30th Jan 2018 : CURRENT AFFAIRS

Oxford dictionary’s Hindi word of 2017

Oxford Dictionaries has chosen ‘Aadhaar’ as the Hindi word of 2017. It also becomes the first Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the Year. Widespread discussions & debates around ‘Aadhaar’ was the reason it was selected as the word of the year. The Hindi Word of the Year was chosen by the Oxford Dictionaries team in India with the help of an advisory panel of language experts.

28 January 2018: World Leprosy Day

The World Leprosy Day is observed internationally every year on last Sunday of January month to raise global awareness of Leprosy. This year it was observed on 28 January.  Observance of the day focuses on target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. The day was initiated by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau in 1954 as way to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.

India’s Green Revolution pioneer Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat passes away

Noted agricultural scientist and pioneer of India’s Green Revolution, Gurcharan Singh Kalkat (92), passed away in Chandigarh after a brief illness. He was known for his role in bringing Green Revolution and several exemplary agricultural reforms in Punjab. His contribution had ensured overall development and a phenomenal growth in the agriculture sector.

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi wins US Documentary Grand Jury Award

A film on the life of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has won the US Documentary Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival being held at Park City in Utah. The documentary, titled ‘Kailash’ has been directed by debutante Derek Doneen. It traces the journey of 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.

Vijay Keshav Gokhale to take charge as new Foreign Secretary

Vijay Keshav Gokhale, a senior diplomat of the external Affairs Ministry, will take charge as the next Foreign Secretary. Gokhale would be succeeding S Jaishankar, who is retiring from the post. The 1977-batch IFS officer, Jaishankar was appointed as the Foreign Secretary in January 2015, for a term of two years. He was given a one-year extension in January last year.

President launches Pulse Polio programme for 2018

President Ram Nath Kovind has launched Pulse Polio Immunization (PPI) Programme for year 2018 by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The event was organised on the eve of the National Immunisation Day (NID), observed on 28 January. More than 17 crore children of less than 5 years across the country will be given polio drops as part of Government’s drive to eradicate polio from the country.

  • Kohli surpasses Lara
    • Following his knocks of 54 and 41 in the last South Africa Test, India captain Virat Kohli has moved past legend Brian Lara in the all-time Test rating points list.
    • With 912 points, current world number two Test batsman Kohli moved from 31st position to 26th position, leapfrogging Lara (911), Kevin Pietersen (909), Hashim Amla (907) and Michael Clarke (900).

  • CBSE to take feedback from students
    • CBSE has issued a circular to schools, saying the board will accept feedback from schools and students about the Class 10 and 12 examinations.
    • The board has developed an observation schedule, allowing the schools and students to send their comments and feedback within 24 hours examination.
    • Board has also urged teachers, allotted for answer script checking, to carry out the assessment process

  • Paytm valuation hits $10 bn
    • Indian digital payment startup Paytm has crossed $10 billion valuation for the first time after 200 current and former employees sold their shares worth $47.2 million.
    • Paytm’s last valuation stood at $7 billion when it raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank last year.
    • The new valuation makes Paytm second-most valuable internet startup in India after Flipkart (about $12 billion).

  • Amazon invests funds into its Indian arm
    • E-commerce major Amazon has invested about ₹1,950 crore into its Indian subsidiary Amazon Seller Services, according to filings.
    • The investment comes two months after the Indian unit received over ₹2,900 crore, its single largest infusion into the country’s operations till date.
    • Amazon Seller Services also nearly doubled its authorised share capital to ₹31,000 crore, as per filings.

  • Pak. became world number 1 T20I side
    • Pakistan became the top-ranked T20I side in international cricket after beating New Zealand in the third and final T20I to claim the three-match series 2-1.
    • This was Pakistan’s sixth T20I series win on the trot.
    • Notably, New Zealand had whitewashed Pakistan in the five-match ODI series before the T20I series.

  • Ingvar Kamprad died
    • Ingvar Kamprad, the Founder of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, died at the age of 91 at his home.
    • Kamprad was the world’s eighth-richest person with a net worth of $58.7 billion.
    • He had founded Ikea at the age of 17, building it into the world’s largest furniture retailer.

  • Cartoon Network ship to be launched
    • Cartoon Network has announced the launch of a new colourful cruise ship liner named Cartoon Network Wave, which will sail from Singapore in late 2018.
    • The newly announced ship will draw inspiration from shows like The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10.
    • The 2,000-capacity ship will feature 800 cabins and suites, a Johnny Bravo-themed burger bar and a rope adventure park.

