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A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019 for Competitive Exams

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019


Horticulture Production in India: A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has released the final estimates for 2017-18 and the first estimates for 2018-19 of area and production of horticulture crops Daily Current Affairs February 2019.

Findings from the Estimates

The important findings from the estimates are: A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

  • India’s horticulture production is estimated to rise by 1 per cent to record 314.67 million tonnes in 2018-19 on the higher area.
  • The final estimates of the 2017-18, horticulture production stood at record 311.7 MT, which is 3.7 per cent higher than the previous year and 10 per cent higher than the past five years.
  • The estimates put forward that area under coverage increased to 25.87 million hectares from 25.43 million hectares.
  • The Production of Onion in 2018-19 is likely to be around 23.62 million tonnes (MT) as against 23.26 MT in 2017-18. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019
  • The Production of Potato in 2018-19 is likely to be around 52.58 MT as against 51.31 MT in 2017-18.
  • The Production of Tomato in 2018-19 is likely to be around 20.51 MT as against 19.76 MT in 2017-18.
  • The production of fruits is estimated to be at 97.35 MT and that of vegetables at about 187.5 MT.

The estimates are based on the information received from different states and Union territories.


Renaming of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

Mandate for the Newly Named Department

The newly named department will work under the Union Ministry of Commerce. The order issued by the President states that the department would deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The subject matter of internal trade which was under the ambit of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been transferred to the newly named department.

With this new mandate, both internal and external trade has been brought under a single Ministry (Ministry of commerce and industry). This will ensure better coordination and help in promoting the growth of both segments of the trade.

Why the new mandate?A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

For a long time Confederation of All India Traders Association (CAIT) was demanding for a separate Ministry of Internal Trade. CAIT sees the creation of a separate department by merging Internal and external trade is a step forward in the creation of a separate Ministry.


Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal awarded Carnot Prize

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has been awarded the Carnot Prize 2018 for the transformational changes brought by him during his tenure as Union Minister of Power.

Piyush Goyal during his tenure as Union Minister of Power, coal, new and renewable energy, and mines brought in transformational changes in the Power Sector which includes fast-track electrification of nearly 18,000 villages in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the country, rolling out a comprehensive power sector reform plan UDAY, the world’s largest LED bulb distribution program, and the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program. The award honours his exceptional service towards reforming the power sector in the country.

Accepting the award Piyush Goyal announced that government has embarked on an ambitious programme to ensure 100 per cent electrification of Railway’s grid in the next five years.

About Carnot Prize

The Carnot Prize is the annual recognition by the US-based Kleinman Center for Energy Policy for distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.

The prize has been named after French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published Reflections on the Motive Power of Firewhich became the basis for the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The Carnot Prize is awarded to honour those who have revolutionized our understanding of energy policy.


Damper for India’s entry into NSG

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

In the backdrop of the meeting of the P5 (UK, US, France, Russia and People’s Republic of China) to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament, China has again reiterated its previous stand that India’s accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is pre-requisite for its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or else there should be a common guidelines for the membership of the non-NPT states.

India has refused to sign the NPT citing the discriminatory provisions which provide undue advantages to the nuclear weapon designated states.

Reasons cited by China for opposing India’s Bid

China justifies its stand by citing the following justifications: A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

  • There should be no double standards in enforcing the NPT.
  • NPT is the cornerstone for the international nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and post-war international security system.
  • China has played important role in all the three aspects and China is committed to all three important goals of the treaty.
  • The international community should stick to multilateralism and promote progress the three pillars namely non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Hence China opposes double standards in enforcing the treaty.

Is there a hidden agenda?

All the members of P5 except China have endorsed India’s membership of NSG e based on India’s non-proliferation record.

After India’s application to the NSG, Pakistan also applied for the same. Pakistan is also a non-signatory to the NPT. Pakistan dubious record and its alleged role in technology transfer to North Korea have put a black mark in its track record. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

Pakistan is a close ally of China and China is demanding a two-step approach which states that NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles for the admission of non-NPT states into the group and then move forward discussions of specific cases.

