of employees for defrauding bank assets in the last three year out of 60scheduledcommercialbanks operating in India.
- Followed by State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank.
RBI launches survey to capture retail payment habits in 6 cities
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will capture payment habits of individuals in six cities, including four metropolitan towns.
- The central bank has launched a ‘Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals (SRPHi)
- The survey will cover a sample of 6,000 individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds across six cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati.
HDFC group surpasses Tata group in m-cap, becomes most valuable business house
- Financial services conglomerate HDFC group has become the most valuable business house in the country, surpassing Tatas, with the cumulative market valuation of its five listed companies surging Rs 10.40 lakh crore.
- HDFC group has five listed firms – HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, Gruh Finance Ltd and HDFC Asset Management Company.
ESAF Small Finance Bank is now scheduled bank
- ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd has received the RBI’s approval for inclusion in the second schedule of the RBI Act, 1934, within two years of its commencement of operations
- ESAF Small Finance Bank the fifth scheduled bank from Kerala
|ESAF Small Finance Bank MD&CEO||K Paul Thomas|
|Headquarters||Thrissur , Kerala|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Luka Modric Wins Balkan Athlete of the Year Award 2018
- Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has been named Balkan athlete of the year,becoming only the second soccer player to scoop the prize after Bulgaria’s former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov in 1994, He also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the first time.
- Men’s tennis world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia was second in the Balkan poll, and the Women’s number one, Romania’s Simona Halep, was third.
Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu Naidu conferred ‘Champions of Change’ award to Biren Singh
- Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh conferred with the ‘Champions of Change’ award by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu for exemplary leadership in bringing about transformation in governance in the Northeastern state.
- The award was instituted by the Centre to identify remarkable progress made in 115 “aspirational” districts whose development is being monitored by NITI Aayog.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
42nd Indian Social Science Congress Inaugurated At KIIT, Odisha
- The 42nd Indian Social Science Congress was inaugurated by Dr. Najma Heptulla, Governor of Manipur in Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology campus.
- Indian Social Science Congress is the annual meet of social scientists organized by Indian Social Science Academy (ISSA).
- The theme of the congress is ‘Human Future in Digital Era’.
- President, Indian Social Science Academy – Prof. Binod C. Agrawa
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva takes over as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff
- Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva has taken charge as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations)
- He has earlier served in three out of the four wings of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) headquarters.
- He was commissioned as an Indian Air Force pilot in December 1981.
- He was the Senior Air Staff Officer at Southern Air Command headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram prior to his present appointment.
Ambika Prasad Panda appointed as CMD of SECL
- Ambika Prasad Panda has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), the largest coal producing company of the country.
- Panda is at present Director (finance) in the same organisation.
- SECL – South Eastern Coalfields Limited
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
Indian Oil, ONGC, NTPC most profitable PSUs in FY18
- According to the Public Enterprises Survey 2017-18 Indian Oil Corporation, ONGC and NTPC emerged as the top three most profitable PSUs in 2017-18.
- While BSNL, Air India and MTNL incurred the highest losses for the second consecutive year, Contributed 52.15 per cent of the total loss incurred by CPSEs in 2017-18.
- There were 339 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) in 2017-18, out of which 257 were in operation. Remaining 82of the CPSEs were under construction.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES
Israel’s most famous author, Amos Oz, Passed Away
- Amos Oz, Israel’s most successful and internationally recognized author passed away
- Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939. He studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- His most famous novels are Black Box, My Michael, A Tale of Love and Darkness, and In the Land of Israel.