Monday, January 18, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 17th & 18th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 17th and 18th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, Syndicate Manipal PO 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 17th and 18th January, 2016
  1. Exim Bank of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for promotion of exports from the state.
  2. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 17 January 2016 announced that it collaborated with the IDFC Bank Ltd to conduct an enterprise survey of manufacturing firms.
  3. Mumbai-based Jet Airways on 15 January 2016 entered into a Frequent Flyer Partnership with Bangkok Airways.
  4. Technology giant IBM on Monday said it has bagged a 7-year deal worth $40 million (about Rs 270.3 crore) from Bank Tech India (BTI) Payments, a white label ATM (WLA) operator to transform its IT Infrastructure.
  5. The Somnath Temple Trust is all set to become Gujarat's first temple to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetisation Scheme as its trustees including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have given their nod to invest the yellow metal reserves in the scheme.
  6. BHEL has commissioned the second 660 MW supercritical unit of Lalitpur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Uttar Pradesh.
  7. India’s Dinesh Sharma on 17 January 2016 was elected to the 12-member board of directors of the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A secret ballot for the post was held on 16 January 2016.
  8. Tata Motors has appointed former top official of Airbus Guenter Butschek (55) as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director.
  9. Ola appoints Raghuvesh Sarup as Chief Marketing Officer
  10. Anuradha Roy won 2016 DSC Prize for Sleeping on Jupiter
  11. Haryana off-spinner Ajit Chandila was slapped with a life ban for his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, while Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah was handed a five-year suspension for making a corrupt approach to a fellow player as the BCCI disciplinary committee sealed their fate after a meeting here today.




Finance/Banking/Industry –

Exim Bank inks MoU with AP Govt for promoting exports


  • Exim Bank of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for promotion of exports from the state.
  • The MoU was signed by Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, and Shamsher Singh Rawat, Secretary and Commissioner for Industrial Promotion, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Exim Bank seeks to support exporters having operations in Andhra Pradesh in achieving higher exports by facilitation of market linkages through its market advisory services, which will assist in identifying suitable partners.
  • Besides, it will help develop skills through capacity building workshops, help exporters’ participation in select trade fairs and exhibitions, and through research activities.
  • Exim Bank would also use its strong institutional linkages that it has developed over the years with institutions in advanced markets like the US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, EU, etc, and facilitate technology transfer to the technology-seeking enterprises in Andhra Pradesh.


NITI Aayog collaborated with IDFC for Enterprise Survey of Manufacturing Firms


  • The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 17 January 2016 announced that it collaborated with the IDFC Bank Ltd to conduct an enterprise survey of manufacturing firms.
  • The primary objective of this Survey is to assess the business regulatory environment in each State and Union Territories (UTs) and identify policy and regulatory hurdles faced by businesses in the States/UTs.

Features of the survey
  • It will include start-ups across all States and UTs.
  • It will bring out a comprehensive analysis and report on State-level performance.
  • It will complement the governments Make in India initiative by taking stock of issues faced and providing impetus for State-level reforms that will make it easier to do business in India.
  • It will suggest measures needed to foster competitive and cooperative federalism.


Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways entered into Frequent Flyer Partnership


  • Mumbai-based Jet Airways on 15 January 2016 entered into a Frequent Flyer Partnership with Bangkok Airways.
  • The partnership came into force with the tie-up of award-winning loyalty and rewards management programme of Jet Airways named JetPrivilege and FlyerBonus, the loyalty scheme of Bangkok Airways.
  • JetPrivilege members can now earn and redeem reward points JPMiles when travelling across the Bangkok Airways network including popular destinations like Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Luang Prabang via Bangkok.
  • Members of Bangkok Airways' FlyerBonus programme can also earn and redeem their miles across Jet Airways’ extensive network in India and key international destination in North America, Europe, Middle East and SAARC.


IBM bags $40mn deal from Bank Tech India Payments


  • Technology giant IBM on Monday said it has bagged a 7-year deal worth $40 million (about Rs 270.3 crore) from Bank Tech India (BTI) Payments, a white label ATM (WLA) operator to transform its IT Infrastructure.
  • BTI Payments, which runs over 3,000 "India1" branded white label ATMs, will leverage IBM's managed services solution to deploy and manage an incremental 4,000 automated teller machines across the country, IBM said in a statement.
  • IBM will manage, monitor and maintain the ATM infrastructure providing BTI better visibility and control of its operations and enabling its maximum efficiency, it added.
  • It will take up the maintenance and service of ATM assets, including feasibility, supply and installation, performance monitoring, availability management, reporting and analysis.


Somnath Temple to invest in Gold Monetisation Scheme


  • The Somnath Temple Trust is all set to become Gujarat's first temple to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetisation Scheme as its trustees including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have given their nod to invest the yellow metal reserves in the scheme.
  • The trust has around 35 kg of gold and will deposit the gold which is not in day-to-day use of the temple.
  • The decision was taken during the recently held meeting of trustees at Modi's residence in Delhi on January 12, said the trust secretary P K Lahiri, who is also one of the trustees of the Somnath Temple, situated in the Gir-Somnath district.


