Wednesday, February 14, 2018

January 2018, Current Affair’s (for CLAT)

1.      Arunachal Pradesh has been officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and has become the second state in the North East after Sikkim to achieve the status.

2.      The mini-ministerial meeting of WTO members from both rich and developing nations is proposed to be hosted by India in February 2018 to revitalize the multi-lateral trade body. The objective of the meeting is to discuss ways to revitalise the WTO, which is the best available multilateral institution to ensure predictable and transparent system of rule-making in the area of international trade. About 40 WTO member countries are expected to participate in the meeting, which is taking place after collapse of the ministerial talks held in Buenos Aires in December 2017. The meeting would be in the backdrop of rich nations forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing new issues such as investment facilitation, preparing rules for e-commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries.

3.      US buyout giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) & Co. has become the first foreign investor to fully own an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) in India as it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at a time when lenders are fighting with a pile of bad loans that have crippled their businesses. KKR is one of the most aggressive investors in financial services. It has plans to deploy a major chunk from its record Asia fund for buying troubled assets in the country, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Its headquarters is located in New York, United States. An ARC is in the business of acquiring Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).

4.      China has launched the world's largest human genome research project to document the genetic makeup of one lakh people to help generate the precision medicines for the future. The project would detect the genetic links between health and sickness and involve one person from different ethnic backgrounds and regions.

5.      Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Defence Minister, has launched a new state-of-the-art incubation centre "Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL)" at Mallikatta in Mangaluru, Karnataka on December 29, 2017.

6.      Vidarbha cricket team has created history by winning the 2017 Ranji Trophy tournament with a thumping 9-wicket win over Delhi at the Holkar stadium in Indore on the 4th and penultimate day of their final on January 1, 2018. It is Vidarbha's first Ranji Trophy title.

7.      The Chamera Dam is located near the town of Dalhousie, in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It impounds the River Ravi and supports the hydroelectricity project in the region. The reservoir of the dam is the Chamera Lake.

8.      Uttar Pradesh will be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts fair, which is scheduled to be held from the first week of February at Faridabad in Haryana. Besides participation of all states, about two dozen countries would also take part in the fair.

9.      The 171st Araadhanai Music Festival (AMF) has started in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu on January 2, 2018. The fest is one of the Trinities of Carnatic music Saint Thyagaraja, which was inaugurated by Governor Banwarilal Purohit. The main function of the festival – the choral singing of Thyagaraja's five kritis in Ghana ragas – will be held on his Samadhi day which falls on next Saturday. Over 1,000 musicians from all over the world are expected to pay homage to Saint Thygaraja during the course of the five-day festival.

10.  Salil S Parekh, an aeronautical engineer from IIT Bombay, has formally taken charge as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Infosys on January 2, 2018.

11.  The Karnataka government has recently received the approval for purchase of electric vehicles from the Department of Heavy Industries of the Union Government under FAME India subsidised scheme. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India was launched in 2015 under the National Electric Mobility Mission (NEMM) aims at promoting eco-friendly vehicles in the country.

12.  Vijay Keshav Gokhale, the 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary of India. He will succeed S Jaishankar, whose term ends on January 28, 2018. Currently, he is Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He has also held the post of India's ambassador to China during the term of the Narendra Modi government. Before that, he served as India's envoy to Germany and Hong Kong.

13.  G Sathiyan has become India's highest- ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. Sathiyan (ranked 49th) surpassed his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal (51st).

14.  The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a leading research institute, which is located in Nainital, Uttarakhand. It is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (GoI) and has specialization in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences.

15.  The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which is India's Premier Container Port, has won the 2017 "Samudra Manthan – Caring Organisation of the Year"

16.  Former RAW Chief Rajinder Khanna, a 1978-batch Research and Analysis Wing Service (RAS) officer, has been appointed as the new Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) on January 2, 2018 without a fixed tenure and would remain at the post until further orders. He will assist NSA Ajit Doval, who too is a former RAW chief.

17.  The Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) is an autonomous institute constituted under the Department of Science and Technology, GoI. The institute is located at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and is a seat of higher learning in the field of plant fossil research. The BSIP, established in 1946, was an outcome of vision of the renowned Indian botanist Prof. Birbal Sahni.

18.  On 3rd January 2018, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has welcomed six new non-permanent members — Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru, and Poland. The six new countries, voted on by the 193-member General assembly for two-year terms, will have a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security during their time on the U.N.'s most powerful body. The U.N. Security council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members — five of which (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) hold permanent membership and veto power. The six countries who left the UNSC on 31st December 2017 are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.

