One liners 7th January

• Rami Malek won the Best Actor Award in the drama category for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the 76th Golden Globe Awards while Glenn Close got the Best Actress Award in the drama category for ‘The Wife’.

• The government has said that it’s on track to meet its official March 31 target to electrify every home. It added that a December 31 deadline promoted publicly by the Power Ministry was only an “internal target”.

• PM Narendra Modi has laid the foundation of several irrigation projects, including the revival of Mandal Dam project worth ₹2,391.36-crore, in Jharkhand. The dam, work for which was stalled since 1993, will provide irrigation to 19,604-hectare area in Jharkhand, and Bihar.

• As part of the Mission Shakti scheme, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced interest-free loans of up to Rs 3 lakh for the women self-help groups (WSHGs) in the state. There are around six lakh WSHGs in Odisha.

• Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated six road projects, claiming that these roads won’t have potholes for the next 150-200 years. While at the event, he also emphasized on the use of bio-fuel, electricity and ethanol as an alternatives to the conventional fossil fuel.

• Indian mountaineer Arunima Sinha has now become the World’s first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica. In 2013, Sinha had broken the world record by becoming the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest.

• India won the four-match Test series against Australia 2-1 as the Sydney Test ended in a draw after the fifth day’s play was washed out due to rain. This is the first time ever that India have won a Test series in Australia.

• The Centre issued a notification to simplify the process for the approval of manufacturing of a range of defence and aerospace equipment and components by private industry. This will bring the industries under the licensing authority of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

• A 10-day long Indian Panorama Film Festival began at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Inaugurating the Festival, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare films rise above all constraints of languages.

• Economists, researchers, and workers on the ground are worried that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme is facing a severe fund crisis. 99% of the money allocated already exhausted three months before the end of the financial year, and 11 States and Union Territories having a negative net balance.

• Veteran journalist Dinu Randive conferred with the lifetime achievement award by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, an association of journalists covering Maharashtra legislature and secretariat.

• New research suggested International Space Station (ISS) could be growing beans in 2021. It had already cultivated lettuce in space three years ago. The beans could be planted in high-tech planters developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

• Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively.

• ICICI Bank, in a first-of-its-kind programme, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Business FinCredit India Pvt. Ltd. (SBFC), a systemically important Non-Banking Finance Company for entrepreneurs, to jointly provide credit worth up to Rs 1 crore to MSMEs for a tenure of 15 years.

• Vijay Mallya became the first tycoon to be charged under a new anti-fraud law, with a court in Mumbai naming him as an offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

• The Centre launched the second auction of 14 blocks for prospecting of oil and gas in an attempt to raise domestic output to cut imports.

• Hopman Cup, an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament was held in Perth, Western Australia. It is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries.

• Due to financial constraints and other reasons 16 hydropower projects of 5,950 MW capacity are stalled. This might prompt the government to bring in a hydro policy at the earliest. A total of 37 hydropower projects of 12GW generation capacities are under construction in the country.

• Kevin Sweeney, the chief of staff of the US Department of Defence, resigned from his position. Kevin Sweeney retired as a Rear Admiral from the US Navy in 2014.

• Nepal asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to declare newly circulated Indian currency notes of denominations higher than Rs.100 legal tender in the country.

• Nine-day long international kite festival which marks the Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, the day when winter season starts changing to summer and farmers welcome the approaching harvest season, kicked off at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

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