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- 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 report noted that India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, which is up by 4.9 per cent from 101.5 MT in 2017. On the other hand, China’s crude steel output jumped by 6.6 per cent to 928.3 MT in 2018 from 870.9 MT in 2017. World Steel Association was founded as the International Iron and Steel Institute on July 10, 1967.
- The Supreme Court on January 28, 2019 constituted a Constitution Bench for hearing a plea challenging the mandatory requirement to recite Sanskrit and Hindi prayers in morning assembly sessions of 1,125 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) across the country. The petition filed by lawyer Veenayak Shah invokes Article 28 (1). It insisted that any school or educational institution funded by state cannot propagate any particular religion. The practice has been going on in the schools since 1964.
- Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is all set to launch the National Road Safety Week on 4 February, 2019 with a host of initiatives planned for generating awareness and sensitizing people about safe road usage. In an event at Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, a motor car rally will be flagged off to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on the 24th of this month, covering a total distance of 7250 km.
- The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 deepened from the targeted 3.2% to 3.5% of GDP. The interim Budget has put the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 at 3.4% of GDP. The interim Budget has put the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 at 3.4% of GDP, marginally higher than the budgeted 3.3%. The targets under the Fiscal Responsibility Management Act also saw a revision over the years with the original 3% target set for 2016-17 now being pushed to 2020-21.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi 3 February, 2019 visited all the three regions of Kashmir, Jammu & Ladakh to inaugurate and lay foundation stones for various development projects. PM also declared 100% electrification of households in the State under SAUBHAGYA Scheme. PM Modi arrived in Srinagar and unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone for Rs 1828 crore All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
- The Andhra Pradesh High Court new building at Amaravathy, was inaugurated on 3 February, 2019 by the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. The two-storied building has 16 court halls and the building costing Rs 150 Crore houses a 2.70 lakh square feet office space. Andhra Pradesh got its own court four and half years after the state bifurcation.
- Union Minister KJ Alphons has said that the country’s tourism sector fetched 234 billion USD revenue last year, registering a growth of over 19%. The country is ranked third in the tourism sector, according to the 2018 report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). This revenue was contributed by 87 per cent domestic and 13 per cent foreign tourists.
- Sri Lanka will be celebrating its 71st Independence Day on 4 February, 2019. The main function will be held at Galle face grounds in Colombo where President Maithripala Sirisena will be chief guest while Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will attend the function as guest of honour. A total of 545 prisoners have been granted Presidential pardon to mark the occasion.
- Former Law Minister of Nepal Nilambar Acharya has been appointed as country’s ambassador to India. Mr. Acharya served as a member of Eminent Persons Group formed by India and Nepal on bilateral relations. He was Law Minister in the interim government of 1990. The position of Nepalese ambassador to India was lying vacant after Deep Kumar Upadhyay resigned in October 2017 to join politics.
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