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Daily Current affairs - January 12th, 2018 for all competitive exams

January 12 - National Youth Day
National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas) is celebrated in India every year on 12th of January.
  • It is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, maker of the modern India.
  • The Theme of the Festival is 'Sankalp Se Siddhi'. 
  • Culture Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma will be the guest of honour on the occasion.
It was first declared by the Government of India in the year 1984 to celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as the National Youth Day.

Election Commission panel to suggest changes to RP Act
Election Commission has constituted a 14-member committee to suggest changes to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act in view of social media expansion.
  • The Act prohibits poll campaign in the last 48 hours of voting.
  • The Committee chaired by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha will study the impact of social media during the silence period and suggest modifications to the election law and model code of conduct.
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act:
No person shall—
(a) convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election; or
(b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
West Bengal government launching water ATMs in city, districts
West Bengal state government has launched a water ATM project to provide bacteria-free drinking water in schools.
  • The government is setting up water ATMs in the city and suburbs and the machines are made in Germany.

Punjab rolls out e-Raktkosh web portal in all 45 government blood banks
Punjab has rolled out e-Raktkosh web portal in all the 45 government blood banks.
  • The web portal provides the guidelines and streamlines the workflow of blood blanks and storage centres across the nation and interconnects all blood banks with a single network.
  • In the next phase all 59 private blood banks of the state will be linked with the e-Raktkosh application software.

India, Bhutan jointly unveils ‘Special logo’
Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan is being celebrated.
  • To mark the launch of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan Damcho Dorji jointly unveiled the ‘Special logo’ for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations in New Delhi and Thimphu through video-conference.
Indian rupee, Bhutanese ngultrum
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

5th Bilateral Meeting between India and Malaysia Held in New Delhi
The 5th Bilateral Technical Meeting on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine between Govt. of India and Malaysia was held in New Delhi.
The Meeting had discussed the following agenda:-
  • Establishment of Ayurveda Chair in University of  UTAR, Malaysia,
  • Professional training in Panchakarma therapy for Malaysian experts in India,
  • The evaluation of safety and efficacy of combination Ayurvedic/ traditional products for clinical trials.
  • Safety evaluation of Ayurvedic products based on Good Laboratory Practices (GLP)
  • Bilateral MoU between National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH and Malaysia for Cooperation in the field of Medicinal Plants.
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian ringgit
Najib Razak

World’s largest solar thermal plant to be built in South Australia
The world’s largest solar-thermal power plant has been given development approval by the South Australian government.
  • Construction on the 150-megawatt Aurora plant, to be built by utility-scale solar power company SolarReserve, will begin in 2018 at an estimated cost of $509 million.
  • The facility will power 90,000 homes with eight hours of full load storage.

China Becomes Nepal’s 2nd Internet Service Provider
China became Nepal’s second internet service provider, breaking India’s monopoly in providing internet access to Nepal. 
  • The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG) has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal. CTG was formed in 2012.
Xi Jinping

Kazakhstan beats Iraq to be OPEC’s biggest oil over-producer
Kazakhstan has overtaken Iraq as the biggest over-producer in the pact between Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to curb oil output.
  • Kazakhstan’s output in November and December last year was about 130,000 barrels a day above the target agreed with OPEC.
  • Notably, Kazakhstan had pledged to pump 20,000 barrels a day less under the pact.
Kazakhstani tenge
Nursultan Nazarbayev

UN Environment and WHO Agreed to Major Collaboration on Environmental Health Risks
UN Environment and the World Health Organization have agreed a new, wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year. 
  • Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,Director-General of WHO, signed an agreement to step up joint actions to combat air pollution, climate change and antimicrobial resistance, water quality, and food and nutrition issues, in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.

ISRO Launches Its 100th Satellite
Space agency ISRO has successfully sent up a rocket carrying India’s 100th satellite along with 30 others, four months after failed launch. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The PSLV-C40 placed 31 satellites, originating from seven countries. This is the 42nd flight of the PSLV. The 30 other satellites onboard include two other satellites from India and 28 satellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The Cartosat-2 satellite, the third in the series, was deployed to relay high resolution scene specific spot imageries. The images will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps and change detection to bring out geographical Land Information Systems and Geographical Information System applications.
This is ISRO’s first launch in 2018 and it is also the first after the unsuccessful mission of IRNSS-1H in August last year.

