Thursday, January 28, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 28th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 28th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 28th January, 2016
  1. The Union Cabinet on 27 January 2016 approved increase in the Authorized Share Capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC). The target of NSFDC for the year 2015-16 is to cover 63000 beneficiaries.
  2. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 27 January 2016 gave its approval for the Hybrid Annuity Model as one of the modes of delivery for implementing the Highway Projects. Under this model, the government will provide 40 percent of the project cost to the developer to start work while the remaining investment has to be made by the developer.
  3. Govt. announces list of first 20 smart cities under 'Smart Cities Mission'. The cities are: 1. Bhubaneshwar, 2. Pune, 3. Jaipur, 4. Surat, 5. Kochi, 6. NDMC (New Delhi), 7. Ahmedabad, 8. Jabalpur, 9. Vizag, 10. Solapur, 11. Devangere, 12. Indore, 13. Coimbatore, 14. Kakinada, 15. Belgaum, 16. Udaipur, 17. Guwahati, 18. Chennai, 19. Ludhiana, 20. Bhopal.
  4. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has signed cooperation pacts with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan for cyber security.
  5. Aparna Kumar, IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, on 17 January 2016 became India's first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in the Antarctica.
  6. IRCTC restricts ticket booking to six per month.
  7. India gets more voting rights as IMF implements quota reforms. For the first time, the four emerging economies -- India China, Brazil and Russia -- would be among the 10 largest members of the International Monetary Fund.
  8. Indian lawyer and human rights defender Henri Tiphagne on 26 January 2016 was selected for the 8th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany.
  9. Rodney George Laver honoured with the Companion of the order of Australia on 26 January 2016 on the occasion of the Australia Day.
  10. Supreme Court appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as U.P. Lokayukta.
  11. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga has been appointed as a co-chair of American India Foundation (AIF), a nonprofit organisation that is devoted to accelerating social and economic change in India.
  12. International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust observed.
  13. Australian batsman David Warner on 27 January 2016 defeated captain Steve Smith for the prestigious Allan Border Medal for 2016.
  14. Ishika Shah won 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championship title.
  15. Book Titled "Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition" Wins 2016 William E Colby Award.


Finance/Industry –

Union Cabinet approved increase in Authorized Share Capital of NSFDC


  • The Union Cabinet on 27 January 2016 approved increase in the Authorized Share Capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC).
  • The target of NSFDC for the year 2015-16 is to cover 63000 beneficiaries.

Benefits of the increase in Authorized Share Capital

  • With this, the Authorized Share Capital of NSFDC is increased from 1000 crore rupees to 1200 crore rupees.
  • The approval will enlarge the quantum of funds available for economic activities, better coverage and enhanced outreach to double the Below Poverty Line (DPL) Scheduled Caste beneficiaries.
  • Enhancement of share capital would expand its ambit of coverage and increase disbursement of funds to larger sections of the economically deprived scheduled caste population.


CCEA approved hybrid annuity model for highway projects


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 27 January 2016 gave its approval for the Hybrid Annuity Model as one of the modes of delivery for implementing the Highway Projects.
  • The main object of the approval is to revive highway projects in the country by making one more mode of delivery of highway projects.
  • Under this model, the government will provide 40 percent of the project cost to the developer to start work while the remaining investment has to be made by the developer.

Key highlights of hybrid annuity model
  • By adopting the model as the mode of delivery, all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement - the Authority, lender and the developer, concessionaire - will have an increased comfort level.
  • The increased comfort level will result in revival of the sector through renewed interest of private developers/investors in highway projects and this will bring relief thereby to citizens/travellers in the area of a respective project.
  • It will facilitate uplifting the socio-economic condition of the entire nation due to increased connectivity across the length and breadth of the country leading to enhanced economic activity.


India –

Govt. announces list of first 20 smart cities under 'Smart Cities Mission'


  • The list of 20 smart cities out of the 98 shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission' was released on Thursday. These 20 cities will be the first to receive funds, thus kickstarting the process of developing them into 'smart cities'. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively.
  • A 'smart city' is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres.
  • Of the 98 cities and towns that five years down will graduate into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are culture and tourism influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health care hubs.

The cities are:
  1. Bhubaneshwar
  2. Pune
  3. Jaipur
  4. Surat
  5. Kochi
  6. NDMC (New Delhi)
  7. Ahmedabad
  8. Jabalpur
  9. Vizag
  10. Solapur
  11. Devangere
  12. Indore
  13. Coimbatore
  14. Kakinada
  15. Belgaum
  16. Udaipur
  17. Guwahati
  18. Chennai
  19. Ludhiana
  20. Bhopal


CERT-In signs cyber security pacts with 3 nations


  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has signed cooperation pacts with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan for cyber security.
  • CERT-In is the nodal agency responsible for dealing with cyber security threats.
  • The Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) will promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and the three countries, according to an official statement.
  • The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was on Wednesday apprised of the three MoUs which were signed last November and December.


Union Government launched National Job Portal for Persons with Disabilities

  • The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on 27 January 2016 launched the National level Job portal www.disabilityjobs.gov.in for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
  • The Ministry aims to carry out skill training programme for 5 lakh Persons with Disabilities in next 3 years.

