1. India born Gita Gopinath entered IMF as 1st woman Chief Economist
Mysore-born Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its chief economist, becoming the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.
- She succeeds Maurice Obstfeld, who retired on December 31.
- Ms. Gopinath considers the perceived retreat from globalization as one of the top challenges being faced by the IMF.
2. Gruh Finance stated its merger with Bandhan Bank
Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of HDFC, will be merged with Bandhan Bank, the newest commercial bank. The move would help the Bandhan Bank to cut promoter stake from 82.3% to 61%.
- According to the deal, 568 equity shares of face value of Rs.10 each of Bandhan Bank is to be issued for every 1,000 equity shares of a face value of Rs.2 each of Gruh. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals. The swap ratio implies a 2.05% premium to the shareholders of Gruh. The combined entity is valued at Rs.84,000 crore. Post the deal, HDFC will have 14.9% stake in Bandhan Bank.
- The move comes after the restrictions imposed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Bandhan in terms of branch expansion and the remuneration of its MD & CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, for inability to bring down promoter stake to 40% within three years of starting operations.
3. USFDA approved Lupins Lurasidone Hydrochloride drug
Lupin, the major Drug maker, received the approval from United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA), the U.S. health regulator, to market Lurasidone Hydrochloride tablets in the U.S.
The firm can sell its product in strengths of 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 120 mg. The drug is a generic version of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Latuda tablets. The drug is indicated for conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar depression.
United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA):
- Established on: June 30, 1906
- Headquarters: Maryland, United States
- USFDA is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services
- It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, Electromagnetic Radiation Emitting Devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feed and veterinary products
4. Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill
The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016recommended that the Assam government should help settle migrants especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing a lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succor to the indigenous Assamese people.
- The BJP-ruled Assam showed strong resistance to the bill as it would pave the way for giving citizenship for people came after March 1971 in Assam, which adds burden to the State, in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985.
- The Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill and it will be tabled in Parliament. The Bill paves the way to grant citizenship to six religious minorities: Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, and Buddhists, from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.
5. Cabinet passed a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10 percent reservation
The Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide a 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category. The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.
The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). The government is likely to bring a Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament. According to article 368, the Bill must be passed in each House by an absolute majority (over 50% of total membership) and a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.
- People earning Iess lakh annually
- People who own farmland below 5 acres
- People own a measuring less than 1,000 sq ft
- In its famous Indra Sawhney judgment, the Supreme Court had set an ap of 50% on quotas
- A Constitutional Amendment Bill would be required as the Constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. It envisages Amendments to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution
6. ASI published 6 monuments of National Importance in 2018
The 125-year-old Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra;
- Two Mughal-era monuments in Agra – Haveli of Agha Khan and Hathi Khana;
- The ancient Neemrana Baori in Rajasthan’s Alwar district;
- The Group of Temples at Ranipur Jharail in Odisha’s Bolangir district;
- The Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand
are the Six monuments that have been listed.
In 2016 and 2017, no new monument was included in the list of sites of national importance.
The last monument to be included in the list, in 2015, was the Vishnu Temple in Nadavayal in Kerala’s Wayanad district.
7. Government merged three Regional Rural Banks
The government has amalgamated three Regional Rural Banks — Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank, and Sutlej Gramin Bank — into a single RRB with immediate effect.
- The sponsor banks of the RRBs are National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Government of Punjab and Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Punjab and Sind Bank.
- “The Central Government has amalgamated the said Regional Rural Banks into a single Regional Rural Bank with effect on and from January 1, 2019,” the filing said.
8. Alok Verma Reinstated As CBI Chief By Supreme Court
Alok Verma reinstated as the CBI chief by the Supreme Court, three months after the government divested him of his powers and sent him on forced leave.
- Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were both sent on leave in October amid a bitter feud between the CBI’s top two.
- Supreme Court strikes down CBI Chief Alok Verma’s removal.
- However, at present, Alok Verma cannot take any major policy decisions. Supreme Court stated that the High Power Committee under the DSPE Act needs to act within a week to consider Alok Verma’s case.
9. Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as Bangladesh PM for the 3rd consecutive term
Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League-led alliance won 288 of the 298 seats in the December 30 election.
- President Abdul Hamid administered the oath of office to 71-year-old Hasina at the Bangabhaban.
- This is Hasina’s fourth term in office overall.
- Hasina will lead a Cabinet of 24 ministers, 19 ministers of state and three state ministers.
- Hasina was first elected prime minister in 1996 and then again in 2008 and 2014.
10. Maharashtra to host 2nd edition of Khelo India Youth Games
Maharashtra is all set to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games which will officially begin tomorrow in Pune.
- More than 9000 players from different states will participate in 18 different games at Khelo India Youth Games. It has already been announced that Youth Olympic Gold Medallist in shooting Manu Baker and Saurabh Chaudhari, as well as weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, will be among the cream of India’s youth sporting talent competing at these games.
- Three 10-year-old athletes including footballer Pratima Kumar from Jharkhand, hockey player Laltlanchhungi from Mizoram and West Bengal’s 10m air rifle shooter Abhinav Shaw, will pick up their first experience of competing in a large-scale multi-discipline event.
11. A Crusade Against Corruption: book by Manohar Manoj launched by Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh in New Delhi
Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh launched Manohar Manoj`s book ‘A Crusade Against Corruption’ at the Press Club of India in New Delhi.
- The author has been closely monitoring the issue of corruption from various angles. His observations and findings have come into the form of this book.
- “This book not only encompasses in it every aspect of corruption, which gets started from numerous meaning and definitions of corruption and then it brings all possible world history and then its prevalence in various forms of governments followed by various modalities to check corruption,” Manoj said.