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- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018. The report draws information from 142 countries, examining trafficking trends and patterns. Human trafficking has taken a horrific dimension as armed groups and terrorists are using it to spread fear and gain victims to offer as incentives to recruit new fighters. There was a steady increase in the number of victims reported since 2010. UODC was established in the year 1997 and is headquartered at Vienna.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister approved the appointment of Kumar Rajesh Chandra as the Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Kumar Rajesh Chandra is a 1985 batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre. SSB was created in March 1963 as Special Service Bureau. This Special Service Bureau was renamed the Sashastra Seema Bal in January 2001.
- Khelo India Youth games 2019 are being held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. These were previously called as Khelo India School Games. Khelo India Youth games are held annually in January or February as the national level multidisciplinary grassroot games. Khelo India Youth Games was started on 31 January, 2018.
- Pranav R Mehta, President of the National Solar Energy Federation of India has become the president of the Global Solar Council. He has become the first Indian to head the Global Solar Council. Founded in 2015, Global Solar Council is an international non-profit association of the national, regional and international associations in solar energy and the world’s leading corporations.
- India and Norway released a Joint Statement on January 8, 2019 after extensive talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Norwegian PM Erna Solberg, during the latter’s official state visit to India from January 7-9, 2019. Prime Minister Solberg delivered the Inaugural Address at the Raisina Dialogue and inaugurated the India-Norway Business Summit. India and Norway signed the MoU onIndia-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
- Market regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted a “Research Advisory” committee headed by Sankar De that will assist in formulating policy to undertake research relevant for development and regulation of capital markets. The SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India.It was established in 1988 and given statutory powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.
- Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has dropped out of the high-powered selection panel that is to decide Alok Verma’s case as he was a member of the Supreme Court bench that reinstated Verma as CBI director on January 8, 2019. Instead, the CJI has nominated Justice A.K. Sikri to replace him on the panel, which also includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the leader of the largest opposition party – Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
- Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has planned to set up Space Galleries in various locations in the country. The Space Galleries are expected to disseminate the knowledge about space science and technology amongst the citizens of the country. Initially, Space Galleries are planned to be established in Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.
- World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that he will step down from his position on February 1, 2019, much before the end of his term in 2022. Kim, 58, has been in this position for over six years now. The World Bank said he will join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries. Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective February 1, 2019.
- Japan, for the second time in a row, has topped a global index for the world’s most powerful passport in 2019, while India ranked at the 79th position. According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords, Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 countries. India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
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