Daily Current Affairs - 31st Jan 2018

Allahabad HC judge to be impeached

  • Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has recommended the impeachment of Justice Shri Narayan Shukla, the eighth senior-most judge of the Allahabad High Court, following an adverse report about him by an in-house panel. The CJI has set the process in motion with a letter to the Prime Minister for the impeachment of the judge.
  • His orders in the cases of blacklisted private medical colleges in Lucknow had come under the scanner of the CJI Bench last year. After an inquiry, it was found that he had made handwritten corrections to an order passed by his own bench, so as to allow a medical college in Lucknow permission to take admissions.
  • When the impeachment motion is moved in Parliament, an investigation is conducted. If the findings of guilt are confirmed, the impeachment motion will be put to vote for the removal of the judge by a majority.

Argentina freezes government salaries to cut spending

  • Argentina President said that the government employees in Argentina won't receive pay raises this year as part of a string of measures aimed at cutting spending.
  • The president also announced the elimination of 1,000 "political positions" and the firing of family members appointed as advisers by government ministers. The measure is expected to save the government about $75 million.
  • The government's austerity move comes just as Argentines are facing increases in fuel, utilities and transportation costs.
  • Argentina
  • President Mauricio Macri
  • Capital:Buenos Aires
  • Currency: Argentine peso

Hyundai Motor to unveil first electric vehicle in India in 2019

  • South Korean auto maker Hyundai, which has set a roadmap to introduce nine models in India over the next three years, will be driving in its first electric vehicle (EV) into the country in 2019. The company will also roll out a small car before Diwali this year and a compact SUV in 2019.
  • The company, which will be investing Rs. 5,500 crore to fund the product pipeline, will also be debuting its AMT (automated manual transmission) technology this year.

India ranks sixth in the list of wealthiest countries

  • According to a report by New World Wealth, India has been ranked sixth in the list of wealthiest countries with total wealth of 8,230 billion US dollars, while the United States topped the chart.
  • India was the best performing wealth market globally in 2017 as its total wealth swelled from 6,584 billion dollars in 2016 to 8,230 billion dollars in 2017, registering a 25 per cent growth.
  • The United States total wealth held in 2017 amounted to 64,584 billion dollars, followed by China at the second place with 24,803 billion dollars and Japan with 19,522 billion dollars at third.
  • Total wealth, refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets. It however, excludes government funds from its figures.

Indian Open Boxing Tournament: Shiva, Mary Kom enter semis

  • At the India Open international boxing championship in New Delhi, home favourite Mary Kom made it to the last four stage in the 49 kg category and will next face a Mongolian rival.
  • L Sarita Devi sailed into the semi-finals in 60 kg section and will meet compatriot Priyanka Choudhary. Saweety Boora and Alari Boro made the semi-finals in the 75 kg division.
  • Among the men who have advanced to the last four stage are world bronze medallist Shiv Thapa (60 kg), Manoj Kumar (69 kg), K Shyam Kumar (49 kg), Satish Kumar Plus 91 kg, and Asian youth silver medallist Ankush Dahiya in the 60 kg category.

Indian, Vietnamese armies hold first military exercise

  • The armies of India and Vietnam began a six day-long military exercise christened 'VINBAX' in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. It is the first military exercise between the two countries that will continue for six days. Both countries have been exploring ways to strengthen defence cooperation.
  • Defence ties between India and Vietnam have been on an upswing with the primary focus being cooperation in the maritime domain.
  • India and Vietnam had signed a protocol on defence cooperation in 1994. The partnership was thereafter elevated to strategic level in 2007 and a pact on boosting bilateral defence cooperation was signed in 2009.
  • The strategic partnership was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in September 2016.
  • Vietnam:
  • Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc
  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Currency: Vietnamese dong

Journalists celebrate 238th anniversary of India's first newspaper

  • Journalists and social activists celebrated Hicky's Day paying tributes to the fighter-journalist James Augustus Hicky who launched India's first newspaper, Hicky's Bengal Gazette, on January 29, 1780. The first newspaper printed in Asia, it was published for two years, before the East India Company seized the newspaper's types and printing press.
  • The newspaper became famous not only among the British soldiers posted in India at that time but also inspired Indians to write newspapers of their own.
  • Hicky's editorial independence was short lived as he accused British leaders in Calcutta of corruption, which also included the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at Fort William, and the leader of the Protestant Mission. After four dramatic trials in June 1781, the Supreme Court found Hicky guilty and sentenced him to jail.
  • Augustus Hicky, the founder of journalism in India

NGT issues notice to Centre on plea against diversion of Ganga

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Ministry of Environment and Forest among other authorities on a plea seeking an adequate flow of water in the Ganga.
  • A bench headed by NGT acting chairperson sought replies from the authorities, including the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ministry of Water Resources and the Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.
  • In the petition filed with NGT, it was alleged that a substantial flow of the Ganga was being diverted at Pashulok Barrage in Dehradun to a side canal for a hydroelectric power plant.
  • The petitioner sought a direction from the court to ensure a minimum flow in the Ganga to maintain wildlife and river ecology.
  • NGT acting chairperson: U.D. Salvi

NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul wins global award

  • NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul was awarded the Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize by the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr Paul, a former professor at AIIMS, Delhi, is the first Indian to win the award that recognises work in the field of family health.
  • The WHO Board resolution recognises Dr Paul as an internationally renowned researcher, clinician, educator and public health advocate in the area of family health.
  • WHO:
  • Director-General: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Olympic boost for Keshavan

