Saturday, January 30, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 30th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 30th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 30th January, 2016
  1. Angelique Kerber upsets Serena Williams 6-4 3-6 6-4 to win the Australian Open title today, ending the six-time champion's unbeaten streak in finals here and winning a major title for the first time. Now she's the first German woman to win the title since Graf in 1994.
  2. Matyr’s Day observed on 30th January.
  3. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, will assume charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command (FOC-in-C, West) here on Sunday.
  4. The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) has set up a separate cell for monitoring progress under all the government-sponsored schemes. Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank won the ‘ASSOCHAM Social Banking Excellence Award 2015’ under the ‘regional rural banks’ category in Mumbai on Friday.
  5. Air conditioning and refrigeration major Blue Star Ltd said that its Board of Directors has appointed Vir S Advani as Managing Director.
  6. Leslie Berland was on 26 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Twitter Inc.
  7. Indo-Canadian Sikh Amrik Singh Ahluwalia Elected Head of Canada's Peel Police, the country's third largest municipal police force
  8. Prince Mahidol Award 2015 was conferred upon Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide.
  9. Former Army Chief General K V Krishna Rao, who played a key role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, died. Rao also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when militancy was at its peak in the state.
  10. Japan on 28 January 2016 unveiled country’s first stealth fighter aircraft X-2.


Finance –

Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank sets up cell to monitor govt schemes

  • The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) has set up a separate cell for monitoring progress under all the government-sponsored schemes, according to Ashok Reddy, Chairman of the bank.
  • According to a press release from the bank here on Saturday, Reddy received the ‘runner-up’ award of the ‘ASSOCHAM Social Banking Excellence Award 2015’ under the ‘regional rural banks’ category in Mumbai on Friday. The Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, gave away the award to Reddy.
  • The cell at the head office in Dharwad monitors the progress of government-sponsored schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), the Credit Guarantee Fund and the MUDRA Yojana.
  • The bank has opened 10.30 lakh accounts covering all households with a bank account in its area of operation under PMJDY. He said 9.80 lakh RuPay cards have been issued to PMJDY account holders, and around 4,000 PMJDY account holders have been provided overdraft facility.
  • The bank has canvassed 2.80 lakh policies under PMJJBY, 8.90 lakh policies under PMSBY and 1,500 under APY schemes. It has financed 15,813 accounts under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana amounting to Rs. 125 crore during the campaign period, he said.


Appointments –

Vice Admiral Lanba to take over as Western Naval Command chief


  • Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, will assume charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command (FOC-in-C, West) here on Sunday.
  • Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba completed his schooling from Mayo College in Ajmer. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the executive branch of the Indian Navy in January 1978, an official release said on Saturday.
  • After specialising in navigation and direction in 1983 the officer served as navigating officer of INS Sindhudurg (Corvette) and INS Dunagiri (Frigate). He has commanded Indian Naval Ships Kakinada (minesweeper), Himgiri (frigate), and guided missile destroyers Ranvijay and Mumbai.


Indo-Canadian Sikh Amrik Singh Ahluwalia  Elected Head of Canada's Peel Police, the country's third largest municipal police force


  • An Indo-Canadian Sikh has been unanimously elected as the head of Canada's Peel Police, the country's third largest municipal police force.
  • Amrik Singh Ahluwalia was voted as the new chair of Ontario's Peel Police Services Board after receiving backing from Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
  • The Peel Regional Police is Canada's third largest municipal police force, responsible for the provision of adequate and effective police services, law enforcement and crime prevention within the region, a duty it discharges through the enactment of policies.


Blue Star appoints Vir S Advani as MD

  • Air conditioning and refrigeration major Blue Star Ltd said that its Board of Directors has appointed Vir S Advani as Managing Director and B Thiagarajan as Joint Managing Director, with effect from April 1, 2016. The current Managing Director, Satish Jamdar, will retire from the Board on March 31, 2016.
  • Vir S Advani has been with the Blue Star group of companies since 2000. After managing independent assignments in associate companies, he joined Blue Star Ltd in 2007.
  • He was appointed as Executive Director in 2010 and he was instrumental to turnaround the troubled Electro-Mechanical Projects business, said the company.
  • He has also been leading the company's international business, and involved in the current extensive restructuring of the Group companies.


Leslie Berland appointed as Chief Marketing Officer of Twitter Inc

  • Leslie Berland was on 26 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Twitter Inc, an online social networking site. Before Berland’s appointment, the marketing operations was overseen by the Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto.
  • Prior to this appointment, she was working at American Express (AmEx) as an executive vice-president of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships.


Days –

Nation pays homage to those who sacrificed their lives on the occasion of Matyr's Day


  • The nation today remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his 68th death anniversary with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the country in paying homage to the Father of the Nation.
  • Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Modi paid floral tributes at Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat here.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu were among those who paid homage to the Father of the Nation at Rajghat, where an inter—religion prayer was held.
  • Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit paid homage to Mahatma.
  • Tributes were also paid to those who sacrificed their lives for the country on the occasion of Martyr’s Day.


