Current Affairs in Short: 8 January 2019
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 129 airports across the country. The Authority undertook various steps to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.
Indian-origin Gita Gopinath joins IMF as Chief Economist
• India born Gita Gopinath joined the International Monetary Fund as its Chief Economist.
• She is the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.
• Gopinath succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Obstfeld retired on December 31, 2018.
• Gopinath is the 11th chief economist of the IMF.
Government to introduce redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha
• Home Minister Rajnath Singh will introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing parliamentary session.
• The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• The bill was first introduced in Parliament in 2016 and was examined by the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
• The Union Cabinet had already cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill for ints introduction in Parliament.
AAI bans single-use plastic items at 129 airports across country
• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 129 airports across the country.
• The Authority undertook various steps to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.
• On the basis of a third-party assessment carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI), 16 of its airports have been declared as Single-Use Plastic Free.
• The QCI will complete its assessment of total 34 airports, which are managed by the AAI.
Norway PM Erna Solberg inaugurates green compound at Royal Norwegian Embassy
• Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg inaugurated a new green compound at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi. Solberg is on an official visit to India.
• This green embassy can serve as an inspiration for the shared efforts to achieve the green transition and the Sustainable Development Goals.
• The inauguration marks the beginning of a new era of cooperation between India and Norway.
• The embassy obtained a Green Rating for Integrated Habitat by the Government of India.
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi confers National Awards to Anganwadi Workers for Exceptional Achievements
• Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for Exceptional Achievements for the year 2017-18.
• The award is given to motivate the AWWs and recognise their exemplary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme.
• The awards are given annually.
• The Award at the National Level comprises of a cash prize of Rs 50000 and a citation.
• The State Level award comprises of a cash prize of Rs 10000 and a citation.
Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-II launched
• Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan launched NIO and MRSC for Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round-II.
• In this bid round, 14 E&P blocks, with an area of approximately 30000 sq. km., are being offered for bidding to the investor community under the investor friendly HELP regime.
• 10 blocks are based on Expressions of Interest submitted by the bidders, and 4 blocks have been carved out by the Government based on data received through the National Seismic Programme and the Resource Reassessment Study carried out by the Government.
• The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) replacing the erstwhile New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was approved in March 2016 and the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) along with the National Data Repository (NDR) were launched in June.