Current Affairs 2018

Zoramthanga sworn in as Mizoram chief minister [15 Dec 2018]

Mizo National Front (MNF) leader Zoramthanga was in as Mizoram’s new chief minister. The 74-year-old rebel-turned-politician was a former underground leader and a close aide of the legendary MNF leader Laldenga. A former Chief Minister, Zoramthanga, 74, was elected for a fifth term from Aizawl East-I seat, defeating Independent candidate K. Sapdanga by a margin of 2,504 votes.

BP Singh is appointed as FTII chairman [14 Dec 2018]

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting appointed TV producer BP Singh as President of FTII and chairman of its Governing Council. Singh will step in the shoes of actor Anupam Kher, who had resigned in October.

Mohamed Salah named BBC African Footballer of the Year 2018 [14 Dec 2018]

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row.

DLF CEO Rajeev Talwar appointed WTTCII chairman [11 Dec 2018]

World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointedDLF' CEO Rajeev Talwar, as Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar is also the chairman of NAREDCO and president of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Government appoints Shaktikanta Das as new RBI Governor [11 Dec 2018]

Shaktikanta Das, member of the 15th Finance Commission and former Economic Affairs Secretary, will take over as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.

Ex-SBI chief is SWIFT India chairman [10 Dec 2018]

SWIFT India has appointed ex-SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new chairman of its board. SWIFT India is a joint venture of top Indian public and private sector banks and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).

Govt appoints Krishnamurthy Subramanian as Chief Economic Adviser for 3 years [07 Dec 2018]

The government appointed Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) to the finance minister for a period of three years. The main role of a CEA is to advise the government on key economic issues. Besides, the adviser and its team comes out with an annual Economic Survey ahead of Union Budget. Subramanian, who is currently the associate professor of finance (with tenure) and executive director for the Centre for Analytical Finance at country's premier business-school Indian School of Business.

Sancharam wins Sahitya Akademi Award [06 Dec 2018]

Tamil writer, traveller, essayist and scriptwriter S. Ramakrishnan has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2018 for his novel Sancharam, which poignantly captures the lives of nagaswaram players in karisal bhoomi – the arid land – of Tamil Nadu.

Yasir Shah breaks pre-World War II record, fastest to 200 Test wickets [06 Dec 2018]

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah created history as he broke an 82-year-old record during the third Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on the fourth day. Picking his fifth wicket in the match, dismissing William Somerville for 4, Shah completed his 200-wicket milestone in the longest format, becoming the fastest bowler to do so. The right-armer broke pre-World War record set by Australian Clarrie Grimmett in 1936 by requiring only 33 Tests to reach the landmark. Grimmett, on the other hand, had reached the figures in his 36th Test.

India’s heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 launched successfully from French Guiana [05 Dec 2018]

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana. GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme.

A N Jha is appointed as the new Finance Secretary [04 Dec 2018]

A N Jha, Secretary, Expenditure, has been appointed as new Finance Secretary. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has cleared Jha's appointment to the post after incumbent Hasmukh Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), retired on November 30.

A.M. Naik appointed as Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation [03 Dec 2018]

Shri A.M. Naik has been appointed as Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Currently Shri Naik is the Group Chairman of India's biggest engineering and construction conglomerate – Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T).

Shri Sunil Arora takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India [02 Dec 2018]

Shri Sunil Arora  assumed charge as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India succeeding Shri O.P.Rawat. Shri Rawat who demitted the office on 1st December, 2018 after completing his tenure. Prior to assuming charge as Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Arora had been serving as Election Commissioner in Election Commission of India since 1st September 2017.

Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey takes over as Revenue Secretary [30 Nov 2018]

Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey (IAS: MH 1984) took over as the Union Revenue Secretary upon superannuation of Dr Hasmukh Adhia. A Maharashtra cadre officer, Dr. Pandey will continue to head the Unique Identification authority of India (UIDAI) as its CEO and will also hold his position as the Chairman of GSTN.

ISRO's PSLV-C43 successfully places HysIS, 30 foreign satellites in respective orbits [30 Nov 2018]

Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) workhorse, the PSLV, carrying 31 satellites, soared in a trajectory crossing the path of the Sun and sped to inject the country's Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), dubbed ‘Sharp Eye’, in its intended orbit. The HysIS is is an Earth observation satellite primarily to assist in a wide range of applications in agriculture, forestry, geological environments, coastal zones, among others. The 30 satellites are one each from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain, and 23 from the USA.

