Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 26th and 27th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.
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RBI Shortlists Five Cos for Audit and Risk Monitoring Mechanism
- The Reserve Bank plans to procure an Audit Management and Risk Monitoring System (AMRMS) for the central bank from five "potential shortlisted" solution providers, including PwC and Quadrant 4 Software Solutions.
- The RBI said it has decided to implement AMRMS to carry out various audit and risk monitoring related activities efficiently in a seamlessly integrated fashion, thereby replacing the existing system which is partially computerised.
- The AMRMS will be a comprehensive package to facilitate Internal Audit and Risk Monitoring functions of the central bank.
- AMRMS should also enable achieving the objective of paperless office environment, it added.
- The five short-listed bidders based on Expression of Interest (EOI) evaluation are: Auditime Information Systems Pvt Ltd, Mumbai; NCSSoft Solutions Pvt Ltd, Chennai; PWC Pvt Ltd, Mumbai; Quadrant 4 Software Solutions Pvt Ltd, Chennai; and Thomson Reuters Pvt Ltd Mumbai.
- The envisioned AMRMS, the RFP should be capable of providing an end-to-end solution from audit planning to final closure of the report.
India, Armenia amend double taxation avoidance convention
- India and Armenia on Wednesday signed a protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between the two countries.
- It will enable the two countries to exchange information related to financial and banking transactions under the pact and help in preventing tax evasion.
- It is also expected to further strengthen the efforts of Government of India in curbing generation of black money.
- The original Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between India and Armenia has been in existence since September, 2004.
Chhattisgarh to invest Rs 60,000 cr on 'Sampark Kranti'
- Chhattisgarh government would invest Rs 60,000 on developing infrastructure projects in the state in next three years under the 'Sampark Kranti' programme.
- Under the programme, the state would build roads, rail lines besides expansion of electrification and communication network in the areas that had not seen much development.
- The investment of Rs 60,000 crore on the execution of the programme would be from public and private sectors, Singh said, adding that the state would have 10,000 kilometres of roads in next three years that would be built with an investment of Rs 35,000 crore.
Rajasthan signs MoU to join UDAY scheme
- Rajasthan has become the third state to sign a memorandum of understanding for joining the central government’s state electricity distribution utility revival scheme.
- The MoU was signed between the central government, Rajasthan government and the three electricity distribution utilities in Rajasthan – Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd, Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd and Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.
- Under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, the Rajasthan government will take over ₹ 60,500 crore of the debt on the books of the electricity distribution utilities. The remaining ₹ 20,000 crore will be issued as state guaranteed DISCOM bonds at coupon rates of around 3 per cent lower than the average existing interest rate.
Cognizant acquires KBACE Technologies
- US-based Cognizant on Wednesday said it has acquired KBACE Technologies, a global consulting and technology services company for an undisclosed amount.
- The terms of the deal was also not disclosed by the company.
- KBACE Technologies specializes in cloud strategy, implementation and integration and is a leading Oracle Cloud partner.
- The Nashua, New Hampshire-based firm has around 400 KBACE consultants and implementation experts across industry and business functions and will become part of Cognizant after the completion of the deal.
- US-based Cognizant has a significant presence in India, including majority of its workforce is based in India.
First in Maharashtra: Nagpur Central Jail inmates get SBI ATM cards
- Around 140 inmates of the central prison here were given State Bank of India (SBI) ATM cards today for use inside the premises, with plans to extend the service to all 800 prisoners of the facility.
- The cards were given to select inmates by Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Bhushan Kumar Upadhyaya and the SBI Deputy General Manager, Nagpur Zone, B Shankar in the presence of Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai and Assistant GM, SBI, Nagpur Zone, Rakesh Sinha.
- Upadhyaya said over 10,000 inmates in nine central prisons across Maharashtra will be extended the facility.
- Nagpur has been chosen as a pilot project, he said.
- Any prisoner can spend up to Rs 2,500 per month. Their relatives can also deposit in their respective saving bank accounts up to Rs 2,500 which is the monthly upper limit for inmates, he said.
67th India’s Republic Day celebrated
- Republic Day 2016 was celebrated on 26 January 2016 across the nation. This was the 67th Republic Day of India. President of France Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest at 67th Republic Day parade.
- First Republic Day was celebrated on 26 January 1950 when India became a Republic with Constitution of India coming into force on this day replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
Main Highlights of 2016 Republic Day Parade
- For the first time since 1950, a foreign army contingent marched down the Rajpath during the Republic Day parade. The 76-member French Army contingent was the participant of the parade.
