Current Affairs Update – 29th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 29th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 29th January, 2016
  1. Government has marginally revised downward the economic growth for 2014-15 to 7.2 per cent from the earlier estimate of 7.3 per cent after factoring in latest data on agriculture and industrial production.
  2. India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed an $80 million loan agreement for improving the infrastructure in the two North-Eastern cities of Agartala and Aizawl, according to a government statement.
  3. JS Deepak appointed as new Telecom Secretary.
  4. Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis on 29 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open title of tennis in the women’s doubles category.
  5. India and Pakistan have extended their agreement relating to rail communication by mutual consent through diplomatic channels for next three years.
  6. Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh on 28 January 2016 launched the MITRA mobile application to ensure safety and security of women in the Union Territory. The app was launched in the presence of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy in Puducherry.
  7. Gurdeep Singh appointed as CMD of NTPC.
  8. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched a 2.8 billion US dollar appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide on 26 January 2016. It included the 54.3 million US dollar appeal to help conflict-affected children in eastern Ukraine in 2016.
  9. India on 28 January 2016 test fired its indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).at Chandipuri in Odisha.
  10. The second volume of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee titled The Turbulent Years – 1980-1996 was released on 28 January 2016 by Vice President Hamid Ansari in function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
  11. Iran and Airbus on 28 January 2016 signed two agreements covering new aircraft orders and a comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package. The agreement includes purchase of 118 new Airbus aircrafts. 
  12. Graham Ford Named Chief Coach of Sri Lanka Ahead of India Tour.



Finance/Economy –

Govt lowers GDP growth rate to 7.2%


  • Government has marginally revised downward the economic growth for 2014-15 to 7.2 per cent from the earlier estimate of 7.3 per cent after factoring in latest data on agriculture and industrial production.
  • GDP growth rate for 2013-14 has also revised downwards to 6.6 per cent from earlier estimate of 6.9 per cent.
  • According to the statement, estimates of GDP and other aggregates for the years 2011-12 to 2013-14 have also undergone revision due to use of latest available data on agricultural production and industrial production.
  • Last year, the CSO had estimated the GDP growth rate for 2014-15 and 2013-14 at 7.3 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively.
  • The office said in terms of real GVA (Gross Value Added) at constant (2011-12) basic prices, there has been a growth of 7.1 per cent in 2014-15 as against growth of 6.3 per cent in 2013-14.
  • The GVA for 2014-15 was earlier estimated at 7.2 per cent.
  • GVA as a concept was introduced by the CSO last year to measure value addition in the economy.



Agartala, Aizawl get $80 mn loan from Asian Development Bank


  • India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed an $80 million loan agreement for improving the infrastructure in the two North-Eastern cities of Agartala and Aizawl, according to a government statement.
  • The loan is the third tranche of a $200 million financing facility under the North-Eastern Region Capital cities Development Investment Program and will be used for investments in water supply, solid waste management and sanitation in Agartala and Aizwal. It will also support urban reforms, benefiting nearly a million people in the two cities.
  • The previous two tranches were aimed at improving the infrastructure in Shillong, Aizawl, Kohima, Gangtok and Agartala.



Fiscal deficit at 87.9% during April-December 2015


  • The Centre’s balance sheet continued to be under control in the first three quarters of the financial year, with its fiscal deficit at 88 per cent of the full-year target.
  • The fiscal deficit at the end of December 2015 was 4,88,185 crore or 87.9 per cent of the Budget estimate, according to data released by the Controller-General of Accounts on Friday. It had exceeded the full-year target at 100.2 per cent in the same period a year ago and was at the same level of 87 per cent in November 2015.
  • Similarly, the revenue deficit too remained in check at 3,22,234 crore or 81.7 per cent of the Budget estimate between April and December 2015. It was 106.2 per cent of the full-year target in the corresponding period a year ago.


India –

Puducherry Lt Governor AK Singh launched MITRA app for women safety


  • Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh on 28 January 2016 launched the MITRA mobile application to ensure safety and security of women in the Union Territory. The app was launched in the presence of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy in Puducherry.

