Current Affairs 2019

Arunima Sinha becomes world’s first woman amputee to scale Mount Vinson [04 Jan 2019]

Arunima Sinha, the Indian mountaineer who became the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, has now become the first woman amputee to climb Mount Vinson (highest peak of Antarctica).

Eminent witer Manoj Das honoured [03 Jan 2019]

Eminent English and Odia writer Manoj Das received the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, instituted by the Berhampur University. During the 53rd foundation day ceremony.

Praveen Kumar takes oath as Andhra HC acting CJ [03 Jan 2019]

Justice Chagari Praveen Kumar, senior-most Judge of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, took charge as acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court. The court had been established consequent to the bifurcation of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad.

RBI sets up panel under ex-Sebi chief U K Sinha to suggest measures for MSMEs [03 Jan 2019]

The Reserve Bank of India set up an expert committee under former Sebi chairman U K Sinha to suggest long-term solutions for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSME sector. The RBI has announced the panel a day after it allowed a one-time restructuring of existing debt up to Rs 25 crore for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which have defaulted on payment but the loans given to them have continued to be classified as standard assets. The eight-member committee will also examine the factors affecting the timely and adequate availability of finance to the sector, the RBI said in a statement.

HDFC MF regains top spot in mutual fund industry [03 Jan 2019]

HDFC mutual fund has regained its number 1 spot in the Indian mutual fund industry by racing ahead of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund. For the quarter ending December 2018, HDFC AMCs average assets under management stood at Rs 3.35 lakh crore, ahead of ICICI Prudential Mutual Rs 3.08 lakh crore. Over the last one year, HDFC MFs assets under management have grown 16% from Rs 2.89 lakh crore.

Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Morocco on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security [02 Jan 2019]

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security. The MoU was signed on 25th September 2018. The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco. Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the Cyber Security sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco in the field of Cyber Security.

Cabinet approves first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking with amalgamation of Vijaya, Dena and Bank of Baroda [02 Jan 2019]

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the scheme of amalgamation for amalgamating Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks. The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with the amalgamated bank being India's second largest Public Sector Bank.The amalgamation will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies. Leveraging of networks, low-cost deposits and subsidiaries of the three banks has the potential of yielding significant synergies for positioning the consolidated entity for substantial rise in customer base, market reach, operational efficiency, wider bouquet of products and services, and improved access for customers. This will come in to force from 1st April 2019.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav takes charge as new Chairman, Railway Board [02 Jan 2019]

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, IRSEE (1980 Batch), has taken over as Chairman, Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Govt. of India. The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav as Chairman Railway Board on superannuation of Shri Ashwani Lohani.

ISRO launches Samwad with Students on New Year Day [01 Jan 2019]

As part of the enhanced outreach programme of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a new platform named “Samwad with Students” (SwS) was launched in Bengaluru. Through the SwS initiative, ISRO aims to constantly engage youngsters across India to capture their scientific temperament. The new conversation mission will inspire students cutting across schools and colleges. The first SwS event saw 40 wards and 10 teachers from select schools interact with ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan at the Anthariksh Bhavan. During the three-hour stay at ISRO HQ, the students were first briefed about Indian space programme and their benefits to the common man.

T. B. Radhakrishnan takes charge as first Chief Justice of Telangana High Court [01 Jan 2019]

Thottathil B Radhakrishnan took over as the first Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court, which came into existence on the first day of 2019. Mr. Radhakrishnan was administered the oath of office by Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana E S L Narasimhan at the Raj Bhavan.

PM Modi renames 3 Andaman & Nicobar islands as tribute to Netaji [30 Dec 2018]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose.

Pakistani activist Asma Jahangir wins UN Human Rights Prize for 2018 [19 Dec 2018]

Late Pakistan lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir has been awarded the UN Human Rights Prize for 2018. Her daughter Munizae Jahangir received the prestigious award on behalf of her mother. Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the quinquennial prize in October. Other winners included women’s rights activist in Tanzania, Rebeca Gyumi; activist for the rights of indigenous Brazilian communities Joenia Wapichana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders.

Philippines contestant Catriona Gray named Miss Universe [17 Dec 2018]

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 in a competition concluding in Bangkok. The 24-year-old Ms. Gray wore a sparkling red dress she said is inspired by a volcano in the Philippines as she was handed the crown to the delight of a roaring crowd that generally favoured Southeast Asian contestants.

Kamal Nath sworn in as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister [17 Dec 2018]

Congress leader Kamal Nath was sworn in as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in Bhopal. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to him. Mr. Nath, who has held several portfolios in the Union Cabinet, was appointed the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president on April 26 and was at the forefront in steering the party to a win in the November 28 Assembly polls.

PV Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a World series final title [16 Dec 2018]

PV Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a World series final title. The Indian shuttler was at her best in a real humdinger of a contest against Japanese Nozomi Okuhara as she walked away with the match 21-19, 21-17.

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.

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