Daily Current Affairs - 08th Jan 2019

4th Edition of Raisina Dialogue to begin in New Delhi

  • The fourth edition of the Raisina Dialogue will begin in New Delhi. Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation is organizing the flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference.
  • The Dialogue will bring together over 600 delegates from 93 countries, including influential political leaders, strategic thinkers, policy practitioners, technology innovators, business representatives and academics.
  • The theme of the Dialogue this year is "A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”.
  • The discussions will seek to address issues arising from ongoing global transitions and changes to the world order, triggered by unique leaders, innovative partnerships and new technologies.

AAI imposes ban on single-use plastic items at 129 airports across country

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 129 airports across the country. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.
  • On the basis of a third-party assessment carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI), 16 of its airports have been declared as "Single-Use Plastic Free".
  • The QCI will complete its assessment of total 34 airports which are managed by the AAI -- by January 31.

Cabinet Approves 10% Reservation for Economically Weaker Upper Castes

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category. The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.
  • Those who have an annual salary of less than Rs. 8 lakh per year and possess less than 5 acres of land will be able to avail themselves of reservation in educational institutions and jobs.
  • The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC).
  • The government is likely to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the last working day of the winter session.
  • Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended for the implementation of the decision.

China passes law to make Islam 'compatible with socialism'

  • China has passed a new law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within the next five years, the latest move by China to rewrite how the religion is practised.
  • After a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, the Chinese government officials agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion.
  • Practising Islam has been made forbidden in parts of China, with individuals caught praying, fasting, growing a beard or wearing a hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who feel it is part of their religion, facing the threat of arrest.
  • According to the UN, more than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be held in internment camps where they are forced to denounce the religion and pledge allegiance to the officially atheist ruling Communist Party.

Complete List of Winners at 76th Golden Globe Awards

  • Complete list of winners at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards:
  • FILM
  • Drama: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, "The Wife"
  • Actor, Drama: Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Comedy or Musical: "Green Book"
  • Actor, Comedy or Musical: Christian Bale, "Vice"
  • Actress, Comedy or Musical: Olivia Colman, "The Favourite"
  • Actress-Supporting Role: Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk"
  • Actor-Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, "Green Book"
  • Foreign Language Film: "Roma"
  • Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma"
  • Screenplay: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, "Green Book"
  • Animated: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"
  • Original Score: Justin Hurwitz, "First Man"
  • Original Song: "Shallow," ''A Star Is Born"

Egypt opens West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital

  • Egypt has opened West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity and also a mosque.

France to ban participation in unauthorised protests: PM

  • French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced plans to punish people who hold unsanctioned protests after seven weeks of anti-government unrest. He also announced plans to ban known troublemakers from taking part in demonstrations.
  • People across France protested against fuel tax in November last year in which at least six people died and over 1400 injured.

Gabon coup attempt: Government says situation under control

  • The political situation in Gabon is "under control" following an attempted military coup. Soldiers in Gabon have reportedly attempted a coup and have ousted President Ali Bongo. Bongo, who has been out of the country for two months, suffered a stroke in October. His family has ruled the oil-rich central African nation for nearly half a century.
  • Gabon
  • Capital: Libreville
  • Currencies: CFA franc, Central African CFA franc

Govt. says GDP to grow at 7.2% for FY19

  • The government said that India's GDP is expected to rise to 7.2 per cent during 2018-19 compared to 6.7 per cent in the previous fiscal, because of improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors. This growth estimate for the entire year is slower than the Reserve Bank of India’s forecast of 7.4%.
  • The growth in the agriculture sector would be 3.8% in 2018-19, faster than the 3.4% in the previous year. The manufacturing sector is estimated to grow at 8.3% in 2018-19 compared with 5.7% in 2017-18.
  • The transport and communications services sector is expected to grow at 6.9% in 2018-19, down from 8% in the previous year.
  • The financial services sector is set to grow at 6.8% in 2018-19 from 6.6% in 2017-18.

HDFC arm Gruh Finance to merge with Bandhan Bank

  • Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of mortgage lender HDFC, will be merged with Bandhan Bank, the newest commercial bank. The move would help the latter to cut promoter stake from 82.3% to 61%. The combined entity is valued at Rs. 84,000 crore. Post the deal, HDFC will have 14.9% stake in Bandhan Bank.
  • Post-merger, Bandhan Bank’s loan book’s assets under management will be Rs. 50,036 crore. Loan book will consist of micro loans (58%), retail home loans (28%) and other loans (14%).
  • The combined distribution network would comprise 4,182 banking outlets and 476 ATMs across India.
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh
  • MD & CEO of Bandhan Bank Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

HRD introduces 70-point grading index to assess quality of school education in states

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development has introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states. As this will give the correct picture of where every state stands and there will be a fair competition to improve each other's performances.