Features of MITRA app
  • The Android based application can send emergency SOS messages when in danger or emergency.
  • To launch the application, the person in danger need only press the power button of his/her mobile three times.
  • At present, it is available only in smart phones.


Indo-Pak Agreement on Rail Link Extended for Three Years


  • India and Pakistan have extended their agreement relating to rail communication by mutual consent through diplomatic channels for next three years.
  • The agreement has been extended from January 19, 2016 to January 18, 2019, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said here today.
  • The Agreement, signed on 28 June, 1976, enables India-Pakistan rail communication both in respect of goods and passenger traffic.
  • Currently, passenger and goods traffic operates on Delhi – Lahore route via Attari – Wagah, and passenger traffic between Jodhpur and Karachi via Munabao – Khokhrapar.


National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship begins


  • A three-day National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, organized as part of XLRI's mission to promote management education with a social conscience and to propagate dialogue on social development, was inaugurated on Friday.
  • Organized under the aegis of Fr Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability and SIGMA, a society of a group of budding future corporate managers, the theme of the conference is Social Innovations: Changing Lives and Society.


India successfully test fired Akash missile at Chandipur


  • India on 28 January 2016 test fired its indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).at Chandipuri in Odisha. It was as part of a user trial mission.
  • Three rounds of test were carried out by Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel aiming at para-barrel targets.


Madhya Pradesh to impose ban on polythene from January 2017

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 27 January 2016 directed officials to impose ban on polythene in entire state from January 2017.
  • The Chief Minister’s decision came after his review of the activities of Urban Development and Environment and Housing Department in capital Bhopal.
  • As per the decision, the ban on polythene will be strictly enforced at tourist destinations and holy cities Ujjain, Amarkantak, Khajuraho, Pachmarhi, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar and Orchha from September 2016.


Commemorative Coin of 150 rupees & Circulation Coin of 10 rupees on Lala Lajpat Rai released

  • Ministry of Culture on 28 January 2016 released a commemorative coin of 150 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • The Commemorative Coin of 150 rupees is made of Quaternary alloy with diameter of 44 mm and weight of 35 grams.
  • The Circulation coin of 10 rupees is made of bi-metallic material with diameter of 27 mm and weight of 7.71 grams.


World –

31 countries signed MCAA to boost transparency in international tax matters


  • 31 countries on 27 January 2016 signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) to boost transparency in the functioning of multinational enterprises (MNEs) by allowing automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports by tax administrators.
  • The signing of the agreement marks an important milestone towards implementation of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.

Features of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement
  • Under this multilateral agreement, information will be exchanged between tax administrations, giving them a single, global picture on the key indicators of multinational businesses.
  • With Country-by-Country reporting, tax administrations will get aggregate information annually, starting with 2016 accounts, relating to the global allocation of income and taxes paid, together with other indicators of the location of economic activity within the MNE group.



UNICEF launched 2.8 billion US dollar humanitarian appeal for children


  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched a 2.8 billion US dollar appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide on 26 January 2016. It included the 54.3 million US dollar appeal to help conflict-affected children in eastern Ukraine in 2016.
  • It is for the first time ever that the largest portion of the appeal, that is, 25 per cent is dedicated towards educating children in emergencies.
  • It planned to increase the number of children in crises who are given access to education from 4.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million in 2016.  More than half of 5 million will be Syrian children inside the country or in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2016
  • Its appeal targets a total of 76 million people in 63 countries.
  • The largest section of the appeal 1.16 billion US dollars are allocated to life-saving aid needed for Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Key needs include safe water, immunizations, education and child protection.
  • 30.8 million US dollars are being requested by UNICEF to respond to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.


IMF implemented 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 27 January 2016 implemented the long-pending 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms.
  • The reforms represent a major step towards the increasing role of dynamic emerging market and developing countries. The entry into force of these reforms will reinforce the credibility, effectiveness, and legitimacy of the IMF.

Highlights of the Reforms
  • For the first time, four emerging market countries- Brazil, China, India, and Russia will be among the 10 largest members of the IMF.
  • Other top 10 members include the United States, Japan, and the four largest European countries France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
  • India’s voting rights increased to 2.6 percent from the current 2.3 percent and China’s voting rights increased to six percent from 3.8.
  • The reforms also increased the financial strength of the IMF by doubling its permanent capital resources to 659 billion US dollars.


