National News

GST On Haj Reduced From 18% To 5%

i: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stated that GST on Haj has been reduced from 18% to 5% and this will significantly lower the airfare thus saving Haj pilgrims’ 113 crore rupees this year. 

ii: Mr. Naqvi also stated that for the first time since the independence 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram.

Odisha Announces Jiban Sampark Project

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i: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced “Jiban Sampark” project in partnership with UNICEF India to generate awareness about the development and welfare initiatives of state government among the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of the state. 

ii: The announcement was made after Patnaik inaugurated the annual tribal fair popularly known as “Adivasi Mela”.

Useful Info-

  • Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal.

Uttarakhand’s First Tulip Garden In Pithoragarh

i: Uttarakhand’s first tulip garden will come up over 50 hectares of forest land in Pithoragarh district at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The state government has obtained the Centre’s nod for development of the garden.

ii: To be developed by the ONGC, under its corporate social responsibility programme, the proposed tulip garden will be the country’s second after the one located in Srinagar (J&K).

Useful Info-

  • Uttarakhand State Governor– Baby Rani Maurya, CM-Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Cable-Stayed ‘Atal Setu’ Inaugurated In Goa

i: A 5.1-km long cable-stayed “Atal Setu” on the Mandovi river in Goa, a third such bridge to connect the state capital with North Goa, was opened to the public by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. 

ii: Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik also attended the event to inaugurate the four-lane bridgewhich at 2.5 lakh tonnes is equivalent to the weight of 570 Boeing aircraft.

Appointments

Pakistan Appoints Its First Ever Female Hindu Civil Judge

i: Suman Kumari has become the first Hindu woman to have been appointed as a civil judge in Pakistan after passing an examination for induction of judicial officers. 

ii: The first judge from the Hindu community was Justice Rana Bhagwandas, who served as the acting chief justice for brief periods between 2005 and 2007.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh Re-appointed Regional Director Of WHO South-East Asia

i: Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been appointed Regional Director for World Health Organization South-East Asia, for a second five-year term.

ii: The WHO Executive Board unanimously endorsed Dr. Khetrapal Singh, who was earlier also unanimously nominated by 11 Member countries of the Region for another five years.

Useful Info-

  • WHO Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland, Director general: Tedros Adhanom.

Awards

India Bags The Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ At NYTTS 2019

i: India received the Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ at the New York Times Travel Show 2019, the largest travel show in North America. India was honoured during the Closing Bell Ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange.

ii: The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India participated as the ‘Presenting Partner’ in the New York Times Travel Show (NYTTS 2019)organised at Jacob K Javits Centre, New York.

Agreements 

India, China Sign Protocol For Exports Of Indian Tobacco Leaves To China

i: India and China have signed the protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China. The protocol was signed during the recent visit of Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan to Beijing.

ii: Dr.Wadhawan also had the bilateral meeting with Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs, Zhang Jiwen for examining market access and quarantine issues for India’s agriculture and allied products.

Useful Info-

  • China Capital: Beijing, Currency: Renminbi.

Sports

Kartik Sharma Wins New South Wales Men’s Amateur Golf Championship

i: India’s Kartik Sharma won the New South Wales men’s Amateur Golf Championship in Australia. Kartik notched up a magnificent win over Australia’s Nathan Barberie in the scheduled 36-hole final to emerge as champion.

Rohit Paudel of Nepal Youngest Batsman To Hit International Half-Century

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i: Nepal batsman Rohit Paudel has become the youngest male cricketer to score an international fifty at the age of 16 years and 146 days, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s previous mark.

ii: He is also the youngest man to score a one-day international half-century, beating Shahid Afridi, who smashed a 37-ball century in an incredible first inning against Sri Lanka aged 16 and 217 days. Indian legend Tendulkar scored his maiden Test fifty when 16 years and 213days old.

Ranks & Reports

India Replaces Japan To Become Second-Largest Crude Steel Producer

i: India has replaced Japan as the world’s 2nd largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel, accounting for more than 51% of production, according to the World Steel Association. 

ii: China’s share increased from 50.3% in 2017 to 51.3% in 2018. India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, up 4.9% from 101.5 MT in 2017. 

Important Days

Data Protection Day: Jan 28

i: The Council of Europe had launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, was opened to the signature.

ii: Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called Data Privacy Day outside Europe.

Obituaries

Former Defence Minister George Fernandes Passes Away

i: Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passed away in Delhi at the age of 88. Fernandes also served as the Railways Minister in former Prime Minister VP Singh’s government. 

ii: His last stint as a parliamentarian was as a Rajya Sabha MP between August 2009 and July 2010.

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