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GST Council’s 32nd Meeting Held In New Delhi Under The Chairmanship Of The Union Minister Of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley

  • The limit of Annual Turnover in the preceding Financial Year for availing Composition Scheme for Goods shall be increased to Rs 1.5 crore.
  • There would be two Threshold Limits for exemption from Registration and Payment of GST for the suppliers of Goods i.e. Rs 40 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs. The Threshold for Registration for Service Providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in case of Special Category States at Rs 10 lakhs.
  • A Composition Scheme shall be made available for Suppliers of Services (or Mixed Suppliers) with a Tax Rate of 6% (3% CGST +3% SGST) having an Annual Turnover in the preceding Financial Year up to Rs 50 lakh.


National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched by Environment minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi

The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in New Delhi.

  • It will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
  • It will be launched in the 43 smart cities falling in the list of the 102 non-attainment cities, under the Smart Cities program. Selection of 102 non-attainment cities identified with respect to ‘Ambient Air Quality India’ report of 2011-15 and WHO report of 2014-2018.
  • National level target of 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024 taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.


Lok Sabha has passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeking to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan was passed in the Lok Sabha.

As per the proposed amendment, the persecuted migrants will be eligible to apply for citizenship after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authority and state Government.

Union Home Minister clarified that the Act is not confined to the state of Assam. The present government has taken several measures to implement the Assam Accord.

Government has waived the requirement of Cabinet approval for the Bill, which was introduced in the current session of Parliament.


Agreement for Renukaji Multipurpose Dam Project signed by 6 states: Ministry of Water Resources

6 states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, in the presence of Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari, signed an agreement for Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project in New Delhi.

Also a concession agreement was signed between U.P. Jal Nigam, NMCG and Prayagraj Water Pvt. Ltd., for Namami Gange projects for the city of Prayagraj, under Hybrid Annuity Mode and One City One Operator Concept.

Under Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project:
3 storage projects are proposed to be constructed on the river Yamuna and two of its tributaries – Tons and Giri in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh of Upper Yamuna Basin. These include:

  • Lakhwar project on river Yamuna in Uttarakhand,
  • Kishau on river Tons in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and
  • Renukaji on river Giri in Himachal Pradesh.

Ministry of Water Resources:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of state: Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Shri. Satya Pal Singh.


Minister Ravi Shankar Inaugurates NIC Command & Control Centre 

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & IT and Law and Justice inaugurated NIC’s Command & Control Centre (CCC) and Centre of Excellence in ArtificialIntelligence by NIC, it have stamina to transform societies in the regime of transparency and efficient governance.

NIC as of now in account 4 National Data Centres and 30 Mini Data Centres across the country hosting over 10,000 e-Governance applications.
♦ RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD consitutency:
He is a member of parliament in (Rajya Sabha) and represent Bihar state.

One-day Global Skill Summit 2019 held in Ranchi, Jharkhand; jobs given to more than 1 lakh youth

The one-day Global Skill Summit 2019 was held in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

It is the only state where overall three global summits were organized in a row merely in four years by the state government.

The theme of the Summit was: ‘Skilling Youth, Enabling Youth’.

It was under the #MOMEMTUM JHARKHAND campaign.
♦ Capital: Ranchi.
♦ Chief Minister: Raghubar Das.
♦ Governor: Draupadi Murmu.
♦ National Parks: Belta National Park


Sikkim will become first state to roll out Universal Basic Income

Sikkim,though being a smallest state have set a initiative to introduce UBI in the entire nation.Sikkim’s long lasting chief minister and head of sikkim’s ruling party(sikkim democratic front) Pawan kumar chamling, quoted that if everything goes right then sikkim would be the first state to implement UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME SYSTEM and execute it by 2022.This scheme is also regarded as an alternative to social welfare programmes with benefits towards reducing poverty.

The UBI basically is an income given to families irrespective what do they do.It means everyone and every household will get an income irrespective of their profession.

In other words ,it is a step taken by the government to alleviate poverty by providing a basic income to all citizens.

West Bengal quit Ayushman Bharat scheme due to misrepresentation on official communication

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced exit of West Bengal from the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna due to the use of PM’s picture in the official poster of the centre-state joint scheme.

According to the announcement, the states are supposed to bear 40% of the project cost, while the Centre will foot 60% of the bill.

