Current Affairs of 1 January

Kader Khan
Kader Khan
Kader Khan - Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passed away in Canada. Born in Kabul, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna's "Daag" and has featured in over 300 films. He wrote dialogues for over 250 movies. In his prime, Khan was both Bollywood’s premier and most-prolific dialogue writer, penning many of Amitabh Bachchan hits.

Allahabad is Now Prayagraj
Allahabad is Now Prayagraj
Allahabad is Now Prayagraj - Days before Kumbh Mela, the Union Home Ministry has approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHA will now ensure that names of other institutes in the district, including railway station, High Court and university, are also changed. The ‘Kumbh Mela’ in Prayagraj will start on January 15 on ‘Makar Sankranti’ and will conclude on March 4 on ‘Maha Shivaratri’.

Old ATM Card Banned From 1 January 2019
EMV Card
Old ATM Card Banned From 1 January 2019 - Reserve Bank of India in 2015 had issued a directive to all bank across India mandating them to get rid of old magnetic stripe cards. This is because magnetic stripe cards can easily be skimmed and misused by criminals. As per the RBI directive, all magnetic stripe cards were to be replaced by EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) Chip Based cards by December 31, 2018.

US and Israel Quit From UNESCO
US and Israel Quit From UNESCO - The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit for agency’s anti-Israel bias.

Qatar Quits OPEC
Qatar Quits OPEC - Qatar will cease to be a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries from 1 January 2019. Now OPEC will focus on its liquefied natural gas production. The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states. These countries accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.

No Immediate Pullout of US Troops From Syria
US Troops in Syria
No Immediate Pullout of US Troops From Syria - President Donald Trump appeared to water down shock plans for an immediate pullout of U.S. troops from Syria. Mr. Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State (IS) — days after he shocked allies, and his own military establishment, by saying troops were coming home. Trump has agreed to give the military about four months to withdraw the two thousand American troops in Syria. 

Samwad with Students
Samwad with Students
Samwad with Students - Indian Space Research Organisation ushered in new year by launching a student outreach programme called ‘Samwad with Students’ at its facility in Bengaluru. ISRO will organise guided tours of students thrice in a year, especially during summer and Christmas holidays. Students will be taken to ISRO facilities in Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru and the launch centre at Sriharikota. They will also be allowed to make small satellites.

India Will Be Most Populous Country
India: Most Populous Country
India Will Be Most Populous Country - Prediction of the United Nations about India to be the world’s most populous country in the 21st century may soon turn into a reality as the nation is likely to produce as many as 69,944 babies on New Year’s Day. Globally, around 18 per cent of total baby births are estimated to take place in India only. As per the latest data compiled by the United Nations, over 69,944 children will be born in India on New Year’s Day followed by China and Nigeria with 44,940 babies and 25,685 babies respectively.

Interest Subsidy Scheme Extended
Interest Subsidy Scheme
Interest Subsidy Scheme Extended - The government extended the interest subsidy scheme for middle-income group till 31 March 2020 for first time urban homebuyers who have annual income between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 18 lakh. This will enable new home buyers to avail up front financial assistance of about Rs 2.5 lakh from the central government, which they can use for down payment while booking, construction or re-purchasing the flat.

India and Pakistan Exchanged Nuclear Facilities List
Nuclear Installation
India and Pakistan Exchanged Nuclear Facilities List - India and Pakistan exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between them. Under the 1988 agreement, the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities on the first of January every year.

DRDO Day - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) day was observed on 1 January. The DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in defence sector. 

GST Collection Declined
GST Collection
GST Collection Declined - The government has once again missed the target of garnering more than one lakh crore rupees from GST in the month of December, giving rise to concerns that the government may not be able to contain the fiscal deficit to 3.3% of the GDP. The government has collected Rs. 94,726 crore from GST in the month of December. 

MSMEs Loan Restructured
MSMEs Loan
MSMEs Loan Restructured - In a new year gift to the MSME sector, the Reserve Bank allowed a one-time restructuring of existing debt up to Rs 25 crore for the companies which have defaulted on payment but the loans given to them have continued to be classified as standard assets. The decision will help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are facing cash crunch in the wake of demonetisation and GST implementation.