Current Affairs Update – 8th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 8th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, SIDBI Assistant Manager and Syndicate Manipal PO Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 8th January, 2016
  1. The Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on 7 January 2016 was felicitated with the Central Banker of the Year Award (Global and Asia Pacific) for 2016. The award was given by the Financial Times Group's monthly publication The Banker.
  2. Azim Premji, who donated Rs 27,514 crore for education is the "Most Generous Indian" for the third year running followed by Nandan Nilekani and Narayana Murthy in the second and third place, respectively as per the Hurun India Philanthropy List.
  3. The Union Government on 7 January 2016 merged the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in keeping with its broad principle of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
  4. Amitabh Kant was on 7 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog.
  5. The Union Government on 8 January 2016 allowed the conduct of the traditional bull-taming sports, Jallikattu, in Tamil Nadu.
  6. The Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) on 7 January 2016 approved the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Punjab and Uttarakhand for the year 2015-16. 
  7. India and France on 8 January 2016 started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan.
  8. GMR Group Chairman G.M. Rao was honoured with the ‘Bulandh Bharath’ Award for his exemplary contributions towards nation building.


Finance/Industry –

Quikr acquired online real estate portal Commonfloor.com


  • Quikr on 7 January 2016 announced acquisition of the property search website Commonfloor.com for an undisclosed amount in a majority stock-swap transaction.
  • Quikr bought the website in a distress sale orchestrated by Tiger Global Management Llc.
  • After the deal, Quikr will be valued at about 1.5 billion US dollars based on the share-swap ratio.
  • The merger is expected to be completed over the next two to three months. It will also give Commonfloor access to Quikr’s 30 million consumers and harness the potential of the cross-category nature of the platform. QuikrHomes will benefit from CommonFloor’s structured data and domain expert.


Union Government approved Atal Mission Plans for Punjab and Uttarakhand for 2015-16

  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) on 7 January 2016 approved the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Punjab and Uttarakhand for the year 2015-16.  The plans were approved by an inter-ministerial Apex Committee under the State Annual Action Plans (SAAP).

Highlights of the Atal Mission Plan for Punjab
  • Punjab Government will invest 720 crore rupees in improving basic urban infrastructure in 16 cities.
  • Under the SAAP for 2015-16, Punjab Government will invest 365 crore rupees in 46 water supply related projects.
  • It will invest 288 crore rupees in 37 sewerage and septage management projects, 56 crore rupees for improving urban transport in Amritsar and 12 crore rupees for providing open parks and green spaces in 16 mission cities.
  • In Punjab, coverage of households in 16 mission cities with water supply connections is ranged from 28 percent in Khanna to 93 percent in Mohali.

Highlights of the Atal Mission Plan for Uttarakhand
  • Uttarakhand will spend 267 crore rupees in 6 cities under action plan.
  • Uttarakhand Government has proposed to spend 133 crore rupees in 20 water supply related projects in 6 mission cities.
  • It will invest 110 crore rupees in 6 sewerage and septage management projects, 18 crore rupees in 5 storm water drainage projects and 6 crore rupees on provision of open parks and green spaces.
  • In 6 Atal Mission cities in Uttarakhand, coverage of households with water connections is 11 percent in Rudrapur, 15 percent in Kashipur, 49 percent in Rourkee, 78 percent in Dehradun, 80 percent in Haldwani and 90 percent in Haridwar.


India –

Indo-French military exercise Shakti-2016 started


  • India and France on 8 January 2016 started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan. This is the third edition in the series of bilateral exercises under this banner and is being held in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan's Bikaner.
  • The exercise will be focused on counter terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-urban terrain under United Nations Mandate. It is an important step for the armies to train together and gain from each other's rich operational experience.
  • French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, will participate in the Shakti-2016. The contingent led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie arrived Jodhpur on 6 January 2016.



Rajasthan inked deal with Cairn India to provide clean drinking water in Barmer

  • The Rajasthan Government on 7 January 2016 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cairn Enterprise Centre Society, supported by oil and gas exploration company Cairn India.
  • The MoU aims at providing clean drinking water in Barmer district.

Key Highlights of MoU
  • The MoU was signed between state government’s Public Health Engineering Department and Cairn Enterprise Centre Society.
  • As per the agreement, water plants will be established and maintained to provide clean drinking water to more than 800 villages in Barmer, a part of the Thar Desert where drinking water is a precious commodity.



Kerala decided to implement health care project Sampoorna Arogya Keralam

  • Kerala Government on 6 January 2016 decided to implement a health care project, Sampoorna Arogya Keralam (SAK) announced in the 2015-16 State budget. The project will benefit about 42 lakh people of the state.
  • The decision was taken at a state Cabinet meeting at Thiruvananthapuram.
  • The project will bring together different schemes in health sector under one umbrella and ensure that beneficiaries get financial aid up to 2 lakh rupees. It would cover families in the income group of less than 3 lakh rupees per annum.



Union Government decided to shift to BS-VI Emission norms directly from BS-IV in 2020

  • Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on 7 January 2016 decided to implement the Bharat Stage (BS) VI norms from 1 April 2020 to curb vehicular pollution.
  • The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting was chaired by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • At present, BS-IV emission norms are in progress and they would be switched over to BS-VI emission norms by skipping BS-V emission norms altogether.
  • Bharat Stage emission standards were introduced in 2000 in line with recommendations made by RA Mashelkar Committee. These are emission standards that have been set up the Union Government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.