Highlights of the job portal
  • It was developed by the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC).
  • The PwDs can avail the different facilities like self employment loan, education loan, skill training, link to scholarships and information about jobs at this portal.
  • It will empower persons with disabilities by providing them all desired information for employment opportunities on single window platform.


IPS officer Aparna Kumar became India's first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif


  • Aparna Kumar, IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, on 17 January 2016 became India's first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in the Antarctica.
  • She hoisted the Tricolour and the flag of the Uttar Pradesh Police Service on Mount Vinson Massif.
  • She set out on the Antarctic expedition on 5 January 2016, accompanied by a 10-member team of mountaineers from various countries.


IRCTC restricts ticket booking to six per month


  • In an attempt to prevent possible misuse, Railway Ministry has introduced new checks on booking of e-ticket and i-ticket through IRCTC website.
  • Under the new provisions a maximum of six tickets can be booked online by an individual user in a month on IRCTC website. This new provision will come into effect from February 15, 2016.

The revised rules for booking ticket through IRCTC are as follows:
  • Individuals are allowed only two tickets per user-ID in a day from 8 am to 10 am.
  • Individuals are allowed only two tickets per user-ID in a day for Tatkal booking from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.
  • A maximum of 6 tickets can be booked online in a month by an individual.
  • Quick Book Option is disabled from 08 am to 12 noon
  • All types of ticketing agents (YTSK, RTSA, IRCTC agents etc.) have been debarred from booking tickets during the first thirty minutes of opening of booking i.e. from 08 am to 08:30 am for general bookings, and from 10 am to 10:30 am and 11:00 am to 11:30 am for Tatkal booking in AC and non-AC classes respectively.
  • Booking is not allowed through e-wallet and cash cards from 8 am to 12 noon.
  • There is only one booking in one user login session except for return/onward journey between 08 am to 12 noon.



Snow Leopard spotted for the first time in North Sikkim


  • WWF-India on 27 January 2016 claimed that they spotted the endangered snow leopards for the first time in the North Sikkim Plateau. The elusive snow leopard was found during its pilot project in which they installed camera traps in the region to understand the occurrence of snow leopards in the region.
  • The camera traps helped them to yield results with the first photos of the species at four different locations in North Sikkim.
  • Earlier, presence of snow leopards in the high altitudes of North Sikkim area were provided only by the yak herders, known as ‘Dokpas’, but these pictures have provided the first tangible evidence of their existence.


World –

India gets more voting rights as IMF implements quota reforms


  • Marking a "historic" change at International Monetary Fund (IMF), India, China and other emerging economies will now have more voting rights at the multilateral funding agency with the implementation of long pending quota reforms.
  • For the first time, the four emerging economies -- India China, Brazil and Russia -- would be among the 10 largest members of the International Monetary Fund.
  • Besides, more than 6% of quota shares would shift to dynamic emerging markets and developing countries. It would also mark the shift in shares from over-represented to under-represented IMF members.
  • The much-awaited quota reforms, pending for many years, were approved by the US Congress in 2015. The 2010 Quota and Governance reforms were approved by the IMF's Board of Governors in December 2010.


1st Ministerial Meeting of Arab-India Cooperation Forum held in Manama


  • The 1st Ministerial Meeting of Arab-India Cooperation Forum was held on 24 January 2016 in the Bahraini capital Manama.
  • The meeting, which was opened by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, was attended by Minister of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj, foreign ministers of Arab States, and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby.
  • The meeting reviewed the achievements of the Arab-Indian cooperation since the establishment of the Arab-Indian Co-operation Forum in New Delhi in 2008 and adopted the Manama Declaration.


Intelsat 29e, the first of Intelsat EpicNG Satellites, launched into Orbit

  • Intelsat, the commercial satellite giant, on 27 January 2016 announced that Inteslat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, was successfully launched. The satellites were launched from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle.
  • The high throughput platform should provide customers with superior connections at a lower cost.


Awards & Honors –

Indian activist Henri Tiphagne selected for Amnesty International Human Rights Award 2016


  • Indian lawyer and human rights defender Henri Tiphagne on 26 January 2016 was selected for the 8th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany.
  • The award is a recognition of Tiphagne’s exceptional commitment to human rights. He will be conferred with the award at an official ceremony on 25 April 2016 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, Germany.
  • Henri Tiphagne is the founder of the organization People’s Watch, one of the most notable human rights organizations in India.


Rod Laver honoured with Companion of the order of Australia

  • Rodney George Laver honoured with the Companion of the order of Australia on 26 January 2016 on the occasion of the Australia Day.
  • He was conferred with the award for eminent service to tennis as a player, representative and mentor, at the national and international level, and as a role model for young sportsmen and women.
  • He remains the only man to win the Grand Slam of all four major singles titles in the same year. He achieved this feat in 1962 before repeating it in 1969, the first full season of the Open era.