This insistence of China has become a roadblock in attaining the membership of the NSG.


State of Talent Acquisition 2019 Report: Key Facts

A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The State of Talent Acquisition Report by the Mercer-Mettl’s highlights the following important facts:

  • India Companies are expected to raise their hiring budgets by 34 per cent and volumes by 31 per cent in 2019. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019
  • Due to this increase in hiring the companies are expected to raise their hiring budgets by at least 34 per cent compared to 20 per cent of companies in 2018.
  • Technology will be a critical driver for achieving better outcomes, as well as for adapting to the growing changes in the job market and the hiring landscape.
  • The better outcomes are not just confined to recruiting an adequate number of professionals and retaining them but also managing their human capital efficiently.
  • The report notes that technology is employed extensively in sourcing (88 per cent) candidates, while it is used the least when-boarding (49 per cent), candidates.
  • The report cites that lack of budget (about 33 per cent) as the biggest obstacle to implementing technology in the talent acquisition process.
  • The respondents have cited that Human capital acquisition remained a critical issue in the country with employers indicating that ‘finding quality talent’ is a problem.
  • The human capital acquisition was cited as a critical issue by 84 per cent the in the Northern region of the country, followed by Southern Region (81 per cent), East (71 per cent) and West 58 per cent. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019
  • The Situation was comparatively better for larger organisations, as 67 per cent of respondents from the category said they face the least resistance in talent acquisition, although the challenge still persists in certain aspects of the process.
  • The report notes that finding talented employees for specific roles has become a major stumbling block for organisations even when they are ready to offer remunerations that are considerably higher than the market standards.

The State of Talent Acquisition Report was based on a survey of over 900 recruitment decision-makers including VPs, SVPs, EVPs, C-suite executives, directors, managers and HR executives from across the country.


National Salt Satyagraha Memorial

National Salt Satyagraha Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat. The memorial is conceived as an experiential journey recreating the spirit and the energy of the 1930 Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi and 80 of his fellow Satyagrahis.

The memorial takes the visitors step by step through visualisation of events to aid them in understanding the methodology of Satyagraha, which finally led to India’s Independence from the British colonial rule. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The Memorial is the project of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and is advised by a High-Level Dandi Memorial Committee (HLDMC) with IIT Bombay as a Design Coordination Agency.

Historical Background of the Salt Satyagraha

From the very beginning of British Rule in India, the salt tax was considered to be a good source of income. The beginning was made in the form of ‘land rent’ and ‘transit charges’, and in 1762, it was consolidated into duty.A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

As a result of the duty, India and in particular Bengal and its surrounding provinces were rendered dependent upon imported salt from Liverpool and elsewhere. The indigenous industry oppressed with the burden of extravagant charges was unable to compete with its English rival.

The salt tax/duties on the annual requirement of a family amounted at one time up to nearly two months’ wages of a labourer. The Indian National Congress from the very inception opposed the salt tax. Nationalist leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji and GK Gokhale had particularly raised their voice against it.

Gandhiji had begun raising opposition to oppressive duties on common salt right from his student days in London. All these culminated in Gandhiji selecting Satyagraha against salt taxes as the key issue in 1930 while leading the civil disobedience movement for India’s freedom from the British colonial rule.

The Salt tax was chosen by Gandhi during the civil disobedience movement because it not only appeared to be basically unjust in themselves but also because it symbolised an unpopular, unrepresentative alien government.


January 30: Martyrs Day

January 30 is celebrated as Martyrs Day to honour the brave martyrs of India who have sacrificed their lives for the country.

Why January 30 is celebrated as Martyrs Day?

January 30 marks the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On January 30, 1948, at the age of 78, Mahatma Gandhiji, Father of the Nation was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. Godse held that Gandhiji favoured the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

There were warnings about life threats to Gandhiji, Gandhiji refused to toe the government’s stand that he required security. Gandhiji threatened to leave Delhi if protection was thrust upon him. His associates cite that had he accepted security his assassination could have been averted.

How it is celebrated?

