Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 16th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, Syndicate Bank Manipal and IRDAI Junior Officer 2016.
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PM Narendra Modi flags off Start-Up India initiative
- Kick-starting its ambitious Start-Up Mission, the government on Saturday promised to prioritise such measures for greater employment generation and said it was committed to ensuring start-ups a friendlier regulatory regime, easier capital availability as well as quicker exit norms through a bankruptcy law. The Start Up India mission envisages technology business incubators and research parks.
- The Human Resource Development Ministry and the Department of Science and Technology have agreed to partner in an initiative to set up over 75 such startup support hubs in the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and NIPERs or National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.
- With 4,200 startups, India ranks 3rd globally.
- Of $18 billion pumped into Indian startups between 2010-15, $9 billion came in 2015 alone.
- 9 Indian startups have been valued at more than a billion dollars.
- Increase in number of incubators: 80 in 2014, 110 in 2015; 50% outside Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai.
- 80% reduction in patent registration fee
- New scheme to provide IPR protection to start-ups and new firms
- 10,000 crore corpus fund to support start-ups
- No government inspection for three years for newly-formed start-ups
- Innovation hub under Atal Innovation Mission will be created
- Tax exemption for start-ups for three years
- Credit guarantee fund for start-ups, tax incentives
- Innovation programme to start 5 lakh schools to target 10 lakh children
India saved 1 billion US dollars annually using Aadhaar: World Bank
- The World Bank on 14 January 2016 announced that India saved 1 billion US dollars annually by using Aadhaar. It was revealed in the bank’s publication World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends that was released in Washington DC, the USA.
- As per the report, transfer of fuel subsidy to bank accounts using the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) saved about 1 billion per year when applied throughout the country on account of reduced leakage and efficient gains.
- The report further estimated that the DBT has the potential to save over 11 billion US dollars per year in government expenditure if the scheme is expanded to other subsidy programmes.
Findings of the report with respect to India
- China has the largest number of internet users, followed by the United States, with India, Japan, and Brazil filling out the top five.
- A digital identification system such as India’s Aadhaar, by overcoming complex information problems, helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups.
- In India, there are an estimated 1.063 billion population are offline.
- Nearly 900 million Indians have been issued digital IDs in the past fi ve years, which they are using to open bank accounts, monitor attendance of civil servants, and identify recipients of government subsidies.
Cardiac monitoring firm wins tech contest hosted by Google at Startup India
- Cardiac Design Labs, a startup that has come up with an innovation to help cardiac patients in rural India access critical care through a wearable device, came out triumphant at a live contest hosted by tech firm Google at the Startup India event.
- The Bengaluru-based firm combines communications and heart monitoring technology and is designed for use in rugged rural conditions.The patient can be monitored from home. The cardiologist will be able to remotely interact and diagnose the patient using his cell phone.
- The firm has built MIRCaM, comprehensive suite that comprises of wearable sensors, doctor's terminal, patient’s bedside and a mobile app.
- The company said the system provides real time analysis and generate instant alarms on episode detection or abnormally rapid heart rate among the patients. This enhances patient care and safety.
Chinese President Xi launches Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
- China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which India and 56 countries have joined as founding members, was formally opened here today by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- An Indian delegation headed by Dinesh Sharma, additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, attended the opening ceremony.
- In all 57 countries have joined as founding members, while the US and Japan have stayed out.
- The bank was formally established in Beijing on December 25, 2015. Chinese Finance Minister, Lou Jiwei, was elected as the first Chairman of the AIIB council. China’s former Finance Minister, Jin Liqun, was elected the first AIIB president.
- With authorised capital of $100 billion and subscribed capital of $50 billion, Beijing-based AIIB will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction, and logistics as well as education and healthcare.
- China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake respectively in the newly formed bank.
- Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 5.92 per cent.
- Based on the shareholding, India is expected to get the Vice-President’s post.
- The opening of the AIIB marked a milestone in the reform of the global economic governance system, Lou said in an interview earlier.