SBT launches online platform for KSEB bill payments

  • State Bank of Travancore (SBT) has teamed up with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to provide customers of the state utility online facility for remittance of electricity charges.
  • Jeevandas Narayan, Managing Director, SBT, and M Shivasankar, Chairman, KSEB, jointly announced the launch of the facility at a function here.
  • Present on the occasion were E.K. Harikumar and S. Adikesavan, Chief General Managers, SBT, and B Nina, Director (Transmission), KSEB.
  • The online system facilitates immediate credit of remittance through the SBT internet banking platform free of any additional charges, a spokesman for SBT said.
  • This will enable consumers to pay their monthly bills without going to the KSEB offices. They will get confirmation of the remittance from the bank as well as KSEB.


BHEL commissions 660 MW Lalitpur supercritical thermal unit

  • BHEL has commissioned the second 660 MW supercritical unit of Lalitpur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Last month, BHEL has successfully commissioned the first unit of 3x660 MW Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) at Bara in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The unit has been synchronised by BHEL four months ahead of the schedule agreed with the developer.
  • The commencement of generation from the unit will result in a significant improvement of power availability.
  • Besides, the balance 660 MW super—critical Units, two each at Lalitpur and Bara, BHEL is also executing a 500 MW units at Anpara ‘D’ TPS of Uttar Pradesh Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL) in Uttar Pradesh, it said.


Union Government held first national stakeholder consultation on BIOFIN project

  • The abbreviation BIOFIN was in news in the third week of January 2016 as the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change held the first national stakeholder consultation meeting on the BIOFIN (Biodiversity Finance Initiative).
  • The meeting was organized to understand the BIOFIN project and to seek professional inputs from experts of various fields in strengthening the biodiversity conservation efforts in the country.
  • BIOFIN is a global partnership seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner. Its purpose is to mobilise resources for biodiversity and sustainable development across the world.
  • It helps countries to scale up their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for 2011-2020.


Appointments –

India's Dinesh Sharma elected to Board of Directors of AIIB


  • India’s Dinesh Sharma on 17 January 2016 was elected to the 12-member board of directors of the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A secret ballot for the post was held on 16 January 2016.
  • It is the first Board of Directors of AIIB in which 57 nations are founding members including India.
  • The inaugural meeting of the board of the governors of the AIIB was held in Beijing after its formal launch. The meeting approved by-laws, rules and codes of conduct for the bank. Union Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley is the designated governor of the AIIB from the country. However, he was represented by Sharma at the meeting. Sharma is currently serving as the Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance.
  • AIIB holds authorised capital of 100 billion US dollars and subscribed capital of 50 billion US dollars. It will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.
  • China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 percent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia with 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.



Tata Motors appoints former Airbus official Guenter Butschek as CEO & MD


  • Tata Motors has appointed former top official of Airbus Guenter Butschek (55) as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director. Mr. Butschek will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and in international markets including South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa.
  • He brings broad functional and general management skills, and wide international experience to his new role at Tata Motors. Mr. Butschek is expected to join the company by February 15.
  • Mr. Butschek joins Tata Motors after his last assignment at Airbus Group where he served as Chief Operating Officer at Airbus and Member of the Group Executive Committee. Prior to Airbus, he worked at German auto giant Daimler AG for more than 25 years in international automotive management.
  • The last role he held was president and Chief Executive Officer of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Daimler AG and Beijing Automotive Industrial Holding in Beijing, China.


Ola appoints Raghuvesh Sarup as Chief Marketing Officer


  • Ola, India's leading mobile app for personal transportation, has announced the appointment of Raghuvesh Sarup as its Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Raghuvesh brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales and brand management across some of the world's most respected brands like Microsoft, Nokia, Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut) and Procter & Gamble.
  • He joins the company in February and will be part of Ola's core leadership team, focusing on building Ola as every Indian's most preferred mobility brand.
  • Raghuvesh joins Ola from Microsoft, where he was most recently Marketing Director after relocating to India from global stints in Finland in the headquarters of Nokia. His experience across brand management, marketing and managing P&L for large brands makes him a distinguished marketing leader.


Resignations –

Analjit Singh resigned as chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd

  • Analjit Singh on 15 January 2016 resigned as the Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd following the demerger of Max India Ltd. However, Singh will continue to serve as Chairman of Max Ventures and Industries Ltd.
  • Singh will also be the Chairman Emeritus and a permanent invitee to the boards and committees of all Max Group companies.



India –

Goa Legislative Assembly approved reclassification of coconut tree as palm

  • The Goa Legislative Assembly on 15 January 2016 approved reclassification of coconut tree as palm. The reclassification was approved by the legislature through the passage of the Goa Preservation of Trees (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • The bill seeks to omit the Section 1-A of the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984. The section, which was inserted through an amendment in 2008, included coconut under the definition of tree.
  • Further, to facilitate the reclassification, the bill also amended the Section 12-A of the Act incorporating changes into the definition of tree.
  • As per the new definition, tree means any woody plant whose branches spring from and are supported upon the trunk or the body and whose trunk or body is not less than ten centimeters in diameter at a height of one meter from the ground level.


