Daily Current Affairs - 21st Jan 2018

63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018

  • The 63rd Jio Filmfare Award held Mumbai, recognised and awarded the best works in film from the year 2017. Vidya Balan won her career's sixth Filmfare award for her passionate portrayal of a middle-aged homemaker who turns into a radio jockey in 'Tumhari Sulu'.
  • List of winners of 63rd Filmfare Awards 2018:
  • Category- Winner
  • Best Film- Hindi Medium
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)-Vidya Balan for 'Tumhari Sulu'
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)-Irrfan Khan for 'Hindi Medium'
  • Best Director-Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari for 'Bareilly Ki Barfi'
  • Best Short Film (Fiction)-'Juice'

Centre launches initiative to make 100 websites accessible to persons with disabilities

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched Website Accessibility Project to make 100 websites various State Governments/UTs accessible to persons with disabilities (Divyangjans) under Accessible India Campaign. It was launched by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’.
  • The Department of Divyangjan had initiated ‘Website Accessibility Project’ for State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) to make total 917 websites accessible. The accessible websites are those into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with web and also contribute to web.
  • Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is nationwide campaign that aims to make barrier free environment for persons with disabilities all over the country for safe, dignified life of Persons with Disabilities.

Centre to declare 2018 as ‘national year of millets’

  • Government has approved 2018 as National Year of Millets to boost production of the nutrient-rich millets and the sunrise agri industry involved in it. Earlier in November 2017, India had forwarded proposal to United Nations (UN) for declaring year 2018 as ‘International Year of Millets’.
  • This decision has been taken following a request by Karnataka, which is the country’s leader in the millet sector.
  • Observation of Year of Millets will help in promotion of production and consumption of millets will substantially contribute in fight against targeted hunger and mitigate effect of climate change in long run. Popularizing millets will also benefit future generations of farmers as well as consumers.

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).
  • The 1st IISF was held at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) New Delhi in December, 2015. The mega S&T expo attracted more than 3 lakh people. India had also set a Guinness Book of World Records, when 2000 school students performed two experiments at the Festival.
  • The second Festival at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi in December 2016 showcased Indian achievements in various fields of science and technology. The third in the series was held in October 2017 in Chennai.

Government launches National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal

  • The Union Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs (MCA) Shri Arun Jaitley has launched National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal for bringing accountability and transparency for corporate India.
  • The portals aim to provide easy accessibility to general public and also ensure high level of compliance. It will also help in institutionalizing and consolidating the CSR activities.
  • The portal will capture information on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities carried out by eligible companies, filed on MCA21 registry in their financial statements. It will contain all filed information that can help to generate pre-defined reports with respect to expenditure across states, districts and development sectors.
  • These portals are expected to bring 100% transparency in corporate governance by making public over 4-crore filings of nearly 1.2 million companies. They will also promote corporate transparency and accountability to public at large.

Govt launches liveability index to rate 116 Indian cities

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Liveability index to rate 116 Indian cities. The tool seeks to measure the quality of life in 99 smart cities, capital cities and those with a population of over one million.
  • It will assess cities on comprehensive set of 79 parameters. Marks scored will decide the quantum of incentive. These 79 parameters (57 core indicators and 22 supporting indicators) are based on four broad pillars: physical (weightage 45%), institutional (25%), social (25%) and economic (5%).
  • IPSOS Research Private Limited in alliance with Athena Infonomics India Private Limited and Economist Group Limited were selected for assessing the liveability indices in 116 cities. They were selected through an international bidding process under World Bank-funded Capacity Building for Urban Development (CBUD) program.

India Defeats Pakistan to Win Blind Cricket World Cup 2018

  • India beat Pakistan by two wickets to win the Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 for the second time at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the UAE. Pakistan had set India a target of 308 runs at a loss of eight wickets in their allotted 40 overs after they were put into bat.
  • India conquered the modest target in the 39th over, with two balls to spare and eight wickets lost. For his brilliant all-round performance, Sunil Ramesh was declared the man of the match.
  • This was the fourth edition of the 40-over Blind Cricket World Cup competition and the arch-rivals were facing each other third time in the final. In 2006, Pakistan had defeated India to lift the trophy in Islamabad.
  • The inaugural World Cup in 1998 was won by South Africa who defeated Pakistan in New Delhi to become the first blind cricket world champion.
  • Captain of Indian Team : Ajay Kumar Reddy

India’s First Automatic Early Warning Dissemination System to come up in Odisha

  • India’s first automatic Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) will be commissioned by March 2018 in Odisha. The project aims to establish fool-proof communication system to address existing gaps in disseminating disaster warning up to community level.
  • The EWDS is a first of its kind automatic public address system in the country. It will help the State to warn a vast population residing along its coast from the State headquarters through loud sirens from towers installed at 122 locations in the event of occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or cyclone.
  • The project is being implemented under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project with World Bank’s help.

Maharashtra approves Nanaji Deshmukh Krishi Sanjivani Yojna to promote climate-resilient agriculture

  • Maharashtra Government has approved Nanaji Deshmukh Krishi Sanjivani Yojna, a Rs.4,000-crore project aimed at promoting climate-resilient agriculture. It will be roll out in 2018-19 and continue till 2023-24. The Scheme has been named after social activist Nanaji Deshmukh who has worked in fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance, and has been honored with Padma Vibhushan.
  • Objectives of the project will be to improve soil quality, develop foodgrain varieties
  • which can sustain climate variations and effect necessary changes in the crop pattern as per the availability of water in a particular region.
  • The scheme would cover small and medium scale farmers, who are more vulnerable to the impact of climate change. About 70 percent of the project’s cost will be borne by the World Bank while the state will contribute 30 percent over six years. The project will roll out in the upcoming financial year.