China successfully sent twin satellites to enable BeiDou
China has sent twin satellites into space on a single carrier rocket, as part of efforts to enable its BeiDou system to provide navigation and positioning services to countries along the Belt and Road by the end of 2018.
  • This is the first launch of the BeiDou satellites in 2018. The twin satellites are coded the 26th and 27th satellites in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
  • The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is a Chinese satellite navigation system. BeiDou has been described as a potential navigation satellite system to overtake GPS in global usage, and is expected to be more accurate than the GPS once it is fully completed. The current third generation of BeiDou claims to reach millimeter-level accuracy (with post-processing), which is ten times more accurate than the finest level of GPS.
List of Global Navigation Satellite Systems:
  • GPS of the United States of America.
  • GLONASS or Global Navigation Sputnik System of Russia.
  • Galileo of the European Union.
  • IRNSS or NAVIC of India.
  • Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) of Japan.

Scientists planning to launch SPARCS
Scientists are planning to launch a small telescope into the Earth’s orbit that will monitor the flares and sunspots of small stars to assess how habitable the environment is for planets orbiting them. The spacecraft is known as the Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat, or SPARCS.
  • SPARCS is a new NASA-funded space telescope and will be launched in 2021. The mission, including spacecraft design, integration and resulting science, is led by Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE).
The stars that SPARCS will focus on are small, dim, and cool by comparison to the Sun. Having less than half the Sun’s size and temperature, they shine with barely one per cent its brightness.
  • The heart of the SPARCS spacecraft will be a telescope with a diameter of nine centimetres plus a camera with two ultraviolet-sensitive detectors to be developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

IndusInd Bank to Introduce India’s First Battery-Powered Interactive Payment Card
IndusInd Bank and Dynamics Inc. at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announced plans to introduce the first battery-powered, interactive payment cards to the Indian market in 2018.
  • The new IndusInd Bank card from Dynamics has multiple buttons that let the consumers use a single card to pay in multiple ways. 
IndusInd Bank
We Make You Feel Richer
Ramesh Sobti

Bank of Baroda to sell Nainital Bank
Bank of Baroda to sell its subsidiary Nainital Bank as part of its capital raising exercise.
  • Uttaranchal-based bank was established by freedom fighter Govind Ballabh Pant in 1922 and acquired by BoB in 1975.
  • According to reports, BoB has sought permission from the RBI to sell stake in Nainital Bank, which is 99% owned by the third-largest public sector lender.
  • Nainital Bank had a total business of Rs 8,049 crore, an increase of 26% over the previous year.
Bank of Baroda
India's International Bank
P S Jayakumar

Narendra Modi named Number 3 world leader, ahead of Trump, Putin
Gallup International in its annual survey — Opinion of Global Leaders conducted across 50 nations —rated PM Modi among world’s top three leaders.
  • The top spot went to French President Emmanuel Macron (net score 21), followed by German chancellor Angela Merkel (net score of 20). PM Modi is ranked at number three (net score 8).
  • The ranking puts PM Modi ahead of the likes of US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK’s PM Theresa May and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • The survey shows that Modi is a popular leader in the Indian subcontinent with 69% of respondents in Afghanistan and 51% in Bangladesh holding a favourable view towards him.

Indu Malhotra set to script history
Senior advocate Indu Malhotra is set to make history as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Ms. Malhotra will be the seventh woman judge in the Supreme Court, since it was established 67 years ago, if her appointment goes through.
  • In 2007, she became the second woman to be designated as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court only after the legendary Justice Leila Seth, who was given the honour in 1977.
  • At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court. In 1989, Justice M Fathima Beevi became the first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court.
  • Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.

Julian Assange gets Ecuador citizenship
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was “naturalised” as an Ecuadorean on December 12.
  • Britain had earlier refused a request by Ecuador for Assange to be given diplomatic status.
  • Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.
  • Ecuador’s foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed Assange’s citizenship request at a press conference in Quito.

Suzlon’s Tanti named IWTMA chairman
Suzlon Energy founder and chairman Tulsi Tanti has been appointed chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, effective January 11.
  • With cumulative wind installations of over 32 GW, the industry is ahead of the 30 GW target set by government until FY17

V J Mathew Appointed Maritime Board Chairman
V J Mathew was appointed Maritime Board Chairman. The decision in this regard was taken by the Kerala cabinet.
  • Mathew is the legal consultant of Vizhinjam International container terminal company and Indian Maritime Association Co-President.

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