Union Government launched 4 Mobile Health Services to strengthen public health infrastructure

  • The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on 15 January 2016 launched four mobile health (m-Health) services to provide citizen-centric health services.
  • These m-Health services are Kilkari, Mobile Academy, M-Cessation and TB Missed Call initiative.

Highlights of Kilkari
  • It is an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly audio messages to families about pregnancy, child birth and child care.

Highlights of Mobile Academy
  • It’s a mobile-based application aimed at providing training services to 9 million ASHAs.

Highlights of M-Cessation
  • It will be an IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users to quit tobacco.

Highlights of the TB Missed Call initiative
  • Under TB Missed Call initiative, a dedicated toll free number 1800-11–6666 which will provide round the clock counselling and treatment support services for TB patients.


Awards & Honors –

Anuradha Roy won 2016 DSC Prize for Sleeping on Jupiter


  • Indian author Anuradha Roy on 16 January 2016 won the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her novel Sleeping on Jupiter at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka.
  • Roy was awarded the prize and a unique trophy by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The six shortlisted authors in contention for the prestigious prize were:
  • UK-based Indian-origin author Akhil Sharma for Family Life
  • KR Meera's Hangwoman (Translated by J Devika)
  • Mirza Waheed's The Book of Gold Leaves
  • Neel Mukherjee's The Lives of Others 
  • Raj Kamal Jha for She Will Build Him A City



61st Filmfare Awards presented in Mumbai


  • The 61st Filmfare Awards were presented on 15 January 2016 at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. The ceremony was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and comedian Kapil Sharma.
  • Bajirao Mastani won the most awards including the Best Film award. Other winners included Piku that was awarded with six awards, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Roy, Talvar, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bombay Velvet, Dil Dhadakne Do, Hero, Masaan and Tamasha.

Recepients of the Awards
  • Best Actor: Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Actress: Deepika Padukone for Piku
  • Best Film: Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani
  • Lifetime Achievement: Moushumi Chatterjee


21st Critics' Choice Awards presented in California

  • The 21st Critics' Choice Awards were conferred on 17 January 2016 at the Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar in California. TJ Miller hosted the presentation program.
  • These awards honour the finest achievements in drama and television filmmaking which were aired between 1 June 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • BEST PICTURE: Spotlight
  • BEST ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • BEST ACTRESS: Brie Larson – Room


World –

First infected case of mosquito-borne Zika virus recorded in the US


  • A mosquito-borne virus called Zika was in news in the third week of January 2016. It was found that the virus is spreading rapidly through the American continent.
  • The first case was confirmed in Texas, USA in January 2016 when a traveler returning from Latin America.
  • The disease caused by this virus is not fatal and lasts up to a week, but it was identified that there is a possible link between the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and potential developmental problems.


NASA launched SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket with Jason-3 Ocean-monitoring satellite

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 17 January 2016 launched the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in the USA.
  • The rocket carried the ocean monitoring satellite Jason-3 on board and successfully inserted it in the desired orbit. However, the rocket failed a return landing on a drone platform in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Jason-3 satellite will examine the topography of the ocean floor to help study effects of climate change or human-induced changes on the ocean.


Sports –

Delhi Acers defeated Mumbai Rockets to clinch Premier Badminton League title

  • Delhi Acers on 17 January 2016 emerged victorious over Mumbai Rockets by 4-3 in the summit clash to clinch the Premier Badminton League (PBL) title. The match was held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.
  • Tommy Sugiarto, men's doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, and Rajiv Ouseph won their respective matches as Delhi grabbed the trophy and a winner's cheque of 3 crores rupees.


BCCI Imposes Life Ban on Chandila, Hiken Banned for Five Years


  • Haryana off-spinner Ajit Chandila was slapped with a life ban for his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, while Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah was handed a five-year suspension for making a corrupt approach to a fellow player as the BCCI disciplinary committee sealed their fate after a meeting here today.
  • However, the committee, headed by BCCI President Shashan Manohar and comprising Jyotiraditya Scindia and Niranjan Shah,deferred a decision on Chandila's co-accused Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf till February 12, giving him a final deadline of February 9 to file his reply.
  • The 32-year-old Chandila, an off-spinner who was found guilty of spot-fixing during his stint with Rajasthan Royals, was handed a tougher punshiment for violating the codes pertaining to accepting bribes, fixing, underperfoming, trying to induce a fellow player and betting.


Obituaries –

Renowned film-maker Lakshman Rao Mohite alias Geethapriya died

  • Renowned Kannada lyricist and film-maker Geethapriya died of cardiac arrest on 17 January 2016 in Bengaluru. He was 84 and survived by wife, son and two daughters.
  • He was also received the Dr. B. Saroja Devi National Award and Sandesha Awards in 2012.


Former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passed away


  • Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passed away on 17 January 2016 in Hyderabad after prolonged illness. He was 80.
  • Rao, who was suffering from severe lung infection, is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law.











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