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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2019

National News

Supreme Court refuses to stay amendments to SC/ST Act 
The Supreme Court has refused to stay the amendments to Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. These amendments were brought in to nullify the safeguards instituted by the Supreme Court to prevent its misuse.
Safeguards proposed by Supreme Court
Expressing concerns over the misuse of the various provisions under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Supreme Court had proposed following safety mechanisms:
Provision of anticipatory bail
•    Approval of Senior Superintendent of Police to arrest those accused under this act.
•    Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) to conduct a preliminary enquiry to find out whether there is a prima facie case under Act.


Yuva Swabhiman Yojana 
The government of Madhya Pradesh has announced the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana to provide employment for the unemployed youth from the economically weaker sections of the society.
About the Scheme
The features of the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana scheme are:
•    It aims to provide employment to the youth belonging to the weaker section of the society mainly in urban areas of the state.
•    The scheme aims to provide 100 days of employment to youngsters from economically weaker sections of the society in urban areas.
•    The youths would also be given skill training by the government.
The component of skill training has been added to enable the youth to explore the available opportunities. To enhance the job opportunities the government of Madhya Pradesh has also announced changes in industrial policy with a clause under which industries would be eligible to get the state government incentives only if they hire 70 per cent staff from Madhya Pradesh.


Ministry of Defence Launches ‘RDP INDIA 2019’ 
Asia new initiative in sync with the Digital India campaign of the Government, Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app 'RDP India 2019' on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event, not only to the spectators at Rajpath, but also to the general public all over the world.
This app contains information about the Parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, including Order of the March, details of the tableaux presented by different States and Ministries, children cultural performances, fly past and names of recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019. It was extremely informative to the spectators witnessing the Parade and was widely appreciated. The app also hadthe provision for live streaming of the Parade.


The Kumbh contributes to infrastructure Development at Prayagraj City 
•    Kumbh and Mahakumbh have always proved very significant contributors to the Prayagraj district in terms of infrastructure development and growth in civic amenities. But this year Prayagraj Kumbh has changed the face of entire city and suburbs. 
•    Investment of crores for the infrastructure development in the town by Prayagraj Development Authority has not only widened most of the roads particularly Sangam, Public places and historical buildings bound roads but has also beautified most of the squares. Ths squares have been left with artistic sculptures and statues. Encroachments occupying the roads for last several years have been removed amicably and even religious constructions on the roads have been removed without any trouble. 
•    Vehicular Transport has been strengthend and roads have been freed from traffic jams due to removal of encroachments. About 3000 encroachments have been removed from about 65 roads in different parts of the Prayagraj town. These illegal constructions were continuing for last several years. About 150 kilometres of road has been constructed in the city area under the drive to widen roads. Connectivity from all railway and bus stations and Airport has been strengthened connecting most parts of the city. 
•    About five over bridges have been constructed in view of the Kumbh at different places and it has smoothened road traffic at railway crossings and places like Allahabad High Court. A new civil Airport has come to facilitate the visiting devotees and tourists. Newly constructed Airport has linked Prayagraj to several important cities including Kolkata, Nagpur, Indore, Lucknow, New Delhi, Bengluru, Ahmadabad, Dehradun and Patna with Air services.


National Conclave on Technical Textiles at Mumbai 
Ministry of Textiles will hold National Conclave on Technical Textiles on 29th January 2019 in Mumbai. The event will also be a curtain raiser for TechnoTex 2019.The conclave will be presided over by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani.
The release of HSN codes by Government of India for technical textiles will be one of the major highlights of the conclave.
Several panel discussions will be held on subjects like administrative consolidation of technical textiles items, manufacturing possibilities and import substitution, benefits of standardization and global best practices, technical textiles codes for New India, investment opportunityin technical textiles sector and research & development in technical textiles by eminent panellists drawn from various Central Government departments, NITI Aayog, IITs and textile industry.


Minister of Railways & Coal Shri Piyush Goyal Announces ‘Vande Bharat Express’ 
Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal announced the name Vande Bharat Express for Train 18, acknowledging it is made-in-India status. He called it a ‘vandaniya’ step towards realisation of New India vision. This train set has been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in the period of 18 months under 'Make in India' program.
Since the launch of Rajdhani trains, Vande Bharat Express is the next major leap for Indian Railways in terms of speed and convenience. It is India's first semi-high speed train equipped with world class passenger amenities.
It can achieve high speeds (max speed of 160 kmph) due to faster acceleration & deceleration and will reduce journey time by 25% to 45%. Scheduled commute between New Delhi & Varanasi will take approximately 8 hours making it 40-50% faster than the fastest train currently connecting these two cities.
 

International News

South Asian Nitrogen Hub 
The British government has announced a research project, South Asian Nitrogen Hub to study nitrogen pollution in India and South Asia. The project led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will partner with 50 organisations from the UK and South Asia. The Indian Institutions partnering the study are:
•    National Institute of Oceanography
•    Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
•    Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
•    Jawaharlal Nehru University
•    Aligarh Muslim University
•    National Physical Laboratory
•    TERI University
The project aims to study the impact of different forms of nitrogen pollution, particularly looking at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries of South Asia which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.


Nari-Shakti is the Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the year for 2018 
The Oxford Dictionaries announced that the word ‘Nari Shakti’ which is derived from Sanskrit has been chosen as the Hindi Word of the year for 2018. The Announcement was made during a session at Jaipur Literature Festival which is being held at Diggi Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan.