Cabinet approved 10 pc quota for economically weaker sections in general category

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved 10 pc quota in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in general category.

For the implementation of the quota, Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended.
About the features:

  • This would be availed by those whose annual income is below Rs 8 lakh and have up to five acres of land.
  • The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.

About Articles 15 & 16:
♦ Articles 15, 16 falls under the category of Fundamental Rights in the Part III of the Indian Constitution.
♦ Article 15 states that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Also nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provisions for women, children or any socially and educationally backward classes.
♦ Article 16 guarantees the Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment with no discrimination being done on basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth.


Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill thus providing Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Features of the Bill:

  • First introduced in Parliament in 2016,the bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955.
  • It enables grant of 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.
  • This would, however, nullify the 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971 should be deported.


Ministry of Human Resource Development introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education

The Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Shri Prakash Javadekar stated that the HRD ministry has introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states.

A state performance grading will be done wherein the states will be marked out of 1,000 scores on 70 parameters.

By doing so the ministry expects that it will give the correct picture of where every state stands and will create an atmosphere of a fair competition to improve each other’s performances.

In another move the ministry has also decided to print more books of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as against only 2 crore books two years ago.
About Ministry of Human Resource Development:
♦ Minister: Prakash Javadekar
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Shri Upendra Kushwaha
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi



Egypt opened West Asia’s largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital

Egypt opened West Asia’s largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kms away from its capital, Cairo.

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity on the eve of Coptic Christmas.

Unlike December 25, Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7, following the Coptic calendar.
♦ Capital: Cairo.
♦ Currency: Egyptian pound.


China passed law to sinicize and make Islam compatible with socialism 

China passed law to make Islam compatible with socialism and ‘sinicize’ it within next five years.

The law was passed after Chinese government officials met representatives from eight Islamic groups.
In 2018, China held over a million people of the ethnic Uighur and Muslim minorities in prison in the Xingjian region.
♦ Capital: Beijing.
♦ Currency: Renminbi.


Economy and Finance

Nepal’s central bank asked RBI to declare new Indian currency notes legal in a written plea

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Nepal’s central monetary authority, wrote to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to legalize Indian currency notes of denominations higher than Rs 100 in Nepal.

The Indian bank bills Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 which are greater than the said amount has been asked to be made legal tender in Nepal, under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The NRB said the country’s banking system, including banks, financial institutions and NRB, hold Indian currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 worth Rs 48 million.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu.
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee


GST panel headed by Dy. CM of Bihar approved Kerala levying 1% calamity cess for 2 yrs

The Group of States’ Finance Ministers (GoFM) led by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi approved levy of 1%calamity cess’ by Kerala for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state of Kerala. It will recommend the same to the GST council meeting which will be held in January 10, 2019.

The goods and services, which will attract the 1% cess, would be decided by Kerala and any other state considering to do the same would have to approach the council.

It also suggested the GST council to allow additional borrowing over the permitted limit by states hit by natural calamity.
The GST law provides for levy of special taxes for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster.


AAI banned single-use plastic items at 16 out of 34 airports in the first phase of the implementation

Airport Authority of India (AAI) banned single-use plastic items at 16 airports.

This entails air travellers not getting any single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery and plastic plates etc at passenger terminals and city side.

The 16 airports declared as single-use plastic free are: Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Trichy, Vijayawada, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Madurai, Raipur, Vizag, Pune, Kolkata and Varanasi.

Furthermore, Quality Council of India will assess/check the implementation of the ban of single-use plastic items at 34 airports handling 10 lakh passengers per annum. The assessment will be completed by January 31, 2019.
Airport Authority of India (AAI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
Ministry of Civil Aviation:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Jayanta Sinha.
♦ Secretary: Shri Rajiv Nayan Choubey.



Jasprit Bumrah finishes 2018 as the highest wicket-taker across all formats

25 years old Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah finishes 2018 as the highest international wicket-taker of 2018 with 78 wickets after taking 9 wickets in the 3rd Test Match against Australia held in Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia.

South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada ranked 2nd in the list of Highest International wicket taker of 2018 with 77 wickets.

Indian spin bowler Kuldeep Yadav along with Adeel Rashid and Rashid Khan ranked 3rd with 76 wickets in 2018.

Virat Kohli Leads India to First-Ever Test Series Win In Australia

Indian Cricket Team skipper, Virat Kohli led the country to a maiden series victory on Australian soil, ending a 71-year wait to script a golden chapter in the game’s history.

India won their first-ever Test series in Australia by a margin of 2-1 after play in the fourth and final Test in Sydney was abandoned due to rain and the match was called off as a draw.


India Became the First Asian team to win a Test series in Australia

India managed the feat for the first time since they began touring Australia in 1947-48. Besides, Virat Kohli became the first Indian as well as the first Asian captain to win a Test series in Australia.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ President: C.K. Khanna
♦ Men’s coach: Ravi Shastri
♦ Women’s coach: W.V.Raman
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
About Australia:
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Scott Morrison


Nishikori, Pliskova win Brisbane International titles

The Brisbane International 2019 was played on outdoor hard courts in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was the eleventh edition of the tournament and took place as part of the Australian Open Series in preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year. The Event Concluded on 6th January 2019.