Furthermore, the centre had unilaterally changed the scheme to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana in spite of agreed efforts to retain the state sponsored health scheme name: Swasthyasathi which was launched in 2016.

Thus, West Bengal joined the league of states of Telangana, Kerala, Odisha, and Delhi which have opted out of the scheme for varied reasons.
About Ayushman Bharat:
♦ Launched: April 2018.
♦ Other names: PM Jan-Arogya Yojana, National Health Protection Scheme.
♦ Target: 10.74 crore poor families to get benefit of Rs. 5lakh per family per year.
♦ 1st Health centre launched at Bijapur, Chhattishgarh in April 14, 2018.
♦ CEO: Dr. Indu Bhushan.
♦ Implementing authority: National Health Authority (NHA).



Guatemala unilaterally terminate the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement

The Foreign Minister of Guatemala Sandra Jovel notified the United Nations secretary-general about the Government’s decision to terminate the agreement which established the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “strongly rejected” the Guatemalan Government’s decision to unilaterally terminate the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
About Gautemala:
♦ Capital: Gautemala city
♦ Currency: Gautemala Quetzal
♦ Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
♦ President: Jimmy Morales


India ranked at 41st at the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018, Norway topped the Index: EconomistIntelligent Unit report

The 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world.

The Index was started in 2006.
The countries were categorized and colour coded in 4 sections. They were:

  • Full Democracy(Dark Green) scoring 8-10 & consisting of 20 countries,
  • Flawed Democracy(Light Green) scoring 6-7.99 consisting of 55 countries,
  • Hybrid Regime(Mint green to Light Yellow) scoring 4-5.99 consisting of 39 countries and
  • Authoritarian Regime(Dark Red) scoring 1-3.99 consisting of 53 countries.

Ranking of Nations:
Among the 167 nations, Norway topped the charts.

It was followed by: Iceland (2), Sweden (3), New Zealand (4) and  Denmark (5) closing off the top 5 rankings.

The bottom 5 of the list are:
Chad (163), Central African Republic (164), Democratic Republic of Congo (165), Syria (166) and North Korea (!67).



Economy and Finance

Gold Monetisation Scheme 2015 met with a few changes: RBI

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a few changes in the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) 2015.

According to the changes, it included charitable institutions and the central government under the ambit of the scheme.

Due to this, besides individual and joint depositors, the scheme could be availed by charitable institutions, the central government, the state government or any other entity owned by the central government or the state government.

It also allowed joint deposits of two or more eligible depositors in which case the deposit in such cases shall be credited to the joint deposit account.
About GMS:
♦ Launched in 2015, by the government, GMS aims to mobilise the gold held by households and institutions in the country.
♦ According to the scheme, banks’ customers are allowed to deposit their idle gold holdings for a fixed period in return for interest in the range of 2.25-2.50 per cent.


Tata Steel’s Netherlands plant as ‘Manufacturing Lighthouse’ of the 4th Industrial Revolution: WEF

The World Economic Forum announced that the Tata Steel plant at IJmuiden in the Netherlands has been recognized as‘Manufacturing Lighthouses’ – a distinction awarded to manufacturing facilities which are seen as leaders in technologies of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

This was announced after assessing more than 1,000 factories in 2018.

Other than the TATA Steel Plant, 6 more units have been awarded the honour.

This made Tata Steel part of a network of just 16 key factories to create the world’s leading learning platforms for production.
About the ‘Lighthouses’:
♦ In 2017 the World Economic Forum set up a network of leading intelligent production companies (‘Lighthouses’) under its ‘Shaping the Future of Production’ initiative to allow the exchange of knowledge and promote collaborations in the area of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in production.
♦ ‘Lighthouse’ factories showcase how best to develop a strategy for the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
World Economic Forum:
♦ Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland.



South Africa’s All Rounder Albie Morkel retired from all forms of cricket

South African allrounder Albie Morkel retired from all forms of cricket.

His career spanned for nearly 20 years.

He represented South Africa in 58 ODIs, 50 T20Is and one Test.


IWF president Birendra Prasad Baishya will be India’s Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics

Indian Weightlifting Federation President Birendra Prasad Baishya is named as Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.Baishya is also one of the Indian Olympic Association Vice Presidents.Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president is Yoshiro Mori.

Tokyo Olympics is commence from 24 July to 9 August, 2020 in whicg 207 nations will participate. There will be 339 event in 33 sports (50 disciplines) in the Games.

