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Current Affairs Today – January 1 2016

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Current Affairs Today January 1 2016


Rs 5,000-crore Subsidy for Rooftop Solar Power

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an increase in the budget for implementation of grid-connected solar rooftop systems to Rs. 5,000 crore from Rs.600 crore up to the financial year 2019-2020.

  • This will support installation of 4,200 MW solar rooftop systems in the country in next 5 years.

Government constitutes Committee for Holistic interpretation of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act/ Rules

The government constituted a committee for holistic interpretation of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act and Rules.

Headed by: Filmmaker ShyamBenegal

Other Members of the Committee:ShriRakeyshOmprakashMehra, ShriPiyushPandey, Ms. BhawanaSomaaya , Ms. Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) as Member Convenor.

Highlights: To suggest the paradigm for ensuring a cultural milieu and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework.


  • To take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression.
  • Recommend broad guidelines / procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act / Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee.
  • The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into a framework which would provide efficient / transparent user friendly services.

Country’s first underwater tunnel to be come up in Andhra Pradesh

Country’s first underwater tunnel to be come up in Andhra Pradesh

Purpose: To boost tourism in the new capital, Amaravati, the newest state capital in the country.


  • Amaravati will get India’s first ever underwater tunnel under the river Krishna.
  • 3km long and will be used for vehicular traffic.
  • The tunnel is set to come up near Ibrahimpatnam on the outskirts of Vijayawada.
  • The backwaters of the Prakasam barrage in Vijayawada extend up to Ferry village near Ibrahimpatnam.
  • Since the proposed tunnel is transparent, motorists using it can see aquatic life.
  • The designers from Singapore have included the under-river tunnel in the detailed master plan for Amaravati which was released on Saturday.
  • Master plan proposes a large giant wheel on the riverbank. The giant wheel will function round the clock to attract tourists.

*Points to remember: Andhra Pradesh

  • Chief Minister: Chandrababu Naidu
  • Governor:E. S. L. Narasimhan

Committee set up to Review Wage Structure of GraminDakSevaks

Government has formed a committee to review pay structure and social security benefits provided to GraminDakSevaks.

  • Gramindaksevaks are extra-departmental agents recruited by the postal department to serve in rural areas.

Demand: Pay and facilities at par with regular postal department employees.

Headed by:Retired Member of the Postal Services Board Kamlesh Chandra

  • It will examine and suggest any changes in the method of recruitment, minimum qualification for appointment as GraminDakSevaks and their conduct and disciplinary rules, particularly keeping in view the proposed induction of technology in the Rural Post Offices.

*Key person:

Ms. Kavery Banerjee-Director General, Department of Posts

Pakistan’s Singer Adnan Sami gets Indian Citizenship

Home ministry officials announced Adnan Sami will be granted citizenship.

  • The Indian citizenship was granted after he made a representation to the home ministry requesting for it on humanitarian grounds.

About Sami:

Born in Britain, a Canadian citizen Sami has been living in India on visa since March 2001. He was last given a visa extension in October this year. He is known for playing a variety of musical instruments and is a known name for his distinct voice. 


No UK financial aid to India from January 1 2016

India will no longer receive financial aid from the UK, from January 1, 2016.Decision was taken by the British government in 2012 after a domestic outcry about India’s growing economic status.

  • Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI): Introduced in 2011 for promoting private sector investment in eight low income states of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, UP and Rajasthan,will continue.

UK had provided financial aid for government programmes between

  • 2013-2015: Rs 855.01 cr
  • 2013-14: Rs 601.77 cr
  • 2014-15 and 190.06 cr

Currently there are 26 government sector projects with DFID assistance at the Centre and in MP,Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar in health, education, governance and urban reforms sectors.

  • Despite the UK promise to cut aid to India, there appeared to be a quashin development spending which rose to £279 million in 2014 from £268 million in the previous year.
  • The only other country which received more than India was Ethiopia, but that showed a dip of £8million from 2013.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16, five new agreements have been signed for technical assistance projects.