Mauritius largest source of FDI in India, says RBI

  • According to Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies 2016-17 released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mauritius was largest source of foreign investment (FDI) in India .
  • The census yields carry comprehensive information on market value of foreign liabilities and assets of Indian companies arising on account of FDI,overseas direct investment ( ODI) and other investments.
  • Mauritius was largest source of FDI in India (21.8% share at market value) followed by USA, UK, Singapore and Japan. Singapore (19.7%) was major ODI destination, followed by Netherlands, Mauritius, and US.
  • The manufacturing sector accounted for nearly half of total FDI at market prices, information and communication services (ICTS) and financial and insurance activities were other major sectors that attracted FDI.
  • Mauritius Capital : Port Louis
  • Mauritius Currency : Mauritian rupee

MEITY launches Cyber Surakshit Bharat to strengthen Cybersecurity

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative to strengthen cybersecurity ecosystem in India in line Government’s vision for a ‘Digital India’. It was launched in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat is first public-private partnership of its kind. It will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity. The founding partners include leading IT companies such as Microsoft, Intel, WIPRO, Redhat and Dimension Data. Its knowledge partners include Cert-In, NIC, NASSCOM and FIDO Alliance and premier consultancy firms Deloitte and EY.
  • It will be operated on three principles of awareness, education and enablement. It will include an awareness program on importance of cyber security. It will also include a series of workshops on the best practices and enablement of the officials with cybersecurity health tool kits to manage and mitigate cyber threats.

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.
  • BS-VI-compliant S Class can run on BS-IV fuel, which will bring down NOx emissions by 68% and PM by 82%. This will lower the CO2 burden by 13% and fuel demand by 10%.
  • The Union Government in October 2016 had decided to skip one stage and migrate to BS-VI directly from BS-IV from April 2020 to fight the growing pollution. At present, all new vehicles being registered are BS- IV-emission compliant. By switching to BS-VI, India will join league of US, Japan and European Union, which follow Euro Stage VI emission norms.

ONGC acquires 51 per cent share of the Government in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation.

  • Union Government has entered into an agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited for the strategic sale of its 51.11 per cent equity share-holding in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation limited for 36,915 crore rupees.
  • Through this acquisition, ONGC will become India's first vertically integrated oil major company, having presence across the entire value chain. The integrated entity will have advantage of having enhanced capacity to bear higher risks, take higher investment decisions and neutralizing the impact of volatility of global crude oil prices.
  • Through this economic consolidation, HPCL will join as a member of an integrated oil and gas major group. This will help it in further leveraging synergy at various levels of vertical value chains and look for economic consolidation within and outside the Group. However, HPCL will continue to be a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
  • ONGC CMD: Shashi Shanker
  • HPCL CMD : Mukesh Kumar Surana

States pledge to galvanise behaviour change efforts to ensure ODF India in 2019

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation organized a two-day National Consultation on Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in Gurugram, Haryana.
  • With the SBM entering its pre-final year of implementation, the States shared their plans on achieving an Open Defecation Free status in 2018, with a strong focus on behaviour change communication, delivered through a mixture of targeted inter-personal communication and mass communication.
  • The Ministry also held special sessions on resolving issues faced by the States on a case-to-case basis, with a special focus on the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.

Sudeep Lakhtakia appointed new DG of National Security Guard

  • Senior IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of the 'black cats' commando force NSG.
  • He will succeeded SP Singh, who retired from the post. Lakhtakia is a 1984-batch IPS officer of Telangana cadre. He is currently serving as special DG of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • NSG is a Federal Contingency Deployment Force under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was raised in 1984, with a view to protect states against internal disturbances and terrorism. It is not categorised under uniform nomenclature of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

TRAI recommends allowing mobile services during air travel

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended allowing mobile telephony and Internet services for passengers during air travel in country through both satellite and terrestrial network.
  • Both Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace. The MCA services should be permitted with minimum 3000 meters height restriction in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks.
  • TRAI is an independent regulator of telecommunications business in India. It was established in 1997 through Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. Its mandate is to regulate telecom services and deliver fair and transparent environment for fair competition in telecom market. TRAI also fixes or revises the tariffs for telecom services in India.
  • TRAI Chairman: R.S.Sharma

WCD Ministry felicitates 112 exceptional women achievers

  • The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi felicitated 112 exceptional women achievers in New Delhi.
  • These women achievers ‘FIRST LADIES’ are those who are first to set a milestone in their respective fields like the first female Merchant Navy Captain, first train driver of passenger train, first female fire fighter, first female bus driver, first Indian woman to reach Antarctica among others.
  • The Ministry had collaborated with Facebook in 2015 to recognise '100 Women Achievers' who have excelled in diverse sectors of public work.
  • Some of the First Ladies are--
  • Bachendri Pal - First Indian woman to reach the Mount Everest summit
  • Deepa Malik - First woman to win a medal at the Paralympics
  • PriyaJhingan - First Lady Cadet to join Indian Army
  • P.V Sindhu - First Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal
  • Ayesha Aziz - The youngest pilot in India and the first female pilot from Kashmir
  • Nicole Faria - First Indian woman to win the Miss Earth title
  • Radhika Menon -India’s first female Merchant Navy Captain
  • KarnamMalleswari - First Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic medal
  • Surekha Yadav - First Indian Woman train driver of passenger train
  • AnshuJamsenpa - First Indian woman to scale Mt. Everest for fifth time