India born Gita Gopinath joins IMF as Chief Economist

  • India born Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund as its chief economist. She was the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. Gopinath succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Obstfeld retired on December the 31st.

India creat history, win first ever Test series in Australia

  • India created history by winning their first ever Cricket Test series on Australian soil after beating the home team 2-1 as the fourth and final Test ended in a tame draw due to inclement weather.
  • India scored 622 for 7 in their first innings and then bowled out Australia for 300 thereby enforcing the follow-on.
  • It is the first time India managed the feat since they began touring Australia in 1947-48. Consequently, Virat Kohli became the first Indian as well as the first Asian captain to win a Test series in Australia.
  • Cheteshwar Pujara was declared man of the match as well as man-of-the-series.

India looking forward to next round of Annual Summit with Japan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated his strong commitment to further deepen the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan. Mr Modi said, India is looking forward to the next round of Annual Summit with Japan later this year.

India takes over operations of Chabahar port in Iran

  • India has taken over operations of the strategic Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran's southern coast. This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territory. The Government of India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, in Iran during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting held there on December 24, 2018.
  • The Chabahar port is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port located at distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.
  • The port is being considered as a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries.

Maharashtra to host 2nd edition of Khelo India Youth Games

  • Maharashtra is all set to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games which will officially begin tomorrow in Pune. More than 9000 players from different states will participate in 18 different games at Khelo India Youth Games.
  • Youth Olympic Gold Medallist in shooting Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhari, as well as weight lifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga will be among the cream of India’s youth sporting talent competing at these games.

Nishikori, Pliskova win Brisbane International titles

  • Kei Nishikori won his first ATP title beating Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the Brisbane International final. Karolina Pliskova won her second Brisbane title, beating Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 after coming within just two points of defeat.

PM Modi, President Putin discuss bilateral cooperation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephonic conversation and discussed the bilateral cooperation in the key areas including defence and counter-terrorism.
  • Both the leaders appreciated the major milestones achieved in the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in the past year.
  • Both countries will continue their close consultations in the United Nations, the BRICS, the SCO and other multilateral organizations.

S&P takes IDBI Bank ratings off CreditWatch

  • Global ratings agency S&P on Monday affirmed ‘BB’ long-term and ‘B’ short-term foreign currency issuer credit ratings on IDBI Bank, while removing them from CreditWatch, after the capital infusion from LIC.
  • The bank announced it had received Rs. 14,500 crore in fresh capital from LIC on December 28. This is part payment for LIC’s proposed acquisition of a 5% controlling stake in the bank.

SEBI takes steps to bring uniformity in commodity derivatives segment

  • With the number of exchanges offering commodity derivatives on the rise, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is making all attempts to bring uniformity among the bourses.
  • SEBI has decided to meet the chief regulatory officers (CROs) of all six exchanges that offer commodity derivatives trading once every quarter to discuss regulatory and compliance matters in order to enhance uniformity amongst the bourses.
  • Moreover, the commodity derivatives segment is quite diversified with each exchange having created a niche in a certain category of commodities.

Sheikh Hasina takes oath for third consecutive term

  • Sheikh Hasina has been sworn in as Bangladesh’s Prime Minister for a record fourth term after her Awami League registered a landslide victory in the recent election. President Md. Abdul Hamid administered the oath of office to Ms. Hasina at the Bangabhaban for a record third consecutive term. Ms. Hasina was first elected Prime Minister in 1996 and then again in 2008 and 2014.

Union Cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill, to be introduced in Lok Sabha

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the bill and it is expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha.
  • The fresh bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to grant Indian nationality to people from minority communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don't possess any proper document.

US, China hold crucial talks to ease trade war

  • China and the US held their first face-to-face negotiations in Beijing to ease a bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies. The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on more than 300 billion US dollars of each other's goods.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to step down on Feb 1

  • World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that he will step down from his position on February 1 - much before the end of his term in 2022. Kim has been in this position for over six years now.
  • Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective 1st of next month.
  • The president of the Washington-based World Bank has always been an American citizen nominated by the United States, which is the largest shareholder of this multilateral financial institution.