Four more projects of Rs. 190.46 crore sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes of M/o Tourism

On 11th January 2019, Four new projects for Rs. 190.46 Crores under the tourism infrastructure development schemes, Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD(Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) was launched by Ministry of Tourism in the states of Meghalaya, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Details of Sanctioned projects
i. The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned the project ‘Development of West Khasi Hills (Nongkhlaw- Krem Tirot – Khudoi & Kohmang Falls – Khri River- Mawthadraishan, Shillong), Jaintia Hills (Krang Suri Falls- Shyrmang- Iooksi), Garo Hills (Nokrek Reserve, Katta Beel, Siju Caves)’ in Meghalaya for Rs. 84.95 crore under North East Circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
ii. Under the Spiritural Circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the ministry has sanctioned project of Rs. 21.16 Crore for the development of Gorakhnath Temple (Gorakhpur), Devipattan Temple (Balrampur) and Vatvashni Temple (Domariyagunj).
iii. Under the PRASHAD scheme, the Ministry has sanctioned the project ‘Development of Govardhan’ which includes Govardhan Parikrama Marg, Kusum Sarovar, Chandra Sarovar and Manasi Ganga in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh for Rs. 39.74 Crores.
iv. Under the PRASHAD Scheme, The Ministry of Tourism also sanctioned the project ‘Development of Pilgrimage Amenities at Somnath – Phase II’ for Rs. 44.59Crores.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme
i. It was launched in 2014-15 by Union Tourism Ministry with objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
ii. Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
iii. Tourism Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth Rs. 5997.47 crore to 31 states and Union Territories under this scheme.
iv. Shri. Alphons Kannanthanam , the Minister of State for Tourism.
About PRASHAD Scheme
i. Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) was launched in 2914-15 by Union Ministry of Tourism.
ii. The number of sites under PRASAD is 41 in 25 states.

Rs 637.98 crore released to 17 states under BADP for development of areas along international borders: MHA

On January 11, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced release of Rs 637.98 crore during 2018-19 to 17 states to develop the living standards of people living within 50 kilometres of the International Border.
i. This will be given under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP).
ii. Earlier in 2017-18, the ministry had released Rs 1,100 crore for the all-round development of villages along the international borders.
About BADP:
i. With the release of total amount of Rs 13,400 crore, since its inception in in 1986-87, BADP aims covers 111 border districts in 17 states to meet special development needs of border population with a focus on the people living within 50 kilometres of the international border.
ii. Schemes under the BADP include construction of primary health centres, schools, supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage to enable sustainable living.
iii. 61 model villages are also being developed under the BADP.
India shares border with Pakistan (3,323 km), China (3,488 km), Nepal (1,751 km), Bhutan (699 km), Myanmar (1,643 km) and Bangladesh (4,096 km).
Ministry of Home Affairs:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Rajnath Singh.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Kiren Rijiju, Shri. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.

2+2 Inter-Sessional meeting between India and US held in New Delhi

On 11th January 2019, the inaugural round of a 2+2 Inter-Sessional meeting between the United States and India which focused on the progress of defence and foreign policy issues between the two countries took place in New Delhi.

2+2 Inter-Sessional meeting between India and US held in New Delhi.

Key Points:
i. Shri Gourangalal Das, Joint Secretary (AMS), Ministry of External Affairs and Shri Shambhu S. Kumaran, Joint Secretary (PIC), Ministry of Defence led the Indian delegation.
ii. The U.S. delegation was led jointly by Ambassador Ms. Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Mr. Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense.
iii. The meeting was a follow up on the decisions taken during the India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue, which was held in New Delhi in September 2018.
iv. Views on regional developments as partners and stakeholders for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific were also exchanged by the two sides.
About United States of America (USA):
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: U.S. Dollar
♦ President: Donald Trump
About Ministry of Defence:
♦ Minister: Nirmala Sitharaman
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
About Ministry of External Affairs:
♦ Minister: Sushma Swaraj
♦ Minister of State: General Vijay Kumar Singh (Retd)

Three-day 6th ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ by WCD Ministry held in Chandigarh for the first time to Promote Women Farmers

On January 12, 2019, the three-day 6th annual ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ commenced at Leisure Valley, Sector-10, Chandigarh.

