Top 15 Current Affairs 2nd January 2018

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2 January 2018

National Affairs:The Assamese and Manipuri language versions of Prime Minister’s Official website- www.pmindia.gov.in were launched. Now the PM INDIA website is available in 11 regional languages namely Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi.

2 January 2018

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced value-added tax (VAT). These are the first two countries in the Gulf which have introduced the VAT system. The 5% levy is being applied to the majority of goods and services. The UAE estimates that in the first year, VAT income will be around 12 billion dirhams. Petrol and diesel, food, clothes, utility bills and hotel rooms all now have VAT applied. But some outgoings have been made exempt from the tax, or given a zero-tax rating, including medical treatment, financial services and public transport.

2 January 2018

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi for the empowerment of women. The portal will provide women with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. The portal summarises over 350 government schemes and other important information. It provides links to the Ministries, Departments and autonomous bodies offering these schemes as well as easy access to online applications and grievance redressal.

2 January 2018

The State Bank of India reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each, which will benefit nearly 80 lakh customers on the old pricing regime. SBI revised down the base rate to 8.65 percent for existing customers from 8.95 percent, while the benchmark prime lending rates are down from 13.7 percent, to 13.4 percent. The one-year MCLR of the bank stands unchanged at 7.95 percent. 

2 January 2018

Indian golfer Shiv Kapur won the Royal Cup at Pattaya, which is his third Asian Tour title of 2017. The 35-year-old, who had just one win in almost 11 years till April 2017 now won three times in last eight months. This latest win marks Kapur’s fourth Asian Tour win and sixth international title as he won twice on European Challenge Tour.

2 January 2018

Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale has been appointed a foreign secretary of India. He has succeeded S Jaishankar. Mr. Gokhale served as Indian Ambassador to China, Germany and as Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia in the past. He is at present secretary (economic relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

2 January 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Republic Day celebration in 2018 would be "remembered through the ages" because the government for the first time in India's history would host leaders of 10 ASEAN countries as chief guests on 26th January 2018.  "The Republic Day will be celebrated with leaders of all 10 (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ASEAN countries coming to India as chief guests. This time, not one but 10 chief guests would grace the Republic Day. 

2 January 2018

Nepal banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents. The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world's highest peak without a valid medical certificate. The law had been revised to make mountaineering safer and to decrease deaths.

2 January 2018

Arunachal Pradesh declared open defecation free ahead of the national deadline of October 2, 2019. The milestone was achieved after the state announced an incentive of Rs 8,000 in addition to the Rs 12,000-grant provided by the Centre for building toilets. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Haryana were declared open defecation free states in October 2017.

2 January 2018

Israel filed notice to withdraw from the UNESCO alongside the United States. Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organization's criticism of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011. Israel was the member of UNESCO since 1949. Both Israel and the US have filed its own withdrawal notice in October 2017.

2 January 2018

National vice-president of the BJP, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is also a member of Rajya Sabha has been appointed the President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations. He will replace Lokesh Chandra who had been appointed by the NDA government in October 2014 and has completed his three-year term.

2 January 2018

Vidarbha has created history by winning the Ranji Trophy for the first time in history with a thumping nine-wicket win over Delhi at the Holkar stadium in Indore. Rajneesh Gurbani’s 6/59, including a hat-trick and a century from Akshay Wadkar, were the key moments in Vidarbha scripting a fairytale run. For Delhi, Dhruv Shorey was the star with a century and a fifty but Rishabh Pant’s side came up short on the given day.