Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 5th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, SIDBI Assistant Manager, Syndicate Bank Manipal PO Exams.
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Andhra Bank launches Immediate Payment Service
- Andhra Bank has announced it is launching Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) across branches to provide inter-bank electronic transfer service, capable of processing person to account remittances.
- IMPS is a multi-channel and multi-dimensional platform that makes payments possible within fraction of seconds with all the standards and integrity maintained for security, the bank said.
- Each transaction will have a maximum cap of Rs 2 lakh and charged at the rate of Rs 5 per transaction, according to a press release.
Volvo Buses India merged with Volvo India Pvt Ltd
- Leading automobile manufacturer Volvo Group on 5 January 2016 announced the merger of its bus manufacturing arm Volvo Buses India and joint company Volvo India Pvt Ltd (VIPL).
- The consolidation has come into effect from 31 December 2015.
- Volvo Group in India includes multiple business areas and brands such as Volvo Buses, Volvo Penta Engines, Volvo Construction Equipment, UD Buses, Volvo Trucks, Eicher Trucks and Buses.
- VRV Sriprasad will continue to lead the Volvo Bus business in India. He will report to Akash Passey, Senior Vice President at the Volvo Bus Corporation.
IRB Infra bagged 10050 crore rupees project to build Zozila Pass tunnel project
- IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, a Mumbai-based road developer, on 4 January 2016 bagged the 10050 crore Zojila Pass tunnel road project in Jammu and Kashmir. This tunnel project is the country’s biggest road project by cost
- The Zojila Pass tunnel will be the longest in South Asia once completed. Presently, Chenani-Nashri tunnel at 9 km is the country’s longest road tunnel.
Highlights of the Project
- The 14.08 km tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between the Jammu and Kashmir regions with Leh Ladakh, which remain cut off during winters due to heavy snowfall.
- The project’s construction period is seven years and the concession period is 22 years.
Nokia completed acquisition of Alca-Lucent for 15.6 billion euro
- Nokia Corporation on 5 January 2015 announced that it completed the regulatory formalities for acquiring the French telecom equipment company Alca-Lucent.
- The deal, worth 15.6 billion euro, was signed in 2014 and later approved by the European Commission.
- With this acquisition, Nokia holds 79.32 percent of outstanding Alcatel-Lucent shares and at least 78.97 percent of the French company's voting rights.
- Further, the deal is expected to help the company in competing globally with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei in the telecommunications field.
Jharkhand Government inaugurated land bank web portal jharbhoom.nic.in
- Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on 4 January 2016 inaugurated the state's land bank web portal, jharbhoom.nic.in, that will help investors know land-related information.
- With this, one would be able to get information about the land which is available at the district and the circle area level with a click of a mouse. This land bank will help investors get information through district-wise nodal officers.
- For this purpose, district wise nodal officers have been appointed whose mobile numbers and email ids will also be available on the website.
Department of Posts formed Kamlesh Chandra Panel on Gramin Dak Sevaks
- Department of Posts on 1 January 2016 formed a one-man committee to study issues related to Gramin Dak Sevaks including wage structure and service conditions.
- The panel will be headed by Kamlesh Chandra, a retired member of the Postal Services Board, which will be assisted by T Q Mohammad, a senior administrative grade officer, as the secretary.
Terms of reference of the panel
- It will examine the system of branch post offices, engagement conditions and the existing structure of wage and emoluments paid to gramin sevaks and recommend necessary changes.
- It will review the existing facilities for 2.6 lakh employees spread across the country, the service discharge benefit scheme and other social security benefits.
Sterlite Grid commissioned first power project under TBCB incentive regime
- Sterlite Grid on 2 January 2016 set a new benchmark by commissioning the Transmission Project to Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) ahead of schedule under the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) incentive regime.
- RAPP is the first power transmission line to be been commissioned ahead of schedule since the implementation of TBCB scheme.
- As per Sterlite Grid, the construction work on transmission project to RAPP, which was awarded to the company in 2013, was completed within 12 months from the start of construction.
India-Nepal Bus Service resumed after 27 years
- India-Nepal Bus Service on 4 January 2016 resumed after a gap of 27 years. The service was suspended 27 years ago in the wake of the Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty.
- The service runs between Kanchanpur in Nepal, which is close to Banbasa border in Champavat district of Uttarakhand, and Anand Vihar ISBT in Delhi.