19.  Turkey's endangered 'bird language' has entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is an unusual and very efficient whistle language used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey. UNESCO has accepted the "bird language" of Black Sea villagers as an endangered part of world heritage in need of urgent protection. Around 10,000 people, mostly in the district of Canakci in Giresun province, still use the highly-developed and high pitch system of whistling to communicate in the rugged terrain where most of the times they cannot see each other. This form of communication which dates to some 500 years ago, during the Ottoman Empire, was widespread across the Black Sea regions, but 50 years ago it suffered the impact of the progression of technology and nowadays the ever rapid growing of cellular mobile systems has put this cultural heritage under serious threat.

20.  The Khadakwasla Dam is 1.6 km long and has been built on the Mutha River, 20 km from Pune in Maharashtra. This dam across the river Mutha created an attractive lake "Khadakwasla Lake", which is the main source of water for Pune and its suburbs.

21.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) against public sector lender Allahabad Bank, owing to its high net Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and negative Return on Assets (RoA) for two consecutive years. The action would contribute to the overall improvement in risk management, asset quality, profitability, efficiency of the bank. The RBI has initiated similar action against other public sector banks, including IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and UCO Bank.

22.  The 3rd edition of the Science Film Festival of India (SCI-FFI) will be held in Goa from January 16-19, 2018. The festival titled "SCI-FFI Goa" is being organized by the state-based Vidnyan Parishad, Goa Department of Science and Technology.

23.  Meghalaya has signed the Host City Contract with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for hosting the 39th National Games in 2022 on January 3, 2018. The tripartite contract was signed between the IOA, the Meghalaya State Olympic Association, and the state government. With this, Meghalaya will host the National Games 2022 coinciding with the 50th year of the creation of the state.

24.  The Basava Sagar Dam has been built across the Krishna River at Siddapur Village in Bijapur district of Karnataka. The reservoir that it impounds is known as Basava Sagar.

25.  The New Delhi World Book Fair has started at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on January 6, 2018. It is organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). The main theme of 2018 fair is "Environment and climate change" and European Union is the focus country.

26.  Iceland has become the first country in the world to enforce equal pay for women and men. The new law, which came into force on 1st January 2018, stated that companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies.

27.  Ravi Menon, an Indian-origin banker in Singapore has been named as the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018 by the leading UK-based magazine 'The Banker' for his contribution in the makeover of Singapore's financial system. He is the managing director of Singapore's central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

28.  The 31st International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) has launched at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat from January 7, 2018.

29.  The Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is the world's largest leather research institute in terms of research papers and patents. The CLRI was founded on 24 April 1948 as a constituent laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

30.  The Indravati Dam is a gravity dam on the Indravati River, about 90 km from Bhawanipatna in the state of Odisha. It is the largest power producing dam in eastern India with a capacity of 600 MW.

31.  Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister of Earth Sciences (MoES), has dedicated India's fastest and first multi-peta-flops supercomputer "Pratyush' to the nation in Pune on January 8, 2018. The supercomputer has been established at Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and will be a national facility for improving weather and climate forecasts under the umbrella of the MoES.

32.  Soumitra Chattopadhyay (82), the legendary film and theatre actor, will be conferred with the France's highest order of merit 'Legion of Honour at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018.

33.  Sunny Verghese, the Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

34.  India's second Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) will be set up by the Union Government in Arunachal Pradesh as part of tapping the potential of the Northeastern region. The first FTII was set up in Pune, an autonomous institute operating under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). Film actor Anupam Kher is the current Chairman of this institute.

35.  John Watts Young (87), the legendary astronaut who walked on the Moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, has passed away at Houston, United States on January 5, 2018.

36.  According to recently released report by Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Gujarat has topped the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index. Among 22 states, Punjab has acquired 2nd position followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

37.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first-ever Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference in the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK) in Delhi on January 9, 2018. Approx 124 Members of Parliament (MP) and 17 mayors from 23 countries will participate in this conference.

38.  The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year on January 9 to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. The day was chosen to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915, which led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.

39.  The Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The dam was commissioned in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation. The power house has an installed capacity of 990 MW.

40.  The World Bank (WB) in its latest report "Global Economic Prospects (GEP-2018)" has projected India's GDP growth rate at 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% for the next two years.

41.  Aanchal Thakur, a 21-year-old from Himachal Pradesh, has created history by becoming the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing. She clinched bronze in the slalom race category at Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by Skiing's international governing body, Federation International de Ski (FIS) at the Palandoken Ski Centre, in Erzurum in Turkey on January 9, 2018.

42.  The Matunga suburban station on the Central Railway (CR) of Mumbai division has figured in the Limca Book of Records 2018 for having an all-woman staff. The achievement comes six months after Matunga became the first railway station in the country to be run by an all-woman staff. A team of 41 women staffers at the station includes personnel from the RPF, commercial and operating departments.

43.  Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman has become the official brand ambassador of Sikkim. The declaration was made by Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling who felicitated the legendary music composer during an inauguration of the 2018 Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival at Palzor Stadium in Gangtok on January 8. The winter carnival is aimed at boosting tourism in the state and has music, dance, adventure sports and exhibition of organic food products of the state events lined up for the 11 days of the festival.

44.  The 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival 2018 and the 3rd China International Ice and Snow Tourism Summit has officially started on January 5 in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. The festival mainly features ice and snow-themed scenic spots such as the world's largest ice and snow park and a snow sculpture art expo as well as diverse ice and snow sports and entertainments.

45.  Iran has recently banned teaching of English language in primary schools to fight against western cultural invasion. Usually, the teaching of English starts in middle school in Iran, at the ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools below that age also have English classes.

46.  The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed every year on January 10 to mark the first anniversary of World Hindi Conference (WHC) which was held in 1975. Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius. Apart from this, the National Hindi Divas (NHD) is celebrated every year in India on September 14 to mark the day on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union.

47.  The Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) is located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

48.  The 4th edition of International Dharma Dhamma conference (IDDC-2018) has inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in Rajgir, Bihar on January 11, 2018. This 3-day conference has been jointly organised by India Foundation, Nalanda University, Ministry of External Affairs, ASEAN-India and Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha.

49.  Dilip Asbe has been appointed as the new Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

50.  Dr. K Sivan will be the new Secretary of the Department of Space, and Chairman of the Space Commission and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Sivan is popularly known as the "Rocket Man" for his significant contribution in the development of cryogenic engines for India's space programme.

51.  The Uri Dam is a 480 MW hydroelectric power station on the Jhelum River near Uri in Baramula district of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It is located very near to the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan.

52.  The 2018 National Youth Day (NYD) has been celebrated in India on January 12 to mark the 155th birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda. He was considered a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and bringing it to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. He became popular in the western world after his famous speech at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. He was the chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna and founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. In 1984, the Government of India (GoI) declared the day as the National Youth Day (NYD) and since 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year.

53.  The Election Commission (EC) has constituted a 14-member committee to suggest changes to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act in view of social media expansion. The Act prohibits poll campaign in the last 48 hours of voting. The Committee chaired by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha will study the impact of social media during the silence period and suggest modifications to the election law and model code of conduct.

54.  Ecuador has granted citizenship to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the United Kingdom (UK). Ecuador Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa informed that Assange, who is an Australian, became an Ecuadoran citizen on December 12, 2017. This news announced on January 12, 2018. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when he was faced with extradition to Sweden for allegedly sexually assaulting two women. Ecuador has also sought to give Assange diplomatic status, but Britain has rejected the request. The diplomatic immunity would allow him to leave the embassy without the possibility of being arrested for jumping bail in 2012.

55.  French President Emmanuel Macron has been ranked first in the latest Gallup international annual survey "Opinion of Global Leaders", followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM Narendra Modi.

56.  The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has appointed Harjinder Singh as the Chef De Mission for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games (WOG-2018) to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 2018. Currently, Singh holds the post of General Secretary in the Ice Hockey Association of India.

57.  The Supreme Court collegium, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, has created history by selecting Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly promoted as a judge of the Supreme Court (SC). She will be the 7th woman judge in the Supreme Court, since it was established 67 years ago, if her appointment goes through. Along with Malhotra, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph has also been promoted as a Supreme Court judge. At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court. In 1989, Justice M Fathima Beevi became the first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court. Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.

58.  The 22nd National Youth Festival (NYF-2018) has inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida on January 12. The Festival has commenced on the occasion of birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the youth icon of India.