On the occasion of Martyrs Day, the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, and the three Service Chiefs gather at the Gandhiji’s samadhi at Raj Ghat memorial and lay wreaths. Bugles are blown sounding the Last Post. A two-minute silence in memory of Indian martyrs is observed across the country at 11 AM and participants hold all-religion prayers and sing tributes in the honour of Martyrs. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

March 23

March 23 which is the death anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar is also celebrated as Martyrs Day in the State of Punjab.


International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements

UNESCO has declared 2019 as the International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements to commemorate the 150th birthday of the periodic table of chemical elements. The Periodic table of the Chemical elements was first published by Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev in the year 1869.

What is this Periodic Table of Chemical Elements?

The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is the tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties. The important features of the periodic table are:

  • The seven rows of the table are called as periods and generally accommodate metals on the left and non-metals on the right.
  • The columns of the table are called groups and contain elements with similar chemical behaviours.
  • The elements from atomic numbers 1 (hydrogen) to 118 (oganesson) have been discovered in nature or synthesized in laboratories. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019
  • The first 98 elements listed in the periodic table occur naturally, though some are found only in trace amounts and a few were discovered in nature only after having first been synthesized.
  • Elements from 99 to 118 have only been synthesized in laboratories or nuclear reactors.
  • Efforts are on to elements having higher atomic numbers these elements would begin the eighth row, and theoretical work has been done to suggest possible candidates for this extension. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

To celebrate the International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements the UNESCO would be organising events like online competition to test high school students’ knowledge of the table, and scientific experiments brought to schools around the world. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019


Impact of global warming on El-Nino A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

El-Nino disturbs the atmospheric conditions across the world. El-Nino occurs every two-to-seven years with very strong El Niño’s occurring about every 15 years results in droughts, floods, wildfires, dust and snow storms, fish kill, and even elevated risks of civil conflicts.

The El-Nino is measured by studying the averages sea surface temperature anomalies over the central-eastern tropical Pacific. A study which analyses the impact of global warming on El-Nino has been published in the journal Nature in December 2018.

Findings of the Study A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The important findings of the study are:

  • The study serves a warning to the countries on all continents that suffer from these extreme weather events during strong El Niño events such as the ones during 1982-83, 1997-98 and 2015-16.
  • The study notes that eagerly-awaited winter rain and snow storms over California did not occur during the latest extreme El Nino. Hence it is unclear whether global warming is already affecting El Nino and its remote impacts. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019
  • The study argues that it is unclear if the impact of global warming on El Nino can easily be extracted considering its intrinsic tendencies and its dependency on so many factors that are not easily predictable.A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The study concludes that various models to study El-Nino deliver a slightly different rendition of El Niño compared to nature. Hence it is imperative that models be held to very stringent standards on their performance of El Niño behaviour during historic periods, especially the 20th century, as a test of their reliability for future projections. As a result it is difficult to conclude how reliably the models can project El Niño response to global warming in addition to how the models perform in reproducing floods and droughts of 20th century.


Punit Goenka named as new chairman of BARC India

The Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India) has elected Punit Goenka MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) as the Chairman. Punit Goenka as a founder Chairman of BARC had played a key role in institutionalizing BARC.

Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India)

Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India) is a collaborative Industry Company founded in 2010 by stakeholder bodies that represent Broadcasters, Advertisers, and Advertising and Media Agencies. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The promoters of BARC India are Indian Broadcasting Foundation, Indian Society of Advertisers and Advertising Agencies Association of India. BARC India was set up as per guidelines of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.  A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

BARC India has evolved a transparent, accurate, and inclusive TV audience measurement system on the foundation of robust and future-ready technology backbone. Together with the audience measurement system, BARC India provides a suite of Insight products designed for Broadcasters, Advertisers and Agencies. A to Z Current Affairs for January 2019

The data generated and the insights provided by BARC India aids in making efficient decision making by the stakeholders.

BARC India analyses the viewership habits of over 197 million TV households (accounting for 836 million TV viewing individuals). This makes it the world’s largest television audience measurement service. BARC India’s measurement system is based on the sample of 44000-panel homes.


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