Current Affairs in Short: 4 January 2019
The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to January 10. The matter is listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul. The bench is likely to constitute a three-judge bench to look into the matter.
Supreme Court defers hearing of Ayodhya title suit till January 10
• The Supreme Court on January 4, 2019 deferred the hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to January 10. The hearing did not see any arguments from both the sides.
• The matter is listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul.
• The bench is likely to constitute a three-judge bench for hearing as many as 14 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
• The apex court, on October 29, had fixed the matter in the first week of January before an appropriate bench, which is to decide the schedule of hearing.
Government says no decision regarding Rs 2,000 note production
• The Union Government clarified on January 4, 2019 that there has been no decision recently regarding the production of the 2000 rupees notes.
• The Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said in a tweet that the printing of notes is planned as per the projected requirement.
• He said the country has more than adequate such notes in the system with over 35 per cent of them by value in circulation.
• His comments came in the wake of media reports that the government has stopped the printing of the two thousand rupees currency notes.
Government increases fuel supply to power plants
• The government on January 3, 2019 said that coal stock and coal supply to power plants has been increased to meet the energy demands in the country.
• According to the Ministry of Coal, the increase is about 25 per cent as compared to last year.
• The Ministry said that with the focus on boosting the domestic Coal Supply, the Coal stock in power plants as on December 31, 2018 was over 16 million tonne as compared to December 2017 which was around 13 million tonne.
• The Coal Stock in power plants on December 31, 2018 was sufficient for ten days.
Pakistan abolishes visa on arrival for Afghans
• Pakistan on January 3, 2019 abolished the long-standing facility of visa on arrival for nationals of Afghanistan.
• The Immigration Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency cited increased security risks from the western border as a reason for the move.
• Furthermore, the government also restricted the movement of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and stopped issuance of visas at airports and border crossing points.
• The move to restrict Afghans came as Pakistan has already decided to issue 'on-arrival' visas to citizens of 24 other countries to increase tourism and investments.
Government honours outstanding young entrepreneurs with National Entrepreneurship Awards
• The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship hosted the third edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards in New Delhi on January 4, 2019.
• The awards recognise and honor outstanding young first-generation entrepreneurs and those who have contributed immensely in building the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
• A total of 43 awards were presented this year, which include 39 awards for Young Entrepreneurs in different sectors and four awards for Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders.
• The winners received a trophy, certificate and cash prizes ranging from Rs 5-10 lakhs. There were also special awards for women, persons with disability, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and entrepreneurs from areas with limited opportunities.
• The National Entrepreneurship Awards is a platform focused on driving innovation, ushering in a positive change for youth in entrepreneurship across all the industries.
PM Modi inaugurates development projects in Manipur
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 4, 2019 inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 12 development projects worth Rs 1,500 crore in Manipur.
• The Prime Minister unveiled the plaque to mark the inauguration of various projects including Integrated Check Post at Moreh, the Dolaithabi Barrage project, FCI food storage godown at Sawombung, Eco Tourism Complex at Thangal Surung and various water supply schemes.
• PM Modi also dedicated the 400kV double circuit Silchar-Imphal line and laid the foundation stone of projects like Infrastructure Development of Dhanamanjuri University, Imphal and sports facilities.
• The Prime Minister said that as per the Centre's vision of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, it is ensured that no region or person is excluded from development.
Democrat Nancy Pelosi elected Speaker in US House of Representatives
• In the United States, veteran democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, considered an ardent supporter of India-US ties, has been elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives for the second time, thus becoming the most powerful elected woman in America.
• Pelosi, second in line for the presidency, took the spot as Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the new Congress after the mid-term elections.
• With 235 seats, Democrats now enjoy the majority in the US House of Representatives. Republicans now have 199 seats in the 435-member House after the November elections.
• Pelosi replaces Republican leader Paul Ryan, in the new Congress. She won the speakership by 220-192 vote over the Republican leader Congress Kevin McCarthy, who is now the House Minority Leader.
• Pelosi also makes history as she reclaims a title she previously held when she served as the first and so far only female speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011.
Arunima Sinha becomes first woman amputee to scale Mount Vinson
• Arunima Sinha, the Indian mountaineer who became the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, has now become the first woman amputee to climb Mount Vinson, highest peak of Antarctica.
• Sinha is a national level volleyball player who had one of her legs amputated in 2011 after she was pushed from a running train by dacoits she had resisted.
• She had earlier said that she planned to scale six peaks in six continents. A Padmashri awardee, Sinha had earlier scaled five peaks including Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Ebrus, Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Aconcagua.
• She had also said that she had a dream to become a mountaineer and her dream became a firm resolve when she read articles on mountaineering while lying on a hospital bed.