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Current Affairs Today – January 14 2016

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Current Affairs Today 14 January 2016


India becomes the member of IEA-OES

Union Cabinet gave its nod for India becomes a member country of International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) by signing the Implementing Agreement (IA).

  • The nodal agency for the membership would be Earth System Science Organisation – National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Tendulkar launches 2 Mumbai Rail Police safety initiatives

Tendulkar launches 2 Mumbai Rail Police safety initiatives

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar  launched two initiatives SAMEEP and B-Safe by Mumbai Railway Police .

About SAMEEP :

  • SAMEEP(Safety Alert Messages Exclusively For Passengers) is an effort towards instant communication with railway passengers in case of any eventuality.
  • Under this scheme, we invite commuters to give Missed Call on 7208015207 or SMS MH RLY COP to 166 to get registered. Those who get registered will be sent an SMS when required about important developments/disruptions, safety advisories, women security updates, correct information to dispel any rumours.

About B-Safe :

B-Safe is a prolonged multi-media awareness campaign. It is for educating the public about various precautions they should take for safe commuting. The themes range from crime control, women’s safety, accident-prevention, reporting of suspicious activity, etc.

MoU between India and Maldives for Health

The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives which was signed in January, 2014 on cooperation in the field of Health. 
The Memorandum of Understanding covers the following areas of cooperation:- 

  • Exchange & training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts.
  • Assistance in development of human resources and setting up of health care facilities.
  • Medical and health research development.
  • Management of healthcare sector and public health services.
  • Procurement of generic and essential drugs and assistance in sourcing of drug supplies.
  • Health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Traditional and complementary Medicine
  • Telemedicine
  • Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon. 

Key points :

  • Maldives Capital : Male
  • Maldives Currency : Rufiyaa
  • Maldives PM : Abdulla Yameen

Loan Agreement signed between Government of India and JICA for Cleaning of Mula-Mutha River in Pune

The Government signed a loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for pollution abatement of River Mula-Mutha under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) in the presence of Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar.

Loan amount : Loan of 19.064 billion Yen (about Rs. 1000 crore) at an interest rate of 0.30% per annum.

Highlights :

  • The loan assistance for the project has been approved by the Union Finance Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs. 990.26 crore. The project cost will be shared between Government of India and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the ratio of 85:15 respectively. The project is scheduled to be completed by January, 2022.
  • The major components proposed under the project include construction of 11 new Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), laying of 113.6 kms of sewer lines and renovation/rehabilitation of 4 existing intermediate pumping stations.

Key points :

  • Japan Capital : Tokyo
  • Japan Currency : Yen
  • Japan PM : Shinzō Abe

NHAI signs MoU with ISRO and NECTAR for use of spatial technology for monitoring and managing National Highways

NHAI has signed Memorandum of Understanding with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR).

Objective : For use of spatial technology for monitoring and managing national highways.

What is Spatial Technology  ?

Geospatial technology refers to equipment used in visualization, measurement, and analysis of earth’s features, typically involving such systems as GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing).

Benefits :

  • The use and benefits of unmanned aerial vehicle technology will be useful in monitoring, construction progress, Road Asset Management, feasibility report andDPR preparation, immediate assessment and remedy of problematic spots etc.
  • A technical cell would also be set up which will run 24×7 to provide relevant project specific data using this technology to project report Consultants, Engineers, staff and users.

Supreme Court suggested Parliament to enact separate law for child rape

The Supreme Court said rape of infants and children below 10 years of age is nothing but brutal perversion and asked the Parliament to enact a separate law providing harsh punishment.This is the first time that the apex court has distinguished infants and children below the age of 10 from the general description of ‘minors’ given by law to anyone below the age of 18.

  • A Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra said the Parliament had to separately define the word ‘child’ in terms of rape.
  • The court pointed out how Section 376 (2) (f) of the Indian Penal Code only talks of rape of a “woman below 12 years of age“.
  • The apex court’s suggestion to the Parliament comes even as new anti-rape laws has made rape punishable with death penalty.

