- SBI Life Insurance join hands with Allahabad bank for bancassurance partnership recently.
A ‘bancassurance’ pact was signed between State-owned Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Insurance to sell the policies of the insurer from over 3,238 branches of the Allahabad Bank. The agreement is considered as one of the largest Bancassurance partnerships in the country. The agreement was signed in the presence of Allahabad Bank Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mallikarjuna Rao and SBI Life MD & CEO Sanjeev Nautiyal.
- Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan had been serving as the Chief Justice of the combined high court of the two Telugu states since July last year.
Telangana High Court came into existence on January 1, 2019 after the bifurcation of the High Court at Hyderabad. Justice Praveen Kumar was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh HC, which also came into existence the same day.
- Axis Bank announced its Managing Director and CEO Shikha Sharma has retired from the post and Amitabh Chaudhry will be the new managing director and CEO of the bank with effect from January 1, 2019.
Chaudhry, the former MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, was in September named the MD and CEO of Axis Bank for a period of three years.
- The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The countries had announced their decisions in 2017 of withdrawing from the agency, accusing it of bias against Israel. America has demanded fundamental reform in UNESCO, which was co-founded by it after World War II to foster peace.
Israel joined the agency in 1949. It is best known for its World Heritage program, which designates cultural sites and aims to preserve traditions.
- Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair has been declared as an authorized Immigration Check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers.
The announcement was made by Information, Public Relations and Tourism Division of Andaman and Nicobar Administration. This decision of the Union Government will open up the Port Blair Airport for direct international flight and immigration facilities.
- Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) reported that Sweden has been named the first best performing country in the CCPI 2019 list. CCPI evaluates the climate protection performance of 60 countries, responsible for over 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
Morocco has been named second. Morocco, the North African country significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity.
Lithuania is in the third position in CCPI 2019. The bottom five in the list are Saudi Arabia, U.S., Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan. With the connection of the world’s largest solar plant to the grid, Morocco is on track for achieving its target of 42% installed renewable energy capacities by 2020.
- Karnataka’s Kaiga Atomic power station created a world record for the longest uninterrupted operation for 962 days on December 10. It had earlier set a record of 941 days. The earlier record of 940 days by Heysham-2 unit 2 was set by the United Kingdom.
Generating Station-1 (KGS-1) at Kaiga in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka has now been shut down for maintenance after 962 days of operation. It will be commissioned again after the maintenance activities.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) said that during its continuous operation of 962 days KGS-1 had produced 5 billion units of electricity at a plant load factor of 99.3%. Kaiga has four indigenously developed Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of 220 MW each fuelled by domestic fuel. Of them, KGS-2 has been operating since the last 661 days.
- Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, launched a Rs 10,180-crore scheme,for overall development of small, marginal and landless farmers, dubbed as ‘The Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA)’ scheme.
This scheme consists of a life insurance of Rs.2 lakh for 57 lakh farmers and would grant them crop loans at zero percent interest.
Also,financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per farmer family per annum to around 30 lakh small and marginal farmers’ families. Furthermore,Rs. 5000 would be given to farmers for Rabi cultivation and equal amount will be given for Kharif Cultivation.
- Bharti AXA Life Insurance started delivering policies and renewal premium receipt to customers via instant messaging platform WhatsApp as a part of its alternative service option to the policyholders.
Bharti AXA Life Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and French Insurance major AXA is one of the first few insurers to provide the option of policy contract, renewal premium receipts and claim intimation through WhatsApp.
- In the latest ranking of Singapore’s Asia Competitiveness Institute’s (ACI), Ease of Doing Business (EDB) index 2018, Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of the 21 states of India that were considered for the ranking, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively.
The ACI’s EDB index is based upon three parameters called ABC -Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies.
The index captured the business environment at the sub-national level on the basis of 72 hard and soft indicators. The Ease of Doing Business (EDB) list is compiled by a team of researchers led by Tan Khee Giap, who is the co-director of Asia competitiveness institute (ACI), and associate professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
- The Union Cabinet approved a 10% reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government jobs. Ahead of the General Elections this year, the government has announced reservation in jobs for those belonging to the upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year.
A bill to amend Article 15 and 16 of the constitution will be moved in Parliament to this effect.
- 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 anti-corruption court was hearing an application by the Enforcement Directorate, seeking a direction to declare Mr. Mallya a fugitive economic offender.
