Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for February 2019 – Set 1

  • Hindi has been added as third official language by Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to be used in the city’s courts. This is aimed to help foreigners to learn about procedures, their rights and duties.
  • India is now the second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. This is due to government initiatives to push for alternatives to traditional cooking fuels such as firewood and cow dung. The number of active LPG consumers in India has increased annually at a rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent – from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18. The import of LPG grew by 12.5 percent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons in 2018-19. India now stands at number two in importing LPG surpassing Japan.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation, 2017-18. The forecast for GDP growth for 2017-18 was magnified to 7.2% from the earlier estimate of 6.7%.
  • The messaging app WhatsApp has announced Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses in India in association with Invest India. A cash prize worth $250,000 will be awarded to top 5 winners. The themes for this challenge are citizen safety, healthcare, rural economy, financial and digital inclusion.
  • The Maharashtra Cooperative Department has decided to enhance agribusiness between Maharashtra and other states.  The Department has decided to appoint managers at six major cities across the country – Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur to bridge the mismatch and ensure better price for farmers and thus reducing burden on consumers.
  • INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) is a project of the three governments of UK, France and Germany to bypass US Sanctions on Iran.  This project will support legitimate European Trade with Iran with initial focus on sectors which are more important for the national population such as agri-food, medical devices and pharmaceutical.
  • Rishi Kumar Shukla, an IPS Officer, is appointed as the chief of Central Bureau of Investigation for tenure of two years.  The appointment was approved by the Appointments committee.
  • India’s Women Cricket Team captain Mithali Raj becomes the first woman to play 200 ODI matches. She played her 200th ODI against New Zealand.
  • February 4th is observed as World Cancer Day to save millions of preventable deaths through education and awareness. The Union for International Cancer Control launched a new 3-year campaign with theme – “I Am and I Will”. The aim of campaign is to increase public exposure and engagement to inspire the change that is required to build cancer free future of the world.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on UCO Bank for non-compliance of instructions issued by RBI. RBI advises banks from time to time on safeguard measures necessary for prevention of frauds.
  • RBI lowered repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 percent. This could encourage banks and non-banking finance companies into reducing their lending rates for home loans thus resulting in lower EMIs for borrowers.
  • India’s communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully launched from French Guiana. The GSAT-31 will be placed at Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.  GSAT-31 will provide connectivity to VSAT for ATM, Stock Exchange, DTH Television Services, Digital Satellite News Gathering and e-governance applications.
  • J&K Governor, Satya Pal Malik on Feb 8th 2019 awarded Divisional Status to Ladakh Region. The Ladakh division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts with its headquarters at Leh. Till now, it was part of the Kashmir Division of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Senate and lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced legislation to end per country green card limit. Once the Bill is passed, it will benefit hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals on H1-B visas waiting to gain permanent legal residency in the US.
  • India climbed 8 places in 2019 International Intellectual Property Index, ranking at 36th position among 50 countries.  The overall score of India increased to 36.04 percent from previous percent of 30.07 in 2018.
  • India successfully conducted its second test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Propelled Missile.  This test established technologies including ground booster, separation of ground booster and nozzle-less booster. The Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet propelled missile uses the air-breathing ramjet propulsion technology. This helps propel the missile at high supersonic speeds for engaging targets at long range.
  • World’s first Pulses Day was celebrated on 10th Feb 2019. UN General Assembly has passed the resolution  to celebrate this day as World Pulse Day to keep the positive momentum surrounding these healthy nutritious, protein-rich, nitrogen-fixing legumes alive after the Food and Agriculture Organization of UN’s successful 2016 International Year of Pulses Campaign.
  • The 61st Grammy Awards ceremony was held on 10th Feb 2019 at Los Angeles. Album “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves won the album of the year award. Dupa Lipa won the best new artist award. While Childish Gambino was the big winner – getting four honors – including best music video and best rap/sung performance.
  • The 72nd BAFTA Awards ceremony was held on 10th Feb 2019 at Royal Albert Hall in London.  The important awards given away were as follows:
    • ‘Roma’ for Best Film
    • ‘The Favourite’ for Best British Film
    • Rami Malek (Bohemian Rahapsody) for Best Actor
    • Olivia Colman (The Favourite) for Best Actress
    • Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) for Best Director
  • The seventh annual World Government Summit 2019 was held in Dubai from 10th to 12th Feb 2019. This is a platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide. This is a neutral non-profit organization at the intersection of innovation and government. It functions as a knowledge exchange platform for leaders in the public and private sectors to set up and collaborate with world-renowned experts to create a positive impact for citizens worldwide. The event is attended by over 4000 world leaders from 150 countries.
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