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- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has declared 6 monuments as Monuments of national importance in 2018. They are: Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra, Haveli of Agha Khan in Agra, Haveli of Hathi Khana in Agra, Neemrana Baori in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Group of Temples at Ranipur Jharail in Odisha’s Bolangir district and Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district, Uttarkhand. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 defines Ancient Monument as any structure which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years.
- The government is likely to introduce the Commercial Space Activities Bill in the budget session. The Space Activities Bill, 2017 is aimed at regulating space activities to ensure peaceful exploration and use of outer space. The bill provides for a non-transferable licence to be provided by the Central Government to any person carrying out commercial space activity.
- US president has signed the ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’. The law aims at countering the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in Asia. The act aims to establish a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The Sabarimala shrine has been opened for the 21-day annual Makaravilakku festival season. The History was made on 2nd January 2019 when women on the menstrual age entered the Sabarimala shrine during this season of Makaravilakku festival. Makaravilakku is the religious practice performed by the tribes in the forest of Ponnambalamedu.
- The Government has launched the “Green – Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes” in association with Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project would be implemented in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in high-conservation-value landscapes of five States namely Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 2, 2019 constituted an Expert Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under the chairmanship of U.K. Sinha, former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), along with 7 other members with an aim to understand the structural bottlenecks and factors affecting the performance of the MSMEs. After a thorough study, it will propose long term solutions for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSME sector.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the area of cybersecurity. The MoU was signed on September 25, 2018. The agreement intends to promote closer cooperation for the exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco.
- The Union Cabinet has approved amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926 to make provisions regarding recognition of trade unions. The approval will facilitate recognition of the trade unions at the central and state level, ensure true representation of workers in the tripartite bodies, check on the arbitrary nomination of workers’ representatives by the Government and reduce litigations and industrial unrest.
- Five nations, namely, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa assumed the charge as the Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). These five countries will hold a two-year term in the Council with effect from January 1, 2019. This will be the Dominican Republic’s first time on the Security Council. They will fill the seats vacated by Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Sweden on December 31, 2018, after serving two-year term on the 15-member Security Council
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