59.  The Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency "JioCoin". It is expected to build a 50-member team of young professionals to work on blockchain technology, which can also be used to develop applications such as smart contracts and supply chain management logistics. The JioCoin project will be headed by Mukesh Ambani's elder son Akash Ambani. The Blockchain is a digital ledger for storing data. In simple terms, blockchain decentralizes information without it being copied. The information is held on blockchain through a shared database which can be accessed on a real-time basis. This database is not stored on physical servers but on the cloud, which makes it easy to store unlimited data.

60.  ISRO has successfully launched weather observation satellite Cartosat 2 Series and 29 other spacecraft into the space from its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-40 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The Cartosat-2 series satellite will provide high-resolution scene specific spot imageries. The images will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps among other things. The co-passengers on the PSLV-C40 comprised one micro and nano satellite each from India and three micro and 25 nanosatellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and US.

61.  The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) is an anthropology museum to present an integrated story of the evolution of man and culture with special reference to India. It is located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and is also known as the National Museum of Humankind. This museum depicts the story of mankind in time and space. Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri is the current director-in-charge of IGRMS. The museum also has a regional centre for the South India region at Mysore in Karnataka.

62.  The Bhopal railway station has become the India's first railway station to have a sanitary napkin vending machine named as 'Happy Nari'. The machine dispenses two sanitary napkins at the cost of Rs 5 only and accepts Rs 5 coins. The sanitary pads vending machine has been installed at platform No.1 by the Railway Women Welfare Association of Bhopal. The machine has the capacity of holding 75 sanitary pads. A specially trained female staff will refill the machine.

63.  The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India at 30th position on a Global Manufacturing Index (GMI).

64.  The 13th edition of joint military drill exercise "Iron Fist 2018" has started between American and Japanese forces at Camp Pendleton in California on January 12 and will continue till February 12.

65.  The 7th edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM), under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix, has started in Karnataka on January 14, 2018.

66.  The 44 MW Chutak Hydroelectric Plant is located in Kargil District of Jammu & Kashmir. The barrage site is located about 14 km upstream of Kargil near village Sarzhe. The project is a run-off-river scheme on the river Suru.

67.  The 3rd edition of the annual Raisina Dialogue 2018 will be held at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi from January 16-18. The theme for the 2018 Conference is "Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms". This theme is designed to explore the shifting dynamics within the global order; where old relationships need new directions, emerging partnerships face unprecedented constraints and the notions of power and sovereignty are challenged. The 2018 Conference will be inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also be a part of the inaugural session of the 3-day-long event, which will see a series of high-powered panel discussions on geopolitical issues. Over 150 speakers from 90 countries expected to take part in the event, which is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

68.  12th International Film Festival on Art and Artist, which was presented by the JD Centre of Art (JDCA)'s Film Forum, was held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from January 12 to 14, 2018.

69.  The Army Day is celebrated every year by the Indian Army on January 15 to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K.M Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir Francis Butcher , the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence.

70.  Aishwarya Tipnis, the Delhi-based conservation architect, has been conferred France's top cultural award " Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres" for her outstanding commitment to preservation of French heritage in India in Kolkata on January 12, 2018. This prestigious award honours people who have distinguished themselves in the field of art. This year, Tipnis has been associated with the ongoing 'Bonjour India 2017-18' as the curator for the multi- faceted 'Know Your Indo-French Heritage' in Chandannagar, a former French colony in West Bengal.

71.  Arun Jaitley, the Union Finance Minister, has launched India's first agri-commodity options contract in guar seeds on the commodity bourse National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). The purpose of this new initiative is to benefit farmers and ensure better prices in the coming days.

72.  The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) is an Indian research and teaching institute located in Mysuru, Karnataka. It is part of the Language Bureau of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The aim of the institute is to protect and document minor, minority and tribal languages. It promotes Linguistic harmony by teaching 15 Indian languages to non-native learners. It was founded on 17 July 1969.

73.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inaugurated the third edition of the geo-political conference – Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on January 16, 2018. The event is jointly organised by the External Affairs Ministry and Observer Research Foundation (ORF). The theme of the dialogue this year is 'Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms'.

74.  Actress Kajol has become an advocacy ambassador for Hindustan Unilever's Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat 'haath muh bum' initiative. She is an active supporter of eradicating preventable deaths from hygiene-related issues.

75.  The Indo-US joint military exercise 'Vajra Prahar 2018' will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle, in which a 45-member Special Forces team from Indian Army's Southern Command will train alongside US soldiers in the third week of January.

