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Current Affairs January 08 and 09, 2019

1. RBI appoints Nandan Nilekani as chairman of panel on digital payments

  • Panel to suggest measures to strengthen safety of digital payments ecosystem.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, as the chairman of a five-member high-level committee that will work towards deepening digital payments in India.
  • Besides, it will suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments and provide a road map on how to increase customer confidence while accessing financial services through digital modes.

2. Virat Kohli Leads India to First-Ever Test Series Win In Australia

  • A dominant India won their first-ever Test series in Australia by a margin of 2-1 after play in the fourth and final Test in Sydney was abandoned due to rain.
  • Australia were still trailing by 316 runs when the match was called off as a draw, ending India's 71-year wait after wins in Adelaide and Melbourne. It is the first time India managed the feat since they began touring Australia in 1947-48.
  • Consequently, Virat Kohli became the first Indian as well as the first Asian captain to win a Test series in Australia.

3. Kumbh Mela: Railways launch mobile app to help devotees, tourists navigate through Allahabad

  • The North Central Railway (NCR) has launched a mobile application that will help those arriving in Allahabad for the Kumbh Mela starting from January 15 to navigate through the city and the mela grounds
  • The ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’ will also provide information regarding all the ‘Mela special’ trains that will be run during the period.
  • Additionally, the app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets.

4. 6 professors take home Infosys Science Foundation awards

  • The global software major's Infosys Science Foundation awarded its Infosys Prize 2018 to six winners, including two Indian Institute of Science (IISc) professors.
  • The winners included IISc professor at its centre for Nano Science and Engineering Navakanta Bhat in Engineering and Computer Science, professor at IISc's Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences SK Satheesh in Physical Sciences.
  • The annual prize aims to celebrate the success of the recipients in science and research by recognising their achievements in the six categories of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

5. Gita Gopinath joins IMF as its first female Chief Economist

  • Prominent Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath has joined as the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, becoming the first woman to occupy the top post at the global lender.
  • Gopinath, 47, joined last week at a time, when she believes the world is experiencing a retreat from globalisation, posing challenges to multilateral institutions.
  • The John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University, Gopinath, a US citizen, succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Obstfeld retired December 31.

6. Nepal’s central bank asked RBI to declare new Indian currency notes legal in a written plea

  • Nepal has asked the RBI to declare newly circulated Indian currency notes of denominations higher than Rs 100 legal tender in the country.
  • The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central monetary authority, has written a letter on Friday to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), asking it to make Indian bank bills Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 legal tender in Nepal.
  • The RBI has only allowed the circulation of Indian currency notes of Rs 100 and less in Nepal and provides exchange facilities for bills of these denomination.

7. China to 'sinicize' Islam, passes law to make religion compatible with socialism

  • Months after UN flagged China’s 're-schooling' campaign against Muslims in the Xinjiang region, Beijing has passed a law to make Islam ‘compatible’ with socialism within next five years.
  • The law to implement measures to ‘Sinicize’ Islam was passed after Chinese government officials met representatives from eight Islamic groups, as per a Global Times report.
  • The government officials after the meeting agreed to “guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion”

8. Former Indian envoy to Myanmar, Vikram Misri, took charge as India’s new envoy to China

  • India's new ambassador to China Vikram Misri took charge of the post on Monday and met top Chinese officials during which they discussed Sino-India ties.
  • A 1989-batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Misri 54, replaced Gautam Bambawale who retired in November last year.
  • He has served in various capacities at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well as in the Prime Minister's Office.

9. MoU between Indian Army and PNB

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and PNB on the Defence Salary Package.
  • The signing ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar and was attended by top dignitaries of PNB headed byMr Naveen Kumar.
  • A number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the MoU after concerted efforts.The Army hopes this MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who have accounts with PNB and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities.

10. First Global Aviation Summit to open in Mumbai on Jan 15

  • Against the backdrop of the International Civil Aviation Organisation`s (ICAO) prediction of a "100 percent increase in global air travel by 2030", the first-ever two-day Global Aviation Summit-2019 with the theme of `Flying For All` will open here on January 15.
  • Organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation along with FICCI, the first GAS-2019 will discuss how to ride this strong tailwind of growth and pave the way forward for the aviation sector.
  • The GAS is supported by ICAO, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US, IATA, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, Airports Council International and Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines and will include conferences, exhibitions and G2G, G2B and B2B exchanges.




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