This post covers relevant news from national dailies and government releases for aspirants of examinations like UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It is highly useful for both, revision and awareness purposes.

National Important Current Affairs – 5 January 2019

■ Both the Houses of Parliament are taking up the motion of thanks on the President’s address. President Ram Nath Kovind had addressed joint sitting of both the houses on the opening day of Budget session.

 

■ The National Green Tribunal has imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on the Uttar Pradesh government for its failure to stop discharge of dirty water into Upper Ganga canal.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said adequate steps have not been taken for proper waste management and its treatment. The green panel said that clean environment is a fundamental right and the apathy by the authorities has to be dealt with coercive action.
It has also noted the submission of the state government that a sewage treatment plant at Niwari will be completed within six months. The NGT also asked the urban development ministry to give an undertaking with a performance guarantee of 35 lakh.

 

■ The 20th edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav, organized by National School of Drama (NSD) is being held in New Delhi. It is an annual international theatre festival of India, which was established two decades ago to stimulate the growth and development of theatre across India.

Originally a national festival showcasing the work of the most creative theatre workers in India, the Bharat Rang Mahotsav has evolved for hosting theatre groups from around the world. It is now the largest theatre festival of Asia.

 

■ Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched scholarship scheme named ‘KALIA Chhatravritti Yojana’, for the children of farmers under Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme in Keonjhar district. 

  • Under this scheme, the beneficiaries will be provided scholarships to pursue higher education in professional courses at free of cost.
  • Odisha Government has also launched drinking water projects worth Rs 1,050 crore to supply safe drinking water in the district.

 

■ PM Modi has dedicated the 220 kV Srinagar- Alusteng – Drass- Kargil – Leh power Transmission Line to the Nation. This will finally connect Ladakh to the National Grid. It will result in minimizing the massive use of diesel generating sets during winters in the region, and thus will help in protection of environment in the pristine Ladakh region.

The project has been completed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), which is a Navratna Company of Government of India, under Ministry of Power.

About National Grid:  National Grid is a high-voltage electric power transmission network in mainland India, connecting power stations and major substations and ensuring that electricity generated anywhere in mainland India can be used to satisfy demand elsewhere. The National Grid is owned, operated, and maintained by state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India. It is one of the largest operational synchronous grids in the world with 307.8 GW of installed power generation capacity.

 

■ The Union Labour Ministry has decided to amend rules for allowing women to work in underground coal mines during day time and in open cast mines round the clock, for the first time, in order to bring gender equity and generate job opportunities. It has also allowed women to work in mines above ground at any time of the day.

Note that: The Mines Act, 1952, had restricted women in underground mines and limited working in above-ground mines between 6 am-7 pm.

 

■ Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has inaugurated the annual 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2019 at Faridabad (Haryana). The Surajkund Mela is unique as it showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India.
This is the largest crafts fair in the world.
Note that: Maharashtra is the Theme State for the year 2019.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 5 January 2019

■ The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution to extend sanctions against the Central African Republic (CAR) for another year.

  • The Resolution 2454, was adopted unanimously by the 15-member council, to renew the sanctions regime which involves – an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze till January 31, 2020.
  • The council also intends to establish benchmarks by April 30 on security sector reform, the demobilization and reintegration of combatants, and the management of weapons and ammunition.

Note that: The Central African Republic has been wracked by inter-religious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, and violence has intensified and spread in the past year. Repeated cycles of violence in one of the world’s poorest nations “have pushed people’s resistance to breaking point.

About United Nations Security Council (UNSC): The UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions. The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

 

■ Twenty two countries and nine dialogue partners of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) are deliberating on developing a draft Work Plan for Disaster Risk Management at a meeting in New Delhi. They will also discuss on the need for establishing a Disaster Risk Management Core Group to take forward the agreed objectives under the Work Plan.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs is organising the two-day meeting.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 5 January 2019

Kerala has become the first State to set up a price monitoring and research unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO). 

The State Health Secretary would be the Chairman of the society and the Drugs Controller would be its member secretary. Its members include a State government representative, representatives of private pharmaceutical companies, and those from consumer rights protection fora. 

Note that: This move comes more than five years after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) proposed such a system for the States and the Union Territories. The suggestion to set up PMRUs was made against the backdrop of the lack of a field-level link between the NPPA and the State Drugs Controllers and State Drug Inspectors to monitor drug prices. Pharma companies have been accused of overcharging prices of drugs in the scheduled category fixed by the DPCO and those outside its ambit too.

 

■  Under the sponsorship of Indian Bank, two regional rural bank – Pallavan Grama Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank will be amalgamated to form a single RRB i.e. Tamil Nadu Grama Bank in Tamil Nadu. This amalgamation has been conferred by Ministry of Finance under Regional Rural Banks Act 1976.

Pallavan Grama Bank is sponsored by Indian Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank is sponsored by Indian Overseas Bank. This newly integrated bank will be sponsored by Indian Bank and will have its head office located at Salem, Tamil Nadu.

 

Sports Current Affairs – 5 January 2019

■ Indian squash player Ramit Tandon from Kolkata, has win the fourth Seattle open title by defeating Mohamed El Sherbini of Egypt. Seattle Open is a PSA challenger squash Tour held in USA. 

 

Obituaries

■ Iraq’s renowned novelist and poet Alaa Mashzoub has been gunned down by unknown assailants in the city of Karbala.  He is known for his criticism of corruption and foreign interference in his country. He has 20 published books and has written extensively about Karbala’s history and culture.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 5 January 2019 “

Q1. Sikkim and which company have entered into a pact for revamping the state’s education system by enhancing digital literacy and building new age tech capacity among students and faculty in government-run schools?

  • A. Facebook
  • B. Twitter
  • C. Google
  • D. Microsoft

Q2. Country’s biggest cultural event, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) has kick-started in which city?

  • A. Jaipur
  • B. Mumbai
  • C. Chandigarh
  • D. Noida

Q3. Which country has won its first major soccer title by beating four-time champion Japan 3-1 in the Asian Cup final?

  • A. India
  • B. Saudi Arabia
  • C. Qatar
  • D. South Korea

Q4. The European Parliament recognised Venezuela’s self-declared interim president ____________ as de facto head of state?

  • A. Juan Guaido
  • B. Nicolas Maduro
  • C. Peter Szijjarto
  • D. Federica Mogherini

Q5.  The World Wetlands Day is observed annually on which date?

  • A. 1st February
  • B. 2nd February
  • C. 3rd February
  • D. 4th February

Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!

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