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Current Affairs in Short: 7 February 2019

Smriti Irani launches India Size project in Mumbai

• The Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai on February 6, 2019.  
• A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardised sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.
• The India size project will benefit manufacturers, consumers and generate data which will help tap into the potential of the sector.
• The Minister also launched a Study of Apparel Consumption in India. The report of this study would be ready for release by July 2019.

BPRD to organize 2nd National Conference of Micro Missions of National Police Mission

• The Bureau of Police Research and Development, BPRD will organise the 2nd National Conference of Micro Missions of National Police Mission in New Delhi on February 7, 2019.
• The two day Conference will discuss the issues of Skills and Competence at the grass-root level, attitudinal changes in police, gender sensitisation, harnessing technology and community policing. Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir N. N.Vohra will inaugurate the conference.
• A mega-d version of National Police Mission Compendium on the projects developed by the Mission will also be released.
• National Police Mission Awards will be given to 9 officers for their contribution in Micro Missions and successful preparation of the implementable projects.
• The National Police Mission Division of BPRD strives to transform the Police Forces of the country into an effective instrument for the maintenance of Internal Security.   

Trump nominates US treasury diplomat David Malpass to head World Bank

• The US President, Donald Trump has nominated senior Treasury official David Malpass as the next chief of the World Bank.
• He would replace Jim Yong Kim as the president if voted by the Directors of the World Bank Group.
• The position of Managing Director of International Monetary Fund has gone to Europe.
• In his current capacity as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 62-year-old Malpass oversees the working of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Health Ministry reviewed the preparedness on Seasonal Influenza H1N1

• The Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Preeti Sudan has reviewed the state of preparedness and action taken to deal with H1N1 influenza cases in New Delhi.
• The Health Ministry in a statement said till February 3, 2019, a total of 6701 cases and 226 deaths have been reported in the country.
• A majority of cases have been reported from 11 states and the majority of deaths have been reported from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab.
• The deaths have been in seeing more in persons having co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension.
• The Health Ministry has deputed a Public Health Team to Rajasthan to assess the situation and assist the States in strengthening the response to the increase in cases. The Secretary has directed additional teams to Gujarat and Punjab to assist the states in outbreak response.
• All the states have been advised to involve district collectors in enhancing public awareness and outbreak response. Advisory for preparedness to seasonal influenza A (H1N1) was also issued.

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO

• Macedonia on February 6, 2019 signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance.
• At a formal signing of the NATO accession protocol, Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov hailed the moment as showing that the country will never walk alone once in the alliance.
• NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who meet the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance.
• However, Moscow has continually rejected NATO's position, saying that by taking in Balkan members, the alliance is undermining security in the region.
• The Macedonia-NATO accord follows a deal with Greece ending a 27-year-old dispute over Macedonia's name. The accord must now be ratified by allied governments.

Sri Lankan parliament to debate and vote on forming national government

• Sri Lankan parliament will on February 7, 2019 take up for debate the proposal to form a national government followed by voting.
• The United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed to form a national government with help of other parties which has been opposed by President Maithripala Sirsiena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
• All MPs of UNP have been informed that it is mandatory for them to vote in favour of the proposal of the national government. Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardena said the government has decided to take up the proposal ignoring the opposition from other parties.
• The proposal to form the national government was submitted by the Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament last week with an aim to increase the number of ministerial portfolios.

Maharashtra declares virginity test as sexual assault

• The Maharashtra government on February 6, 2019 announced that it will soon make forcing a woman to undergo virginity test a punishable offence.
• Certain communities in the state follow a custom whereby a newly-wed woman has to prove that she was virgin prior to the marriage.
• The demeaning custom is allegedly followed in the Kanjarbhat community among others. Some youths from the community have launched an online campaign against it.
• The state would be conducting bi-monthly review of cases of sexual assault, and ensure low pendency of such cases in the courts.

2018 fourth warmest year on record: NASA, NOAA

• An independent analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have found that earth's global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880.
• According to scientists, global temperatures in 2018 were 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean. Globally, 2018's temperatures rank behind those of 2016, 2017 and 2015.
• NASA, in a statement, said that the past five years were collectively the warmest years in the modern record. It found that 2018 global temperatures were 0.79 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average.
• Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen about one degree Celsius.

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