The petition had contended that India would not be viewed as barbaric by introducing castration as a punishment. It argued that a special Act like Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 has not been able to prevent crimes against the children from rising.


India has largest diaspora population: UN report

As per the report of survey on “Trends in International Migrant Stock” conducted by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world with 16 million people from India living outside their country in 2015.

  • Taking a global sight, there is 41% increase in comparison with 2000 in the number of international migrant persons living in a country other than where they were born, which is reached at 244mn in 2015.
  • Nearly two thirds of international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million).

2016 to be China – India Tourism Year: China

The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) announced the beginning of China-India Tourism Year on the sidelines of the decision taken jointly in 2014 by PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping to observe the “India Tourism Year” in China in 2015 and “China Tourism Year” in India in 2016.

  • The opening ceremony will be launched on January 14 at Siri Fort Auditorium in Delhi.

CNTA has designed several tourism promotion and exchange activities during this year, which includes promotional films and advertisements through media and web portals in India and tourism promotional activities themed around the Silk Road, among others.

  • In May 2015, the tourism authorities of the two countries signed an agreement on tourism cooperation.

Conference of QCG on Afghan Peace & Reconciliation held in Islamabad

Conference of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) on Afghan Peace and Reconciliation process was held in Islamabad on 11 January 2016.

Purpose: To explore ways to create consensus for talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s government.

Participants : Representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US.

  • The group will again meet in Kabul on 18 January 2016 to hold discussions on a roadmap.
  • The joint statement released after the discussions emphasised the immediate need for direct talks between the representatives of the Afghanistan government and representatives from Taliban groups.

About Quadrilateral Coordination Group:

The four-nation group was set up in 2015 to expedite the process of reconciliation in the war-torn country after decades of bloodshed


India (1945-2015): Largest recipient of loans from World Bank

As per the World Bank lending report, India is the largest recipient of loans from the World Bank, amounting to $102.1 billion, between 1945 and 2015 (as on July 21, 2015). The World Bank has been lending funds to India for rural and urban development projects related to transport, water and irrigation, health, power and agriculture.

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a part of the World Bank group, has lent $52.7 billion, the International Development Association (IDA), a multilateral concessional lender of World Bank, has loaned $49.4 billion to India over the last 70 years.
  • India is followed by Brazil ($58.8 billion), China ($55.6 billion), Mexico ($54 billion) and Indonesia ($50.5 billion).

SBI opens branch in Seoul, South Korea & launches dedicated branch for start-ups in Bengaluru

Country’s largest lender SBI has opened a branch in Seoul, South Korea to predominantly finance growing trade and investment relations between Korean and Indian companies.SBI is second Indian bank after Indian Overseas Bank to have branch in South Korea.

  • Meanwhile, SBI has signed a Line of Credit with The Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM) for $ 500 million (Rs 3,300 crore).
  • The agreement for credit line was signed by SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and K-EXIM chairman and President Duk Hoon Lee in New Delhi.

Key points :

  • SBI HQ : Mumbai
  • SBI Tagline : The Banker to every Indian
  • SBI Chairman : Arundhati Bhattacharya


National Award on e-Governance bestowed upon EPFO

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been conferred with National Award on e-Governance 2015-16 for launching the Universal Account Number (UAN).

  • The award will be presented by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to the EPFO in the 19th National Conference on e-governance to be held in Nagpur on January 22.
  • The EPFO won the gold award in the “innovative use of technology in e-governance” category and the retirement body will get a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.

PepsiCo’s CEO becomes “most generous graduate” of Yale B-School

The prestigious Yale School of Management is set to name its deanship in honour of PepsiCo’s India-born CEO Indra Nooyi as she gifted an undisclosed amount to her alma mater. She becomes the school’s biggest alumni donor.

  • She is also the first woman to endow the deanship at a top business school.
  • The gift will be used to inaugurate the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund, which is named in recognition of the fact that the school is entering its fifth decade; the first class entered the Yale School of Management in 1976.
  • In this regard she became the “most generous graduate” of Yale School of Management in terms of lifetime giving to the school.