76.  The Mahi Bajaj Sagar Dam is a dam across the Mahi River and is located 16kms from Banswara town in Banswara district Rajasthan. It is the second largest dam in Rajasthan and is named after Jamnalal Bajaj. The dam has an installed capacity of 140 MW.

77.  The NITI Aayog has launched the first Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) has been launched at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur's outreach center in Noida on January 15, 2018.

78.  In an attempt to fight air pollution, China has constructed an experimental air purifying tower, touted to be the "world's biggest air purifier" at a height of over 100 meters (328 feet). The tower has been built in Xian in Shaanxi province and is being tested by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As per reports, the air purifier has produced more than 10 million cubic meters of clean air since it was launched. The air purification system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower.

79.  The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh that employs scientific personnel from various areas of biomedical sciences. CDRI is among the 39 laboratories that are functioning under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India. The CDRI was formally inaugurated on 17 Feb 1951 by the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru with a vision to strengthen and advance the field of drug research and development in the country.

80.  Indian captain Virat Kohli has been named the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year 2017. He also bagged the top honour for ODI players in the ICC annual awards at the 2017 ICC annual awards announced in Dubai on January 18, 2018.

81.  Vijay Kumar has been appointed the new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) for three years with effective from January 18, 2018. He succeeded Samir Shah.

82.  Sanjay Manjrekar, the former India batsman-turned-commentator, has launched his autobiography 'Imperfect' in Mumbai, Maharashtra on January 17, 2018. The book was released by Dilip Vengsarkar.

83.  Maharashtra has become the India's first state to launch Public Cloud Policy, which will allow all government departments to access public cloud. . The step will create business opportunities worth $2 billion while helping the state government departments to shift all their data to clouds. This will accelerate e-governance and open up entire new area for investment by the private entrepreneurs to make available newest technologies for all the departments as government not only is the biggest data creator but also consumer.

84.  The 10th Global Forum for Food & Agriculture (GFFA-2018) has started in Berlin, Germany on January 18, which includes the 10th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference. The theme of 3-day event is "Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently".

85.  The Somasila Dam is a dam constructed across the Penna River near Somasila in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

86.  The Maharashtra Government has approved a Rs 4,000-crore Nanaji Deshmukh Krishi Sanjivani Yojna project to promote climate-resilient agriculture. It will be implemented in 5,142 villages across 15 districts. The purpose of the project is to improve soil quality, develop foodgrain varieties which can sustain climate variations and effect necessary changes in the crop pattern as per the availability of water in a particular region. The scheme would cover small- and medium- scale farmers, who are more vulnerable to the impact of climate change. About 70% of the project's cost will be borne by the World Bank while the state will contribute 30% over six years. The project will roll out in the upcoming financial year.

87.  India has become the 43rd member of the Australia Group export control regime on January 19, 2018. The inclusion is expected to raise India's stature in the field of non-proliferation and help in acquiring critical technologies. With this, India has managed entry into Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).The Australia Group is an informal forum which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

88.  The 2018 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) military cooperation meeting was held in Beijing, China on January 15. An Indian delegation led by Major General Ajay Seth participated in the meeting, which discussed issues of practical cooperation among SCO nations. This is the first meeting attended by India in the field of defense cooperation under the SCO framework. India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017 into the grouping in which China plays an influential role. The SCO is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

89.  The Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) is located in Pune, Maharashtra. It was established in 1967 on the joint initiative of the Ministry of Shipping & Transport & the Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASTRU). It is a nodal agency, known to be only one of its kind, providing a platform for higher research and training on road transportation and assists in testing, guidance and consultancy in the field.

90.  The 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF-2018) will be held in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the largest-ever Indian delegation. The delegation will comprise of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu among others. The theme of the 2018 summit is "Creating a shared future in a Fractured World", which ams to set an agenda to address political, economic and Social challenges of recent times. This year, over 3,000 global leaders from business, government, politics, academia and social sectors are participating at the Summit which will conclude on 26th of January. The purpose of the WEF is to improve the state of the world. WEF is an international organization for public-private cooperation which brings together global leaders from different sectors including business, politics, academia and journalism to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

91.  Indian cricket team has won the 5th edition of Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 by defeating Pakistan in the final by two wickets at Sharjah in United Arab Emirates (UAE). With this, India has retained the World Cup for the Blind. In the final, Pakistan batted first and managed to score 308/8 after being put into bat by India. India chased down the target of 309 with 16 balls to spare to clinch the title. Thus, India maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament.

