Current Affairs Today
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was named the Leader of Opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The announcement came as a reaffirmation of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s earlier position acknowledging Mr.Rajapaksa as Opposition leader, which MPs of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and some other parties had challenged on two grounds.
Mr.Rajapaksa demanded that he be made Leader of Opposition, claiming he had the highest number of “MPs in Opposition”.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced the creation of a new district by bifurcating Villupuram district. Kallakurichi will be the headquarters of the new district and its creation has increased the number of districts in Tamil Nadu to 33.
Mr. Palaniswami said Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam, Ulundurpet MLA Kumaraguru and local residents had made a request for the creation of a new district.
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe, has discovered a new world outside our solar system, orbiting a dwarf star 53 light years away. This is the third new planet confirmed by TESS since its launch in April 2018.
The planet has been named as HD 21749b. The planets orbits a bright, nearby dwarf star about 53 light years away, in the constellation Reticulum, and appears to have the longest orbital period of the three planets so far identified by TESS.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved USA Cricket as its 105th member, which is expected to open the door for T20 Internationals to be played in Florida, which has a large base of West Indies supporters.
The USA Cricket Association had previously been an associate member of the ICC, but was suspended over governance issues for a third time in 2015 before being expelled in June 2017.
It is expected to be the last session of the current Lok Sabha as general elections are due in April-May 2019.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the interim budget for 2019-20 fiscal on February 1, as decided in the meeting by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
This will be the sixth consecutive budget to be presented by Jaitley.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide $400 million to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under the SAARC swap facility, to boost the island nation’s reserves.
CBSL has requested a further bilateral swap arrangement of $1 billion from RBI which is "under consideration".
♦ SAARC Full form - South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
♦ Sri Lanka Central Bank governor - Indrajit Coomaraswamy
♦ Sri Lanka Finance Minister - Mangala Samaraweera
US-based Boeing has retained its position as the world's largest planemaker for the seventh year in a row, delivering a record 806 aircraft in 2018.
Overall, the company saw 893 net orders valued at $143.7 billion.
Boeing was followed by its European rival Airbus which delivered 800 aircraft last year.
The move is expected to facilitate transactions related to India's oil purchases from Iran amidst US sanctions.
Alongside, India's state-owned UCO Bank will be opening a branch in Iran.
The banks will also handle transactions relating to operation at Iran's Chabahar Port which India is developing.
India has taken over operations of the Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran, the first time India will operate a port outside its territory.
Iran is one of India’s top sources of oil and though New Delhi has reduced its imports under US pressure.
A day after Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha on 9th January , 2019 passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill 2019 to introduce a 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among general category for jobs and educational institutions.
The bill was supported by 165 members while seven members voted against it.
The bill had the support of 323 lawmakers in the lower house.
The quota is over and above 50 percent mandated for the SCs, STs and the OBCs.
The major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other upper castes.
The Bill amends Article 15 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make "special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens".
The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation and Bengaluru International Airport launched a women-only taxi service called 'Go Pink Cabs' on a trial basis.
The taxis are equipped with safety features like an SOS switch and GPS tracking.
The service will be functional 24×7 and will be priced at Rs 21.50/km during the day (6am-11.59pm) and Rs23.50/km at night (12am-6am).
Australian cities Sydney and Brisbane have been announced as the first two host locations for the newest team event in men’s tennis for the multi-million dollar ATP Cup from 2020.
The third Australian city for the tournament is yet to be determined.
Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of mortgage lender HDFC, will be merged with Bandhan Bank — the newest commercial bank.
The move would help the latter to cut promoter stake from 82.3% to 61%.
According to the deal, 568 equity shares of face value of ₹10 each of Bandhan Bank is to be issued for every 1,000 equity shares of a face value of ₹2 each of Gruh.
A visionary in the field of Solar Energy and the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation, Pranav R Mehta taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC).
He has become the first Indian to head the GSC.
The Global Solar Council (GSC) was launched on December 6, 2015, following the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP 21).
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a High-Level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments to encourage digitization of payments and enhance financial inclusion.
The five-member committee headed by UIDAI’s former Chairman Nandan Nilekani will include RBI’s former Deputy Governor Mr. H.R. Khan and Former Secretary, Ministry of Information Technology, Mrs. Aruna Sharma among others.
Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO planned to set up Space Galleries in various locations in the country.
The Space Galleries are expected to disseminate the knowledge about space science and technology amongst the citizens of the country.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said that Women representation will be increased to 5% in Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and Sashastra Seema Bal.
The Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women had given recommendations, based on which the directions were issued to all paramilitary forces to bring the percentage of women to 5%.
Narendra Modi, Donald Trump discussed prospects for increasing cooperation in Afghanistan, the India-US strategic partnership, trade deficit, and security issues in a telephonic conversation.
Trump has been seeking a more active role for India in Afghanistan which would go beyond reconstruction and include deployment of troops to fight the Taliban.