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Top 10 Weekly Current Affairs: 4 February to 10 February 2019

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on February 7, 2019 launched a platform named PM Kisan, http://pmkisan.nic.in, under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) for uploading the details of the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF).

Feb 9, 2019 16:17 IST
Top 10 Weekly Current Affairs: 4 February to 10 February 2019

India climbs 8 Spots in 2019 International Intellectual Property Index; ranks 36th

India climbed eight places in the 2019 International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, ranking at 36th position among 50 countries. India’s overall score has increased from 30.07 percent in 2018 to 36.04 percent in 2019.

In 2018 International Intellectual Property Index, India was ranked 44th out of 50 countries. The seventh edition of the International Intellectual Property Index, “Inspiring Tomorrow” was released by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of U.S. Chamber of Commerce on February 7, 2019.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana: Guidelines launched for States to implement scheme; PM-Kisan Portal launched

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on February 7, 2019 launched a platform named PM Kisan, http://pmkisan.nic.in, under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) for uploading the details of the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF).

All Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) with 2 hectares of cultivable land will be provided income support of Rs 6000 per year. The amount will be transferred directly into their account in 3 equal installments.

Setback for chit funds, Cabinet approves amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018

The Union Cabinet on February 6, 2019 approved the proposal to move official amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018. The amendments were recommended by the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF).

The official amendments will strengthen the Bill to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country, and prevent schemes such as Saradha Chit Fund Scheme from duping poor people of their hard earned savings.

Cabinet approves setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for cows

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on February 6, 2019 approved the proposal for establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny.

The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University, departments or organisations of the Central and State Governments engaged in the task of research in breeding and rearing of cow, organic manure, biogas, etc.

States’ Budget 2019: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presents Rs 1,193.04 crore state budget 2019-20

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1, 2019 presented the Union Interim Budget 2019-20, an estimate of revenues and expenditure of the Government during a financial year 2018-19. On the similar lines, various state governments have begun presenting the budget of their respective states.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on February 6, 2019 presented Rs 1,193.04 crore deficit budget for 2019-20. The Assam Budget 2019 introduces several new schemes including sale of rice at Rs 1 per kilogram for the poor and providing 1 tola (10 gram) gold to the brides.

India’s communication satellite GSAT-31 launched from French Guiana

Indian Space Research Organisation’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-31 was successfully launched by Arianespace aboard its launch vehicle Ariane 5 from the spaceport in French Guiana on February 5, 2019.

GSAT-31 is a telecommunications satellite designed and manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is India's 40th communication satellite and derives its heritage from ISROs earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series.

It will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites. It will also help bridge the digital divide in the Indian subcontinent as part of an ambitious Indian space program, whose objectives are to develop India while pursuing scientific research and planetary exploration.

2nd Trump-Kim Summit: US President to meet North Korean leader in Vietnam

President Donald Trump announced on February 5, 2019 that he will hold the second summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27-28, 2019 as part of his administration's endeavours to denuclearise North Korea.

Vietnam has diplomatic ties with both Washington and Pyongyang.The Summit comes less than a year after the two leaders held a historic meeting in Singapore in June 2018. Since their meeting, Trump has claimed that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat; however, the observers have witnessed some movement at their nuclear site.

Interim Budget 2019: How Income Tax slabs have changed since 2014?

As per the Interim Budget, the direct tax collection has increased substantially. The number of returns filed have increased from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore, showing 80 percent growth in tax base since four years. In 2018-19, 99.54 percent of the income-tax returns were accepted as they were filed.

Indian taxation system has come a long way since 2014 when the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Government (NDA) came to power in India. The NDA Government came into power at a juncture where India needed a decisive leadership that is free of corruption, policy paralysis and coalition compulsions.

UK government approves Vijay Mallya's extradition order

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid on February 3, 2019 signed the order to extradite Indian business tycoon and liquor baron Vijay Mallya from the United Kingdom to India. Mallya now has a 14-day window to appeal against the order to a higher court.

The Secretary of State signed the order after having carefully considered all relevant matters. The move comes less than two months after a UK court ordered the extradition of the fugitive businessman to face charges of fraud and money laundering filed against him in India. It follows a nine-month-long trial on an extradition warrant, which began with Mallya’s arrest in April 2017 and ended in September.

US pulls out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia

US President Donald Trump announced on February 1, 2019 that the United States will pull out of the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which it had signed with Russia during the Cold War.

Trump announced that the US will suspend its obligations under the pact and begin the process of withdrawing from it on February 2, 2019. He stated that the US will exit the treaty in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.

In response to US suspension of the treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 2, 2019 that Russia would also abandon its obligations under the cold-war era nuclear arms control treaty.

World Cancer Day 2019 observed across the world

The World Cancer Day 2019 was observed across the world on February 4, 2019 with an aim to unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer.

The day is observed every year with an aim to save millions of preventable deaths by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases in 2012.

World Cancer Day was proclaimed by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a leading international non-governmental organisation.