‘Women of India Organic Festival’ by WCD

This is the first time the event is being held in Chandigarh.
i. It aims to celebrate and promote women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic sector from the remotest parts of India.
ii. It has been organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
iii. Shri B.L. Sharma, Secretary, Women and Child Development, UT Chandigarh was the Chief Guest
iv. Smt. Anuradha Chagti, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India was be the Guest of Honour in the event.
v. On January 14th, as part of the event, the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) Mohali Regional Centre would be inaugurated by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development.
vi. The Festival will showcase over 1,000 varied organic products, including fabric, wellness, grains, seeds, jewellery, bakery items and a lot more.
♦ The Women of India Organic Festival has been held annually in New Delhi since 2015.
Ministry of Women and Child Development:
♦ Union Minister: Smt Maneka Gandhi.
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Virendra Kumar.
♦ Secretary: Shri Rakesh Srivastava.

25th edition of Partnership Summit held in Mumbai

On 12th January 2019, the 25th edition of the CII Partnership Summit 2019, a global platform for dialogue, debate, deliberation and engagement among Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India, kicked off in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The event will be concluded on 13th January 2019.

25th edition of Partnership Summit held in Mumbai

Key Points:
i. The summit which was inaugurated by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu also saw the presence of Chief Minister, Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, Governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao and Union Commerce Minister  Suresh Prabhu besides other dignitaries.
ii. The summit will offer new partnerships and investment opportunities in sectors like Artificial Intelligence, big data, agri and food processing, defence and aeronautics, renewable energy and tourism.
iii. The summit is being organised by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Maharashtra Government and Confederation of Indian Industry.
iv. The inaugural session of the summit themed at `New India: Rising to Global Occasions‘ will be attended by over 1000 delegates from 40 countries.
v. This edition of the summit will showcase India in the present landscape of an emerging “New India”, the “New Global Economic Address”.
vi. On the side-lines of the Summit, Union Commerce Minister, Suresh Prabhu will also hold bilateral meetings with various foreign dignitaries.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
♦ President: Rakesh Bharti Mittal
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
♦ Minister: Suresh Prabhu
♦ Minister of State: C R Chaudhary
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a new scheme ‘Ama Ghare LED’ to distribute free led bulds

On 11th January 2019, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Ama Ghare LED’ scheme, under which about 95 lakh families in the State will each get four LED bulbs free of cost.

'Ama Ghare LED' to distribute free led bulds

Key Points:
i. The scheme in which the LED bulbs (9-watt each) will be distributed to the beneficiaries registered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) was launched during the ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikash’ programme.
ii. Distribution of the bulbs will be started through the PEETHA (Peoples Empowerment – Enabling Transparency and Accountability of Odisha Initiatives) schemes on January 15.
iii. The scheme will be implemented by Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) and the bulbs will be distributed through camps to be held during 15th to 20th of every month and through the PDS outlets across the State.
iv. The beneficiaries will have to produce their bio-metric authentication to avail benefits under the scheme. 
v. The ‘Ama Ghare LED’ project, which requires about 3.8 crore LED bulbs for distribution, will help curb high-watt consumption.
About Odisha:
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal


Rs 3 crore penalty slapped on Citibank India for non-compliance of criteria for directors: RBI

On January 11, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), under the relevant provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, imposed a penalty of Rs 3 crore on Citibank India for non-compliance in criteria for directors of the bank.
i. Citibank has been accused of deficiencies in regulatory compliance and of directions regarding the ‘fit-and-proper criteria’ for directors of the bank.
ii. The US-based Citibank has been operating in India for over 115 years.
♦ Headquarters: New York City.