  • Shiva Keshavan, only professional luger from India set to compete in his sixth Olympics will be supported by Hero Electronix and Hero FinCorp. Shiva, who will be competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, scheduled in Korea from February 9, had won the gold in the recent Asian luge championships in Alternberg, Germany, with a time of 55.60 seconds.
  • Luge is a winter sport featured at the Winter Olympic Games where a competitor or two-person team rides a flat sled while lying supine (face up) and feet first. The sport is usually contested on a specially designed ice track that allows gravity to increase the sled's speed

Outstanding MP award 2013-17: Bhartruhari Mahatab, Ghulam Nabi, Dinesh Trivedi on winners' list

  • The Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) announced that BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab will be conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2017. TMC's Lok Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi would get the award for 2016 and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad would get it for 2015.
  • Former Rajya Sabha member Najma Heptulla gets the award for 2013 and Lok Sabha member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav for 2014.
  • The names were shortlisted by an award committee headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP veteran L K Advani and some other members.
  • The awardees were selected on the basis of their experience, debating skills, awareness of issues and the depth with which issues were raised. The committee also considered the member's observance of the rules of procedure, maintenance of dignity and contribution in parliamentary committees among others.

Pakistan extends Thar Link Express for 3 years

  • The Government of Pakistan has agreed to extend the agreement of the Rail link between Munabao, Rajasthan (India) – Khokhrapar (Pakistan) for another three years from 1 February 2018 to 31 January 2021. The weekly train connects Jodhpur and the bordering region of Rajasthan with the province of Sindh in Pakistan.
  • The agreement to run the Thar Link Express was signed in 2006 and is one of the cheapest means of transport between the two rival countries. “The rail link facilitates people-to-people contacts which Pakistan believes are essential for improving relations between both the countries.

President Kovind approves Bill to hike judges’ salary

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval to a Bill that will more than double the salaries of Supreme Court and High Court judges. In the Winter Session of Parliament, the Bill to increase salaries of judges was passed.
  • Now the Chief Justice of India will draw a monthly salary of Rs. 2.8 lakh, up from the current Rs. 1 lakh. Other judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts will draw a monthly salary of Rs. 2.5 lakh, a jump from the current Rs. 90,000.

Rajasthan gives 1% quota to Most Backward Classes

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan has issued orders for granting 1% reservation to the Most Backward Classes, comprising Gujjars and four other nomadic communities, within the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court.
  • The overall reservation in the State stood at 49% before the decision. Along with Gujjars, nomadic communities Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya were included among the Other Backward Classes for quota in the government jobs and educational institutions.
  • Though Gujjars have been demanding sub-categorisation of OBC quota for extending the benefit to them.

Russia to send home all North Korean migrant workers by 2019

  • Russia will send home all migrant workers from North Korea by the end of 2019 to comply with sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. As countries are required to send all North Korean workers home within two years under the sanctions imposed on December 22 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
  • Russia: Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area and the ninth most populous nation, with over 144 million people at the end of March 2016.
  • President: Vladimir Putin
  • Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev
  • Capital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian ruble or rouble

SBI to provide credit cards to farmers

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a pilot scheme on credit cards for farmers, which extends facilities like lower interest rate besides the normal 40 days’ credit available for credit card users.
  • This facility on a pilot basis will be implemented in three States — Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kisan Credit Card scheme was like a debit card for the farmers, the new one would enable them to purchase farm-related items besides some consumer goods
  • SBI, Chairman: Rajnish Kumar.

Table Tennis: Sharath Kamal lifts National Men's singles title for the eighth time

  • Sharath Kamal has lifted the National men's singles title for the eighth time, equalling the feat of Kamlesh Mehta. In the final at the Senior Table Tennis Nationals in Ranchi, he defeated top-seed Anthony Amalraj 4-1.
  • Suthirta Mukherjee from West Bengal emerged the new women champion, beating Hyderabad Nationals winner Manika Batra 4-3.

Tripura CM Manik Sarkar's Election Affidavit Claims he never Filed I-T Returns

  • Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is running for the fifth consecutive term, has Rs 3,930 and has never filed any income tax return, states an election affidavit submitted by him while filing his nomination paper. He donates his entire salary to the CPI(M) and gets Rs 5,000 from the party as subsistence allowances.
  • Till date, the CM has never filed an income tax return, as his earning is too less to be taxed by the government. The 69-year-old leader has Rs 1,520 in hand and Rs 2,410 in his account in a nationalised bank.
  • Sarkar is also one of the longest serving CMs of India. In 1998, he became the CM of the state for the first time. Since then, for the last 20 years, he is heading the Left government in Tripura.

Under-19 World Cup: India to face Australia in the final

  • India has stormed into the final of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup with a stunning 203-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final at Christchurch in New Zealand. India bundled out their arch-rivals for just 69 in Christchurch after they were held to 9-272 from their 50 overs.
  • Man of the match Shubman Gill hit a century with his unbeaten 102. Paceman Ishan Porel bagged 4 wickets.
  • India will face Australia in the summit clash at Mount Maunganui on Saturday. Australia defeated Afghanistan by 6 wickets in the other semi-final.