Operation Green Hunt to hunt Maoists


  • Operation Green Hunt, an all-out offensive by India’s paramilitary forces and the state's forces against the Naxalites came in news on 8 January 2016.
  • The operation which is believed to start in November 2009 along five states in the "Red Corridor” came in news after Maoists called a two-day bandh opposing it in Nuapada, Malkangiri and Kalahandi districts of Odisha.
  • The bandh call was given by the Mainpur-Nuapada Divisional Committee of the CPI (Maoist). The Committee is protesting against the Operation by security forces against the ultras in the south-western part of the State.


Union Government merged Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with MEA


  • The Union Government on 7 January 2016 merged the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in keeping with its broad principle of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
  • With this merger, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which used to be a flagship event of the MOIA will now be celebrated by the MEA on 9 January.
  • The decision is expected to help government address duplication as well as unnecessary delays in various works.


Awards & Honors –

Raghuram Rajan conferred Central Banker of the Year Award


  • The Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on 7 January 2016 was felicitated with the Central Banker of the Year Award (Global and Asia Pacific) for 2016. The award was given by the Financial Times Group's monthly publication The Banker.
  • The Central Banker of the Year 2016 Awards celebrates the officials that have best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their country's economy.
  • The Banker is an English-language monthly international financial affairs publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd. and edited in London.



Azim Premji most generous Indian for third year running


  • Azim Premji, who donated Rs 27,514 crore for education is the "Most Generous Indian" for the third year running followed by Nandan Nilekani and Narayana Murthy in the second and third place, respectively.
  • As per the Hurun India Philanthropy List, which is a ranking of the most generous individuals from India, 70 years old Azim Hashim Premji was named as the most generous Indian as he donated Rs 27,514 crore for education.
  • The Azim Premji foundation is working for empowering education in India. The foundation works in eight states and has more than 3,50,000 schools.
  • Nandan, Rohini Nilekani and family came in second with a donation of Rs 2,404 crore, towards the cause of urban governance, public policy and education while Narayana Murthy and family donated Rs 1,322 crore for encouraging entrepreneurship, social development and education.



GM Rao gets Bulandh Bharath award


  • GMR Group Chairman G.M. Rao was honoured with the ‘Bulandh Bharath’ Award for his exemplary contributions towards nation building.
  • SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd accepted the award on behalf of GM Rao from K. Chandrashekar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana and M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, during the 27th All India Builders’ Convention (AIBC) organised today by Builders’ Association of India (BAI), Hyderabad Centre at Ramoji Film City.
  • Bulandh Bharath Awards is an initiative by BAI to recognise and appreciate innovation and motivate others to be inspired to excel too.


Appointments –

Amitabh Kant appointed as CEO of NITI Aayog


  • Amitabh Kant was on 7 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Kant will take over the office of CEO in March 2016, when he retires from service.
  • On 1 January 2016, Kant was given the additional charge of the CEO of NITI Aayog following the completion of tenure of previous CEO Sindhushree Khullar on 31 December 2015.


Airtel Appoints Rakesh Bharti Mittal As Non-Executive Director


  • Bharti Airtel today named Rakesh Bharti Mittal as non-executive director in place of Rajan Bharti Mittal.
  • Rajan Bharti Mittal quit his position effective January 7, 2016.
  • Both Rakesh and Rajan are vice-chairmen of Bharti Enterprises, of which Airtel is a group company.
  • Bharti Enterprises has interests in telecom, financial services, retail, manufacturing, realty and agri business.


Devender Kumar Sikri appointed as Chairman of Competition Commission of India


  • Devender Kumar Sikri was on 7 January 2016 appointed as Chairman of fair-trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI). He succeeds Ashok Chawla, whose tenure as the Chairman of CCI ended on 7 January 2016 itself.
  • Sikri will have a tenure of about two and half years, i.e. till he attains the age of 65 years.


Sports –

Union Government allowed traditional bull-taming sports Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu


  • The Union Government on 8 January 2016 allowed the conduct of the traditional bull-taming sports, Jallikattu, in Tamil Nadu.
  • The ban on the sports was lifted few days before the traditional harvest festival will begin in Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu is celebrated around pongal in southern state of Tamil Nadu.



Miguel Tabuena won Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month

  • The Philippines' Miguel Tabuena on 7 January 2016 was voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of Month for December 2015.
  • Tabuena won the award ahead of Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai and India's Himmat Rai. The trio were nominated by a selection panel before going into a voting process.


Obituaries –

Indian-Origin S African Freedom Fighter Indrasena Elatchininathan Naidoo Dies


  • South Africa's veteran freedom fighter of Indian-origin, Indres Naidoo, has passed away and will be accorded an official funeral, with national flags flown half-mast.
  • South African President Jacob Zuma has declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for Naidoo, 79, a stalwart of the liberation struggle and recipient of the National Order of Mendi for Bravery, who passed away at a military hospital in Cape Town on January 3.
  • Zuma has directed that the national flag should be flown at half-mast at all stations in the Gauteng Province on Sunday, the day of his funeral.







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