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Current Affairs Today – January 16 2017

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Suprme Court Grants Permission to 24-Week Pregnant Woman for Abortion
i. The Supreme Court on January 16, 2017 allowed Mumbai based 22 year old pregnant lady with 24 weeks of Pregnancy to abort her baby as continuation may risk her life.
ii. Two bench of judges, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao gave the verdict after a panel of seven doctors from KEM Hospital, Mumbai declared that the skull and brain tissue development of the foetus were absent and there was no chance of the foetus surviving outside the uterus.
iii. Abortion is legal in India only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 that too if it involves a risk to the life of the pregnant woman physically or mentally or involves a substantial risk to the health of the child.
iv. There is an urgent need to look into the amendment of the Act to increase the limit from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.

Kozhikode Corporation becomes First Elderly-friendly corporation in Kerala
Kozhikode Corporation was declared as the first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala. The Kozhikode Corporationstate government has planned to setup Senior citizen’s club, Day care centres as a part of  Vayomitram project for the welfare of the elder people in the state
Steps Taken by  Kozhikode Corporation:
i. Kozhikode Corporation has started to collect basic details of all the senior citizens through its 543 Anganwadis, in 75 wards.
ii. Senior citizen’s club will be set up under every Anganwadi and it will be running through a ward-level apex committee
iii. The Corporation has allocated Rs. 1.75 crore for the project.

Adoption Regulations 2017 Effective From January 16, 2017
i. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on January 4, 2017 issued a guideline regarding the Adoption Regulations 2017.  These new rules will be effective from January 16, 2017.
ii .The Adoption Regulation 2017 implements the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. It has been framed by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to be mandatory under section 68 I of the Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and will replace the existing Adoption Guidelines, 2015.
Specific Features of the Adoption Regulation 2017
i. The Adoption Regulation 2017 provides to address delay in the adoption procedure in time bound and speedy manner while protecting the interest of the Adoption Agencies and Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs)
ii. It also specifies the procedure wherein child is adopted by relatives both within the country and abroad.
iii. The new regulation has relaxed the norms for adoption for certain categories of parents like those who lost child due to sickness or accident or one who want to adopt children with special needs.
iv. Number of days for Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) for completing the procedures of adoption after reserving the child has been increased to twenty from the existing fifteen.
v. The new set of rules has also increased the validity of home study report from two to three years. It consists of 32 Schedules.
vi .CARA shall be the nodal agency to take care of the adoption process under the JJ Act, 2015 through Child Adoption Resource Information & Guidance System (CARINGS).
vii. CARINGS system would enable the agency to maintain the record of the adopted child and track the post adoption follow up to safeguard the adopted children.
viii. Panel of professionally qualified or trained social workers would also be established by the District Child protection Unit (DCPU) for this purpose.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Ranks 92 in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index
i. India dropped to 92nd rank in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) released by INSEAD in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI). Last year India stood at 89.
ii. The global index of talent competitiveness measures the ability of the countries to grow, attract and retain talent. The list was topped by Switzerland.

Top 5 nations in the Index
1 Switzerland
2 Singapore
3 United Kingdom
4 United States
5 Sweden


Indonesia and Japan to deepen defence ties amid China challenge
i. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on January 15, 2016 agreed upon their commitment to deepen cooperation on maritime Indonesia and Japan to deepen defence ties amid China challengesecurity and deepen defence ties.
ii. Japan will encourage cooperation on maritime security and encourage the development of the remote islands of Indonesia as both nations face dispute with China over maritime issues.
iii. Japanese investment in Indonesia had nearly doubled from 2015 to about $5 billion in 2016.
iv. Japan has won bids to construct Indonesia’s largest coal-fired power plant and a mass rapid transit system for Jakarta.

Pakistan Navy Receives Two Ships From China to Ensure Security along Gwadar Port
iChina has handed over two ships to Pakistan Navy on January 15, 2017 in order to ensure joint security along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Gwadar port.
ii. The two ships were received by the Pakistan Navy Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini at a ceremony held at Gwadar port.
iii. The ships named Hingol and Basol gets its name from nearby rivers in Pakistan. China will provide two more ships to Pakistan Navy named Dasht and Zhob after two districts in Balochistan.
iv. The Gwadar port is built in Balochistan province of Pakistan under CPEC and links western China through Pakistan with the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
v. Pakistan has deployed a new division of the army along the CPEC route and in and around the Gwadar port to ensure security.