- To travel in these buses, no special documents are required as both the countries share open border.
- The service is expected to benefit people living along the border areas as they have family as well as trade relations with each other.
Union Government to launch River Information System for Inland Waterways
- The term River Information System (RIS) was in news in the first week of January 2016 as the Union Ministry of Shipping is set to launch the system for Inland Waterways in the country.
- The system is expected to improve navigation in Indland Waterways as the government is set to expand the network across the country through the National Waterways Bill, 2015.
- The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 21 December 2015 and is pending with the Rajya Sabha.
Toilets made mandatory to contest Panchayat polls in Bihar
- State election commissioner (SEC) Ashok Kumar Chauhan on 4 January 2016 announced that toilets will be mandatory requirement for eligibility to contest panchayat elections.
- This declaration means that no one can contest the Bihar panchayat elections scheduled in 2016 without having a toilet at their home.
- SEC said that candidates have to give an undertaking regarding status of toilet by 1 January 2016 in their home. He also said to ensure free and fair polling the elections will be held in 10 phases. The notification of the elections and dates will be issued on 15 February 2016.
- Election will be held for the posts of 8397 Mukhiyas (Village head), 8397 Kutcheri Sarpanchs besides Panchayat Samiti members, Kutchehri panchs, and Zila Parishad members.
BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal unit in Telangana
- Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has announced it has commissioned the first 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana, a state where it has an order book of 6,000 mw.
- Significantly, the unit commissioned at Kakatiya Thermal Power Project in Warangal, is the highest rating unit in the State. One coal-based unit of 500 MW rating, commissioned by BHEL in 2010, is already operational at Kakatiya thermal plant.
- BHEL–built 600 MW rating sets comprise a 4-cylinder turbine designed in-house. So far, the company has contracted 21 sets of 600 MW each, of which 14 have been commissioned. BHEL has a major contribution in the Telangana power sector with 84 per cent of the coal-based power stations amounting to 4,580 MW having been commissioned by BHEL.
- Reposing confidence in BHEL’s ability to set up power plants, TS Genco has placed orders with it for executing around 6,000 MW of thermal power projects in the State on equipment procurement construction (EPC) basis.
Radha Krishna Mathur took oath as Chief Information Commissioner of India
- Former Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur was on 4 January 2016 sworn in as the eight Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.
- Mathur succeeded Vijai Sharma, who completed his tenure on 1 December 2015.
- As the CIC, the former Defence Secretary will have tenure of about three years, until he attains the age of 65 years.
Mary Barra elected as Chairman of General Motors Board of Directors
- Mary Barra was on 4 January 2016 elected as Chairman of General Motors (GM) Board of Directors with immediate effect. Barra succeeds Theodore Solso, who will continue serving as the Lead Independent Director of the Board.
- Earlier, Barra was serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GM since January 2014.
IAMAI appoints FreeCharge CEO Kunal Shah as Chairman
- Industry body the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has named Kunal Shah, co-founder and chief executive officer of FreeCharge as the new chairman of the association. Shah would replace current chairman Nishant Rao, who recently moved to Chennai from Gurgaon to join a startup called Freshdesk as its global Chief Operating Officer. Rao was earlier country head of LinkedIn.
- Shah co-founded FreeCharge in August 2010. In April last year the company was acquired by Snapdeal. Post acquisition, FreeCharge continues to be an independent entity under Snapdeal. Vinodh Bhat, president and chief strategy officer at online music streaming service provider Saavn remains the vice chairman of the association.
- IAMAI also announced Vishwas Patel, who is chief executive officer of CCAvenue as the new treasurer. CCAvenue provides payment gateway services to several thousand of online merchants across the world.
LinkedIn names Akshay Kothari as India Country Manager
- Professional networking platform LinkedIn today appointed Akshay Kothari as Country Manager for India, with immediate effect.
- India has one of the largest userbase for LinkedIn, which has more than 400 million members globally.
- Kothari replaces Nishant Rao, who quit the company in October last year to join cloud-based customer support software firm Freshdesk as its Chief Operating Officer.
- Kothari will report to Olivier Legrand, LinkedIn’s Managing Director for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, and join the company’s APAC senior management team, LinkedIn said in a statement.
- He joined LinkedIn in 2013 when Pulse, the company he co-founded and was CEO for almost 3 years, was acquired by LinkedIn.
