Current Affairs in Short: 7 January 2019

The North Central Railway, NCR has launched a mobile application to help people navigate through Prayagraj city during Kumbh Mela starting from January 15. The app will also provide information regarding all the 'Mela special' trains that will run during the period.

Created On: Jan 7, 2019 17:55 ISTModified On: Jan 7, 2019 17:57 IST
Current Affairs in Short: 7 January 2019

NCR launches mobile app to help people navigate through Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela

• The North Central Railway, NCR has launched a mobile application to help people navigate through Prayagraj city during Kumbh Mela starting from January 15.
• The 'Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App' will also provide information regarding all the 'Mela special' trains that will run during the period.
• Additionally, the app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets.
• Through this app, the users will not only get to know their current location but will also be able to reach to all railway stations, the mela zone, major hotels, bus stations and other facilities within Prayagraj.
• A photo gallery, containing pictures of previous Kumbh Melas can also be accessed through the app.

Saudi women to get divorce notices over text

• In Saudi Arabia, a new regulation has been introduced to end secret divorces, wherein men end a marriage without telling their wives.
• Starting from January 6, 2018, the Gulf nation’s courts will be required to notify the Saudi women by text on rulings confirming their divorces.
• The directive would ensure women are fully aware of their marital status and can protect rights such as alimony.
• Last year, a decades-old driving ban on women was lifted in Saudi Arabia.

WCD minister Maneka Gandhi confers National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers

• The Union Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers at a function in New Delhi on January 7, 2018 for exceptional achievements for the year 2017-18.
• The government had formulated the scheme in 2000-2001 to award Anganwadi Workers at the National and State Levels.
• The award is given annually to motivate the workers and recognise their exemplary services in the field of child development and related areas under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme.
• The award at the National Level comprises a cash prize of Rs 50000 and citation while Rs 10000 are given for the State level award. From this year, the government has doubled the cash prize of National Level award from earlier Rs 25000.

New Delhi World Book Fair begins in New Delhi

• The 27th New Delhi World Book Fair kicked off on January 5, 2018 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 2019 theme of the book fair is ‘Readers with Special Needs’.
• Inaugurating the fair, Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed happiness that books have not lost their popularity even after the advent of various media like audiobooks and e-books. He said the habit of reading is intact among Indians, and growing at a steady pace.
• Over 20 countries including Canada, China, Sri Lanka, and the US are participating in the book fair. More than six hundred publishers from across the country are participating in the event.
• The book fair focuses on Readers with Special Needs, to promote the idea of inclusive learning through a series of exhibitions.

Asha Parekh, Farooque Shaikh to be honoured by Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society

• Veterans Asha Parekh and Farooque Shaikh will be honoured by the Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society on January 8, 2018 to commemorate the 52nd death anniversary of the renowned filmmaker.
• The Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society was instituted 22 years ago in memory of the late filmmaker, Bimal Roy. Its aim is to reward unsung heroes of the film industry.
• On the occasion, awards will also be presented to directors Ananth Mahadevan and Amit Rai along with their actors Paresh Rawal and Jackie Shroff for making socially relevant films.

Journalist Dinu Randive conferred with lifetime achievement award

• Veteran journalist Dinu Randive has been conferred with the lifetime achievement award by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, an association of journalists covering Maharashtra legislature and secretariat.
• Randive started his journalistic career in 1956. He also participated in the freedom struggle, the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement.
• The award winners in other categories included Vishwas Waghmode, Mahesh Tiwari and Prajakta Pol.

Pakistan, UAE agree to work on peace, stability in Afghanistan

• Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates' Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have agreed to work jointly for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
• The two leaders held talks on January 6, 2018 on bilateral matters and strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and also expressed their resolve to work closely to root out the scourge.
• The Crown Prince recognised the efforts and unparalleled sacrifices made by Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and extremism.
• The two leaders agreed to work closely for the lasting peace and stability of Afghanistan. The UAE hosted Pakistan-facilitated talks between the Taliban and US officials in Abu Dhabi weeks ago.

Australia cancelled 800 foreigners' visas in 2018

• Australia cancelled the visas of over 800 foreigners in 2018 who committed serious crimes, including paedophilia, domestic violence, rape, armed robbery and murder.
• About 500 visas were annulled for criminals committing violent crimes, including 13 murders, 125 assaults and 56 armed robberies.
• From the total of these foreigners, who were or will be deported from the country, about 100 were implicated in sexual crimes against minors, pornography or child exploitation, while another 53 were convicted of domestic violence and 34 for rape.
• Since 2014, Australian law has allowed the cancellation of visas to foreigners given jail terms of more than 12 months or to those who have committed child sexual abuse.

Government allocates Rs 10,900 cr for development of 40 satellite launch vehicles

• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Sivan has said that the Union Government has allocated Rs 10,900 crore for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next four years.
• He was delivering the graduation Day lecture at the historic St Joseph’s College, Trichy, Tamilnadu, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary.
• The Chandrayan Mission will be launched within three months. It will land in one part of the Moon that is still unexplored.
• The human space flight Gaganyaan is also planned to be launched by 2022, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.
• ISRO is planning to rededicate itself to become a world-class organisation, capable of addressing the varied socio-economic challenges of the nation.

Egypt opens West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital

• Egypt has opened West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity and also a mosque on January 6, 2018, on the eve of Coptic Christmas.
• The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, the world's primary seat of learning for Sunni Muslims, said that the two places of worship stand as a symbol in the face of attempts to undermine the country's stability and sectarian seditions.
• The ceremony was attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and a host of Arab dignitaries. It included recorded video messages of support from the region's top Christian clerics as well as Pope Francis.
• The Pope said the new cathedral is a gift of peace and prosperity to Egypt, the Middle East and the whole world.  Unlike December 25, Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7, following the Coptic calendar.

China passes law to have own version of Islam, make it conform to socialism

• China has passed a law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within five years and might do that with other four religions in the country.
• Under the all-powerful Chinese President Xi Jinping, China has heavily cracked down on religion, especially Islam practised by most Uighurs in the country's Xinjiang province who Beijing suspects of having separatist and extremist tendencies.
• There are over 20 million Muslims in the country. Islam is one of the five officially recognised religions in atheist China. The other four are Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, and Protestantism.
• In the past, Beijing has adopted heavy-handed measures with the authorities confiscating copies of the Quran, issuing diktats to Muslims not to grow beards and not choose names for their wards which sound "too Islamic."

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