BANKING & FINANCE

Market Regulator SEBI Tightens Mergers & Acquisitions Norms Among Unlisted Firms
i. The Capital market regulator of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 14 tightened the norms associated to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) of Indian companies.
ii. The public shareholding of the resultant entity created by the merger of an unlisted and a listed company has to be more than 25 per cent.
iii. The unlisted entity can only merge with those companies that are listed on exchanges such as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and BSE.
iv. Sebi  has permitted the mutual fund sector to invest in instruments such as real estate investment trusts (ReITs). It has also permitted them to use celebrities for industry-level advertisements. However, celebrities can only be used for industry-level ads and not at the fund house or the scheme level.
v. The involvement of Celebrities would enable growth of MF sector and simplify communication between investors and companies.

Mysuru Printing Press Breaks Record by Printing Highest No. of Currency Notes in a Month
i. As per the data released by the President of Note Mudran Limited Employees Union, A Ramdass, the RBI Note Mudran printing press in Mysuru printing highest number of currency notes in December breaking all its past record.
ii .It printed 10.9 million currency note in a day that even broke the world record made an American currency printing press of printing 8.7 million notes in a day.
iii. As per the data, 1350 million currency notes were printed in December 2016 in Mysuru which employess 650 workers who work for 12 hours in two shifts.
iv. Besides, the printing wastage was also reduced to 2 percent which in America was 4 percent. Similarly, cost of printing in American Press was Rs. 4 per currency while in Mysuru, printing a single currency costed just Rs. 3.40.
v. RBI Note Mudran printing press is a subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India that was established in 1995 to meet the demand and supply for the bank notes.
vi. It has two presses: one at Mysuru, Karnataka and the other at Salboni, West Bengal.

India Signs Financing Agreement with World Bank for US$ 48 Million for “Nagaland Health Project”
The Joint Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Mr. Raj Kumar and Acting Country Director of the World Bank Mrs. Genevieve Connors are signed s financing agreement for IDA credit of US$ 48 million for the ‘Nagaland Health Project’ on January 16, 2017.
Nagaland Health Project :
i. The Nagaland Health Project has approved by the world bank on December 19, 2016. The deadline of Nagaland health Project is 31st March, 2023.
ii. Aim : To improve health services and increase their utilization by communities in targeted locations in Nagaland.World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission
iii. The project will support an existing systems and mechanisms involving communities under the National Health Mission.
World Bank :
♦ CEO : Dr. Jim Yong Kim
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., USA
♦ Motto: Working for a World Free of Poverty
♦ Founded: 27 December 1945

Central & SBI Card launch premium co-branded card
i. Future Group’s fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central joined with SBI Card launched a second co-branded credit card to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space on January 16, 2017
ii. The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT+ Cards will offer an accelerated reward points structure
1.20 reward points for every Rs 100 spent in Central stores.
2.10 reward points per Rs 100 spent spent in dining and entertainment
3.2 reward points per Rs 100 in other categories
SBI app names :
♦ SBI has recently launched a Digital Platform, Mobile App powered by Manipal Global Education Services’ (MaGE) EduNxt Platform.This app will acts as a digital mentor to Probationary Officers and Trainee Officers right.
Other apps :
SBI Pay , SBI Buddy, mVisa, NO Queue,  MobiCash

IRDAI forms panel to review life insurance product norms
i. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has formed a 8 member committee headed by Amitabh Chaudhry, CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company to review life insurance product regulations on January 16, 2017
ii. The committee will analysis the existing framework of IRDA-linked and non-linked insurance product regulations
iii. They will review other key aspects like changing economic and insurance market environment, customers’ needs and expectations and insurance product flexibility and innovations.
iv. IRDAI instructed to the committee  to submit its report before March 15, 2017.
Committee Members :
♦ Head : Amitabh Chaudhry, CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company
♦  K S Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, Sai Srinivas, Appointed Actuary, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Sandeep Bakshi, CEO, ICICI Prudential Life
IRDAI : 
♦ Chairman, IRDA‎: ‎T.S. Vijayan
♦ Headquarters: ‎Hyderabad