Sports –

Angelique Kerber wins Australian Open 2016 Women's Single Title


  • Angelique Kerber upsets Serena Williams 6-4 3-6 6-4 to win the Australian Open title today, ending the six-time champion's unbeaten streak in finals here and winning a major title for the first time.
  • Williams was an overwhelming favourite at Melbourne Park, where she had won all six previous times she'd reached the final, and was trying to equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles.
  • Williams won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles last year before losing to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semifinals. She was so close to a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015, but has no chance to push for that honour after losing the first major of the year.
  • The 34-year-old Williams hadn't lost a set in the first six rounds at Melbourne Park until dropping the first on tonight against No. 7-seeded Kerber, who was playing in her first major final.
  • Now she's the first German woman to win the title since Graf in 1994.


World –

Japan unveiled first stealth fighter aircraft X-2

  • Japan on 28 January 2016 unveiled country’s first stealth fighter aircraft X-2. The domestically-built fighter aircraft seeks to augment defence capabilities of the country that is surrounded by China and Russia that already have radar-evading aircraft technology.
  • X-2 is expected to undergo its first test-flight in February 2016.
  • It has two engines, similar to the F-22 of the USA, and is 46 feet long by 30 feet wide and 15 feet tall.
  • Its stealthy features include a special coating on the canopy that houses the pilot, as well as a carbon-fiber composite material that absorbs radar waves.


Awards & Honors –

Prince Mahidol Award 2015 conferred in Bangkok

  • Prince Mahidol Award 2015 was conferred upon Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide.
  • The award was presented on 29 January 2016 at the Grand Palace in Bangkok by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, who couldn’t attend the ceremony due to ill health.
  • Mower, a citizen of the USA, received the award in the category of medicine for invention of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The device helps in monitoring heart rate and rhythm and delivers electrical current when abnormality is detected.
  • Marmot, a citizen of the UK, won the award in public health category for his evidence-based evaluation of the role of Social Determinants of Health, a concept that was adopted by the government of the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate health inequalities.


Obituaries –

Former Army Chief Gen K V Krishna Rao passes away


  • Former Army Chief General K V Krishna Rao, who played a key role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, died here on Sunday at the military hospital following a cardiac arrest at the age of 92.
  • Rao also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when militancy was at its peak in the state.
  • Rao was the 14th Chief of the Army Staff of Indian Army and had an illustrious career spanning over four decades in the force.
  • He was commissioned into the Army on August 9, 1942. As a young officer, he had served in Burma, North West Frontier and Baluchistan during the Second World War.


Noted Writer, Educationist Nayani Krishnakumari Dies

  • Former Vice Chancellor of Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, eminent writer and scholar Nayani Krishnakumari has passed away at the age of 86.
  • She is survived by her husband, two sons and a daughter.
  • A pioneer in folklore studies and women literature, she is credited with identifying the folk literature as a separate and valuable part of Telugu literature, the statement added.
  • Krishnakumari had worked as a Professor and Head, Telugu Department, Osmania University. She was awarded Doctorate for her research in folklore from Osamnia University. She was also Principal, Padmavathi Mahila College, Tirupati, and Vice-Chancellor, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University.
  • During her tenure as VC, she published a textbook on folklore titled 'Telugu Janapada Vijnanam: Samaajam, Samskruti, Sahityam', containing articles by several scholars in folklore.






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English Quiz for Syndicate Manipal PO 2016 - Set 1


Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here is a set of English Quiz for Syndicate Manipal PO 2016 Exam.


Directions (Q. 1-10): Read the following passage to answer the given questions bused on it. Some words/phrases are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

