CM Naidu launches 2nd phase of Pasupu-Kumkuma scheme, welfare pensions

On 2nd February 2019, 2nd Phase of Pasupu-Kumkuma (Turmeric-Kumkum) scheme and welfare pensions was launched by Chief Minister of Andhra PradeshShri Chandrababu Naidu.

Key Points
i. 94 Lakh DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas) women will be given Rs 10000 in three installments under the Pasupu-Kumkuma scheme.
ii. Under the scheme, Rs 2500 will be given on 1st February 2019, Rs 3500 will be given 8th March and Rs 4000 will be given on 5th April.
iii. 54 Lakh pensions will be given to different categories of people each month and it will cost a monthly expenditure of Rs 1100 crore. The Annual Expenditure will be around Rs 13200 crore.
iv. Pensions of senior citizens, widows, handloom workers, fisherman, toddy tappers, single women, dappu artists, cobblers and AIDS patients will increase from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000.
v. Under the Welfare Pensions scheme, Kidney patients will receive a pension of Rs 3500.
About Andhra Pradesh
♦ Capital: Amravati (de facto), Hyderabad (de jure)
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan
♦ Chief Minister: N Chandrababu Naidu

Indus River Dolphin declared Punjab’s State aquatic animal

On February 2 ,2019,Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh declared  one of the rarest mammal, Indus River Dolphin, which is only found in Beas River ,as Punjab State Aquatic Animal.

Indus River Dolphin declared Punjab’s State aquatic animal

Other Decisions Taken:
i. The Chief Minister constituted a committee comprised eminent members of the State Board of Wildlife, including Major AP Singh, Hardit Singh Sidhu, Col. P.S. Grewal and Jaskaran Singh and officers of Wildlife Department, to examine certain issues related to formation of separate directorate of Wildlife & Wetlands of Bir Moti Bagh wildlife Sanctuary to provide a natural habitat to various wildlife species .
ii. The Chief Minister also approved to declare Kanjli Wetland and holy Kali Bein River as a wildlife conservation reserve to mark the historic  celebration of 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.
iii. The Chief Minister announced to ban the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Aceclofenac for veterinary use to ensure vulture conservation.
iv. Approved for the implementation of  Karnataka model of jungle lodges in coordination with private organisations
About Punjab
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Chief minister: Amarinder Singh
♦ Governor: V.P. Singh Badnore
♦ State animal-Black Buck

Sikkim signs MoU with Microsoft for digital learning

On January 31,2019, In order to improve the education system Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sikkim government .

Sikkim signs MoU with Microsoft for digital learning

i. The MoU was signed between the state Human Resource Department RB Subba  and Managing Director of Microsoft India, Manish Prakash to boost digital literacy and new age technology knowledge in government schools.
ii. This agreement will also help Sikkim to upgrade its  state curriculum from class VI to class X  with IT course.
iii. In order to bring the plan in action and build student-teacher capacity in digital skills, enhance digital literacy and digital citizenship, Microsoft will adopt two schools.
About Sikkim
♦ Capital: Gangtok
♦ Governor: Ganga Prasad
♦ Chief minister: Pawan Kumar Chamling

International Spice Conference 2019

International Spice Conference is considered as platform for all business houses, the spice associations, the policy makers, the farmers and the users, to connect and interact.

International Spice Conference 2019

i. The fourth edition of this conference was held  in the City of Pearls and the capital city of Telangana-Hyderabad.  
ii. The theme for the conference 2019 is ‘Challenges of Change, Redefining the Value Chain’.
iii. Third edition of this conference was held in Jaipur with the theme ‘Managing Disruptions through Transformation and Collaboration’.  


