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- The City Momentum Index of JLL which identifies World Dynamic Cities has been released. It measures momentum for 131 of the world’s most commercially active cities by tracking a range of socio-economic and commercial real estate indicators over a three-year period. Bengaluru has emerged as the world’s most dynamic city while Hyderabad occupied the second place. Other Indian cities which featured in the top 20 list are Delhi (4th), Pune (5th), Chennai (7th) and Kolkata (20th).
- The London-based Times Higher Education (THE), a global organisation that produces data, analysis and expertise on higher education has released the Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019. The 2019 ranking comprises of 450 universities from 43 countries, across four continents. The rankings use 13 performance indicators. The Indian Institute of Bengaluru has topped the rankings among Indian institutes with 14th rank; the second spot among Indian Institutes was occupied by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay with 27th rank.
- The world’s first television channel dedicated to human rights was launched in London by the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR). It would be a web-based channel and would deliver human rights issues to audiences in over 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The International Observatory of Human Rights is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organisation established in 2017.
- Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) is a support scheme of Odisha whose primary targets are small farmers, cultivators and landless agricultural labourers. The scheme involves payments to encourage cultivation and associated activities. The government would provide Rs 10,000 per family as assistance for cultivation, Rs 5,000 each in the Kharif and Rabi seasons, for five cropping seasons between 2018-19 and 2021-22.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 which was passed by the Parliament on January 3, 2019 received the assent of the President of India on January 10, 2019. It has now been notified in the Gazette of India. The bill seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools. The key aim behind the move is to rebuild the education system of the country, which is at present broken, as per the Union HRD Minister.
- The Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 was announced on January 16, 2019 by the Union Ministry of Culture. The 2018 Gandhi Peace Prize was conferred on Yohei Sasakawa for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world and 2017 was conferred upon Ekal Abhiyan Trust, 2016 to Akshaya Patra Foundation and Sulabh International and 2015 to Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari.
- The Government of India launched the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi.
- The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 14, 2019 to increase emphasis on multi-disciplinary research and development activities and nurturing innovations in agricultural biotechnology research and education. Under the agreement, five to ten focused programmes, both short, medium and long term will be developed and implemented.
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 16, 2019 approved the recapitalisation of the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank). The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorized capital of EXIM Bank from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs. 20,000 crore. Established in 1982, Export Import Bank of India or EXIM Bank is the premier agency in India in the arena of export financing.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a crushing defeat in the Parliament on January 15, 2019 when over 100 lawmakers of May’s Conservative party – both Brexiteers and Remainers, voted against the Brexit deal. Theresa May’s defeat is the biggest-ever defeat suffered by a British premier in modern history. The crushing defeat marks the collapse of May’s two-year strategy of forging an amicable exit with close ties to the EU.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 on January 18, 2019 at the Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat with the theme “Youth Connect 2019: Shaping A New India – The Story of Billion Dreams”. Uzbekistan President, Rwanda President, Prime Minister of Denmark, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and Prime Minister of Malta would be attending the summit. Vibrant Gujarat Summit was initiated by Narendra Modi in 2003 to re-establish Gujarat as a preferred investment destination within India.
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