Political ploys initially hailed as master-strokes often end up as flops. The Rs. 60,000 crore farm loan waiver announced in the budget writes off 100% of overdues of small and marginal farmers holding upto two hectares, and 25% of overdues of larger farmers. While India has enjoyed 8%-9% GDP growth for the past few years, the boom has bypassed many rural areas and farmer distress and suicides have made newspaper headlines. Various attempts to provide relief (employment guarantee scheme, public distribution system) have made little impact, thanks to huge leakages from the government’s lousy delivery systems. So, many economists think the loan waiver is a worthwhile alternative to provide relief.
However the poorest rural folk are landless labourers who get neither farm loans nor waivers. Half of the small and marginal farmers get no loans from banks, and depend entirely on moneylenders, and will not benefit. Besides, rural India is full of the family holdings rather than individual holdings and family holdings will typically be much larger than two hectares even for dirt-poor farmers, who will, therefore, be denied the 100% waiver. It will thus fail in both economic and political objectives. IRDP loans to the rural poor in the 1980s demonstrated that crooked bank officials demand bribes amounting to one third the intended benefits. Very few of the intended beneficiaries who merited relief received it. After the last farm loan waiver will similarly slow down fresh loans to deserving farmers. While overdues to co-operatives may be higher, economist Snrjit Bhalla says less than 5% of farmer loans to banks are overdue ie overdues exist for only 2.25 million out of 90 million farmers. If so, then the 95% who have repaid loans will not benefit. They will be angry at being penalised for honesty.
The budget thus grossly overestimates the number of beneficiaries. It also underestimates the negative effects of the waiver encouraging wilful default in the future and discouraging fresh bank lending for some years. Instead of trying to reach the needy, through a plethora of leaky schemes we should transfer cash directly to the needy using new technology like biometric smart cards, which are now being used in many countries, and mobile phones bank accounts. Then benefits can go directly to phone accounts operable only by those with biometric cards, ending the massive leakages of current schemes.
The political benefits of the loan waiver have also been exaggerated since if only a small fraction of farm families benefit, and many of these have to pay bribes to get the actual benefit, will the waiver really be a massive vote-winner? Members of joint families will feel aggrieved that, despite having less than one hectare per head, their family holding is too large to qualify for the 100% waiver. All finance ministers, of central or state governments, give away freebies in their last budgets, hoping to win electoral regards. Yet, four-fifth of all incumbent governments are voted out. This shows that beneficiaries of favours are not notably grateful, while those not so favoured may feel aggrieved, and vote for the opposition. That seems to be why election budgets constantly fail to win elections in India and the loan waiver will not change that pattern.


1. Why do economists feel that loan waivers will benefit farmers in distress?
1) It will improve the standard of living of those farmers who can afford to repay their loans but are exempted.
2) Other government relief measures have proved ineffective,
3) Suicide rates of farmers have declined after the announcement of the waiver.
4) Farmers will be motivated to increase the size of their family holdings not individual holdings.
5) The government will be forced to reexamine and improve the public distribution system.


2. What message will the loan waiver send to farmers who have repaid loans?
1) The Government will readily provide them with loans in the future.
2) As opposed to money lenders banks are a safer and more reliable source of credit.
3) Honesty is the best policy.
4) It is beneficial to take loans from co-operatives since their rates of interest are lower.
5) They will be angry at being penalised for honesty.


3. What is the author’s suggestion to provide aid to farmers?
1) Families should split their joint holding to take advantage of the loan waiver
2) The government should increase the reach of the employment guarantee scheme.
3) Loans should be disbursed directly into bank accounts of the farmers using the latest technology.
4) Government should ensure that loans waivers can be implemented over the number of years.
5) Rural infrastructure can be improved using schemes which were successful abroad.


4. What are the terms of the loan waiver?
(A) One-fourth of the overdue loans of landless labourers will be written off.
(B) The Rs. 60,000 crore loan waiver has been sanctioned for 2.25 million marginal farmers.
(C) Any farmer with between 26 per cent to 100 per cent of their loan repayments overdue will be penalised.
1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Both (B) and (C)
4) All (A), (B) and (C)
5) None of these


5. Which of the following will definitely be an impact of loan waivers ?
A) Family holdings will be split into individual holdings not exceeding one hectare.
B) The public distribution system will be revamped.
C) Opposition will definitely win the election.
1) None
2) Only (A)
3) Both (A) and (B)
4) Only (C)
5) All (A), (B) and (C)


6. What impact will the loan waiver have on banks?
(1) Banks have to bear the entire brunt of the write off.
(2) Loss of trust in banks by big farmers.
(3) Corruption among bank staff will increase.
(4) Farmers will make it a habit to default on loans
5) None of these


Direction (Q. 7-8): Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
7. incumbent
1) mandatory 2) present 3) incapable 4) tazy 5) officious


8. ploys
1) surveys 2) entreaties 3) ruses 4) sliders 5) assurances


Directions (Q. 9-10): Choose the word which is most OPPOSITE in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
9. plethora
1) dearth 2) missing 3) superfluous 4) sufficient 5) least


10. merited
1) ranked 2) unqualified for 3) lacked 4) inept at 5) unworthy of



Winner:

Ruchi



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Computer Knowledge Quiz for LIC AAO 2016 - Set 23


Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here is a set of Computer Knowledge Quiz for LIC AAO 2016.