*Points to remember: UK(United Kingdom)

  • Capital and largest city: London
  • Monarch: Elizabeth II
  • Prime Minister: David Cameron
  • Currency:Pound sterling

New coins for 2016 to feature Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter

New coins for 2016 to feature Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter

 New coins featuring William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, the Army and the Great Fire of London are set to be released in 2016.


  • Each coin bears theportrait of the Queen by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, first introduced to UK coinage in 2015.
  • Histories, comedies and tragedies of William Shakespeare– On £2 coins marking 400 years of the Bard’s literary legacy.
  • 50p coin honours Beatrix Potter, the author and artist- On the 150th anniversary of her birth.
  • The year 1066 is imprinted on many a schoolchild’s memory — along with the fate of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings — and features on a 50paise coin 950 years after the battle.
  • The Great Fire of London– 350th anniversary commemorated on a £2 coin.
  • The Royal Mint’s five-year programme marking the centenary of the First World War continues with a £2 coinremembering the community pride.

Points to Remember: London (Capital of England)

  • Most populous city of England and the United Kingdom.
  • Standing on: River Thames


RBI asked the banks to open banks in villages with a population of more than 5000

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) banks to identify villages with population above 5,000 without a bank branch of a scheduled commercial bank in their state.

  • Identified villages may be selectedamong scheduled commercial banks for opening of branches and should be completed by March 31, 2017.
  • January 2015 keeping in view the executionof PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY), SLBC Convenor banks and lead banks were asked to complete the process of providing banking services in unbanked villages with population below 2000 by August 14, 2015

Benefit: Enable banks to provide quality financial services and timely support to BC outlets.

Key point:

State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) came into existence under Lead Bank Scheme as per RBI guidelines. It is an inter-institutional forum at State level ensuring co-ordination between Government and Banks on matters pertaining to banking development.

SEBI rejects Sahara plea to restore portfolio manager licence

SEBI has rejected Sahara Asset Management Company’s pleato reconsider an order cancelling the portfolio manager licence of the company,

Reason: Not ‘fit and proper’ for this business.

  • Keeping Sahara AMC in the mainstream market after considering the antecedents of Subrata Roy Sahara and some other companies of the Sahara group, may cause injusticeto the interests of investors and the safety and integrity of the securities market.

New listing norms for stock exchanges  :

  • The exchanges would need to take steps for maintaining of 51 percentage of shareholding of Public Category and ensuring that holding of trading members, associates or agents does not exceed 49 per cent.
  • Depositories will have to put in place systems for capturing the shareholding data of trading members or their associates and agents and ensure that there is a mechanism for coordination between the depositories towards sharing of information.
  • The depositories shall generate an alert when such holding exceeds 2 per cent and monitor the same under intimation to Sebi.
  • The stock exchanges, both listed and where the securities are listed, and depositories will have to ensure that such mechanism be in place latest by March 31, 2016.

Key points :

  • Sahara AMC exercised by:Subrata Roy Sahara
  • Whole Time Member: S Raman
  • SEBI HQ : Mumbai
  • SEBI Chairman: UK Sinha


“eASIA” award 2015 for trade facilitation conferred upon DAVA project

The DAVA (Drug Authentication and Verification Application) project has won the 2015 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT).

About DAVA
Launched on June 29, 2015, DAVA project, created an integrated platform for implementation of the track and trace system both for exports and domestic markets of drugs and pharmaceuticals.

  • It aims to cover all the drugs manufactured in India.
  • The project will provide simpler means to the consumer and regulatory agencies for establishing drug authentication and protect the India’s brand image in international trade.


Air Marshal Bhadauria takes over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (DCAS) of Indian Air Force (IAF)

Air Marshal Bhadauria takes over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (DCAS) of Indian Air Force (IAF)Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria  took over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff of IAF.

About Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria:

  • Bhadauria an alumnus of the National Defence Academy was commissioned in theIAF in June 1980.
  • With a career spanning over more than 35 years, Bhadauria has commanded a Jaguar Squadron and apremier Air Force base in the South Western Sector.
  • He is an Experimental Test Pilot, Cat ‘A’ qualified flying instructor and pilot attack instructor with over 4,200 hours of experience on over 25 types of fighter and transport aircraft.
  • He also commanded the prestigious National Defence Academy.

Awards :
Bhadauria is a recipient of Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2013 and Vayu Sena Medal conferred in 2002.

IAF Chief :  Arup Raha

Atul Sobti assumes charge as BHEL CMD

Atul Sobti assumed charge as chairman and managing director (CMD) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd(BHEL).In September last year the government had approved the appointment of Sobti as CMD, BHEL for a period of 5 years.

  • Prior to this Sobti was Director on the Board of Bhel, heading two crucial portfolios of Power and Finance.
  • Earlier he held additional charge of the post of Director (Engineering, R&D).

Key points:

  • Recently BHEL commissioned Prayagraj power project unit in Uttar Pradesh
  • Bhel’s power business has achieved major milestones including the highest ever capacity addition or synchronization of 13,452 MW and 11,941 MW in financial years 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.


Airtel acquires 100 per cent stake in Augere Wireless

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has acquired the balance 26 per cent stake in Augere Wireless, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. Airtel had announced acquire 74 per cent stake in Augere Wireless earlier.

  • According to sources, the deal size is estimated to be around Rs 150 crore.The company directly won this spectrum in four service areas for Rs 3,314.36 crore.

About Augere Wireless :

  • Augere which provide 4G spectrum in Madhya Pradesh and holds 20 Mhz of spectrum in 2300 Mhz band in Madhya Pradesh service area, which includes Chhattisgarh state, to be used for 4G services.
  • The company had won this spectrum for Rs 124.66 crore in 2010 but has not rolled out services.

Cabinet clears formation of JVs between Indian Railways and states

Union Cabinet approved a proposal for the formation of a joint venture companies between Indian Railways and state governments.

Objective: To mobilise resources for executing rail infrastructure projects.

  • Initial paid-up capital: Rs 100 crore
  • Rail ministry’s paid up capital: Rs 50 crore


  • Besides travelling people, various cement, steel, power plants etc. would get the necessary rail link for transportation of raw material and finished products.
  • Formation of project-specific special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with equity holding by other stakeholders including banks, ports, public sector undertakings and mining companies.

*Points to Remember: Indian Railways

It is one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,808 km and 7,112 stations

Minister of Railways: Suresh PrabhakarPrabhu


Ravichandran Ashwin entitled with No. 1 Test bowler and all-rounder

As per ICC ranking India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has ended 2015 as the number one Test bowler and all-rounder.

  • Ashwin took 62 wickets in nine Tests of 2015 including 31 scalps in the four matches against South Africa & became the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year on top.
  • Bishan Bedi, an ICC Hall of Famer, is the only India bowler to ever top the Test bowling table, while Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble peaked at number-two during their careers.

BajrangPunia, RituPhogatwin Gold at National Wrestling Championship

Indian wrestlers BajrangPunia and RituPhogat won gold medals in Men’s 65kg and Women’s 48kg Freestyle categories respectively on the first day of the Senior Nationals.

  • Gold: Jitender
  • Silver: Pardeep
  • Bronze: Manoj and Dinesh

Men’s 65kg

First Bajrang
Second Rajneesh
Third Manoj and Bhagat Singh

Men’s 57kg

Gold SandeepTomar
Silver Ravinder

Women’s 48kg

Gold RituPhogat
Silver AprnaBishni
Bronze Pooja and Nirmal

Women’s 58kg and 63kg, Sarita and Anita topped respectively.


Ian Fraser Lemmy Kilmister, founding member of metal band Motorhead died

Ian Fraser Lemmy Kilmister, founding member of metal band Motorhead, diedFounding member and singer in the British heavy metal band Motorhead Ian Fraser Lemmy Kilmister(70) passed away.He played furiously on platinum-selling Motorhead albums like Ace of Spades, Overkill and Iron Fist.
About Ian Fraser Lemmy Kilmister :

  • He was born in December 1945 in Staffordshire, England and he joined the English psych-rock band Hawkwind in 1971, but got kicked out for abusing amphetamines drug.
  • He formed Motorhead in 1975.It has released 22 studio albums with Lemmy as its only constant member. His last album was Bad Magic in 2015.