- The parade witnessed participation of some of India’s most highly trained dogs from the army’s Veterinary Corps, after 26 years.
- The celebration was curtailed by 25 minute. The duration was brought down to 90 minutes from 115 minutes, but the format will remain the same.
- For the first time, an all-women stunt contingent named ‘Women Daredevils CRPF’ comprising of 120 soldiers will performed stunts on bikes. Apart from this women officers were also 2nd in command to the contingents of Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy.
- For the first time, the tableau of ex-servicemen of Army veterans was also showcased in the parade.
- The VVIP enclosure had a motorised glass roof so as to protect them from rain and cold weather, as in 2015 Chief guest Barack Obama and Michelle Obama held umbrellas to protect themselves from the drizzle at the Republic Day parade event.
International Customs Day observed on 26 January
- The International Customs Day 2016 was observed across the world on 26 January 2016. The day is organised in commemoration of formation of World Customs Organisation (WCO) on 26 January 1953.
- On 26 January every year, the Customs administrations of 179 Member States of the World Customs Organisation organize various national events to celebrate the first session of the Customs Co-operation Council. On its part, the WCO Secretariat chooses a topic for the International Customs Day.
- The WCO is dedicating 2016 to promoting the digitalization of Customs process under the slogan Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement.
- The World Customs Organization is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
India-France signed 14 Agreements including 36 Rafale Aircraft deal
- India and France on 25 January 2016 inked 14 Agreements/MoUs in Delhi. The agreements including MoU on purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts were signed during the State Visit of President Francois Hollande of France to India.
- Hollande was the Chief Guest at the 67th India’s Republic Day (26 January 2016) celebrations. He was the fifth French leader to be a chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, maximum number from any country so far.
The 14 agreements/MoUs are
- MoU on purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Centre National D'études Spatiales (CNES) Implementation Arrangement on hosting Argos-4 Payload onboard India’s Oceansat-3 satellite
- ISRO and CNES Implementation Arrangement on a future joint Thermal Infrared earth observation mission
- Letter of Intent on CNES, France participation in ISRO’s next Mars Mission
- Shareholding Agreement on JV between Alstom and Indian Railways for production of 800 electric locomotives in Madhepura Bihar
- Agreement between Indian Railways and SNCF, French Railways for joint feasibility study for the renovation of Ludhiana and Ambala railway stations
- MOU between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India and Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation (ANSES) in food safety
- Partnership Agreement on Cooperation in Public Administration between Ministry of Personnel & Public Grievances and French
- Declaration of Intent for conducting next round of Namaste France (Indian festival) in 2016 and Bonjour India (French festival) 2017
- Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2016-2018
- Arrangement for establishment of an Indo- French Ministerial level Joint Committee on Science & Technology
- MoU for Industry Sponsored PhD Fellowship between IIT Mumbai and Thales Systemes Aeroportes
- Cooperation Agreement between IISER, Pune and ENS de Lyon (France) for joint research, teaching, exchange of personnel etc.
- Agreement of Cooperation between CNRS, TB, UBO, UBS, ENSTA Bretagne, ENIB (French Universities) and IIT Mumbai in the field of Higher Education & Research.
President Rule imposed in Arunachal Pradesh
- President Pranab Mukherjee on 26 January 2016 approved the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for the imposition of President’s rule on Arunachal Pradesh.
- He gave the assent after hosting the traditional ‘At Home’ or reception at Rastrapati Bhavan for French President Francois Hollande as part of the Republic Day celebrations.
- The Union Cabinet approved the imposition of President Rule on the state after expiration of six month deadline under which the Assembly was supposed to meet. The six month deadline for the meet expired on 21 January 2016.
Tata Trusts collaborates with MIT to improve learning at school
- Tata Trusts collaborates with MassachusettsInstitute of Technology (MIT) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to improve learning at secondary school level.
- The collaboration called Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) plans to reach 1,65,000 students across 1,000 schools in four states: Mizoram, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh by 2018-19.
- This will offer content in both English and in regional languages, starting with Hindi and Telugu.
- It will offer curriculum in English, science, mathematics, and professional values.
- An additional major focus will be professional development for roughly 4,400 teachers in the four states.
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act, 2015 came into force
- The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force on 26 January 2016. The act was made to ensure more stringent provisions for prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
- The act came into force after the Lok Sabha passed this amendment bill on 4 August 2015 while the upper house Rajya Sabha gave its nod on 21 December, 2015. And the final ass ent by the President came on 31 December 2015.
