Current Affairs Daily Updates: 09 and 10 January 2018

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 09 and 10 January 2018
1. Haryana Becomes First State to Launch High Risk Pregnancy Portal
  • Haryana becomes the first state in the country to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal.
  • This portal not only helps in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to the grass-roots level but also ensures their timely referral to the civil hospitals for further management and delivery by specialists.
  • This innovative web application has been designed to track every high-risk pregnant woman till 42 days after delivery so that she receives adequate treatment during the ante-natal period for the healthy outcome of pregnancy.
2. Bilateral Annual Haj 2018 Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia Signed
  • According to the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Saudi Arabia given the green signal for India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also.
  • The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped in 1995.
  • For the first time, Muslim women from India will go to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion).
  • Separate accommodation and transport have been arranged for these women Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and women “Haj Assistant” will be deployed for their assistance.
3. Philippe Coutinho Joins Barcelona Becomes 2nd Most Expensive Transfer in World Soccer History
  • Team Liverpool sold Brazilian football player Philippe Coutinho to Team Barcelona for 160 million Euros ($192 million).
  • With this, transfer of Philippe Coutinho has become the 2nd Most Expensive transfer in World Soccer History.
  • World’s most expensive transfer is Brazilian football player Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain team in 200 million pounds in 2017.
4. Iran bans teaching of English language in primary schools to fight against western cultural invasion
  • Iran banned the teaching of English in primary schools after Islamic leaders warned that learning the language opened the way to a Western 'cultural invasion'.
  • Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei teachers that it does not mean opposition to learning a foreign language, but a promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults, and youths.
  • The teaching of English in Iran usually starts between the ages of 12 to 14 but some primary schools below that age also hold language classes.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates 1st PIO Parliamentary Conference in Delhi
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the first Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference in Delhi on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
  • The day is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India.
  • It also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January 1915. In the Conference, the biggest delegation was from Guyana with 20 members of parliament and three mayors.
  • Established in 2003, and sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is held from 7-9 January every year.
6. Indias 1st Multi-Petaflop Supercomputer Pratyush Dedicated to Nation
  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops supercomputer named ‘Pratyush’ to the nation in Pune.
  • It is established at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.
  • It will be a national facility for improving weather and climate forecasts and services under the umbrella of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
7. Delhi Government Launches Common Card for Bus & Metro Rides
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal launched a common card for rides on public buses and the metro.
  • Delhi is the first city in the country to have a common mobility card, which can at present be used on 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses plying on different routes, apart from metro trains.
  • The card, which will function like a debit card, will be operational in all DTC and cluster buses from April 2018.
8. Worlds Largest Ice Festival Held in China
  • World’s largest Ice Festival 'International Ice and Snow Festival' was held in Harbin, China.
  • This is one of China’s coldest cities in the winter. It is the 34th annual Ice Festival in Harbin, north-east China.
  • It features sculptures of Moscow’s Red Square and Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
9. Germany denies achieving climate change goal till 2020
  • The goal to cut the carbon emission by 2020 may be missed by Germany as the chancellor Angela Merkel and her party has denied achieving the goal in next two years.
  • To achieve the target of lowering the emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels by about five percentage points is on low chances.
  • Despite a booming renewable sector, Germany still gets 39% of its power from coal.
  • A cross-party commission has been established to create a phase-out plan for the dirty fuel, but it remains a politically charged subject, with utilities and mining unions playing for more time to transition.
  • Germany likes to champion itself as a climate leader.
10. Gujarat Tops Logistics Performance Index Chart: Report
  • Gujarat topped the logistics index chart, according to a Report released by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.
  • The chart is an indicator of the efficiency of logistical services necessary for promoting exports in particular and economic growth in general.
  • Among 22 states, Gujarat is followed by Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra on the index.
  • The ranking is based on the analysis of perception with regard to eight parameters, including infrastructure, services, regulatory process and safety of cargo.

11. Direct Tax Collections for FY 2017-18 Show Growth of 18.2% up to December, 2017
  • The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
  • The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for Financial Year 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore).
  • Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 12.6% to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore from April to December 2017.
12. Union Government to launch new scheme for free treatment of Hepatitis C
  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, a new scheme free treatment of Hepatitis C from the 2018-19 financial year.
  • Under the new scheme, the focus will be on anti-viral treatment of Hepatitis C which will be provided free at all government health set-ups.
13. Indian Railways Launches Transparent and Efficient New Online Vendor Registration System
  • Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, launched “New Online Vendor Registration System”.
  • This new system provides major improvements and big changes in the registration system over the earlier system.
  • Public access to the information, expeditious process completion with defined timelines, simplification of procedures, round-the-year services, availability of all related information on RDSO Website, constant monitoring at all levels, reduction in cycle timelines, regular updating of online data, user-friendly interface etc. are the hallmarks of the new system.
14. A R Rahman Becomes Sikkims Brand Ambassador
  • Music composer A R Rahman became the brand ambassador of Sikkim.
  • The declaration was made by Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling.
  • Mr Chamling felicitated the legendary music composer during an inauguration of the 11-day Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival at Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.
15. Anchal Thakur Bags Bronze India's 1st International Medal in Skiing
  • Aanchal Thakur made history as she won India's first ever international medal in skiing.
  • The 21-year-old Manali resident clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup.
  • The Championship was organized by the Federation Internationale de Ski (skiing's international governing body) in Erzurum, Turkey. She won the medal in the slalom race category.
16. World Bank Projects Indias Growth Rate at 7.3% in 2018
  • World Bank projected India’s growth rate at 7.3 percent in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years.
  • According to the 2018 Global Economics Prospect release, despite initial setbacks from demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s economy is estimated to have grown at 6.7 percent in 2017.
  • India’s growth potential will be around 7 percent for the next 10 years. In comparison with China, which is slowing, the World Bank is expecting India to gradually accelerate.