  • Grammy Awards winners
    • Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar steal the show in early Grammys Mars won all of the awards for which he was nominated.
    • Here is a list of winners in key categories:
    • Album of the Year: Bruno Mars, 24K Magic.
    • Record of the Year: Bruno Mars, 24K Magic.
    • Song of the Year (for songwriting): Bruno Mars.
    • The 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on January 28, 2018.

  • ‘Super blood blue moon’ to be visible
    • A cosmic event not seen in 36 years, a rare “super blood blue moon” may be glimpsed on January 31.
    • The event is causing a buzz because it combines three unusual lunar events — an extra big super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse.
    • “It’s an astronomical trifecta,” said Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine.

  • GDP growth pegged at 7-7.75%
    • The Economic Survey 2017-18, tabled by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley projected a GDP growth of 7 to 7.5% in the financial year 2018-19.
    • “A series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75 percent this fiscal and will rise to 7.0 to 7.5 percent in 2018-19,” said the Economic Survey 2017-18.

  • Sensors to monitor earthquake: Andamans
    • The Indian Tsunami Early Warning System is in the process of setting up an elaborate system of sensors on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
    • Strong Motion Sensors with GPS have been installed at 28 locations on the islands.
    • The ITEWS comprises a real-time network of seismic stations, tsunami buoys and tide gauges to detect tsunamigenic earthquakes and to monitor tsunamis.

  • Vijay takes charge as Foreign Secretary
    • Vijay Keshav Gokhale assumed charge as the new foreign secretary for a two-year term.
    • He succeeded former foreign secretary S Jaishankar who completed his term of three-years, including one extended year, this month.
    • Gokhale, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1981, played a major role in resolving the 73-day-long Doklam standoff between India and China last year.

  • ‘Maitreyi Yatra’ concludes
    • The closing ceremony of the Jammu and Kashmir student exchange programme, titled ‘Maitreyi yatra’, was held at National Bal Bhawan.
    • The programme was organised by the Ministry of Human Resource development.
    • It will provide a good opportunity to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to be acquainted with culture, language and development story of different parts of the country.

  • Satellite image shows build-up in Doklam
    • India and China are pursuing a “wide-ranging strategic build-up” in airbases close to the Doklam Plateau.
    • It is according to the latest analysis of satellite imagery acquired by Stratfor.
    • Doklam is an area spread over less than a 100 sq km comprising a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China, surrounded by the Chumbi Valley.

  • Punjab launches benefits under MGSVY
    • Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh launched the release of benefits under ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’.
    • It is aimed at the inclusive growth of the distressed sections of the society.
    • He appealed to the state’s debt-ridden farmers not to commit suicide.

  • India, Vietnam Released Comm. Stamps
    • India and Vietnam released first ever set of commemorative postage stamps to mark the long term friendly bilateral relationships between the two countries.
    • These stamps on the theme of ancient architecture are a symbol of strong friendship between the two countries.
    • The two set of stamps released carry picture of Sanchi Stupa and Thien Mu Pagoda.

  • Tai Tzu Ying won Indonesian Masters
    • The world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan has defeated Saina Nehwal in the finals of the Indonesia Masters in Jakarta.
    • Tai Tzu has now defeated the former world No.1 nine times in their last 10 meetings.
    • Saina had enjoyed early success against the Taiwanese till 2011 but the Nehwal has beaten her only once at the 2013 Swiss Open ever since.

  • Australian Open 2018, winners
    • Women’s Singles – Caroline Wozniacki won by defeating Simona Halep.
    • Men’s Doubles – Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic won by defeating Robert Farah and J. Cabal.
    • Women’s Doubles – Kristina Mladenovic and Tímea Babos won by defeating Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova.
    • Mixed Doubles – Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic won by defeating Timea Babos and Rohan Bopanna.

  • Roger Federer won Australian Open
    • World No. 2 Roger Federer defeated No. 6 Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to clinch his sixth Australian Open title.
    • This is Federer’s 20th Grand Slam title.
    • Roger Federer is from Switzerland and Marin Cilic from Croatia.

  • ‘Beetle Bailey’ cartoonist Walker died
    • Comic strip artist Mort Walker who tickled millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private “Beetle Bailey,” died.
    • Walker began publishing cartoons at age 11.
    • But he found his greatest success drawing slacker Beetle, his hot-tempered sergeant and the rest of the gang at fictional Camp Swampy for nearly 70 years.

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