92.  Anandiben Patel, the former Gujarat chief minister, has become the new Governor of Madhya Pradesh on January 19, 2018.

93.  The Ramayana Festival of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries has started in New Delhi at the Kamani Auditorium from January 20.

94.  Joseph Henry (JoJo) White (71), an American professional basketball player, has passed away in Boston, Massachusetts on January 16, 2018. White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. As a professional, he is best known for his ten-year stint with the Boston Celtics of the NBA, where he led the team towards two NBA championships and set a franchise record of 488 consecutive games played.

95.  President Ram Nath Kovind has unveiled a book on heartfulness techniques and principles titled 'The Heartfulness Way'. It was authored by Kamlesh Patel & Joshua Pollock.

96.  The Jakham Dam is located in Pratapgarh District in Rajasthan. It is built on the Jakham river, which originates from a small village Jakhamia in Chhoti Sadrisub division. The length of the Dam is 253 meters, out of which spill way is in 90 m in length.

97.  India has been ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index (IDI-2018) released by World Economic Forum (WEF). India's position is much below China (26th) and Pakistan (47th). The 2018 index, which measures the progress of 103 economies on three individual pillars – growth and development; inclusion; and inter-generational equity – has been divided into two parts. The first part covers 29 advanced economies and the second 74 emerging economies. Norway remains the world's most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies. The index takes into account the living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness.

98.  Soloman Deksisa from Ethiopia has won the 15th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon in men's category on January 22, 2018. It is the richest race in India with a prize money worth 4 lakh 5,000 dollars. Another Ethiopian, Shumit Akalnaw became the first runner-up, while Joshua Kipkorir from Kenya came.

99.  The garbage festival 'Kachra Mahotsav' was organized by the Raipur Municipal Corporation in Chhattisgarh from January 19 to 21, 2018. This unique fest was organized by the Raipur Municipal Corporation.

100.    Pema Khandu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, has inaugurated the World War II Memorial Museum in Jairampur in Changlang District on January 21, 2018. The war memorial has the collection of the remnants of World War 2, personal belongings of the soldiers and other persons involved.

101.    Sudeep Lakhtakia, the 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed as the new DG of National Security Guard (NSG) and will hold the post till July 2019. He will take over from S P Singh.

102.    Om Prakash Rawat, the senior-most Election Commissioner, has been appointed as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). He will succeed A.K. Joti on January 23, 2018 and will have tenure of almost a year till his retirement in December 2018. Mr Rawat will oversee elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland scheduled next month. Crucial States like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will also go to the polls under his watch. Election Commissioners have a fixed term of six years but have to step down if they reach 65 years of age before their term expires.

103.    Mauritius was the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India in FY17, according to recent census by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It has 21.8% share at market value. As per RBI's data on Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies 2016-17, United States has acquired 2nd position followed by UK, Singapore and Japan. Beside this, Singapore (19.7% was the major FDI destination, followed by the Netherlands, Mauritius, and the USA. According to the data, manufacturing sector accounted for nearly half of the total FDI at market prices. Information and communication services, and financial and insurance activities were the other major sectors that attracted FDI.

104.    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. In it, India's GDP growth forecast has projected to 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019. According to WEO update, China is expected to grow at 6.6% and 6.4% for year 2018 and 2019, respectively.

105.    The 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF-2018) has started in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the largest-ever Indian delegation. The theme of the 5-day summit is 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World', which aims to set an agenda to address political, economic and Social challenges of recent times. More than 3,000 world leaders from business, politics, art, academia and civil society would be participating in the summit and the Indian presence is the largest ever with over 130 participants.

106.    The International Conference on dam safety has started in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on January 23, 2018.

107.    S Somanath, an Indian aerospace engineer and rocket technologist, has taken charge as the new Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He succeeded K Sivan, who has become the ISRO Chairman recently.

108.    The 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 will be hosted by West Indies from 9 to 24 November 2018. The preliminary round matches will be held at the Guyana National Stadium and Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia, while Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Barbuda will stage the two semi-finals and the final. Hosts Windies will defend the title they won with an eight-wicket victory over Australia in Kolkata in 2016.

109.    Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the 'Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities' in Goa along with the Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar in order to fulfill India's biggest dream of being a clean nation by October 2, 2019.