India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report: Released by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with PwC

The global consulting firm PwC and industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) held a new survey of manufacturers and released a report titled “The India Manufacturing Barometer 2019”.
Key Points:
i. The report projected that India’s economy is expected to grow anywhere between 7.3 – 7.7 per cent.
ii. The report concluded that about 74 per cent of manufacturers are hopeful of a faster growth rate in their respective sectors over the next 12 months while about 58% expect their sector to grow faster by at least 5% in the next 12 months.
iii. The sample for the survey includes companies of the sectors like automobiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and textiles that contribute approximately 12 per cent to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
iv. The report pointed that the severe lack of working capital continues to be a pain point for micro, small and medium enterprises.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
♦ President: Sandip Somany 
♦ Secretary General: Dilip Chenoy 
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
About Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC):
♦ Chairman: Bob Moritz
♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom


President of India Confers The Honorary Rank of General of The Indian Army on General Purna Chandra Thapa

On January 12, 2019,The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind,awarded the Honorary Rank of General of the Indian Army on Sukirtimaya Rashtradeep General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of the Army Staff, Nepal Army, for his immense military skills and immeasurable contribution to bring up Nepal’s long and friendly relationship with India, at a special Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan,New Delhi.
i. Thapa assumed the command of the Nepal Army in September 2018.Nepal army chief is to arrive India on a four day visit.It will be his first official bilateral visit after taking over the command of the Nepal Army.
Congo: Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi wins presidential election
ii. On 10th January 2019, Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi won the long delayed Presidential Election by receiving more than 7 million or 38% votes.
Key points
i. Following the election results, Current President Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 18 years in office.
ii. Mr Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence in 1960
iii. Martin Fayulu stands second and Emmanuel Shadary stands third in the Presidential elections.
About Congo
♦ Capital: Kinshasa
♦ Currency: Congolese franc
♦ Prime Minister: Bruno Tshibala


Lt Gen J S Nain took over as 14th Commander of Army’s Rising Star Corps

On January 12, 2019, Lt Gen J S Nain took over as the 14th Corps Commander of the Rising Star Corps from Lt Gen Y V K Mohan in Jammu.

J S Nain took over as 14th Commander of Army's Rising Star Corps

i. He is a soldier and an alumnus of the National Defence Academy.
ii. Based in Yol cantonment town in Kangra Valley, southeast of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, the Rising Star Corps was raised in 2005 and is the Indian Army’s youngest corps.


Kartik becomes youngest Indian to win junior world title

On 12th January 2019, Gurgaon’s 8-year-old Kartik Singh won the under-8 category Junior world title at the Kids’ Golf World Championship organised by US kids Golf in Malaysia to become the youngest Indian to win the title.

Kartik becomes youngest Indian to win junior world title

i. Kartik is a member of the junior programme at the DLF Golf Academy.
ii. The DLF Golf Academy which was opened in 1999, is the first professional golf school in the country and Karan Bindra is the Director of Instruction.

Dhoni becomes fifth Indian to reach 10000 run mark in ODIs

On January 12, 2019, Dhoni makes his place in the list 10000 runs club like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli had scored 10,000 ODI runs for India. Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the fifth Indian to reach the milestone of 10,000-run mark in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for the country.
i. On to date,Mahendra Singh Dhoni ,who was missing the feat by just a run, entered the 10,000th club with a single off Jhye Richardson in the ongoing first ODI between India and Australia and is the 12th player in history of ODI cricket to reach the 10,000-runs.


Former banker and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Meera Sanyal passed away

On January 12, 2019, banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal passed away at 57.
i. She was the country chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland when she quit and joined the Aam Aadmi Party.
ii. She also unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai twice, in 2009 and 2014.
iii. In 2018, she also wrote a book named: ‘The Big Reverse: How Demonetization Knocked India Out’.


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