1. The 1989 Basel Convention was amended recently by around 180 countries to include Plastic Waste, a decision that aims to protect the environment and human health from the damaging effects of harmful chemicals and waste.
2. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT), ABHYAS. The flight test was conducted from the Interim Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha.
3. India backs Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande as the next President of the United Nations General Assembly. The election to the post of UNGA’s President will be held in June 2019.
4. The MANAV: Human Atlas Initiative was launched recently by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) working under the Ministry Of Science and Technology. This human tissue mapping project has been launched to improve the understanding of human physiology.
5. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced Rs 700 crore project funds for equity investments in agriculture and rural start-ups. This project was launched by Lab ventures, an auxiliary unit of NABARD.
6. The United States has placed 12 foreign companies, including Chinese and Pakistani firms into its entity list to check misuse of sensitive technologies against its national security. The 12 entities that have made it into the list include four companies with locations in both China and Hong Kong, two Chinese, one Pakistani and five UAE persons.
7. India has extended 1 billion dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia to set up its first-ever grass-root refinery at Sainshand in Dornogobi Province. The capacity of the refinery will be 1.5 million metric tons per annum and it will be implemented with Exim Bank funding.
8. Retired Supreme Court Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Fiji’s non-resident panel for the duration of three years. Justice Lokur received the appointment letter for the same on December 31, 2018, a day after he retired from the Supreme Court of India.
9. The Union Home Ministry has extended the ban imposed on the militant group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its strong anti-India posture and the threat it poses to the nation.
10. Vietnam announced that it will mobilize its military and police forces to help combat the outbreak of African swine fever. The virus has already resulted in the culling of about four percent of the country’s pig herd.
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