110.    As part of the 2018 Republic Day celebrations, cultural extravaganza Bharat Parv will organize by the Union Ministry of Tourism at the Red Fort in Delhi from January 26 to 31, 2018. The prime objective of the 3-day event is to generate a patriotic mood, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country and to ensure wider participation of the general public.

111.    The National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is celebrated every year on January 24 with an aim to raise awareness about sex ratio levels and promote the empowerment of girls.

112.    Dilip Chenoy has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

113.    Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the 24th Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He received the award for his leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India. Shahrukh received the award alongside Elton John and Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett.

114.    As per latest PwC 21st CEO Survey 2018, the United States has acquired the top spot for global investment, followed by China, Germany, United Kingdom (UK), India and Japan. The survey reveals surprising faith and optimism among CEOs in the economic and business environment worldwide, at least over the next 12 months As per the survey, 54% of the CEOs plan to increase their headcount in 2018 while only 18% expect to reduce their staff. The sectors having the highest demand for new recruits are health care (71%), technology (70%), business services (67%), communications (60%), hospitality and leisure (59%).

115.    The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a sister-state agreement with the Canton of Zurich in a bid to strengthen the friendly ties and promote mutual understanding.

116.    The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) is the nodal agency for catering to the needs of the brackish water aquaculture research in India. The institute is headquartered at Chennai, Tamil Nadu and works under the Ministry of Agriculture. It is one of the research institutes under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) New Delhi.

117.    India has been ranked 177th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The report was released on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

118.    The National Voters' Day (NVD) is observed every year by India on January 25 with an aim to increase the enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. The day is also observed to mark the establishment of the Election Commission on this day in 1950, a day before India became a republic. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has celebrated the 8th National Voters' Day 2018 with theme 'Accessible Elections' across the country, which will be used to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.

119.    Ursula K. Le Guin (88), the award-winning science fiction and American author, has passed away in Portland, Oregon on January 22, 2018. She explored feminist themes and her best-known works are the 1969 science fiction novel "Left Hand of Darkness", which explore themes of gender by featuring characters with no fixed sex, and the 1968 coming-of-age story "A Wizard of Earthsea".

120.    The 7th Asia Steel International Conference (ASIC-2018) will be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from February 6 to 9.The announcement was made by Tata Steel, in association with the Indian Institute of Metals.

121.    The Jawai Bandh is a dam built across the Jawai river, a tributary of Luni river near Sumerpur town in Pali District of Rajasthan. The dam has capacity of 7887.5 million cubic feet and covers an area of 102,315 acres of cultivable command area. Its height is about 61.25 feet. Sei dam and Kalibor dam are the feeder dams of the Jawai dam.

122.    On 25 January 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced to launch a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity in a bid to safeguard the world from hackers and growing data breaches — especially from nation-states. The centre will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and will become operational from March 2018. It will function as an autonomous organisation under the auspices of WEF. The aim of the centre is to establish the first global platform for governments, businesses, experts and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity challenges. The global centre will be an excellent opportunity to safeguard verticals like automotive and health care where wireless connectivity is the key.

123.    The Punjab Government has launched Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojna (MGSVY) on the occasion of 69th Republic Day 2018 for the distressed sections of the society across the state. The purpose of the programme is to give the distressed sections of the society the help they need socially, economically and psychologically. This scheme will be on the line of Antyodaya principles. The aim of the programme is "Wipe every tear from every eye" as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhiji.

124.    Dr V Narayanan, a rocket propulsion expert, has taken charge as new Director of ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). He succeeded S Somanath, who has been appointed Director of, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

125.    India has been ranked 81st out of 119 countries in the 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). The list was developed by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum (WEF). The global index measures how countries grow attract and retain talent. The list is topped by Switzerland, followed by Singapore and United States. The 2018 report investigates the theme of 'diversity for competitiveness and explored the benefits of diversity, such as how it can be leveraged for retention, talent development, innovation and sustainability.

126.    Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank, has been elected the first woman chairman of Indian Banks' Association (IBA) for the year 2017-18. She succeeded Jatinder Bir Singh. Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of State Bank of India, was elected Deputy Chairman of IBA for the year 2017-18. IBA is the banking sector's industry body, whose objective, among others, is to promote and develop sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the developments of creative banking in the country.

127.    Kolkata has become the first Indian metro to get a floating market. The market will be located on a water-body with boats doubling up as shops. It was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 24, 2018.

