Current Affairs in Short: 14 January 2019
The main camera onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been shut down after it encountered a hardware problem. The camera was installed by spacewalking astronauts during Servicing Mission 4 in 2009. Hubble is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, providing an unobstructed view into the universe.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's premier camera shuts down
• The main camera onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been shut down after it encountered a hardware problem.
• The international space agency, however, in a statement said that the telescope will continue to perform science observations with its other three active instruments.
• It added that the defect in the Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 is being investigated. The camera is equipped with back up electronics that can be called to action if the need arises.
• The camera was installed by spacewalking astronauts during Servicing Mission 4 in 2009. Hubble is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, providing an unobstructed view into the universe.
Tulsi Gabbard, first Hindu elected to US Congress to run for President in 2020
• Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to US Congress and a four-time Democratic lawmaker, has said she will run for President in 2020, becoming the latest member of her party to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.
• The 37-year-old said that she will formally announce her candidacy within a week. The Iraqi war veteran is the second woman after Senator Elizabeth Warren to enter the presidential race from the Democratic party.
• More than 12 Democratic leaders including Indian-origin Senator from California Kamala Harris are expected to announce their White House bid to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
Macedonia changes its name to North Macedonia
• The parliamentarians of the Republic of Macedonia voted on January 11, 2019 to change their country’s name to the “Republic of North Macedonia”.
• The move now awaits approval from the Greece Parliament. It results from a longstanding dispute between the two countries, because a region of Greece bordering the Macedonian republic is also called Macedonia.
• The change of name, if cleared by Athens, would pave the way for the small republic to enter NATO and the European Union.
• Macedonia broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and declared independence. It measures a little over 25,000 sq km, and has a population just over 2 million.
• Neighbouring Greece has objected to its name all through, insisting that the name applies only to the Greek region. The nation has also been blocking the Macedonian republic’s entry to NATO and EU membership.
Greek defence minister announces resignation over Macedonia vote
• In Greece, Defence minister, who is head of the main coalition partner of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, announced his resignation on January 14, 2019 over Mecedonia name deal issue.
• The Minister had announced his resignation ahead of an upcoming parliamentary vote to end a 27-year name dispute with Macedonia.
• The Macedonia issue does not allow him not to sacrifice his post. He also informed that his right-wing populist Independent Greeks (ANEL) party is quitting the government.
• For the Greeks, Macedonia is the name of a history-rich northern province that was the cradle of Alexander the Great's ancient empire
Indian Olympian footballer Zulfiqar passes away
• Former India footballer Mohammed Zulfiqaruddin, who was a part of the fourth place finishing team in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, passed away on January 13, 2019. He was 83 and is survived by three sons and two daughters.
• As a 17-year old, Zulfiqaruddin was a part of the Indian squad which had finished fourth in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. But he did not play any match.
• India lost to Bulgaria 0-3 in the bronze-medal match in Melbourne to finish fourth, a result considered one of the finest moments in the country's football history.
• Zulfiqaruddin made his international debut in 1959 at the Merdeka Cup in against Singapore. He represented India in three International matches and scored one goal. He was also a part of the Indian team in the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games.
Punjab government to regularise over 5100 teachers with full pay scale
• In Punjab, the government has said that it will regularise over 5100 teachers with full pay scale next month.
• By regularising over 5,100 teachers, the state government is making efforts to uplift educational standards in the state.
• To achieve this goal, the regularisation of teachers is in process so that they can teach students sincerely.
• He said 'Sikhya Providers' and "volunteer teachers" will get a pay hike of 1,500 rupees from next month.
• The minister informed that those teachers who were suspended during their protests had been reinstated and the teachers who were temporarily sent to distant places had been ordered to join at their parent stations.
Union Minister Harshvardhan launches special weather services for Kumbh Mela
• Science and Technology Minister Dr Harshvardhan on January 14, 2019 launched the special weather services for Kumbh Mela at a function in New Delhi.
• It will provide information about the prevailing weather condition and forecasts to the people visiting Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela.
• For this purpose, four Automatic Weather stations have been installed at four locations at Prayagraj. The observational sites are distributed in all four directions within 5 to 10 kilometers radius and are located at Allahabad University, Delhi Public School, G.B. Pant Institute of Social Science and Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences.
• A mobile application named "Kumbh Mela Weather Service" has been developed to disseminate the live weather information. The mobile app will also provide weather forecast and warnings for Prayagraj for next 3 days.
Namita Gokhale wins Sushila Devi Literature Award
• Writer Namita Gokhale has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel "Things to Leave Behind".
• She was awarded in the 'Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author' category at the inaugural edition of Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF) that began in Bhopal on January 12, 2019.
• The festival, a brainchild of former bureaucrat Raghav Chandra, is being held at the Multi Art Centre of the Bharat Bhawan here.
• Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism K J Alphons and Madhya Pradesh Culture Minister Vijaylaxmi Sadho were among the eminent people present at the opening of the festival.
• The literary event will see participation by over 70 writers and artists attending the festival.
Niyogi Books launches Hindi imprint
• Niyogi Books has launched a new imprint Bahuvachan dedicated to Hindi titles. The first 12 books under this imprint are illustrated titles, which have already been published in English.
• These books range across diverse subjects - from biographies to travel and food to culture.
• In January 2018, the publishing house had launched three imprints for fiction, non-fiction and translated titles.
• The initial titles under Bahuvachan include books on M F Husain, Bismillah Khan, Zohra Segal, Sariska and Kumbh Mela.