Current Affairs Daily Updates: 19 and 20 January 2018

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 19 and 20 January 2018
1. HDFC Bank Becomes 1st Indian Bank to Cross Rs5 trillion Market Capitalisation
  • India’s most-valued lender HDFC Bank Limited crossed Rs5 trillion capitalization action for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • In intraday trade, the stock touched a fresh record high of Rs1,53.75 on the BSE, up 3.31% from its previous close.
  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are the other two companies which crossed market capitalisation of Rs5 trillion.
2. Virat Kohli named as Captain of ICCs Test and ODI Teams of the Year
  • Virat Kohli was named the captain of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test and One-Day International (ODI) teams of the year that included four other Indians as well.
  • Kohli scored 2,023 runs at 77.80, including eight centuries and three half-centuries in 18 matches during the qualification period.
  • He surprisingly pipped Australian skipper Steve Smith for the ICC’s Test team captaincy.
3. Israel PM Addresses India-Israel Business Summit in Mumbai
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Mumbai during the final leg of his visit to India.
  • Mr. Netanyahu addressed the India-Israel Business Summit at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in south Mumbai.
  • Later in the day, Mr. Netanyahu will attend the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event at the Taj hotel. A monthly magazine titled ‘Namaste Shalom’ will also be launched to mark Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit. The magazine is planned to carry forward the great initiative of Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu to strengthen India-Israel relations.
4. Union Government planning to set up of Cyber Warrior Police Force to tackle internet-related crimes
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided to set up Cyber Warrior Police Force (CWPF) and Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to tackle internet-related crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography, and online stalking.
  • The CWPF is likely to operate under National Information Security Policy and Guidelines wing of MHA’s CIS division.
  • The State cybersecurity cells will form the foundation of centralized CWPF.
5. Maharashtra becomes first state to unveil Public Cloud Policy
  • Maharashtra became the first state in the country to unveil Public Cloud Policy that virtually mandates state government departments to shift their data storage.
  • The State Government had formed a four-member committee to draft policy framework on cloud usage.
  • The policy will result in additional private sector investments worth the US $2 billion for cloud industry as the government is one of biggest creators.
6. NPPA fixes retail price of 30 drug formulations
  • Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed retail price for 30 drug formulations, including those used for the treatment of Diabetics, bacterial infections, and high blood pressure.
  • NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was set up in 1997.
  • Its mandate is to fix/review.
  • Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population.
7. India Ratings Projects Economic Growth at 7.1 Next Fiscal
  • India Ratings and Research have projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 percent in 2018-19 from 6.5 percent in 2017-18, buoyed by robust consumer demand and low commodity prices.
  • In its outlook for 2018-19, according to the agency, there will be a gradual pickup in growth momentum owing to structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in place.
  • The projection is a tad lower than 7.4 percent growth estimated by Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund for next fiscal.

8. Elections Dates in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland Declared
  • The Election Commission of India, Achal Kumar Joti announced dates for elections to the Assemblies of Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland.
  • The CEC announced the polling for legislative assembly elections in Tripura on 18 February, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to vote on 27 February.
  • All the three states have 60 seats each in their assembly.
  • The tenure of the Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland Assemblies expire on March 6, March 13 and March 14, 2018, respectively.
  • The State elections to Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are also due this year.
9. Central Government and CII Ink MoU for Development of Logistics Sector
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu to enhance import and export performance.
  • The Centre has entrusted the task of integrated development of the logistics sector to the Department of Commerce.
10. Tenth Global Forum for Food and Agriculture held at Berlin
  • The 10th edition of Global Forum for Food & Agriculture was held in Berlin, Germany from 18th -20th January 2018.
  • The theme of this year’s event is “Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”.
  • The Indian delegation to the event is led by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
  • The event was organized by Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., Senate of Berlin.
11. Facebook appoints its 1st African-American Member to Board
  • Facebook appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board.
  • Chenault serves on the Boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble and is also a Harvard Law School graduate.
12. Yes Bank Ties up with Amplus Energy Solutions
  • Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for a strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at International Solar Alliance pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.
13. India to Set up $350 million Fund to Finance Solar Projects
  • As per the Power Minister RK Singh, India will set up a $350-million fund to finance solar projects as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.
  • The announcement was made at an event organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Installed renewable power capacity is currently about 60 GW, and India plans to complete the bidding process by the end of 2019/20 to add a further 115 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022.
14. WhatsApp Unveils Business App for Android
  • Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp rolled out a feature that connects small businesses with customers.
  • Currently, only Android users can access the feature and they can avail of it through the latest update of the app.
  • The new feature will be available first in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, UK and the US before being launched globally in the coming weeks.
15. Union Government Announces List of 9 New Smart Cities
  • Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced the list of nine new Smart Cities, which have emerged winners in Round 4.
  • These nine cities are, Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Diu in Daman and Diu, Bihar Sharif in Bihar, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.

16. India became 43rd Member of Australia Group
  • India joined the Australia Group export control regime and has become the 43rd Member of that Group.
  • It is an informal forum which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
  • The inclusion will raise India’s stature in the field of non-proliferation and help in acquiring critical technologies.
  • India managed entry into Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
17. President Ram Nath Kovind Unveils Book on Self-Development in Delhi
  • President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a book on heartfulness techniques and principles titled 'The Heartfulness Way'. Kamlesh D. Patel is the author of this book.
  • It is the fourth Global Guide of Heartfulness.
  • Joshua Pollock is the second author of this book. It was launched by Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu.
18. S Selvakumar appointed as CMD Of SPMCIL
  • The Union Government appointed senior IAS officer S Selvakumar as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL).
  • He replaced Anurag Agarwal.
  • The state-owned SPMCIL produces banknotes, coins, postage stamps, non-judicial stamps and other official documents.
19. India to offer Yoga classes at World Economic Forum
  • India will offer Yoga training sessions at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in a move aimed at promoting Indian traditions abroad.
  • More than 70 heads of states are expected to attend the summit next week. PM Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the summit in 21 years.
  • Two yoga teachers from India will hold daily classes next week at the summit, which has attracted 70 heads of state and government, including U.S. President Donald Trump as well as celebrities, chief executives and top bankers.
  • Modi will be the first Indian prime minister to attend the WEF in 21 years, since when the economy has more than doubled to $2.3 trillion and become the world’s seventh largest.
20. INS Vikramaditya Formally Affiliated to Bihar Regiment
  • Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy's largest ship, and its sole aircraft carrier were formally affiliated to the Indian Army's highly-decorated and battle-hardened Bihar Regiment and the Indian Air Force's No 6 Squadron.
  • It is tasked with maritime strike operations with its Jaguar fighter aircraft. A glittering ceremony was held onboard INS Vikramaditya at the Karwar Naval Base, Karnataka.
21. Iconic Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri Passes Away
  • Famous Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passed away after a brief period of illness, marking the end of a chapter in Bengal's history of the cartoon.
  • Lahiri was 86.
  • Marked by simplicity and ease, Lahiri left generations of Bengalis enthralled with his brand of humor that was non-acerbic for the past five decades.
22. AU Small Finance Bank Inks MoU with LIC to Offer PMJJBY Scheme
  • Banking finance company AU Small Finance Bank signed a MoU with LIC to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
  • Under the MoU, LIC will give a life cover of Rs2 lakh in case of death to the customer at a nominal premium of Rs330 per annum.
  • The company has re-entered the housing finance segment.
  • The company will also offer loans under government’s affordable housing and subsidy schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
  • The product will be targeted for both salaried and self- employed (professional and non-professional) customers.