- The bill was provided to make amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.
Awards & Honors –
Ashok Chakra awarded posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami
- President Pranab Mukherjee, on 26 January 2016, awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashoka Chakra, posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of 9 Para (Special Forces) of the Rashtriya Rifles.
- He exhibited the most outstanding gallantry in personally killing two terrorists and also assisted in neutralizing another two and saved the lives of three of his wounded colleagues in a fierce encounter with four terrorists at Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Ashok Chakra is the highest Indian peacetime gallantry award which was constituted on similar lines of the British Awards of the George Cross.
Rekha honoured with 3rd National Yash Chopra Memorial Award
- Veteran Bollywood actress Rekha on 25 January 2016 was honoured with the third Yash Chopra Memorial Award in Mumbai.
- Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao presented the award to the actress in recognition of her talent and contribution to the film industry.
Cottalango Leon selected for 2016 Technical Achievement Award of Academy of Motion Pictures
- Cottalango Leon, a person of Indian origin, was on 22 January 2016 selected for the 2016 Technical Achievement Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- Leon won the award under the Scientific and Technical Achievements category for the design, engineering and continuous development of Sony Pictures Imageworks Itview along with his two team members J Robert Ray and Sam Richards. It is a tool used only within Sony Imageworks.
Three Indian-Origin Conferred With Australia's Highest Civilian Award
- Three Indian-origin persons have been awarded Australia's highest civilian honour for their contribution in the fields of physics, engineering and medicine.
- Chennupati Jagadish, an eminent professor at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Jay Chandra, an eye doctor in New South Wales, and Sajeev Koshy, a dentist in Melbourne, received Order of Australia medal for the year 2016 announced on the Australia Day.
- Jagadish was conferred with the award for his eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology, to education as a leading academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with national and international scientific advisory institutions.
- Jagadish was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology, to education as a leading academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with national and international scientific advisory institutions.
International Solar Alliance headquartered in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the President of France François Hollande, on 25 January 2016 laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon.
- They also inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA at the same place.
- India dedicated 5 acre land at NISE to ISA for hosting its Secretariat and also contributed 175 crore rupees for ISA corpus fund for an initial period of five years. Thereafter it is expected to generate its own resources and become self-financing.
- It was jointly launched in Paris by India and France on 30 November 2015 during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).
- It is the India’s first international and inter-governmental organization of 121 Countries to have headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner.
Denmark Parliament approved law on seizing valuables from refugees
- Danish Parliament, Folketing, on 26 January 2016 voted on a proposal to confiscate asylum seekers’ personal possessions in order to pay their upkeep.
- The minority Liberal Party government's bill was adopted by 81 votes to 27, with the support of the opposition Social Democrats and the anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP). One politician abstained and 70 others were absent.
- The policy says that the police will be able to seize valuables worth more than 1340 euros (10000 kroner or 1000 Pound) from refugees to cover housing and food costs. MPs also approved plans to delay family reunions for asylum seekers.
Transparency International released Corruption Perceptions Index 2015
- Transparency International on 27 January 2016 released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015. The Index measured the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 168 countries and territories across the world.
- The CPI 2015 showed that although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the edition than declined. The index further suggested that people working together can succeed in the battle against corruption.
- While Denmark, with rank 1, was adjudged as the most corruption-free country among the surveyed countries, India was placed at the 76th place with 38 points. India was at the 85th position among the 175 countries surveyed in the CPI 2014.
West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul retired from international cricket
- The West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 22 January 2016 announced his retirement from international cricket almost 22 years after making his debut.
- Chanderpaul had not played for West Indies since May 2015. The West Indies selectors dropped him after a weak performance during the three-Test series at home against England.
FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2015 announced
- The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 26 January 2016 announced the winners of its Hockey Stars awards for 2015.
- The Netherlands' Robert Van der Horst and Lidewij Welten won the men's and women's FIH Player of the Year awards, respectively, for their performances in 2015.
Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of Artificial Intelligence, died
- Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of artificial intelligence, died on 24 January 2016 at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital due to cerebral hemorrhage. The mathematician and the computer scientist died at the age of 88.
- Minsky, a professor emeritus at the MIT Media Lab, helped in work that helped inspired the creation of the personal computer and the Internet.
Hollywood actor Abe Vigoda passed away
- Actor Abe Vigoda, known for his work in The Godfather and on the television series Barney Miller, passed away on 26 January 2016 in New Jersey following natural causes. He was 94.
- He was best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in the movie The Godfather.