Defence Ministry approves procurement of 73,000 assault rifles from US

On 2nd February 2019, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the procurement of around 73000 Sig Sauer rifles from United States of America under fast track procurement mode in a major move towards infantry modernization.
Key Points
i. USA will have to deliver the Sig Sauer rifles which is used by US forces as well as several other European forces within one year of finalization of the deal.
ii. The Procured rifles will replace INSAS rifles and the new rifles will be used by the troops deployed along the 3600 km border with China.
iii. Army needs around 7 lakh rifles, 44000 light machine guns (LMGs) and around 44600 carbines considering the evolving security threats along Pakistan’s and China’s border. The Process to acquires these weapons were started in October, 2017.
Ministry of Defence
♦ Union Minister: Nirmala Sitharaman
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi


Manus Island refugee Behrouz Boochani won  Australian literary prize
On January 31,2019 , Manus Island ’s refugee Behrouz Boochani ’s debut book “No Friends But the Mountains” won both the 25,000 dollars non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the 100,000 dollars Victorian prize for literature , in Australia.

Manus Island refugee Behrouz Boochani won Australian literary prizeManus Island refugee Behrouz Boochani won Australian literary prize

The writer was an asylum seeker who was on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years and was denied to Australia
Shortlisted book for Non-fiction
Winner: No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani
1) Staying: A Memoir by Jessie Cole
2) The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire by Chloe Hooper
3)Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
4)Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic
5)Axiomatic by Maria Tumarki


Rishi Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the new director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 

On February 2,2019, Narendra Modi Government appointed Rishi K Shukla, former Madhya Pradesh DGP , as the new director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a fixed tenure of two years.

Rishi Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the new director of the Central Bureau of Investigation

After the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma , M Nageswara Rao had been working as the Interim Director.

Ajai Kumar interim CEO of YES Bank  

On january 31,2019 ,RBI has approved the appointment of Ajai Kumar as the interim CEO of YES Bank, which have undergone several resignations and appointments in top leadership level.
i. RBI approved Ajai Kumar as Interim MD and CEO of the bank from February 1, 2019, for one month or till Ravneet Gill assumes office as MD and CEO. Ravneet Gill is at present the head of  the German based Deutsche Bank in India. According to the report, he will take charge on or before March 1,2019.
ii. Former  MD and CEO Rana Kapoor demitted the office,leaving Yes Bank , as the fifth largest bank.

EU parliament appointed Juan Guaido as Venezuelan interim president   

On February 1,2019, European Parliament appointed Juan Guaido as the interim President, highlighting the international crisis and the pressure of public against President Nicolas Maduro.

European Union members  voted 439 in favor to and  104 against, in Brussels special conference meet  and finally  recognized Venezuelan congress head Juan Guaido as interim President.
About Venezuela
♦ Capital:Caracas
♦ Currency:Bolivar

B.S.Mubarak appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Honduras

On 1st February 2019, Shri B.S.Mubarak an Indian Foreign Service officer of 2001 batch,has been Appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Honduras.
At Present B.S Mubarak was the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Guatemala.
About Republic of Honduras:
♦ Capital- Tegucigalpa
♦ Currency- Lempira
♦ President- Juan Orlando Hernández

Dinesh Bhatia appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Argentina

On 1st February 2019, Shri Dinesh Bhatia an Indian Foreign Service officer of 1992 batch has been appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Argentina.
At Present,he was the Consul General, Consulate General of India, Toronto.
Important Event Held in Argentina Recently:
♦ Argentina Hosted the 13th G20 Summit in its Capital Buenos Aires
♦ This is the first G20 summit to be hosted in South America.
♦ Theme of the Summit was: “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development”


Hoveizeh- Long-Range Surface to Surface Missile Unveiled by Iran on 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary

On 2nd February 2019, Iran Unveiled its Long Range Cruise Surface to Surface Missile, named Hoveizeh with a Strike range of 1,300 km (800 miles) to mark the remembrance of 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary.

Hoveizeh- Long-Range Surface to Surface Missile Unveiled by Iran on 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary

The Long Range Cruise Missile is from the Soumar family of cruise missiles,which was unveiled in the year 2015.
About Iran:
♦ Capital-Tehran
♦ Currency-Iranian rial
♦ India’s Ambassador to Iran-Gaddam Dharmendra

‘Nasr’-short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile test fired by Pakistan

On 1st February 2019,Pakistan has test fired a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’ with a strike range of about 70-km.
It is a high precision, shoot and scoot weapon system with the ability of in-flight maneuverability.
About Pakistan:
♦ Capital- Islamabad
♦ Currency- Pakistani rupee
♦ President- Arif Alvi


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