China, Iran signed 17 agreements to broaden bilateral cooperation


  • China and Iran on 23 January 2016 signed 17 documents & letters of intents to broaden bilateral cooperation. The agreements were signed in Tehran during the Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Iran.
  • The agreements cover various fields such as energy, industrial capacity, finance, investment, communications, culture, judiciary, science and technology, news media, customs, climate change and human resources.


Iran, Airbus signed deal to buy 118 Airbus planes


  • Iran and Airbus on 28 January 2016 signed two agreements covering new aircraft orders and a comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package. The agreement includes purchase of 118 new Airbus aircrafts. 
  • The agreement for 118 new aircraft includes 21 A320ceo family, 24 A320neo family, 27 A330ceo family, 18 A330neo (-900), 16 A350-1000 and 12 A380.


Sports –

Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis won 2016 Australian Open women's doubles tennis title


  • Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis on 29 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open title of tennis in the women’s doubles category.
  • To win the title, the top seeded Indo-Swiss pair defeated seventh seeded Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. With the win over the Czech duo, they extended their unbeaten run to 36.
  • For Sania-Hingis pair, it was their maiden Australian Open title and the third successive Grand Slam doubles title after their victories in the 2015 Wimbledon and US Open.


Graham Ford Named Chief Coach of Sri Lanka Ahead of India Tour

  • South African Graham Ford will take over as the chief coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team for his second stint replacing Marvan Atapattu, who had stepped down five months back.
  • Ford is expected to join the side in February before the three-match T20 International series against India.
  • The news was announced in Surrey county's website as they confirmed their current coach Ford's decision to leave for international assignment.
  • Ford had earlier coach Sri Lanka for two years starting from 2012.


Navneet Kaur, Santosh Kadale won gold in Senior National Rowing Championship

  • Punjab’s Navneet Kaur on 28 January 2016 won two gold medals in the 34th Senior National Rowing Championship at Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad. It was her maiden gold at the country’s highest level in the senior category.
  • Kaur took 8:26.83 seconds to take the first place in the 2000mts Open Single Scull. Later, Navneet and Harpreet Kaur won the women’s doubles sculls timing 7:42.94 seconds.
  • In the men single scull, Nasik’s Santosh Kadale won his maiden national gold.


Appointments –

JS Deepak appointed as new Telecom Secretary


  • Amid the high-decibel debate around Net neutrality, call drops and the upcoming mega spectrum auction, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg on Friday was moved to the low-profile Minority Affairs Ministry, as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle.
  • JS Deepak, a UP cadre officer from the 1982 batch, who is currently Secretary, Department of IT (DeitY), will replace Garg.
  • This will be Deepak’s second innings in the Department of Communications (DoT).
  • As Joint Secretary, DoT, he was among those who had played a lead role in ensuring the smooth auction of 3G and broadband wireless access spectrum in 2010, which fetched the government revenue of 1.06 lakh crore.


Gurdeep Singh appointed as CMD of NTPC


  • Gurdeep Singh on 28 January 2016 was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of NTPC Ltd.
  • Singh will be the first person to be appointed to the top job at a Maharatna company through a search committee route.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of Singh for a period of five years from the date of assumption of charge of the post.
  • The post of chairman and managing director at NTPC fell vacant after Arup Roy Choudhury completed his five year term on 31 August 2015.


Books & Authors –

The Turbulent Years, Volume II of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee, released


  • The second volume of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee titled The Turbulent Years – 1980-1996 was released on 28 January 2016 by Vice President Hamid Ansari in function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • In this book, he reminisced about crucial events of his political life including Indira Gandhi's assassination, Babri Masjid demolition, operation Blue Star and his ouster from Rajiv Gandhi's Cabinet.
  • The first volume of President’s memoir titled The Dramatic Decade- The Indira Gandhi Years was released on 11 December 2014.


Obituaries –

Former minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug died

  • Former minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug died on 28 January 2016 at the district headquarter hospital in Balasore, Odisha. He was 85.
  • He was minister for works and health during chief ministership of Nilamani Routray in 1977.




Regards



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