- Since then, based out of LinkedIn’s global headquarters in Mountain View, California, he has led several major product and content initiatives, including Pulse.
Vishal Suri is new MD of Kuoni India
- Vishal Suri has been appointed as managing director of Kuoni India. He replaces Rajeev Wagle who resigned from the post.
- The changes in top management at Kuoni India take place a month after Thomas Cook acquired the company. Suri held the position of CEO - Tour Operating in Kuoni India. Prior to joining Kuoni he was chief operating officer (leisure travel) in Thomas Cook.
- Thomas Cook concluded the acquisition of Swiss tour major Kuoni's business in India last month. The acquisition of Kuoni Hong Kong, which was a part of the same Rs 535 crore transaction, had been completed a month earlier.
Pranav Dhanawade became the first batsman to score 1000-plus runs in an innings in any form of cricket
- Mumbai teenager Pranav Dhanawade today scripted history by becoming the first batsman ever to notch up a four-figure score by smashing an unbeaten knock of 1009 in an inter-school tournament here.
- The 15-year-old, playing for KC Gandhi Higher Secondary School, reached the gigantic score in just 323 deliveries with a jaw-dropping strike rate of 312.38 in the game against Arya Gurukul in the Bhandari Cup inter—school tournament organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
- In the course of his awe—inspiring innings, which lasted 395 minutes, Dhanawade smashed a whopping 129 fours and 59 sixes.
- The epic knock ended when his school declared at 1,465, which is also a world record. His school went past Victoria’s 1,107 against New South Wales made way back in 1926.
- Pranav now holds the record for the highest individual score in any form of cricket, bettering AEJ Collins’ 628 not out for Clark’s House against North Town in 1899 in the UK.
ONGC won 26th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey tournament
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on 3 January 2015 won the 26th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey tournament.
- To win the title, the ONGC defeated Indian Railways 3-0 on penalties in the final match held at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi.
- At the end of the stipulated time both the teams stood at 2 points each. In the shootout, Sumit Kumar, Gurjant Singh and Vikramjit Singh scored for ONGC while the Railways players could not score a single goal.
Awards & Honors –
Kate Atkinson won 2015 Costa Novel Prize for A God in Ruins
- British writer Kate Atkinson on 4 January 2016 won the novel-of-the-year prize at Britain's Costa Book Awards 2015 for the second time in three years. She fetched the award for A God in Ruins, a story of war and its aftermath.
- With this, Atkinson became the first author to receive the Costa novel prize three times: for A God in Ruins in 2016, Life After Life in 2013 and Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995.
IUPAC announced addition of Four Elements to complete Seventh row of Periodic Table
- The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on 30 December 2015 announced discovery and assignment of elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118.
- The decision was taken by the IUPAC as the four elements met the discovery of elements of the IUPAP/IUPAC Transfermium Working Group (TWG) 1991 Discovery Criteria.
- Naming of elements: After officially recognizing the elements, the IUPAC also invited suggestions related to permanent names and symbols from the scientists who discovered them.
- New elements can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.
Details of four elements
- Temporary working name and symbol are ununtrium and Uut respectively.
- It was discovered by the scientists belonging to RIKEN research laboratory in Japan.
Elements 115 & 117
- 115: ununpentium, Uup are the temporary working name and symbol respectively.
- 117: ununseptium, Uus are the temporary working name and symbol respectively.
- In discovering the element 117 Indian scientist Susanta Lahiri played an important role.
- They were discovered by scientists belonging to Russia and the USA in collaboration
- It has ununoctium and Uuo as the temporary working name and symbol respectively.
- It was jointly discovered by scientists belonging to the Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, USA.
Former Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia died
- Ex-Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia passed away on 4 January 2016 in Mumbai. He was 68.
- Kapadia is survived by wife and a son and a daughter.
- On 12 May 2010, he was sworn in as the 38th Chief Justice of India by the President Pratibha Patil.
- During his tenure as CJI, he served as the Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University and the Visitor of the National Law School of India University.
Former Wigan Athletic defender Steve Gohouri passed away
- Former Wigan Athletic defender Steve Gohouri passed away. His body was recovered from the River Rhine in the western city of Krefeld on 2 January 2015. He was 34.
- Gohouri went missing on 12 December 2015 after attending the party of his German club TSV Steinbach. He was meant to visit his family in Paris but never arrived.