Daily Current Affairs Update - 12 January, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 12th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB Mains and Other exams.



Daily Current Affairs at a Glance - 12 January, 2017
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 January 2017 inaugurated India’s first international exchange called India INX at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT City Gandhinagar, Gujarat. GIFT City stands for Gujarat International Financial Tech.
  2. Gujarat Government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth Rs 77,000 crore with the Ministry of Railways for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project.
  3. The Gujarat Government in the first week of January 2017 introduced India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy. The announcement was made by the State Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani. In addition, a State Innovation Fund with a corpus of Rs. 200 crore will be provided to the students during the next five years.
  4. India and Kenya on 11 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors. The MoU was signed after successful summit level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta in New Delhi.
  5. Country's largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today named Rajesh Gopinathan as its new MD and CEO, after N Chandrasekaran elevated as Chairman of Tata Sons -- the group's holding company.
  6. Tata Sons on Thursday appointed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Chief Executive Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its new chairman.
  7. The world’s first Gender Literature Festival (GLF) will be held in Patna, Bihar from 6 March to 8 March 2017. The function will be organised at NIFT, Patna.
  8. INS Khanderi, the second of the Scorpene class submarine, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai on 12 January 2017. INS Khanderi was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre.
  9. Norway became the first country to ban FM radio broadcasting. The northern county of Nordland on 11 January 2017 stopped radio broadcasting using analogue frequencies.
  10. National Youth Day was observed on 12 January 2017 to mark the 154th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.



Financial and Banking News:

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India's first international stock exchange at Gift city


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 January 2017 inaugurated India’s first international exchange called India INX at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT City Gandhinagar, Gujarat. GIFT City stands for Gujarat International Financial Tech.
  • India INX will offer the opportunity to raise capital for the country's infrastructure and development needs. And in the parallel, it will provide cross-border opportunities of investment with a comparatively low cost of transaction.
  • The inauguration of this international exchange was held as a part of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit- 2017 which was kicked off by PM Narendra Modi on 10 January 2017 at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar itself.

Highlights of the India INX
  • India INX will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
  • It will enable Indian firms to compete on equal footing with offshore firms.
  • It will initially trade in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives including index and Stocks.
  • It will offer depository receipts and bonds once required infrastructure is ready.
  • It will work for 22 hours in a day from sunrise to sunset i.e. it will start when the Japan exchanges begin and will close when the US markets end.
  • It will have around 250 trading members including commodity and overseas brokers.
  • It will be one of the most advanced technology platforms with turnaround time of 4 seconds.
  • It will facilitate international investors and NRIs to trade from anywhere in the world.
  • It will also offer various benefits in terms of waiver of security transaction tax, commodity transaction tax, dividend distribution tax and long term capital gain tax and income tax.



Gujarat government signs Rs 77,000-cr MoU with Railways for Bullet train


  • Gujarat Government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth Rs 77,000 crore with the Ministry of Railways for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project.
  • The MoU was signed during the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Mahatma Mandir here today in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
  • Out of the total cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore for the high-speed Bullet train project, Gujarat government would get 70 per cent share, the state government said in a release.
  • The agreement was signed between Gujarat government and the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC), which falls under the Railway Ministry.
  • The high speed Bullet train is expected to cover 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. The project is expected to be completed by the 2023.
  • Passengers will get the thrill of riding under the sea during as this first bullet train of the country will have a 21-km tunnel under the sea.


Gujarat Government announces India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy

  • The Gujarat Government in the first week of January 2017 introduced India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy. The announcement was made by the State Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani.
  • In addition, a State Innovation Fund with a corpus of Rs. 200 crore will be provided to the students during the next five years. For this, Rs. 100 crore will be allocated by the State Government while the remaining amount will be met through the internal sources.
  • The initiative aims at making qualitative improvement in the conventional education system. It also seeks to create an encouraging environment to infuse creative thinking and problem-solving attitude among students.
  • As a part of the initiative, the students will be provided with pre-incubation support that aims at helping students to convert ideas of students from Proof of Concept up to Minimum Viable Prototype and to create a support system for Patent filing.
  • In last two years, many states, such as Bihar, Odisha, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, have launched their startup policies in a bid to boost up their startup ecosystem.

Key highlights
  • The initiative was developed under the aegis of Education Department. The State Government will provide Rs 200 crore as State Innovation Fund (SIF) during the next five years.
  • The initiative aims at promoting innovation and pre-incubation awareness amongst students of higher education.
  • It will encourage the students to undertake innovative projects related to society, industries and community.
  • The experts at institute level will offer guidance and will evaluate the projects. They will also provide a platform for commercialisation of such projects.
  • Under the initiative, complete support will be offered for approval and publication of the research work.
  • High-tech facilities like Fab Lab, Common Working Space, Design labs and more will be developed at higher educational institutions.
  • Technology platform will be provided via academic programmes, seminars, workshop/Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).


India, Kenya signed MoU on cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors


  • India and Kenya on 11 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors. The MoU was signed after successful summit level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta in New Delhi.
  • Uhuru Kenyatta is on an official visit to India. Since 1981, this is the first State visit from Kenya to India.
  • On this occasion, both the countries also signed a line of credit agreement worth US $100 million. Under the agreement, India will take steps for mechanisation of agriculture in Kenya.
  • In addition to the MoU and the line of credit agreement, both the leaders released a joint statement.  
  • Both the countries discussed long term arrangements for production and import of pulses. These arrangements will be of much help for India that imported Rs 25,000 crore worth pulses from African and Asian nations to meet nutrition demands.
  • Both countries will explore opportunities in blue economy. Blue economy conceptualises oceans as development spaces by integrating oil and mineral wealth extraction, bio-prospecting and energy production.
  • In the health sector, Bhabhatron machine was delivered to the Kenyatta National Hospital for cancer treatment. Related capacity building of the Kenyan doctors will be undertaken under India Africa Forum Summit initiative.