Capgemini appoints Srinivas Kandula as CEO of India operation

Capgemini appoints Srinivas Kandula as CEO of India operationsFrench IT services firm Capgemini has appointed Srinivas Kandula as the CEO of its India operations. He will succeed Aruna Jayanthi who has moved to a global role within the Group.

  • Kandula also joins the Capgemini Group Executive Committee.

About Srinivas Kandula:
Kandula played a key role in the acquisition of Patni by iGate in 2011 and of iGate by Capgemini in 2015. Capgemini had bought iGate in a $4-billion cash deal.

  • Kandula had joined IGATE in 2007 where he was formerly EVP, Member of the Executive Council and Chief People Officer, responsible for driving IGATE’s Business Strategy, Human Resources, Quality Management and Marketing portfolios globally.
  • Kandula is a Doctoral Fellow from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has published over 60 papers and 8 books on Management in international publications and in multiple languages.

DHL Express appoints new Asia Pacific CEO

DHL Express appoints new Asia Pacific CEOGlobal logistics provider DHL Express has designated Ken Lee as its Chief Executive Officer for Asia Pacific region.

  • He will succeed Jerry Hsu, who is retiring after an illustrious career with DHL Express since 2001.

About Ken Lee:

  • He has an experience of over 20 years in the logistics industry, including 18 years at DHL.
  • Lee will be responsible for a region that includes India, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Oceania, South Asia, South East Asia and Taiwan.
  • He will focus on driving further operational efficiencies and service innovations through greater investment in training and technology, to consolidate DHL’s market leadership throughout the region.

About DHL Express:
Established in 1969, DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail services.

R Shivakumar appointed Chairman of Assocham Karnataka

R Shivakumar, Chairman of Kumar Group of companies, Bengaluru, has been appointed as the Chairman of Assocham Karnataka Regional Council, the new regional outfit of Assocham, New Delhi.

  • S Babu, Chairman of Ashwin Precision Products, has been appointed as Co-Chairman of Assocham Karnataka Regional Council.
  • The new revamped regional council of Assocham in Karnataka is expected to play a significant role in the development of industry and trade in the state.


BSNL starts 4G service with soft launch in Chandigarh

BSNL started 4G services on non-commercial basis in Chandigarh promising broadband speed of up to 100 megabit per second (Mbps).

  • It will be open for limited number of BSNL employees, while customers can visit the 4G centre to experience it.
  • BSNL has 4G spectrums across India except in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata.

BSNL has established 620 wifi hotpsots at present and will be able to complete 2500 wifi hotspots by end of this financial year.

  • The company after about 4 years of reporting losses posted an operating profit of Rs. 672 crore for the financial year 2014-15 compared to an operating loss of Rs. 691 crore in the previous fiscal.


FIFA dismisses Secretary General Jerome Valcke

FIFA dismisses Secretary General Jerome ValckeFIFA’s emergency committee has dismissed Jerome Valcke from the position of FIFA Secretary General with immediate effect.

  • The employment relationship between FIFA and Jerome Valcke has also been terminated.
  • The duties of the Secretary General will continue to be assumed by the Acting Secretary General, Dr Markus Kattner.

Valcke was charged with several violations of the FIFA code of ethics while serving as Sepp Blatter’s right hand man since 2007. The charges include accepting gifts and conflicts of interest.


Book titled Jawaharlal Nehru and The Indian Polity in Perspective released by Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari released the book ‘Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Polity In Perspective’  at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

  • The book has been edited by former police officer P.J. Alexander. Mr. Ansari handed over the first copy to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and brought out by the T.M. Verghese Foundation.
  • The focus of the book is on the role of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, on shaping the polity of modern India


Celebrity General J.F.R. Jacob Passes Away

The Hero of 1971 war with Pakistan, Lieutenant-General J.F.R. Jacob passed away due to prolonged illness in New Delhi. He was 92.

  • He was best known for the role he played as a then Major-General in India’s victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Liberation of Bangladesh.