7-8 January 2018 Current Affairs

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08 Jan, 2018

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1) The North American blizzard of January 2018 that caused severe disruption along the East Coast of the United States, was unofficially called by which name? – “Bomb Cyclone”

Explanation: “Bomb Cyclone” is the unofficial name given to the powerful blizzard that struck eastern parts of North America during January 2018. It dumped snow and ice in places that rarely receive wintry precipitation, even in the winter, such as Florida and Georgia, and produced snowfall accumulations of over 2 feet (61 cm) in the Mid-Atlantic states, New England, and Atlantic Canada.

The “Bomb Cyclone” originated from 2 January 2018 as a low pressure area at the East Coast of the United States. It rapidly turned into a deadly snowy blizzard that produced snowfall and other forms of frozen precipitation across much of the eastern US. Over 4 thousand flights were cancelled across the United States, with a majority of cancellations caused by the extensive winter storm.

The storm received various unofficial names too, such as Winter Storm Grayson, Blizzard of 2018 and Storm Brody.

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2) Which public sector bank completed 75 years on 6 January 2018? – UCO Bank

Explanation: UCO Bank, a leading public sector bank of India, completed 75 years of operations on 6 January 2018. All branches of UCO Bank celebrated the 75th Foundation Day of the bank on this day.

The bank was founded by industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla as United Commercial Bank on 6 January 1943 in Calcutta (present Kolkata). Birla conceived the idea of organising a commercial bank with Indian capital and management during the Quit India movement of 1942. The bank was started with Kolkata as its head office with an issued capital of Rs. 2 crores and a paid-up capital of Rs. 1 crore. The Government of India nationalized United Commercial Bank on 19 July 1969.

An act of parliament changed the bank’s name to UCO Bank in 1985, as a bank in Bangladesh existed with the name “United Commercial Bank”, which caused confusion in the international banking arena. UCO Bank had assets worth $39 billion during 2016 while its revenue stood at around $2.9 billion.

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3) The 2018 ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference was held at which place on 6 and 7 January 2018? – Singapore

Explanation: The ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) conference 2018 was held on 6 and 7 January 2018 in Singapore. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 2-day conference at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 6 January 2018.

The conference also marked the 25th anniversary of partnership between ASEAN and India. This annual conference is held primarily to mark the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the region.

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4) What is the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in India in year 2016-17 as was disclosed in All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the year 2016-17 that was released on 6 January 2018? – 25.2%

Explanation: The Union Minister for Human Resource and Development (HRD), Prakash Javadekar released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the year 2016-17 in New Delhi on 6 January 2018.

According to the survey, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for year 2016-17 stood at 25.2%. GER is the ratio of enrolment in higher education to population in the eligible age group (18-23) years. The GER in 2010-11 stood at 19.4%, the year in which the first AISHE was conducted. The GER recorded an increase of around 7% in year 2016-17 as compared to the previous year (2015-16).

On the other hand overall enrolment increased from 27.5 million in 2010-11 to 35.7 million in 2016-17. The survey covers almost all the Higher Education institutions (HEIs) in the country including Universities, Colleges and Stand-Alone institutions.

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5) The Union Cabinet approved setting up of an AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) at which place in Himachal Pradesh on 4 January 2018? – Bilaspur

Explanation: The Union Cabinet on 4 January 2018 approved setting up of an AIIMS in Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh with an outlay of Rs.1,350 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsa Yojna (PMSSY). The 750-bed AIIMS at Bilaspur will have a medical college with an intake capacity of 100 seats and a nursing college with 60 seats.

PMSSY was announced in 2003. Its objectives are correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary healthcare services and augment facilities for quality medical education in the country. It establishes AIIMS in various regions of India apart from different government colleges. It is funded from different centrally sponsored schemes relating to creating infrastructure on health.

Under this scheme, AIIMS have been established in Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) and Patna (Bihar) while work of AIIMS Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh) is in progress.  Also, three AIIMS in Nagpur (Maharashtra), Kalyani (West Bengal) and Mangalagiri in Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) have been sanctioned in 2015, two AIIMS have been sanctioned at Bathinda (Punjab) and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) in 2016 and in Kamrup (Assam).

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6) Which country won tennis’ prestigious Hopman Cup for 2018 on 6 January 2018? – Switzerland

Explanation: Switzerland won the 30th edition of Hopman Cup by defeating Germany 2-1 in the final in Perth (Australia). The Swiss pair of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic defeated German pair of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber to win the Hopman Cup for Switzerland for the third time. In the men’s singles Federer had defeated Zverev while Bencic lost to Kerber in women’s singles. Earlier titles wins for Switzerland were in 1992 and 2001.

Hopman Cup is an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament held in Perth, Western Australia. The US has been the most successful country having won the tournament six times followed by Spain (4 times).

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