BUSINESS

WPI Based Inflation Increases to 3.39% in December 2016
i. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation rose to 3.39 percent in December 2016 breaking the record of last three months. The rise was due to increase in prices of WPImanufactured items.
ii. WPI based inflation in vegetables declined by 33.11 percent in December 2016 mainly because of a substantial fall in price of onions which stood at -37.20 percent.
iii. However, the overall food inflation witnessed contraction in December 2016 as against previous month November 2016. It declined by -0.70 percent from 1.54 percent in November.
iv. While Pulse inflation remained high at 18.12 percent in December, Potato showed maximum price increase by 26.42 percent. Rate of price increase in egg, meat and fish was 2.73 percent.
v. Manufactured article was 3.67 percent compared with 3.20 percent in the November 2016. Inflation in the fuel and power segment was 8.65 percent in December 2016 up from 7.07 per cent in November.
vi. The rate of price rise in sugar was 28.04 percent, for petrol it was 8.52 per cent, and for high speed diesel it was 20.25 percent.

BHEL Commissions 500 MW Thermal Unit In West Bengal
i. Government owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL) has commissioned new 500 MW Thermal Unit in West Bengal on January 16, 2016
ii. This was the second 500 MW at Sagardighi Thermal Power Station (TPS) Phase II project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
iii. The first unit of the 1,000-MW project was commissioned in December, 2015.
iv. BHEL has so far contributed 83 per cent of the total coal-based generating capacity of WBPDCL.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Kiran Doshi Conferred ‘The Hindu Prize 2016’ for Jinnah Often Came to Our House
i .Kiran Doshi won The Hindu Prize 2016 on January 15, 2017 at the 7th edition of The Hindu Lit for Life festival 2017 held in Chennai from January 14-16, 2017.
ii. The festival was inaugurated by contemporary artist Gulamohammed Sheikh at Sir Mutha Kiran Doshi Conferred 'The Hindu Prize 2016' for Jinnah Often Came to Our HouseVenkatasubba Rao Concert Hall in Chennai.
iii .A retired diplomat and educationist from Gujarat, Kiran Doshi won for his third major work of fiction, Jinnah Often Came to Our House. He was conferred with a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.
iv. Jinnah Often Came to Our House is a book that features the political turmoil of the subcontinent from the early part of the 20th century, ending with the Partition and Independence.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Rajeev Singh to Take Charge as Interim CEO of Prasar Bharati after S C Panda
i. Rajeev Singh, Member of Prasar Bharati Board will take charge as interim CEO of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati in February, 2017. He will replace S C Panda.
ii. Rajeev was elected as Interim CEO during the Prasar Bharati Board meeting held in Hyderabad on January 15, 2017.
Prasar Bharati :
♦ Prasar Bharati  is India’s largest public broadcasting agency.
♦ It is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio
♦ Chairman: Dr. A. Surya Prakash
♦ Headquarters New Delhi

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Superbug Resistant to all Available Antibiotics: Study
i. According to a research work published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), a multidrug-resistant organism has been indentified known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) which is resistant to all available antibiotics.
ii. Commonly identified as Klebsiella pneumonia, the organism leads to high rate of death as thus has been labeled as “night mare” bacteria.
iii. The work was based on a case where-in a 70 year old American lady was infected by a superbug biting on her tour to India and eventually died due to the resistant capacity of the organism.
iv. The US physicians used 14 antibiotics to treat the woman but the infection was so serious that none of them worked.
v. The wound specimen was further sent for testing at US Centres for Disease Control (CDC). The test found presence of enzyme named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) that has the capability to breakdown antibiotics (carbapenems) used to treat multidrug resistant infections.
vi .These enzymes were resistant to 26 different antibiotics available to treat drug-resistant organisms.
vii. NDM-1 was first discovered when a Swedish patient was infected in 2009 in India.

