Current Affairs: 5th-11th January 2020

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1) Union Home Minister Amit shah today digitally launched project VISHWAS and CYBER AASHVAST at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
Vishwas is an acronym for Video Integration and State Wide Advanced Security. First, of its kind project in the country, VISHWAS is a major e-governance initiative. The project aims at improving Law and Order Management, Proactive traffic management and control, Crime detection through video analytics and Post-incident Investigation, and video forensics. To make cyber-space safe, Gujarat Police has brought the cyber-security solution to the common man through Cyber AASHVAST Project, which is a helpline for cybercrime victims.

2) The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by parliament on December 11. According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

3) Nobel laureate Richard Thaler called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 9. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions to behavioral economics. Nudge is a concept in behavioral science, political theory, and behavioral economics that proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as to ways to influence the behavior and decision making of groups or individuals.

4) The cabinet approved the Mineral Laws Amendment Ordinance 2020 that will open the coal sector for foreign direct investment.

5) Rain and fresh snowfall in several parts in North India have thrown life out of gear. The constant rain and snowfall in Uttarakhand have disrupted a healthy life. Many famous tourist destinations, including Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Chakrata, Pauri, Auli, are covered in snow. More than 200 villages are cut off from the rest of the world.

6) The two Gandhi Ashrams in Bangladesh are located at Jamalpur and Noakhali.

7) The Bangladesh High Court ordered the government to impose a ban on single-use plastic in coastal areas and hotels, motels, and restaurants across the country within the next year. Single-use plastic products include drinking straws, cotton buds, food packaging, food containers, bottles, plates, plastic cutlery, and plastic bags.

8) There are just over 5,000 US troops in Iraq, part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which was set up in 2014 to tackle the Islamic State group. The main focus of the task force is to train and equip Iraqi forces.

9) Libya was plunged into chaos with the toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising. It has since become divided between the GNA and rival authorities based in the country’s east.

10) Bushfires go out of control in southeastern Australia as high temperatures and strong winds lead to the merging of several large fire fronts.

11) Reserve Bank of India, RBI, has launched a mobile app, MANI, Mobile Aided Note Identifier, to help visually challenged people to identify the denomination of currency notes.

12) Ignoring negative sentiments around falling GDP growth rate and some policy roadblocks, foreign portfolio investors seem to have flocked to the Indian capital market in a big way in 2019 with a net inflow of over Rs 1.3 lakh crore, including Rs 97,250 crore in equities — the highest in last six years

13) The UN General Assembly approved a resolution Friday that will start the process of drafting a new international treaty to combat cybercrime over objections from the European Union, the United States, and other countries.

14) Electronics Show 2020 in Las Vegas, the latest concept car from a Japanese auto firm, is showcasing an advanced concept known as Augmented Driving or another concept car, which is equipped with powerful artificial intelligence technology. The vehicle can detect the mood of the driver through biometric identification technology and make suggestions to please its owner.

15) The use of e-cigarettes may significantly increase a person’s risk of developing chronic lung diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, according to a study published. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco in the US, also found that people who used e-cigarettes and smoked tobacco — the most common pattern among adult e-cigarette users — were at an even higher risk of developing chronic lung disease than those who used either product alone. The findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are based on an analysis of publicly available data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH), which tracked e-cigarette and tobacco habits as well as new lung disease diagnoses in over 32,000 American adults from 2013 to 2016. Several earlier population studies had found an association between e-cigarette use and lung disease at a single point in time.

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