Current Affairs January 03, 2019
1. Cabinet Clears Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda Merger
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the merger of state-run Vijaya Bank, Bank of Baroda and Dena Bank.
- This marks the first-ever three-way merger in the country's banking sector. The merged entity will become the third largest bank in the country, after government-owned State Bank of India and private sector lender ICICI Bank.
- The merger will come into force on April 1, 2019.
2. Justice AK Sikri nominated as Executive Chairman of NALSA
- Justice AK Sikri was nominated as the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Justice Sikri as Executive Chairman of NALSA with effect from December 31, 2018.
- The NALSA was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to organise Lok Adalats for settlement of disputes.
- The functions of the NALSA also includes spreading legal literacy and awareness, undertaking social justice litigations.
3. Govt Releases 6 Crore LPG Connections Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
- The governmentgave out the 6-crore free cooking gas (LPG) connection as the scheme to make available cleaner fuel in every household kitchens runs ahead of schedule.
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu handed over papers for an LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) — which was launched on May 1, 2016, with a target to give 5 crore connections by March 2019.
- The scheme together with a government push to replace polluting firewood in kitchens has led to LPG coverage rising to almost 90 per cent of the population from 55 per cent in May 2014.
4. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Morocco on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security.
- The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco.
- Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the Cyber Security sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco in the field of Cyber Security.
5. Krishak Bandhu : New schemes to provide Rs 2 lakh compensation for farmers’ deaths
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeeannounced schemes for farmers, months ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
- The chief minister said the ‘Krishak Bandhu’ schemes are expected to benefit over 72 lakh farmers in the state.
- In case a farmer between the age of 18 to 60 dies, compensation of up to Rs 2 lakh will be provided to their family. The money will be available through the agriculture department.
6. ISRO launches Samwad with students to engage them on space science activities
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched Samwad with Students as part of its outreach programme. The Indian Space agency will engage youngsters across the country in activities concerning space science under this programme.
- During the inauguration in Bengaluru , 40 students and 10 teachers from select schools interacted with ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan about the Indian Space Programme and their benefits to the common man.
- The Chairman asked students to study science and mathematics with absolute seriousness which would enable them to take up challenging careers.
7. Jair Bolsonaro Sworn In as Brazil’s President
- Brazil's far-right president-elect and controversial Social Liberal Party candidate Jair Bolsonaro has been sworn in as the 42nd President of the country.
- Last year, by the end of October, Bolsonaro, a former army captain, was elected as the President after defeating ex-Sao Paulo mayor and Workers Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad.
- During his election campaign, Bolsonaro had promised to crack down on recession, a heightening sense of insecurity, and corruption scandals, which are among major factors rampant across the South American country.
8. RBI Lifts Six Month Ban, Permits Paytm Payments Bank To Onboard New Customers
- The year 2019 seems to have brought good luck to Paytm. After almost six months of the ban, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed Paytm Payments Bank to restart opening new accounts for its consumers.
- Launched in May 2017, Paytm Payments Bank is a mobile-first bank with zero charges on all online transactions (such as IMPS, NEFT, RTGS) and no minimum balance requirement.
- Paytm Payments Bank stopped enrolling new customers on June 20, 2018, following an audit by the RBI, which made certain observations about the process the company follows in acquiring new customers and its adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
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