- 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.
Before this, India had played 11 Test series in Australia since 1947, losing eight and drawing three.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 193 runs in the Sydney Test, was the Man of the Match and Series.
- Centre has appointed Sudhir Bhargava as the new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
Four new members have also been appointed to CIC, taking its strength to seven. Four vacancies still remain. Mr. Bhargava, a former Secretary to the Social Justice Ministry, has been a Commissioner since June 2015. He will be the ninth chief of the CIC.
The CIC is the highest appeal body under the Right to Information Act. It has been functioning with just three members since the former chief and several members completed their tenure last month.
- World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim has made the surprise announcement that he is stepping down after six years in the post.
His resignation will take effect from 1 February. Mr. Kim, 59, was not due to leave until 2022 after he was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. The World Bank stated that he will join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries.
- Mysore-born Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its chief economist, becoming the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.
She succeeds Maurice Obstfeld, who retired on December 31. Ms Gopinath considers the perceived retreat from globalisation as one of the top challenges being faced by the IMF.
- The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California, the USA. These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2018.
Rami Malek won a title of Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama for Bohemian Rhapsody. And Bohemian Rhapsody won a Best Motion Picture Drama in the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
- Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai pens a new book, titled ‘We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World,‘ charting her experiences traveling the world and visiting refugee camps.
- Maharashtra topped the medal tally with 37 golds at the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune.
Delhi was at second position with 35 gold and Haryana too maintains its third position with 29 gold. 10-year old Abhinav Shaw became the youngest gold medallist in the shooting. He teamed up with Mehuli Ghosh to help West Bengal win the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
- Gujarat has become the first state to implement the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of the general category.
This comes a day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani stated that it will also be applicable to jobs for which announcement has been made but the procedure is yet to commence.
- Shri Yohei Sasakawa won the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2018 for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world.
- Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018.
- The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
For the first time, the three day long convention is being organized in Varanasi from 21-23 January, 2019. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”.
- Yes Bank has appointed veteran banker Ravneet Singh Gill as its new MD & CEO and the lender has also received the RBI’s approval for the same.
He will join the bank on or before March 1, 2019. Mr Gill is currently the chief Deutsche Bank’s India operations. Gill joined Deutsche Bank in 1991 and has worked across different businesses including corporate banking, capital markets and wealth management.
- South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade. He is the second President of South Africa after Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the parade.
- Naomi Osaka from Japan has won the women’s singles 2019 Australian Open Tennis Tournament. She beat Czech Petra Kvitova in a seesaw Australian Open final by 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4 to win back-to-back Grand Slams and become the new World No.1. Osaka is known for her multi-ethnic background and her shy, candid personality. On the court, she has an aggressive playing style with a powerful serve.
- The Pakistan government declared sugarcane juice as the “national drink” of the country.
They came at this decision after asking People’s opinion in twitter to choose one among orange, carrot and sugarcane. According to the poll, 7,616 people or 81% cast their votes favouring sugarcane juice, 15% voted for orange juice while 4% chose carrot.
- India’s fastest indigenous train which will run from Delhi to Varanasi has been named as Vande Bharat Express.
Its previous name was Train 18. The new name has been given after taking suggestions from the general public.
It is a train built completely in India by Indian engineers in a span of 18 months and it is an example that it is possible to make world-class trains under Make in India.
The 16-coach train has been built by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai and cover the distance in 8 hours. It is the first locomotive-less train in the country.
- India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country, only behind China, which is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production, as per the latest report by World Steel Association. The other nations in the list of top 10 steel producing countries include the United States, which is at the 4th position as the country produced 86.7 MT of crude steel in 2018, followed by South Korea at the 5th place with 72.5 MT of crude steel in 2018.
- Jayant Kaikini, renowned Kannada poet short-story writer, columnist and playwright and lyricist, has won the prestigious 2018 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for ‘No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories’ at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet. The novel is a collection of short stories set in Mumbai dating back to the 1980s. It offers a fine-grained, ground-up view of arguably India’s greatest metropolis.
- Transparency International has released the Global Corruption Index 2018.
India rose by 3 points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world with a score of 41. China lagged far behind at 87 and Pakistan ranked 117.
The top countries on the list are Denmark and New Zealand, with scores of 88 and 87.
Somalia, Syria and South Sudan remained at the bottom, with scores of 10, 13 and 13.