1. Name the key that will erase information from the computer’s memory and characters on the screen.
1) Edit
2) Delete key
3) Dummy out
4) Trust key
5) None of these


2. A program that works like a calculator for keeping track of money and making budgets.
1) Calculator
2) Spreadsheet
3) Budgeter
4) Financier
5) None of these


3. The OSI model is divided into _______ processes called layers.
1) five
2) six
3) seven
4) eight
5) None of these


4._____ are specially designed computer chips that reside inside other devices such as your car or your electronic thermostat.
1) Servers
2) Embedded computers
3) Robotic computers
4) Mainframes
5) None of these


5. The goal of data mining is
1) to explain some observed event or condition
2) to confirm that data exists
3) to analyse data for expected relationships
4) to create a new data warehouse
5) None of these


6. A database management system (DBMS) is a
1) hardware system used to create, maintain and provide controlled access to a database.
2) hardware system used to create, maintain, and provide uncontrolled access to a database.
3) software system used to create, maintain, and provide uncontrolled access to a database.
4) software system used to create, maintain, and provide controlled access to a database.
5) None of these


7. Which of the following describes database fields?
1) Structures
2) Field markers
3) Field definition
4) Field names
5) None of these


8. A goal of normalization is to
1) minimize the number of relationships
2) minimize the number of entities
3) minimize the number of tables
4) minimize the number of redundancy
5) None of these


9. The code that relational database management systems use to perform their database task is referred as
1) QBE
2) SQL
3) OLAP
4) Sequel Server
5) None of these


10. Chip is a common nickname for a (n)
1) transistor
2) resistor
3) integrated circuit
4) semiconductor
5) None of these





Winners are:

1. Gaurav - 10/10
2. Ruchi - 9/9
3. Ratul - 9/10




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Team ExamPundit


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Ask The Mentor - 30 January, 2016




Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here is the Daily Page where you can ask any question related to you Exam, Materials, Career or anything.

If you have any query regarding our Materials, Exam preparation Tip or any Unresolved Problems(which are not copied from other portals), just drop it in the comment box.

In case you have answers for someone else's query, please resolve it asap.

  1. Mentor from Aspirants: Nisha Gautam
  2. Mentor from Exampundit: Anubhab
  3. Mentor from Aspirants - Gaurav Monga
  4. Mentor from Aspirants [New- Optimus Prime




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Friday, January 29, 2016

Recruitment of Personal Assistant in Intelligence Bureau 2016



Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Ministry of Home Affairs have issued a notification for direct recruitment to the post of Personal Assistant, General Central Service, Group‐‘B’ (Non Gazetted/Ministerial) in the Intelligence Bureau, (Ministry of Home Affairs), Government of India.

Vacancies:


UR - 38 
OBC - 10 
SC - 13 
ST - 08

Pay Scale:

Rs. 9300‐34800 plus Grade Pay Rs. 4600 (PB‐2) (Plus admissible Central Government allowances)

Education Qualification:
10+2 pass or equivalent with proficiency in stenography. 
(i) Dictation: 10 minutes@ 100 words per minute. 
(ii) Skill test on computer‐transcription of shorthand, 40 minutes (English) and 55 minutes (Hindi)

Age limit:
18‐27 years

The eligibility of the candidates in terms of age, educational qualification, caste/category etc. will be determined on the closing date. The candidate must be 10+2 passed or equivalent from a recognized Board on or before the closing date, i.e., the final result must be out on or before the closing date, i.e. Feb 20, 2016 (till 2359 hours) and he/she must have been declared successful in it.


Exam Pattern:

Objective type paper    : 
80 questions(80 marks) on General Studies / Awareness, Numerical Ability, Reasoning, etc.

Descriptive paper:
a) Essay in English/Hindi of not more than 300 words on a topic out of 4 choices: 25 marks 
b) English/Hindi comprehension: 15 marks   
c) Test of English/Hindi language, antonyms, synonyms, one word substitution, etc: 30 marks

Total Time: Total 2 hours for Objective and Descriptive paper

Stenography Skill Test

English or Hindi Shorthand @ 100 words per minute 
(i) Dictation: 10 minutes @ 100 words per minute 
(ii) Skill test on computer  ‐ transcription of shorthand, 40 minutes (English) and 55 minutes (Hindi).

Time: 10 minutes for shorthand & 40 minutes for transcription in English and 55 minutes for Hindi respectively, on computer only

EXAMINATION FEE: Rs. 50/‐ (Fifty Rupees only). Only male candidates belonging to General and OBC category are required to pay the fee. SC/ST and female candidates are exempted from payment of examination fee.

MODE OF PAYMENT: Applicants (who are required to pay the fee) are to pay the fee by cash deposit at any branch of State Bank of India using the Challan form (available in part‐II of the online application). The applicant will be required to take a printout of Challan form (wherein name of the applicant, his/her Registration number, etc. will be printed) and deposit the fee in cash in any branch of State Bank of India after a gap of one working day. A counterfoil of this Challan would be given back to the candidate by the bank, indicating the transaction ID, which may be retained by the candidates.   

Those candidates who apply on the closing date (Feb 20, 2016) can deposit the fees in any State Bank of India branch after a gap of one working day i.e, on Feb 22, 2016.  








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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.




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