Current Affairs Today – January, 1st, 2018 | Latest News and Updates

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Bilateral Meeting between External Affairs Minister of India and Jordan Held in New Delhi

Bilateral Meeting between External Affairs Minister of India and Jordan Held in New Delhi

  1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al Safadi that has held at the bilateral meeting in New Delhi and discussed deepening bilateral ties across multiple sectors.
  2. Mr Safadi has talk with the set up a robust agenda for deepening and diversifying areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contact.

KEYS:

  1. The Ministry of External Affairs of India, also known as the Foreign Ministry, is the government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of India
  2. Website: mea.gov.in
  3. Formed: 2 September 1946
  4. Jurisdiction: India
  5. Headquarters: South Block, Cabinet Secretariat, Raisina Hill, New Delhi, 110 011
  6. Cabinet minister: Sushma Swaraj
  7. Minister of state: Vijay Kumar Singh, M J Akbar

 

78th Session of Indian History Congress Held in Kolkata

78th Session of Indian History Congress Held in Kolkata

  1. At the time of the changung in the history “nothing less than a big crime”, the growing trend to “rewrite” the country’s history is alarming, said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  2. Over the past two days, country’s foremost historians have expressed deep anxiety about trends they described as “distortion of history.” Continuing with the argument of the historians, Ms. Banerjee said she too was “apprehensive”. Without naming any party or individual, Ms. Banerjee said, “when political parties starts writing history, my apprehension is whether this history [could be] distorted as political history; [it] can satisfy one but it is not history.”
  3. Arguing that “history is reality and truth and truth can not be misguided”, Ms. Banerjee said the tendency to change history may have an impact on scholars and researchers.
  4. “There is a tendency to rewrite the history. Then what [would remain] for our researchers or scholars…if the past is not there. [And] if the past is not there what would remain of our future?” she said.
  5. “These days we hear that Mahatma Gandhi is not a patriot but Nathuram Godse was one… but it appears as political vendetta to me,” she said.
  6. She also questioned if it was “reasonable” to commission any non-historian to write the history. “My job is to address rallies and I cannot write history. It is the job of the scholars and the historians. Problem is those who do not even know the ABC of history, this is alarming for the future generation,” she said.
  7. “I’m always in favour of history and truth. To distort fact is nothing less than a crime and my request to history as history and not to make it a mystery,” Ms. Banerjee said.

 

Nirmala Sitharaman Launches Start-up Incubation Centre in Mangalore

Nirmala Sitharaman Launches Start-up Incubation Centre in Mangalore

  1. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday has inaugurated a modern incubation centre – the Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning – for budding entrepreneurs at Mallikatte here. The center will provide the help in the pramotion of Startup India initiative in the country.
  2. “Exactly a year back, I started on the path to make this region the Startup Coast and in less than a year we have made some great strides. The centre has launched, schools will get tinkering labs and colleges will get Centres of Excellence,” she said.
  3. “Mangalore and the Dakshin Kannada region have more than 20 colleges offering engineering, medicine and other fields of study. This a fertile ground for talent and we need to nurture it,” she said.
  4. She said, “SiliconValley, which is also on the West Coast of the US, had many suburbs and cities and educational institutions similar to Mangaluru region”. “In Silicon Valley people were enterprising and determined. People of Mangaluru region are equally ambitious and determined,” she said.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Hosting 10 Asean Leaders on Republic Day 2018

India Hosting 10 Asean Leaders on Republic Day 2018

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday has announced that the Republic Day celebration in 2018 would be “remembered through the ages” because there has been in the India’s history the leader of the government has going to host that and that would host leaders of 10 Asean countries as chief guests on January 26.
  2. “On January 26, the arrival of great leaders of 10 nations of the world as a unit is a matter of pride for all Indians,” Modi said in this year’s last edition of his monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”.
  3. He said January 26 is a historic festival for all Indians but “January 26, 2018, will especially be remembered through the ages”. “The Republic Day will be celebrated with leaders of all 10 (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Asean countries coming to India as chief guests. This time, not one but 10 chief guests would grace the Republic Day. This is unprecedented in India’s history,” the Prime Minister said.
  4. He said, “The year 2017 was special for both Asean and India because the Southeast Asian bloc completed its 50 years of formation and the year also marked 25 years of India’s partnership with the grouping.”
  5. “India looks forward to welcoming leaders” from Asean comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam”

 

China Launches World’s Largest Human Genome Research Project

China Launches World's Largest Human Genome Research Project

  1. China has launched the worlds largest human genome research project to store the documented of the genetic makeup of one lakh people to help generate the precision medicines for the future, a media report said today.
  2. The project would detect the genetic links between health and sickness and involve one person from different ethnic backgrounds and regions, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
  3. The project will collect the genetic data of Han ethnic majority people from all over the country and nine other ethnic minority groups with a population of more than five million. There are about 25,000 human genes and the project aims to decode the hereditary information contained in each.
  4. Researchers will create a “health contrast” pool, he said, gathering genetic information from those who suffer a variety of diseases.
  5. The projects chief scientist Wang Yadong was quoted as saying by CCTV that the researchs aim was to “provide references for Chinas medical research, clinical diagnoses and treatments.”