128.    India's first indigenously developed vaccine "Rotavac" has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). To be "pre-qualified" means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America. The vaccine was developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited (BBL).

129.    Maharashtra's tableau titled "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj coronation" has won the best tableau award at the 69th Republic Day Parade 2018. Assam's tableau depicting traditional "masks and sastras" bagged the second prize. The third prize went to Chhattisgarh's display of Ramgarh's ancient amphitheatre and artistes performing dance based on Kalidasa's Meghadootam.

130.    The documentary titled 'Kailash' has won the US Documentary Grand Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Park City in Utah on January 28. The documentary, which is directed by Derek Doneen, traces the journey of Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and his efforts to eliminate child trafficking and child labour. The film has been produced by Davis Guggenheim and Sarah Anthony, and co-produced by Purnima Raghunath.

131.    President Ram Nath Kovind has launched the countrywide Pulse Polio programme for 2018 by administering polio drops to children below five years at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The programme will cover around 17 crore children to maintain the country's polio-free status. The president administered the drops on the eve of 2018 National Immunisation Day (NID), which is observed on January 28.

132.    Roger Federer, a Swiss professional tennis player, has won the 2018 men's Singles title in the Australian Open 2018. He successfully defended his title by defeating 6th seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia by 6-2,6-7, 6-3 3-6, 6-1. With this, Federer won his sixth title at the Australian Open equalling the record held by Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic. The win has brought the Swiss to the elite group of Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf, the only players to have won 20 or more Grand Slam singles titles.

133.    The Economic Survey 2017-18 has tabled by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on January 29, 2018. The survey has predicted 7 to 7.5% of India's GDP growth in FY 2018-19. It says that a series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75% this fiscal and will rise to 7.0 to 7.5% in 2018-19. It stated that the employment, education and agriculture will be the focus areas in the midterm. The survey underlines that due to the launch of transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform, resolution of the long-festering Twin Balance Sheet problem, implementing a major recapitalization package to strengthen the public sector banks, further liberalization of FDI and the export uplift from the global recovery, the economy began to accelerate in the second half of the year and can clock 6.75% growth this year.

134.    Asha Bhosle, the legendary playback singer, will be awarded with the 5th edition of Yash Chopra Memorial Award 2018 for her outstanding contribution to the Hindi film industry. The award will be presented to her on February 16. The previous recipients are Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha and Shah Rukh Khan.

135.    Caroline Wozniack, a Danish professional tennis player, has won the 2018 women's Singles title in the Australian Open 2018. With this, she became the first Danish player to win a Grand Slam singles title by defeating Simona Halep in the final by 7–6, 3–6, 6–4.

136.    The first-ever India-Vietnam Bilateral Army Exercise, christened as 'VINBAX-2018″, has started in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh on January 29, as part of joint training undertaken with friendly foreign countries by Indian Army. It is the first-ever military exercise between the two countries. The 6-day-long Table Top military exercise has been especially designed to enable and train officers from Vietnam in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.

137.    The 2018 International Bird Festival will be held at the Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh from February 9 to 11 with nearly 200 leading ornithologists expected to attend.

138.    According to a report by New World Wealth, India has been ranked 6th in the list of wealthiest countries with total wealth of $8,230 billion US dollars. As per report, India was the best performing wealth market globally in 2017 as its total wealth swelled from 6,584 billion dollars in 2016 to 8,230 billion dollars in 2017, registering a 25% growth. The report noted that the United States is the wealthiest country in the world as the total wealth held in 2017 amounted to $64,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) and Japan ($19,522 billion). Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets. However, the report excludes government funds from its figures. Others in the list include United Kingdom (4th, $9,919 billion), Germany (5th, $9,660 billion), France (7th, $6,649 billion), Canada (8th, $6,393 billion), Australia (9th, $6,142 billion) and Italy (10th, $4,276 billion).

139.    The Anti-Leprosy Day is observed every year in India on the Martyrdom Day of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, remembers his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy. The day aims to make people aware of the real need to fight the infectious disease. On this day, a campaign named 'Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)" has been organised in all the Gram Sabhas throughout the country by the Central Leprosy Division of the Health Ministry. The campaign carries important information about the disease to help affected people. It includes free of cost multidrug therapy that is available at all government dispensaries, health centres and hospitals to provide complete treatment. The facility is given to all the affected people as only timely treatment prevents disability caused due to the disease. Some important symptoms of leprosy are light colour patches, redness, swelling and nodule formation over the skin.