Venue: The event took place at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Tennyson.
Results: The results of the Brisbane International 2019 are as follows:

EventWinnersRunners- up
Men’s SinglesK. Nishikori (Japan)D. Medvedev (Russia)
Women’s SinglesK. Pliskova (Czech Republic)L. Tsurenko (Ukrain)
Men’s DoublesM. Daniell  (New Zealand)
W. Koolhof (Netherland)
R. Ram (USA)
J. Salisbury (Britain)
Women’s DoublesN. Melichar (USA)
K. Peschke (Czech Republic)
H. Chan (Taiwan)
L. Chan (Taiwan)



Overview Of 76th Golden Globe Awards Held In California, United States

76th Golden Globe Awards to honour the best in films and television of calendar year 2018 was held at Beverly Hills, California in USA.

Sandra Oh won the Golden Globe award for the Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role in Killing Eve and became the first Asian to win multiple Golden Globe Awards

The Complete list of Winners – Films

Best Motion Picture – DramaBohemian Rhapsody
Best Motion Picture – Musical or ComedyGreen Book
Best Actor – DramaRami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Actress – DramaGlenn Close for “The Wife”
Best Actor – Musical or ComedyChristian Bale for “Vice”
Best Actress – Musical or ComedyOlivia Colman for “The Favourite”
Best Supporting ActorMahershala Ali for “Green Book”
Best Supporting ActressRegina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron for “Roma”
Best ScreenplayBrian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga for “Green Book”
Best Original ScoreJustin Hurwitz for “First Man”
Best Original SongShallow (A star is Born)
Best Animated Feature FilmSpider-Man: Into the Spider –Verse
Best Foreign Language FilmRoma (Mexico)


Six professors awarded Infosys Prize 2018 for science and research

The global software major’s Infosys Science Foundation awarded its 10th Infosys Prize 2018 to six eminent professors for winning across different categories of science and research at an awards ceremony in Bengaluru.

The category in which the prize were awarded along with the winners’ are-

Engineering and Computer ScienceNavakanta Bhat, Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Chairperson, Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, IISc,
HumanitiesKavita Singh, Professor and Dean, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,
Life SciencesRoop Mallik, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai,
Mathematical SciencesNalini Anantharaman, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Strasbourg, France,
Physical SciencesS.K. Satheesh, Professor, Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, and Director, Divecha Centre for Climate Change.
Social SciencesSendhil Mullainathan, University Professor, Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science, and George C. Tiao Faculty Fellow, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The winners were felicitated by the Chief Guest, Prof. Manjul Bhargava, Fields Medalist and R. Brandon Fradd, Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University.

The Infosys annual award includes a pure gold medal, a citation and a tax-free prize purse worth $100,000 (or its equivalent in Indian rupees).

The winners were selected by a six-member jury of renowned scientists and professors, namely Kaushik Basu, Pradeep Khosla, Shrinivas Kulkarni, Amartya Sen, Mriganka Sur, and Srinivasa Varadhan from 244 nominations received in six categories.
About Infosys:
♦ CEO & MD: Salil Parekh
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru


M Venkaiah Naidu conferred textiles awards in New Delhi and presented commemorative stamps on GI registered handicrafts.

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu conferred awards on 17 persons for their outstanding contribution in different fields of textiles sector during the day long ‘National Conclave on Accomplishments and Way Forward for Textiles Sector’ in New Delhi.

The national conclave which was organised to address the issues faced by textile sector was inaugurated by the Union Textiles Minister, Smriti Irani and was also addressed by the Minister of State, Ajay Tamta and Textiles Secretary,Raghvendra Singh.

During the ceremony Vice President, Shri Naidu was presented commemorative stamps on GI registered handicrafts.
About Ministry of Textiles:
♦ Minister: Smriti Irani
♦ Minister of State: Ajay Tamta
♦ Headquarters: Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi


Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society to honour Farooq Sheikh, Asha Parekh

The Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society announced that it would honour veteran actors Asha Parekh and Farooque Shaikhat the event on January 8, 2019, commemorating 52nd death anniversary of the renowned filmmaker.

Other awards will also be presented to directors Ananth Mahadevan and Amit Rai along with their actors Paresh Rawal and Jackie Shroff for their contribution.

The organisation was instituted 22 years ago in memory of the late filmmaker. Its aim is to reward unsung heroes of the film industry.

The memorial society is preserving and restoring Roy’s film library along with other personal memorabilia such as songbooks, posters, stills, costumes, screenplays with the help of experts.


‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’: mobile app to help people navigate through Prayagraj city during Kumbh Mela launched by NCR

Te North Central Railway, (NCR) launched a mobile application the ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’ to help navigate the attendees of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj city from January 15- March 4, 2019.

It will also provide information regarding all the ‘Mela special’ trains that will be run during the period.

The app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets.

Also, the users will not only get to know their current location, but will also be able to reach to all railway stations, the mela zone, major hotels, bus stations and other facilities within Prayagraj.
The North Central Railway, (NCR):
♦ Headquarters: Prayagraj / Allahabad.
♦ It is one of the 17 railway zones in India.
♦ The largest railway station in NCR is Kanpur Central.



‘A Crusade Against Corruption’: book by Manohar Manoj launched by Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh in New Delhi

Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh launched Manohar Manoj`s book ‘A Crusade Against Corruption’ at the Press Club of India in New Delhi.

The book written over a period of 15 years is claimed as the ‘Encyclopaedic  snapshot on Corruption in India’.

Thought of the Day

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.

Quiz based on Daily Current Affairs 7th January 2019

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