Daily Current Affairs - 25th Jan 2019

25th January: National Voters Day

  • 25 January is celebrated every year as National Voters Day to spread awareness about the necessity of voting and to encourage young generation towards the voting rights. National Voters Day Theme 2019 is “No Voter to be left behind”. This is the ninth year of celebrating National Voters Day.
  • 25th January is the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI) which came into existence in 1950. This day was first celebrated in 2011 to encourage as much as young voters to take part in the electoral process. Earlier the eligibility age of the voter was 21 years but in 1988 it was lowered to 18 years.

Botha announces immediate retirement from all forms of Cricket

  • Former South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha has announced his immediate retirement from all forms of Cricket.
  • Botha played for South Africa in five test matches, 78 one-day internationals and 40 T20 Internationals from 2005 to 2012.
  • Botha captained the Proteas in 10 ODIs and took the team to the No. 1 ranking after they defeated Australia 4-1 in Australia in 2009.

Bureau of Indian Standards in Collaboration with Indian Air Force Releases New Standard for Bio-Jet Fuel

  • To use bio-jet fuel on all military and civilian aircraft, BIS has in collaboration with IAF, research organisations and the industry brought out a new standard for Aviation Turbine Fuels. These specifications will align Indian standards with current international standards.
  • A committee constituted with domain experts was tasked to originate the required standards. After a series of deliberations over the past nine months, an Indian Standard IS 17081:2019 Aviation Turbine Fuel (Kerosene Type, Jet A-1) containing Synthesised Hydrocarbons, has been formulated.

China clones five gene-edited monkeys

  • Scientists in China have cloned five monkeys for human disease research. The research team edited genes of monkeys to induce several human diseases like Alzheimer's claiming that it would help in medical research.
  • This experiment may likely to raise fresh ethical concerns about gene-editing. As per the media reports, this is the first-time multiple clones had been made from a gene-edited monkey for biomedical research.
  • Previously, mice and flies were widely used for the research of such diseases, but these animal models differ greatly from human beings in terms of activity routines, brain structure and metabolic rate.

CoA of BCCI lifts suspensions on Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul

  • Committee of Administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has lifted the suspension on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.
  • Both were suspended from the Indian team for their controversial remarks on women on a TV show.
  • BCCI has also confirmed that Pandya will join the Indian team for the New Zealand series while Rahul will join the India ‘A’ Squad that is currently playing a series of one-day matches against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram.

DRDO launches long range surface to air missile off Odisha coast

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) from naval warship INS Chennai.The test was conducted off the coast of Odisha. The LR-SAM hit a low flying aerial target during the test.
  • DRDO Chairman: G. Satheesh Reddy

Global Investors summit held in Chennai

  • Tamil Nadu Government organised the 2nd edition of Global Investor summit in Chennai. The state government would soon unveil e-vehicle policy to give a boost to electric vehicles manufacturing in the state.
  • In the opening ceremony, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the chief guest. She assured the Centre’s fullest cooperation to the state in its march towards progress. Tamil Nadu government has allocated nearly Rs 75 crores to conduct the event.

IAFTX 2019: India Africa field training exercise held in Pune

  • The final planning conference to work out the modalities for Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 was conducted at Pune, Maharashtra. Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger and Zambia attended the conference.
  • The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries and India. It aims at synergysing humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations. The initial planning conference for the exercise was held in December 2018.

India’s Growth to Accelerate From 7.4% to 7.6% in FY20: UN Report

  • With robust private consumption and 7.4% GDP growth rate in the current fiscal, the Indian economy is expected to accelerate at a rate of 7.6% in 2019-20, according to a report by the United Nations titled United Nations’ World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019. As per the report, the world trade growth moderated over the course of 2018 to 3.8% from growth of 5.3% in 2017.

IndiGo appoints Ronojoy Dutta as new CEO

  • IndiGo owner Inter Globe Aviation has appointed Ronojoy Dutta as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company with immediate effect. The company has also approved the appointment of Meleveetil Damodaran, the Independent Non-Executive Director, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company.
  • Ronojoy Dutta will remain as the company CEO for the next five years. Ronojoy Dutta, 67, has done BS Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and MBA from Harvard Business School. He was a co-founder and Managing Director of ACO Investment, renowned investment advisory firm in the field of aviation and infrastructure.

PM Modi launched Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which a group of Indian diasporas will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.
  • The first batch of 40 Indian-origin people are at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and from here they will begin their tour. They will be taken to religious places of all major religions in India and the government will bear all the expenses including the airfare from their country of residence.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist Russell Baker passes away

  • Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program “Masterpiece Theatre,” passed away in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.
  • Baker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1979. It was the first Pulitzer for commentary awarded to a humorist.

Ravneet Gill To Replace Rana Kapoor as Yes Bank MD and CEO

  • Yes Bank has appointed veteran banker Ravneet Singh Gill as its new MD & CEO and the lender has also received the RBI’s approval for the same.He will join the bank on or before March 1, 2019.
  • Mr Gill is currently the chief Deutsche Bank’s India operations. Gill joined Deutsche Bank in 1991 and has worked across different businesses including corporate banking, capital markets and wealth management.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launches new reforms, guidelines to strengthen Jan Shikshan Santhans (JSS)

  • In a bid to boost skill training and entrepreneurship in the remotest corners of the country, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MSDE) announced comprehensive reforms for Jan ShikshanSansthan (JSS), to further strengthen the skills ecosystem benefiting those in the underprivileged sections of society.
  • Jan ShikshanSansthan (JSS) has been instrumental in skill training and introducing avenues of entrepreneurship among the socio-economically backward and educationally disadvantaged groups such as neo-literates, semi-literates, SCs, STs, women and girls, slum dwellers, migrant workers.

Telangana to set up ‘Save Tiger Protection Force’

  • The Telangana government has decided to form a ‘State Tiger Protection Force’ to save the Big Cat population in the State. The State Forest Protection Committee headed by Chief Secretary S K Joshi took the decision to form the STPF. The 112-member-armed STPF will be headed by an Assistant Conservator of Forests to protect the tiger population in Amarabad and Kawal Tiger Reserves.
  • The State and Central government will share the cost of the force on 40:60 basis. Fund amount of 2.25 Cr was also sanctioned to protect the tigers and to prevent forest fire accidents. The Committee decided to act tough against those felling forest trees and committing other related crimes.

US orders non-emergency embassy staff to leave Venezuela

  • The United States has ordered its non-emergency embassy staff to leave Venezuela but refused to comply with a full expulsion demanded by Nicolas Maduro.
  • Maduro gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country after President Donald Trump, backed by major Latin American nations refused to recognise him as Venezuela's legitimate president and instead recognised Juan Guaido, the opposition head of the National Assembly.

Womens cricket: India thrash New Zealand by 9 wickets

  • In Cricket, Smriti Mandhana scored a fine 105 and Jemima Rodrigues remained unbeaten on 81 as the Indian Women's team thrashed New Zealand by nine wickets in the first One-day International at Napier.
  • Mandhana and Rodrigues stitched together the highest ever opening wicket stand against New Zealand, a 190-run partnership that stood for 32.2 overs.