Flipkart ties-up with Mahindra for KUV100 online bookings
- Online marketplace Flipkart has tied up with auto major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd to exclusively launch the latter's newest SUV- KUV100. Consumers can book the SUV on Flipkart from January 18th, 2016.
- Flipkart launched Automobiles as a category last month with a vision to change the way vehicles are bought in India. The association with Mahindra is another step in that direction.
- The two entities have come together to deliver superior customer experience with assured in-a-month delivery. Flipkart currently also offers a wide range of automotive accessories as part of its endeavour to become a destination for all automotive needs.
- Mahindra's KUV100 (pronounced as KUV '1 double Oh'), has been conceptualized and developed with the aim of creating an entirely new category. It is a compact SUV.
World Bank released report titled World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends
- The World Bank on 14 January 2016 released a report titled World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends in Washington DC, the USA.
- The report explored the impact of the internet, mobile phones, and related technologies on economic development across the world including India.
- Further, it concluded that potential gains from digital technologies are high, but often remain unrealized and proposed policies to expand connectivity, accelerate complementary reforms in sectors beyond information and communication technology (ICT), and address global coordination problems.
- In relation to India, the authors of the report that included Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank appreciated the Aadhaar scheme as it saved 1 billion US dollars by bringing down corruption.
6th Asian Mining Congress will be held in Kolkata
- The Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India (MGMI) has announced that the 6th Asian Mining Congress and Mining Exhibition, a biennial event since 2006, would be organised in Kolkata from 23-27 February.
- The theme for the congress is “Resurgence of Mineral Industry in Asia”.
- The Congress will provide forum for promotion and support of techno-scientific cooperation towards national and international progress in mineral production.
- MGMI expected that over 800 delegates from India and countries like Australia, Poland, Germany, USA, UK, Russia, Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia would participate in the congress.
68th Army Day celebrated on 15 January
- India on 15 January 2016 celebrated the 68th Army Day. Annually, the day is celebrated to commemorate the day, when Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in post independence period.
- He took over the command of Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief on 15 January 1949.
- To mark the occasion, General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff reviewed the Parade at Army Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment.
Awards & Honors –
Dr Jancy James selected for Prof MV Pylee Award for the Distinguished Academician of India
- Dr Jancy James, the first woman Vice Chancellor of Kerala, was on 15 January 2016 selected for the Prof MV Pylee Award for the Distinguished Academician of India.
- The award was instituted by Cochin University of Science and Technology in the name of MV Pylee. He is an Indian scholar, educationist and management guru and widely regarded as the father of management education in Kerala.
- The award is given for excellence in teaching and research and contribution to academic community. It carries an amount of 1 lakh rupees and a citation.
Easterine Kire wins The Hindu Prize
- Easterine Kire, a poet, novelist and children's writer from Nagaland won The Hindu Prize, 2015. Ms. Kire won for her novel 'When the River Sleeps', a book about a lone hunter seeking a heart stone in a faraway sleeping river and fighting all odds to get it.
- Ms. Kire, had earlier read out an excerpt from her novel, describing a scene in which the protagonist and another man escape from a river with the spirits of widow women chasing after them with spears and curses. She described the book as an exploration of the Naga spirit universe.
- The award was given away by author Alexander McCall Smith on Saturday afternoon at the ongoing Lit for Life event organised by The Hindu at Sri Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chetpet. The Fest, which began on Friday, will conclude on Sunday.
Tsai Ing-wen elected Taiwan's first female president
- Ms Tsai, 59, leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that wants independence from China.
- In her victory speech, she vowed to preserve the status quo in relations with China, adding Beijing must respect Taiwan's democracy and both sides must ensure there are no provocations.
- China sees the island as a breakaway province - which it has threatened to take back by force if necessary.
- In her speech, Ms Tsai hailed a "new era" in Taiwan and pledged to co-operate with other political parties on major issues.
- The will of the Taiwanese people would be the basis for relations with China, Ms Tsai said.