Shri Arvind Saxena appointed as Chairman, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) [28 Nov 2018]

The President has appointed Shri Arvind Saxena as Chairman, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The tenure of Shri Arvind Saxena as Chairman, UPSC will commence from the date he enters upon the office of Chairman, UPSC. The term of his appointment will be till 07. 08.2020 when he attains the age of 65 years or till further orders whichever is earlier.

NPCC is now a Miniratna [27 Nov 2018]

National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) has been conferred with the status of Miniratna : Category –I by the Government of India. The empowerment of Miniratna Status to NPCC will help the company in taking speedy decisions by enhancing the delegation of powers to the Board.

Bhakti wins National crown [27 Nov 2018]

Bhakti Kulkarni pipped Mary Ann Gomes to the National women chess title on superior tie-break after the 11th and final round.

ICC Women’s World T20: Australia eases past England to claim title [25 Nov 2018]

Australia has won its fourth Women’s World Twenty20 championship after cruising to an eight-wicket victory over England in the final. It was Australia’s fourth World Twenty20 title after winning three successive tournaments in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Ashish Kundra appointed new Mizoram chief electoral officer [15 Nov 2018]

The Election Commission appointed IAS officer Ashish Kundra as poll-bound Mizoram’s new chief electoral officer, replacing S.B. Shashank.

India GSLV MkIII-D2 successfully launches GSAT-29 [14 Nov 2018]

India’s GSAT-29 communication satellite was successfully launched by the second developmental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV MkIII-D2) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. GSAT-29 is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies. Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.

INDO-Russian joint exercise INDRA 2018 [13 Nov 2018]

The joint military exercise between Indian and Russia EXERCISE INDRA 2018 on combating insurgency under the aegis of United Nations (UN) is being conducted at Babina Field Firing Ranges, Babina Military Station from 18 November 2018. Company sized contingents of the 5th Army of the Russian Federation and a Mechanised Infantry Battalion of Republic of India will participate in the training exercise spanning for eleven days including induction and de-induction of the Russian contingent. The training will be supervised by a joint directing panel comprising of senior officials of both the national contingents.

India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index [01 Nov 2018]

India jumped 23 ranks in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2018 to 77. In the 2017 report, the country was ranked 100. The Index ranks 190 countries based on 10 indicators across the life-cycle of a business, from “starting a business” to “resolving insolvency.”

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters [01 Nov 2018]

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.The Agreement will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation between India and Morocco in investigation and prosecution of crime, tracing, restraint, forfeiture or confiscation or proceeds and instruments of crime. It aims to increase effectiveness in investigation and prosecution of crime, and in providing the necessary peaceful ambience which is a pre-requisite for the development of society as a whole. It will further be instrumental in gaining better inputs and insights in the modus operandi of organized criminals and terrorists, which in turn can be used to fine-tune policy decisions in the field of Internal Security.

Cabinet approves renaming of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha as “Veer Surendra Sai Airport" [01 Nov 2018]

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved renaming of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha as "Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda".Veer Surendra Sai is a well-known freedom fighter of Odisha. Renaming of the Jharsuguda airport in his name will fulfill long-pending demand of the Odisha Government, which reflects the sentiments of the local public of the respective area.

Indo - Japan joint military exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN 2018 [01 Nov 2018]

Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN - 2018, a joint military exercise between Indian & Japanese Armies, commenced at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengete, Mizoram, India on 01 November 2018. The Japanese contingent is being represented by 32nd Infantry Battalion, while the Indian side is being represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles. Approximately one platoon strength each of both the battalions is participating in this exercise.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 'The Statue of Unity' in honour of Sardar Patel [31 Oct 2018]

The Statue of Unity, a 182-metre giant structure built in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, has been inaugrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The imposing monument, touted as the world's tallest statue, is twice the height of Statue of Liberty and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river.

Turkey unveils world's largest airport in Istanbul [30 Oct 2018]

Istanbul’s new airport, designed to become the biggest airport in the world, was officially opened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Istanbul Airport ultimately will have the capacity to handle 200m passengers a year via six runways, four terminals and 233 aircraft parking positions. The mega-project is being launched in four phases and is scheduled for completion in 2028.

Sri Lanka’s ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Prime Minister [26 Oct 2018]

President Maithripala Sirisena pulled his faction out of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition. Within hours, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as Prime Minister. The startling developments marked the collapse of the country’s first national unity government with Mr. Sirisena joining hands again with the leader he ousted in 2015.

Mumbai wins Vijay Hazare trophy [21 Oct 2018]

Mumbai clinched the National one-day title Vijay Hazare Trophy after a gap of 11 years with a four wicket victory over Delhi at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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