NTPC inks pact to take over Chhabra Thermal Power Plant


  • State-run NTPC has signed a non-binding agreement with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd for takeover of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to takeover four operational units of 250 MW capacity each and two other under-construction units of 660 MW capacity each at Chhabara Thermal Power Plant.
  • In February last year, a proposal to divest equity of four units of thermal power plants in Rajasthan was cleared at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.


Appointments – India and World:

TCS names Rajesh Gopinathan as MD and CEO


  • Country's largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today named Rajesh Gopinathan as its new MD and CEO, after N Chandrasekaran elevated as Chairman of Tata Sons -- the group's holding company.
  • TCS also appointed N Ganapathy Subramaniam as President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Subramaniam, who is currently President (TCS Financial Solutions) has also been appointed as a director on the board of TCS, it added.
  • Previously serving as the Chief Financial Officer at TCS, Gopinathan has been with TCS since 2001. He was appointed as CFO in February 2013. He has also worked with Tata Industries.
  • He has played a key role in helping TCS becoming a $16.5 billion global company with over 371,000 employees.


TCS Chief N Chadrasekaran Appointed As Tata Sons Chairman


  • Tata Sons on Thursday appointed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Chief Executive Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its new chairman.
  • He will take over as the executive chairman from Feb. 21, Tata Sons said in a statement, adding the selection committee appointed by its board had unanimously recommended the group veteran for the job.
  • The decision came about three months after the $100-billion conglomerate in October ousted Cyrus Mistry and appointed Ratan Tata as its interim chairman, sparking a bitter public spat.
  • At TCS, Chandrasekaran would be succeeded by Rajesh Gopinathan, currently the company's chief financial officer.
  • Announcing his appointment, Tata Sons board said: "Mr Chandrasekaran has demonstrated exemplary leadership as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services.


Manish Tewari appointed as Distinguished Senior Fellow of Atlantic Council

  • Former Union minister Manish Tewari was on 11 January 2017 appointed as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, a leading US think-tank on policy matters.
  • At the council, Tewari will work on developing programmes that are aimed at strengthening US-India ties.
  • Headquartered in Washington DC, Atlantic Council has ten regional and thematic centres.
  • Since its inception, the Council has administered programs to examine political and economic issues covering Asia, the Americas and other regions in addition to Europe.


Non-financial News – India and States:

World’s first gender literature fest to be held in Patna

  • The world’s first Gender Literature Festival (GLF) will be held in Patna, Bihar from 6 March to 8 March 2017. The function will be organised at NIFT, Patna.
  • The Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation will be organising the first of its kind festival.
  • Top policy makers, bureaucrats, social workers, activists, authors, artists, students, literature and art enthusiast from the city of Patna and beyond will attend the unique festival.
  • Objective of the festival
  • The initiative aims at creating a platform to exchange ideas and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender literature.
  • The GLF will also act as a platform to increase visibility for gender equity and advocacy in Bihar.


Second Scorpene class submarine Khanderi launched in Mumbai


  • INS Khanderi, the second of the Scorpene class submarine, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai on 12 January 2017. INS Khanderi was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre.
  • The submarine is named as INS Khanderi after the fort of Maratha forces that played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century. Khanderi is also the name for Tiger Shark. It will undergo trials before being inducted into the Indian Navy.
  • It is the second of the six submarines being built as part of Project 75 of Indian Navy. These submarines are being developed at MDL with M/s DCNS of France. INS Kalvari was the first Indian Scorpene which was launched in April 2015.


Indian Railways launches IRCTC Rail Connect mobile app

  • The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 10 January 2017 launched new passenger mobile application 'IRCTC Rail Connect' to promote ease of booking a ticket through digital transactions.
  • The new mobile-based application will replace the old existing IRCTC connect app. With this, a new user registration and activation can now be directly done through this application.
  • It was developed for reserved booking and to increase the ease to users.
  • It will bring in the power of next generation e-ticketing system like high performance and enhanced security.
  • It offers features like 24/7 service with no time-based checks, bringing together the mobile app with NGET (Next Generation e-Ticketing) for ticket booking.


World News:

Norway becomes 1st country to ban FM radio broadcasting

  • Norway became the first country to ban FM radio broadcasting. The northern county of Nordland on 11 January 2017 stopped radio broadcasting using analogue frequencies.
  • The primary reason behind banning FM radio broadcasting is government’s endeavour to offer a better radio service to the whole population.
  • Compared to FM radio broadcasting, digital audio broadcasting offers a wider range of broadcasting options and greater sound quality.
  • DAB allows for more channels on a given bandwidth, provides better reception and has significantly lower operating costs than traditional FM.


Days & Observance:

Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary observed as National Youth Day


  • National Youth Day was observed on 12 January 2017 to mark the 154th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The day is observed with an aim to recognise the ideals and teachings of Vivekananda and project him as a role model for the Indian youth.
  • In 1984, the Union Government declared that 12 January, i.e. the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda will be observed as the National Youth Day. His birthday has been celebrated as the National Youth Day since 12 January 1985.
  • On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet said, “We offer salutations to the great Swami Vivekananda & remember his powerful thoughts & ideals that continue shaping the minds of generations’.


Obituaries:

Former MRF director KM Philip passes away

  • KM Philip, former whole-time director on the board of Madras Rubber Factory(MRF) Limited, passed away on 11 January 2017 following age related illness at Chennai. He was 104. He is survived by two sons.
  • He was known as the doyen of the rubber industry.
  • His work had also been recognised through a number of awards including Award of Fellowship from AIRIA and Royal Chartered Institute of Materials (UK).








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