1. Andhra Pradesh Tops ACIs Ease Of Doing Business Index
Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively.
- EDB index is based upon three parameters called ABC – Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies.
- “This time we have taken feedback from industry to see whether the reforms have percolated to the ground level,” DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said.
2. Vijay Mallya First Tycoon To Be Named Fugitive Economic Offender
Vijay Mallya became the first tycoon to be charged under a new anti-fraud law, with a court in Mumbai naming him as an offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
- The anti-corruption court was hearing an application by the Enforcement Directorate, seeking a direction to declare Mr. Mallya a fugitive economic offender.
- Over the last few months, several high-profile businessmen including Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been under the government’s radar for alleged financial crimes running into thousands of crores.
3. Hopman Cup: Roger Federer & Belinda Bencic retain the title for Switzerland
Hopman Cup, an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament was held in Perth, Western Australia. It is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries.
- The Event was concluded on 5th January 2019.
- This year Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic secured a 2-1 victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev to win the Hopman Cup for the second year in a row. It was Switzerland’s fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six.
- This year’s tournament is the 31st edition of the Hopman Cup and potentially be the final edition of the tournament as it will be replaced by an ATP tournament from next year.
4. Rami Malek, Glenn Close win Best Acting awards at Golden Globes 2019
Rami Malek won the Best Actor Award in the drama category for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the 76th Golden Globe Awards while Glenn Close got the Best Actress Award in the drama category for ‘The Wife’.
Olivia Colman won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for ‘The Favourite’.
- Best Animated Film Winner – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- Best Motion Picture (Drama) Winner – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) Winner – Green Book
- Best Director Winner – Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
5. PM Modi laid the foundation of Rs 2,391-cr Mandal Dam in Jharkhand
PM Narendra Modi has laid the foundation of several irrigation projects, including the revival of Mandal Dam project worth ₹2,391.36-crore, in Jharkhand.
- The dam, work for which was stalled since 1993, will provide irrigation to 19,604-hectare area in Jharkhand, and Bihar.
- The project, once completed, will boost irrigation facilities in Latehar, Palamu and Garhwa districts in the state, besides Aurangabad and Gaya in Bihar.
6. Odisha CM announced interest-free loans for women self-help groups
As part of the Mission Shakti scheme, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced interest-free loans of up to Rs 3 lakh for the women self-help groups (WSHGs) in the state.
- There are around six lakh WSHGs in Odisha.
- He also distributed financial assistance of Rs 3,000 each to six lakh WSHGs as part of the state government’s efforts to digitally empower women.
- He also announced seed money worth ₹15,000 for new SHGs and ₹3,000 to purchase smartphones for digital empowerment.
- He further announced a sum of ₹25 lakh for the existing 338 Block Level Federations.
7. Nitin Gadkari unveiled projects worth Rs 5,300 crore in Jodhpur
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated six road projects, claiming that these roads won’t have potholes for the next 150-200 years.
- While at the event, he also emphasized the use of bio-fuel, electricity, and ethanol as an alternative to the conventional fossil fuel.
- “My focus has been on developing roads using concrete here. You will not see potholes on these roads for the next 150-200 years. You will keep using them. We also have made sure that even planes can land on and take off from these roads,” Mr. Gadkari said, adding that his emphasis has always been on quality in work, reduction of cost, timely completion of projects,” he said.
8. India’s Arunima world’s 1st woman amputee to scale the Antarctic peak
Indian mountaineer Arunima Sinha has now become the World’s first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica.
- In 2013, Sinha had broken the world record by becoming the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest.
- A former national level volleyball player, Arunima had lost her left leg after being thrown off a moving train and getting hit by another in 2011.
- Padma Shri awardee Sinha has already scaled five peaks – Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kosciuszko, and Mt Aconcagua.
9. India win first-ever cricket Test series in Australia
India won the four-match Test series against Australia 2-1 as the Sydney Test ended in a draw after the fifth day’s play was washed out due to rain.
- This is the first time ever that India has won a Test series in Australia. Before this, India had played 11 Test series in Australia since 1947, losing eight and drawing three.
- Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 193 runs in the Sydney Test, was the Man of the Match, while Man of the Series also got the award.
10. MGNREGA scheme faces fund crisis
Economists, researchers, and workers on the ground are worried that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme is facing a severe fund crisis. 99% of the money allocated already exhausted three months before the end of the financial year, and 11 States and Union Territories having a negative net balance.
The MGNREGA scheme’s financial statement showed that the total availability of funds was Rs.59,032 crore. The total expenditure, including payment due, stands at Rs.58,701 crore. It leaves a slim margin of only Rs.331 crore. For 11 States, that margin is non-existent, as their accounts are already in the red.
- Enacted by: Parliament of India
- Introduced by: Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Minister of Rural Development
- Launched by: 2 Feb 2006
- Mission: To guarantee the ‘right to work’
- It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work
- It also aims to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds, and wells)
11. Journalist Dinu Randive conferred with the lifetime achievement award
Veteran journalist Dinu Randive conferred with the lifetime achievement award by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, an association of journalists covering Maharashtra legislature and secretariat.
- He also participated in the freedom struggle, the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement.
- Award winners in other categories included Vishwas Waghmode, Mahesh Tiwari and Prajakta Pol.