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Important Current Affairs 24th January 2019

International News

National Girl Child Day 
National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is celebrated in India on January 24th with an aim to raise awareness about Child Sex Ratio (CSR) levels and promote the empowerment of girls.
Objectives
•    The key objectives of National Girl Child Day are as follows:
•    To spread awareness about the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in the country and carry out campaigns to improve the same.
•    To empower the girl children with new opportunities via schemes and campaigns.
•    To create a positive environment around valuing the girl child.
Theme of NGCD-2019
The theme of National Girl Child Day-2019 is “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”


Regional variations in the World Economic Forums Public Opinion Survey 

The findings from the World Economic Forum’s public opinion survey register regional variations on the various issues. Few of them are listed below:
•    When asked how important it is for countries to work together towards a common goal, a global average of 76 per cent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
•    The favourable sentiments were strongly felt in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 per cent share the same view. On the other hand, 61 per cent of Western Europeans and 70 per cent of North Americans said they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
•    When asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asia had the highest levels of concurrence with 94 per cent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 per cent. While the North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively answering in the affirmative.
 

National News

Rashtriya Bal PuraskarThe Rashtriya Bal Puraskar was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind 
President conferred awards to 26 awardees including one joint award for National Child Award (now renamed as Bal Shakti Puraskar) under the category of innovation, scholastic, sports, arts & culture, social service and bravery. 2 individuals and 3 institutions will also be awarded under National Child Welfare Awards category (now renamed as BalKalyanPuraskar).
The awardees were chosen by the National Selection Committee under the Chairpersonship of Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development.

Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana. The features of the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana are:
•    Under the scheme, a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.
•    The first batch of 40 people participated in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 held in Varanasi.
•    Those selected would be taken to religious places of all major religions in India.
•    The government will bear all the expenses including the airfare from their country of residence.
•    People of Indian-origin aged 45 to 65 can apply can avail the benefits under the scheme.


India Ratings report on state’s finances: Key Facts
A Fitch Group company, India Ratings has released its report on states finances. The important findings of the report are:
•    Loan waiver and other support measures for farmers are expected to raise the aggregate fiscal deficit of states to 3.2 per cent in 2018-19.
•    Further, the fiscal deficit would increase by 40 basis points (100 basis points or bps equal to 1 per cent) in the financial year 2019-20.
•    The competitive populism in the nature of farm loan waivers and other financial support schemes is expected to take centre stage in the run-up to the next general elections and this would have a larger impact on fiscal and revenue deficit to gross state domestic product ratios for Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan, among non-special category states, in the financial year 2019-20.
•    The states revenue account on aggregate is expected to clock a deficit of 0.5 per cent of GDP in the financial year 2019-20 due to higher growth in revenue expenditure than in revenue receipts.

Godavari-Cauvery link project
The Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari announced that the Centre would soon take up a major project to Link Rivers Godavari and Cauvery.
The detailed project report for linking rivers Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery has been finalised and will be presented before the cabinet soon for approval.

Objectives of the Project
The objectives of the project are:
•    The project aims to make good use of about 1100 tmc ft of Godavari water that is currently getting drained into the Bay of Bengal.
•    The project would take the water from river Godavari to the tail end of Tamil Nadu.
•    The government aims to raise finances for the project either from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank as the project cost is about Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore.