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Weekly Current Affairs February 2019: Week I

Published on February 06, 2019

National Events

  • The Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has announced Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses in India.
  • The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) which would be the core of ISRO’s future manned missions was inaugurated at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi discussed ways to handle the exam pressure in the second edition of “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0” at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. The Programme was organized by the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD).

International Events

  • UNESCO has declared 2019 as the International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements to commemorate the 150th birthday of the periodic table of chemical elements. The Periodic table of the Chemical elements was first published by Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev in the year 1869.
Weekly Current Affairs February 2019: Week I
  • INSTEX acronym of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges is a project of the three governments of UK, France and Germany to bypass US sanctions on Iran. INSTEX INSTEX is a special payment system which will help to save the Iran nuclear deal by allowing Tehran to keep trading with EU companies despite Washington re-imposing sanctions.’
  • The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will launch a common digital currency called Aber. Aber will be used for financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.

State Events

  • 2nd Phase of Pasupu-Kumkuma (Turmeric-Kumkum) scheme and welfare pensions was launched by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Chandrababu Naidu. 94 Lakh DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas) women will be given Rs 10000 in three installments under the Pasupu-Kumkuma scheme. Under the scheme, Rs 2500 will be given on 1st February 2019, Rs 3500 will be given 8th March and Rs 4000 will be given on 5th April.
  • Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh declared one of the rarest mammal, Indus River Dolphin, which is only found in Beas River, as Punjab State Aquatic Animal.
  • A special scheme is launched by the Maharashtra government with an aim to curb infant deaths. The baby care kit contains a blanket, a small mattress, a towel, a thermometer, baby oil, shampoo, toys, nail cutter, gloves, socks, among other items. The kit costs around Rs.2000. The scheme is applicable only for first child of the parents. It will be beneficial for around 4 lakh women across Maharashtra.


  • Qatar won its first major soccer title by beating four-time champion Japan 3-1 in the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup held in United Arab Emirates(UAE).

Banking and Finance

  • According to the interim budget in 2019, India has received massive foreign direct investment worth USD 239 billion in the last five years.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation, 2017-18. The forecast for GDP growth for 2017-18 was increased to 7.2% . The actual growth rate in 2016-17 has been increased to 8.2% from the 7.1% estimated earlier.
  • The Government reduced the import duty on parts and components of electric vehicles to 10-15 per cent from 15-30 per cent in order to promote domestic assembling of electric vehicles. The new rates will come into effect from 30th January 2019.
  • Kisan Suvidha loan’ for small and marginal farmers launched by Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. The scheme will attempt to reach the bottom of the pyramid with products and services. . It provides loans to individuals with an amount ranging from Rs. 60000 to Rs. 2 Lakh to fulfill the customized needs of the mass market segment. The loan does not require any collateral.


  • IPS officer Rishi Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a fixed tenure of two years.

Awards and Honours

  • The Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has been awarded the Carnot Prize 2018 for the transformational changes brought by him during his tenure as Union Minister of Power.
  • Manus Island ’s refugee Behrouz Boochani ’s debut book “No Friends But the Mountains” won both the 25,000 dollars non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the 100,000 dollars Victorian prize for literature, in Australia.


  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman approved the indigenous construction of 6 Project 75(India) submarines under the strategic Partnership model at the cost of Rs 40,000 crore

Summits and Conferences

  • The fourth edition of the International Spice Conference was held in the City of Pearls and the capital city of Telangana-Hyderabad.

Government Schemes

  • The Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan scheme in the interim budget 2019 for workers in the unorganised sector. Under the scheme, an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month will be provided to workers in the unorganised sector after 60 years of age. To avail the benefits of the scheme, workers will have to contribute a minimal Rs 100 month per month.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) proposes three models through which the states can implement the scheme. The models are an insurance model, trust-based model and hybrid model.

Key Points

  • Insurance model: premiums are paid to the insurance company which administers and pay the claim.
  • Trust-based model: each state forms its own trust to manage the scheme and claims will be disbursed from a corpus created from central and state government contributions.
  • Hybrid model: a part of the claim comes under the insurance model while the balance gets processed under the trust.

Index and Ranking

  • In the Transparency International’s Corruption, Perception Index Denmark is the world least corrupt country scoring 88 out of 100 points. Denmark is followed by New Zealand and Finland. Somalia has been ranked last with a score of 10 behind South Sudan and Syria. India has moved up to 78th position in 2018. India was ranked 81st in 2017.

Important Days

  • World Wetlands Day was celebrated on February 2nd with the theme of “Wetlands and Climate Change”.
  • January 30 is celebrated as Martyrs Day to honour the brave martyrs of India who have sacrificed their lives for the country.


  • On the recommendation of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, The government constituted a committee under the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to explore prepaid payments by state electricity distribution companies to power plants.
  • The Central government reconstituted a tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Judge Justice G.S. Sistani for another 5 years to adjudicate the extension of the ban imposed on the eight insurgent groups in Manipur which were involved in 756 violent and unlawful incidents in the last five years. The Tribunal had been set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and the tribunal will adjudicate whether there is sufficient cause for declaring these insurgent groups of Manipur as “Unlawful Associations”.

MoUs and Agreement

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, India and South African sealed a 3-year strategic partnership for 2019 to 2021 to boost cooperation in the various key areas including defence and investments.
  • In order to improve the education system, Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sikkim government.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) signed a five-year global partnership deal with beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Company.ICC and Coca-Cola's partnership will continue till 2023
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