Centre Approves Renaming Of Allahabad As Prayagraj:
- The Union Home Ministry (MHA) approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
- MHA had earlier approved the renaming of the British-era railway station Robertsgang as Sonbhadra,Farah Town railway station near Mathura and iconic Mughalsarai junction after Deen Dayal Upadhyay — both in Uttar Pradesh.
- The Centre had also approved the renaming of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai asChhatrapati Shivaji ‘Maharaj’ International Airport, earlier.
MP Govt bans purchase of new vehicles, ACs:
- Government of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, banned the purchase of new vehicles and air conditioners (ACs) by the government departments due to huge debt of the state.
- Also, the expenditure incurred on office items has been limited on the basis of the difference between the allocated budget for these expenses in the financial year 2018-19 and the expenditure incurred in the financial year 2017-18.
Chief Minister: Shri. Kamal Nath.
Governor: Smt. Anandiben Patel.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launches Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA):
- Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik launches Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Naveen Patnaik launched Rs 10,000 crore Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme.
- This scheme consists of a life insurance of Rs.2 lakh for 57 lakh farmers and would grant them crop loans at zero percent interest.
Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
Govt Releases 6-Crore LPG Connections under PMUY:
- The government gave out the 6-crore free cooking gas (LPG) connection as the scheme to make available cleaner fuel in every household kitchens under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu handed over papers for an LPG connection to Jasmina Khatoon from Shivpark, Khanpur in New Delhi to mark the 6 crore LPG connections under PMUY.
- Beneficiaries will receive direct LPG subsidy through PAHAL (Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh) digital payment scheme.
WB govt announces two initiatives for farmers:
- The West Bengal government announced two welfare initiatives for farmers.Both initiatives, which are part of the ‘Krishi Krishak Bondhu’ scheme came into effect from January 1,2019.
- The first of the two initiatives will provide Rs 2 lakh to the family of a deceased farmer( farmers aged between 18 to 60 years dies a natural or unnatural death, the state government will pay his family Rs 2 lakh).Under the second initiative, farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land.
Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
Modi to open 106th Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University in Phagwara near Jalandha,an annual congregation that witnesses deliberations by top scientific minds of the country.
- The theme of this five-day mega event is ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.
Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ bias
The US had notified UNESCO of its decision to quit the organisation in October 2017 and had called for its “fundamental reform“. Israel followed the US in quitting UNESCO.
The Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and granted full membership to Palestine in 2011.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was co-founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.”
UNESCO is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programmes to promote education in developing countries.
The US has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt, and used to advance Soviet interests. The US rejoined in 2003.
Sweden ranked first in climate action CCPI
Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) reported that Sweden has been named the first best performing country in the CCPI 2019 list. CCPI evaluates the climate protection performance of 60 countries, responsible for over 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
Morocco has been named second. Morocco, the North African country significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity. Lithuania is in the third position in CCPI 2019.
The bottom five in the list are Saudi Arabia, U.S., Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan. With the connection of the world’s largest solar plant to the grid, Morocco is on track for achieving its target of 42% installed renewable energy capacities by 2020.
France Introduced GAFA Tax On Global Internet, Technology Firm
France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday amid difficulties in finalizing a new EU-wide levy.
France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.
Cabinet Apprised Of MoU Between India And Morocco On Cooperation In The Area Of Cyber Security:
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security.
- The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco.
- Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the Cyber Security sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco in the field of Cyber Security.
President Trump signs ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’ into law:
- US president has signed the ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’. The law aims at countering the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in Asia.
- The act aims to establish a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region.
Veer Savarkar International Airport Declared As Authorized Immigration Check Post:
- Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair has been declared as an authorized Immigration Check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers.
- Andaman and Nicobar Police has been appointed as the ‘Civil Authority’ for the purpose of the immigration check post.The announcement was made by Information, Public Relations and Tourism Division of Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
Economy and Finance
Cabinet clears merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda
With the merger, Bank of Baroda (BoB) will become the country’s third-largest bank after State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.
This marks the first-ever three way amalgamation in the country’s banking sector.
The merger will come into force on April 1, 2019.
As per the scheme of amalgamation, Bank of Baroda will be the transferee bank while the other two public sector banks will be transferor banks.
About Bank of Baroda:
♦ Headquarters: Alkapuri, Vadodara
♦ CEO: P. S. Jayakumar
♦ Founded: 20 July 1908, Vadodara
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank
About Dena Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Shri Karnam Sekar
♦ Founded: 26 May 1938
♦ Tagline: Your Trusted Family Bank
About Vijaya Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ CEO: R. A. Sankara Narayanan
♦ Founded: 23 October 1931
♦ Tagline: A friend you can bank on
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO launches ‘Samwad’ with students to engage them on space science:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a new platform named “Samwad with Students” (SwS) as part of the enhanced outreach programme and to engage youngsters across India to capture their scientific temperament in Bengaluru.
- Under the SwS platform, ISRO will also be organising guided tours thrice in a year, for students of class 11 and class 12 in which they would be taken to ISRO facilities in Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru and the launch centre at Sriharikota.
Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan
Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
French World Cup champions awarded Legion of Honour:
- The players in France‘s football team which last year defeated Croatia to win the World Cup were awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award for “exceptional service” to the nation, in the New Year’s honours list.
- The football World Cup 2018 at Russia was France’s second World Cup title, after the 1998 World Cup.
President: Emmanuel Macron
Currency: Euro, CFP Franc
IIT Professor awarded with the National Geospatial Award for contribution towards development of geo-spatial science:
- IIT Roorkee professor Jayanta Kumar Ghosh was facilitated with the National Geospatial Award for Excellence -2017 (Life Time Achievement Award) by the Indian Society for Remote Sensing for his contribution towards the development of geospatial science and applications.
- The award which carries a citation, a medal and Rs.1,00,000 was conferred to J. K. Ghosh, a professor at the civil engineering department of the IIT Roorkee on 5th December 2018 at SAC (Space Application Centre) Ahmedabad.
Indian-origin Singapore student wins gold medals at World Memory Championships:
- A 12-year-old Indian-origin student Dhruv Manoj from Singapore has bagged two gold medals at theWorld Memory Championships held in Hong Kong.
- Dhruv Manoj won in the “names and faces” and “random words” disciplines, beating 56 other contestants in the “kids category”.
Manoj Das was awarded the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award
During the 53rd foundation day ceremony, the university also honoured noted folk dance guru Nabaghana Parida with Dakshin Odisha Loksanakruti Samman.