Parrikar presented Rakshamantri Award for excellence for 2012-13 and 2013-14


  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 27 January 2016 presented the Raksha Mantri awards for excellence for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14 in New Delhi.
  • The awards are presented in recognition of exemplary performance amongst Ordnance Factories and the nine Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

For the year 2013-14
INSTITUTIONAL AWARDS
  1. Excellence in performance - BEL
  2. Best performance in Exports - BEL


For the year 2012-13
INSTITUTIONAL AWARDS
  1. Excellence in performance - HAL
  2. Best performance in Exports – BEML


Appointments –

Supreme Court appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as U.P. Lokayukta


  • The Supreme Court on Thursday recalled its December 16 order appointing controversial Justice Virendra Singh, a former judge of Allahabad High Court as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh, and named another retired judge as the new ombudsman.
  • While taking back its decision, the apex court appointed Justice Sanjay Mishra, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court as new Lokayukta of UP.
  • Referring to the objections raised by the Chief Justice of the High Court on the name of Justice Singh, the bench said, .
  • Earlier on December 16 last year, in an unusual order, the apex court had exercised its constitutional authority and appointed Justice Singh as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta, while expressing dismay that its several orders directing to make appointment to the post had not been “heeded” by the constitutional functionaries —— the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the Allahabad high court.


AIF appointed MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga as co-chair


  • MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga has been appointed as a co-chair of American India Foundation (AIF), a nonprofit organisation that is devoted to accelerating social and economic change in India.
  • In addition to his role at MasterCard, Banga is a member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
  • He serves on the board of directors of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), where he recently completed his tenure as its longest-serving chairman.
  • He is also a member of the US-India CEO Forum.


Days –

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust observed


  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was observed on 27 January 2016 across the world. The day was proclaimed so by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in the year 2016 including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony is The Holocaust and Human Dignity.


Sports –

Australian batsman David Warner won Allan Border Medal 2016


  • Australian batsman David Warner on 27 January 2016 defeated captain Steve Smith for the prestigious Allan Border Medal for 2016.
  • Warner polled 240 votes from players, umpires and media representatives to beat 2015 winner and skipper Steve Smith on 219. Pace bowler Mitchell Starc was third on 183 votes.
  • Warner also won the Test Player of the Year Award with 30 votes ahead of Smith on 24.
  • One Day International Player of the Year award was conferred to Glenn Maxwell.


Ishika Shah won 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championship title


  • 14-year old Ishika Shah on 26 January 2016 won the 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championship title in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. To win the title, she defeated Anushi Seth by 50-2, 50-33 in the final match.
  • To reach the finals, she defeated the defending champion Doyel Dey in the semi-final. Incidentally, Ishika lost the title to Doyel in the summit clash held in Kolkata in 2015.
  • However, Doyel retained the sub-junior billiards title. The title was awarded to her when the original winner, Lahiri Sinapara, was found two months over-aged than the prescribed 18 years age limit.


Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham retired from diving


  • Matthew Mitcham, the Australian Olympic diving gold medalist, announced his retirement from the sport on 28 January 2016.
  • Mitcham won the 10m platform at the 2008 Beijing Games, and also claimed gold in the 10m synchro platform at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
  • His final dive at the Beijing Games remains the highest individual score in Olympic diving history. In the competition judges gave him perfect 10 in four out of seven 10m platform.


Pakistan Cricketer Imran Farhat retired from International Cricket

  • Pakistan Opener Imran Farhat on 27 January 2016 retired from international cricket. He made the announcement after getting No-Objection Certificate from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
  • With this, he would be eligible to play a T20 tournament for retired cricketers called Masters Champions League (MCL).
  • It is the PCB’s policy that players who sign for the MCL have to completely retire from International Cricket. However, they can play the domestic cricket.


Adam Lewis headed Independent Review Panel set up to safeguard integrity in Tennis


  • Tennis’s governing bodies on 27 January 2016 constituted the Adam Lewis headed Independent Review Panel (IRP) to safeguard integrity in tennis.
  • An announcement in this regard was made by the Chairmen and CEOs of the Governing Bodies of International Tennis – Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women's Tennis Association (WTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Grand Slam Board.
  • The IRP was formed to review the functioning of the existing anti-corruption mechanisms and suggest measures to further safeguard the integrity of the game.


Books & Authors –

Book Titled "Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition" Wins 2016 William E Colby Award

  • A book on India's partition and its fatal consequences has won a prestigious USD 5,000 prize in the US.
  • Nisid Hajari's book Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition won the 2016 William E Colby Award, a statement said.
  • Midnight's Furies, Hajari's first book, covers the 1947 partition of India and the violence that surrounded that event.
  • Named after the former CIA director, William E Colby, the prize is awarded annually by Norwich University to a first-time author in recognition of a work of fiction or non-fiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations, or international affairs.


Obituaries –

Former India basketball captain Ranbir Chopra died


  • The captain of the champion Indian basketball team in the first Asian Games in 1951, Ranbir Chopra, died on 25 January 2016 in Kapurthala, Punjab. He was 86.
  • Chopra had been part of the Punjab team that won the national title in 1951 in Ludhiana. He was also the coach of the Indian team that toured Pakistan in 1962.











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