The mascot for the Olympics is named Miraitowa.Miraitowa is a combination of the Japanese words for future and eternity;
♦ OLYMPICS HEAD :Thomas Bach



Adi Godrej conferred ICSI lifetime award at the golden jubilee celebrations of ICSI in Mumbai

Industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the ICSIs Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘Translating Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality’ in Mumbai.

The award instituted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), was given at its golden jubilee celebrations.

Other awards given by the institute are as follows:
18th ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance were bagged jointly by

  • Cipla Ltd
  • Dabur India Ltd
  • ACC Ltd,
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd,
  • Indian Oil Corp,
  • Tata Metaliks Ltd and
  • Indian Hotels Co Ltd.

The 3rd CSR Excellence Awards went to

  • GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd in Emerging category,
  • Tata Power Co Ltd in Medium category and
  • Ambuja Cements Ltd in Large category.

About Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ President: CS Makarand Lele.


Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri received honorary membership of Sydney Cricket Ground

Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri received honorary membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for their contribution to the sport of cricket.

Apart from them, the only other international cricketers to be granted the honorary membership of the SCG are iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara of the West Indies.


Maduro Sworn elected as new Venezuela President for 2nd Term

Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuelan President for the 2nd term for a new 6-year term.

Venezuela is one of the world’s largest oil producers and holds the presidency of oil cartel Opec until 2025.
♦ Capital: Caracas.
♦ Currency: Venezuelan bolivar.


Selection Committee chaired by PM removed Alok Verma as CBI Chief, M. Nageshwar Rao re-elected as New CBI Chief

Additional Director M. Nageswara Rao took charge of the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation as the Director.

Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service officer, was given charge as interim Director after the government on October 23 divested the previous Director, Alok Verma’s power.

Alok Verma was removed from the post within 48 hours after rejoining as CBI Director.

The decision was taken by a 2-1 decision by a selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with its other two members being Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge and Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Full form: Central Bureau of Investigation


Su Tseng-chang appointed as Taiwan PM

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen appointed 71 years old Su Tseng-chang as the new Prime Minister of Taiwan during a cabinet reshuffle following the loss of Rulling Democratic Progressive Party in the local elections.

Tseng-chang will replace Lai Ching-te who resigned from the post following the defeat in the elections.

Taiwan’s rulling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) lost to the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).
About Taiwan
♦ Capital: Taipei
♦ Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)


Citizen scientists find new planet using NASA telescope

Citizen scientists have discovered the planet to be twice the size of Earth .Its discovery was announced at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society on 7 January 2019 held in Seattle,Washington dc. It is estimated that liquid water may exist on the planet’s surface. The new world, known as K2-288Bb,is similar to Neptune. It is found 226 light-years away in the Taurus constellation.The planet contains a pair of dim, cool M-type stars that are 5.1 billion miles apart, about six times the distance between Saturn and the sun. The brightest of the two stars is half as massive as our sun, and the other star is one-third of the sun’s mass. K2-288Bb orbits the smaller, dimmer star, completing a full orbit every 31.3 days.


First manned mission to space by December 2021: ISRO

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K Sivan announced that the 1st Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space would be launched by December 2021.

Under Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back.

As of 2019, 332 launches are planned this year. Detail of some of these missions are as follows:

  • Launch of Chandrayaaan -2 mission to the moon in mid-April 2019. Indian land up and rover will study south-pole of the moon for the first time under Chandrayaan- 2 mission.
  • GSAT-20 Satellite for high bandwidth connectivity to be launched in September-October 2019.
  • ISRO is conceiving a mission to Venus by 2023.
  • ISRO TV Channel will be launched by another 3-4 months (March to April 2019).
  • incubation centres around the country would be set up by ISRO to help start-ups to begin new ventures.
  • ISRO will invite meritorious students to ISRO for developing Nanosatellites.

♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.



January 10, 2019 celebrated as 26th Army Air Defence Day

January 10, 2019 was observed as 26th Army Air Defence Day by Army Air Defence Corps.

A wreath Laying Ceremony was held at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, New Delhi.

The Corps of Army Air Defence is the youngest arm of Indian Army.
Army Air Defence Corps:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Motto: “Akashe Shatrun Jahi” (Kill the Enemy in the Sky).

Thought of the Day

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.

Quiz based on Daily Current Affairs 11th January 2019

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