Social Networking Giant Facebook to Rollout Fake News Tools for Germany
i. World’s largest social networking platform, Facebook on January 15, 2017 announced to introduce Fake News Tools for Germany Facebook to help the residents in combating the Fbspread of unrealistic news stories.
ii. Under the fake news tool would pass the story that is believed to be false for testing. It will be send to a German non-profit body of investigative journalists, “Correctiv” to check the fact.
iii. If they find the story to be false, it will be marked on Facebook as “disputed” and will appear lower in users’ news feeds.
iv. It would enable the users in Germany to select “It’s a fake news story” as an option while reporting another user’s post. They can then mark the post as fake news, let the other user know they think it is fake, or block that user.
v. Earlier in December 2016, Facebook roll-out a similar tool for US.

ENVIRONMENT

IMD Reports 2016 as the Hottest Year Since 1901 in India
i. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on January 13, 2017 released its statement of climate of India, 2016 and informed that the year 2016 was the hottest year since 1901 for the country.
ii. The director general of IMD, Dr K J Ramesh informed that the annual mean land surface air temperature was above normal by 1.04 degree Celsius in the last two years.
iii .More than 1,600 persons died last year due to extreme weather conditions across the country. Out of which 700 persons died alone in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
iv. The reasons cited for the warmer temperatures were a strong El-Nino effect and global warming.
v. IDM also stated that before 2016, 2009 was the warmest year recorded when annual mean temperature was 0.77 degree Celsius above average.
India Meteorological Department (IMD)
♦ The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
♦ Founded: 1875
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi

SPORTS

Khelo India National level Competition inaugurated by Sports Ministry
i. The Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel inaugurated the Khelo India National level Competitions on various sports for Under-14 and Under-17 children on January 15, 2017 in New Delhi.
ii. The competition was organized by Sports Authority of India under aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in Swimming, Cycling and Wrestling at the Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex at Talkatora.
iii. Aim: Provide a platform for the budding talents in the country to play at national level and help to build up the potential to further achieve excellence at international level. It would also promote sports besides developing infrastructure for such sports in the nation.
iv. The entry for spectators to watch the events is free at all venues. The wrestling competitions for both Boys and Girls under 14 and 16 would be held on January 20 & 21, 2017 at SAI Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, New Delhi.
iv.The Ministry would also launch a National portal for Sports Talent Search.
v. Khelo India National level Competitions are scheduled to take place in different disciplines in January and Febuary 2017 at different venues.Khelo India
1.Kabbadi, Kho Kho and Wushu: Nellore
2.Weightlifting, Boxing and Table Tennis: Guwahati
3.Athletics Hand Ball and Hockey: Gandhi Nagar
4.Taekwondo, Volleyball and Football: Chennai
5.Badminton, Gymnastic, Basketball and Lawn Tennis: Hyderabad
6.Archery and Judo: Jaipur

OBITUARY

Famous Linguist known as Father of Pinyin Dies at 111
i. Zhou Youguang, Chinese linguist known as the “father of Pinyin” died on January 14 2017 in Beijing. He was 111.
ii. In 1955, the Chinese government appointed Zhou to reform the traditional Chinese language to simply Chinese language. He created the writing system Pinyin that turns Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet.
iii. Pinyin is the official romanization system for Standar Chinese  in  China, Malaysia,   Singapore, and Taiwan.

UNC Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies dies at age 91
i. Dr. Oliver Smithies, faculty member of the University of North Carolina was passed away. UNC Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies dies at age 91He was 91.
ii. Oliver was a renowned giant in the field of gene targeting and “knockout mice,” which are used to study how specific genes worked.
iii. He created the first animal model of cystic fibrosis in 1992, and his technique of creating designer mice advanced the understanding of many diseases, including cancer, obesity and heart disease.
iv. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2007 for his development of a technique called homologous recombination that introduced targeted genetic modifications to cells.

IMPORTANT DAYS

January 16 declared as ‘Religious Freedom Day by Barack Obama
i. Outgoing US President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation to declare January 16 Religious Freedom Day on January 13, 2017.
ii. Religious Freedom Day should be observed to reject politics that seeks to target people because of their religion.