 

Seventy Eighth Session of Indian History Congress Held in Kolkata

Seventy Eighth Session of Indian History Congress Held in Kolkata

  1. The three-day long 78th session of the Indian History Congress on that has started there at the Jadavpur University campus.
  2. The Indian History Congress will have six sections this time – Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, Countries Other than India, Archaeology and Contemporary India.
  3. Eminent historians like Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar will speak on the occasion. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will address a session of the Indian History Congress tomorrow.
  4. The aim of conducting Indian History Congress is for promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian History, holding Congresses and publishing of the proceedings, bulletins, memoirs, journals and other works.

BANKING AND FINANCE

KKR Gets RBI Nod to Start India’s 1st Foreign-Owned ARC

KKR Gets RBI Nod to Start India’s 1st Foreign-Owned ARC

  1. US buyout giant KKR & Co has become the first foreign investor to fully own an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India as it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India at a time when lenders are fighting with a pile of bad loans that have crippled their businesses.
  2. KKR, one of the most aggressive investors in financial services, plans to deploy a major chunk from its record Asia fund for buying troubled assets in the country, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter told ET.
  3. “Yes, we received approval from RBI. We are in talks with various lenders on how to practically resolve NPA issues. The idea is not to buy dead assets, but to bring in positive capital and expertise, which will eventually resolve the issue,” said one of the sources close to KKR. “ARC would be a platform that enables us to work with the banks and reach into a resolution through bilateral talks rather than getting into NCLT tribunal and related issues.”
  4. “Banks don’t have management bandwidth whereas we do. So, we will create equity value by working with the company. That makes an attractive proposition for the banks as well,” he said. “There are some very good companies and what is wrong with them is that their capital structure is impaired and we can help them out.”

 

IDBI Bank Gets Rs 2,729 crore from Government

IDBI Bank Gets Rs 2,729 crore from Government

  1. Public sector bank IDBI Bank has received capital infusion of ₹2,729 crore from the government.
  2. “The government has on December 29, 2017 infused share application money of ₹2,729 crore towards preferential issue of equity infusion of IDBI bank during the fiscal year 2017-18 under the plan as government’s investment,” it said in a regulatory filing.
  3. The bank said, “Its board of directors at the ensuing meeting will consider the proposal for approval of preferential issue of capital to government up to ₹2,729 crore.”
  4. The government had on October 24, 2017 unveiled a ₹2.11 lakh crore two-year road map for strengthening NPA-hit public sector banks, which includes re-capitalisation bonds, budgetary support, and equity dilution. The stock of the bank closed 0.83% down at ₹59.85 on the BSE.

Science and Technology

Israel withdraws from UNESCO

Israel withdraws from UNESCO

  1. Israel has said the notice to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) alongside the United States.
  2. “A member of UNESCO since 1949, Israel has a rightful place inside the United Nations agency that is dedicated to education, culture and science,” Azoulay noted.
  3. In announcing its withdrawal, the US Department of State noted “anti-Israel bias” and “the need for fundamental reform” within the organisation. Shortly afterwards, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would pull out of UNESCO on the grounds that the body had become “a theatre of the absurd”.
  4. “In the face of disagreements among Member States, which lead to votes for which they are responsible, engaging fully in the work of UNESCO makes possible sustained dialogue, cooperation and partnerships that are more necessary than ever,” she said.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

GAIL Awards Major Contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

GAIL Awards Major Contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

  1. State-run gas utility GAIL India on Sunday has announced that it has placed orders for another 400-km of pipeline of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline project that will take the fuel to eastern India.
  2. The prestigious 2,655 km long JHBDPL project, also known as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project will originate at Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh, where main trunk pipeline from the west coast currently ends, to Haldia in West Bengal and Dhamra in Odisha.
  3. “GAIL till date has committed over Rs 6,500 crore for the project,” the statement said.
  4. The project, it said, “Will usher Industrial development in East India by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertiliser and power plant, refineries, steel plants and other industries.”
  5. GAIL said, “City gas network, laying activity in Varanasi and Bhubaneswar, has already commenced and the same in other cities like Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Cuttack and Kolkata will start by next month.”

Sandeep Kumar

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