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Current Affairs Today – January 22 2016

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Current Affairs Today January 22 2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Andhra Pradesh Govt reestablished Commission for OBC

The state government of Andhra Pradesh has reestablished the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes by exercising the rights vested in the section 3 of Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

  • It has been re-initiated after the time gap of 4 years, as the previous commission term was expired on 24 September 2011.
  • The reconstituted two member commission will be chaired by Justice K.L.Manjunath, (Retd.) while the second member will be Member Secretary of APCBC.
  • The tenure of the chairman of A.P. Commission for Backward Classes is of 3 years from the date of assumption of office in terms.

4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference held in New Delhi

4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference (IAHC) was held in New Delhi. 22 African nations participate in the conference out of which nine were represented by their Ministers.

  • Conference aimed at greater collaboration between India and African continent towards Development Transmitting Partnership in Hydrocarbons field.
  • Deal permits India to enhance its energy security.
  • And encouraging Africa’s Hydrocarbons sector growth on several fronts like environmental sustainability, human resource development and employment generation.

Keys South Africa:
President of South Africa – Jacob Zuma
Capital of South Africa- Cape Town 
Currency of South Africa- South African rand (ZAR)

India’s first LGBT radio taxi service announced

India’s first radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) was flagged off in Mumbai on Wednesday.

  • Taxi was launched by a mainstream travel company.
  • The Humsafar Trust has signed up to drive radio cabs.
  • This is an empowerment initiative.
  • The five members of the gay and transgender community will apply for a learner’s license, and complete their training in getting the All India Driver’s License under the pilot programme.

“Nai Manzil” Scheme Launched in Jammu and Kashmir

Nai Manzil Scheme is an integrated Education and Livelihood Initiative for the Minority Communities.

Key highlights

  • It was announced by the Union Budget 2015-16.
  • Girls from minority communities will be imparted three month skill development training in seven identified sectors relevant to the region under the scheme.
  • These include training in saffron processing, food processing, embroidery, computers IT, Tourism/hospitality, electronics and plumbing.
  • The scheme enables them to seek better employment in the organized sector and equipping them with better lives.
  • The scheme covers the entire country.

France returns head of Hindu statue taken 130 years ago

The head of a Hindu deity’s statue is reattached to its body after 130 years. It was taken from the Phnom Da temple in southern Takeo territory by French researchers in 1882-1883.

  • The head was reattached after a ceremony at the National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • The stone statue is of Harihara, an idol that combines aspects of Vishnu and Shiva.

The statue represents the two most important gods in the Hindu pantheon who represent the creation of the universe and its destruction.

Indian Bureau of Mines & NRSC inked MoU for monitoring mining activity

In a bid to monitor mining activity through satellite technology, Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) inked MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Department of Space.

  • As a part of MoU IBM would initiate remote sensing cell under the technical guidance of the NRSC at its offices in Nagpur and Hyderabad.
  • The cell will utilise Bhuvan-based services for monitoring mining activities for development of mobile app for field data collection.

The pilot project will be launched in Odisha and Hospet sector of Karnataka to demonstrate the feasibility of using high resolution satellite imagery in monitoring the changes over a period of time in select group of mines.

IN-RNO joint naval exercise “Naseem Al-Bahr” kicked off

The 10th edition of the bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Omani Navy biennial exercise began on 22 Jan 2016 – 27 Jan 2016 in the Arabian Sea.

  • Initiated in 1993, the joint naval exercise aims to increase interoperability among the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operation.

As part of India’s strategy to develop relation with the countries in the region, an Indian Navy ship had last year visited Oman in a goodwill visit.

Keys Oman:

  • Capital – Muscat
  • Currency – Omani rial
  • Sultan – Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ocean Alert!! (Plastic > Fish) @2050

In accordance with the report by World Economic Forum (WEF) and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the oceans will contain more plastics than fish by 2050.

  • The report was prepared as part of Project MainStream, which has been supported by McKinsey & Company.

India ranked 22nd among world’s best countries

India ranked 22nd among world’s best countries today India proved itself as the world’s fastest growing economy. India ranked 22nd among world’s best countries, this report was released by the World Economic Forum in the annual meeting.  India that exports a wide range of advanced products everything from jet engines to medicines to soybeans. India’s growth rate is expected to rise to 7.5 per cent this year.

India to be fastest growing economy at 7.3% in 2016: UN report

UN report said that India will be the fastest-growing large economy in the world. India’s Economy is expected to grow by 7.3% in 2016 7.5% in 2017. India passes China to become fastest growing economy.

  • This is the result of the recent policies of the Indian government. India is classified as a newly industrialized country.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI instructed banks to cease Rs 1,000 notes lacking Security Thread

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decreed banks to terminate the circulation of notes of Rs. 1,000 denomination without the security thread.

  • The decision in this regard was taken due to the complaint, that was received by RBI regarding bank notes in the denomination of Rs 1,000 printed by Currency Note Press, Nashik, on the paper (without the security thread) supplied by Security Paper Mill (Hoshangabad).
  • The total value of the faulty notes is around Rs 5 lakh.

FreeCharge teamed up with MasterCard & Yes Bank to launch Virtual Card

In collaboration with Yes Bank and MasterCard, the wallet company FreeCharge launched a “FreeCharge Go”, a virtual card that allows users to pay for goods and services at online shops and offline retailers.

  • This new virtual card would enable users to use money in their digital wallets on any merchant site that accepts cards.
  • Currently, FreeCharge Go can be used to transact at certain offline stores such as McDonald’s and Shoppers Stop.

In 2015, FreeCharge was acquired by e-commerce giant Snapdeal while in In Dec 2015, its rival Paytm launched prepaid cards in partnership with ICICI Bank.

BUSINESS

FDI flows into India nearly doubled in 2015: UNCTAD

Foreign Direct Investment flows into India nearly doubled in 2015 as per the annual report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), while the US emerged as the top host country for FDI last year.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan Palace named as “World’s Best Hotel”

Travel site TripAdvisor has listed Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan as the world’s best hotel of 2016 in 25 best hotels list. It is one of the world’s largest private residences is named after the Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owner Gaj Singh.

  • It serves as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family.
  • The other Indian hotel that was named in the list is Orange County Resorts Kabini, Karnataka which was placed at 13th position.

APPOINTMENTS

Big B & Quantico Star chosen as the brand ambassadors for Incredible India

Bachchan & Chopra – brand ambassadors for Incredible India campaignAmitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have been appointed as the new brand ambassadors of the Incredible India campaign. They will succeed Aamir Khan.

  • Big B is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism.
  • Aamir Khan promoted the country as a tourist destination for 10 years, under Govt’s campaign.

About Incredible India:
It is the name of an international marketing campaign by the Government of India to promote tourism in India in 2002 to an audience of global appeal.

  • Its title was officially branded and promoted by Amitabh Kant, then Joint Secretary under the Union Ministry of Tourism, in 2002.

Pavel Filip designated as the Prime Minister of Moldova

Moldovan parliament appointed Pavel Filip as Prime MinisterParliament of Moldova has accredited Pavel Filip as the 3rd Prime Minister of European nation in less than a year.

  • Moldova is a small and poorest of Europe.
  • It was in a political turmoil after the fraudulent disappearance of 1 billion US dollars from the banking system and then government was brought down in a no-confidence vote in October 2015.

The appointment follows the rise and fall of two prime ministers in 2015, namely Chiril Gaburici (June 2015) and Valeriu Strelet (October 2015).

  • Pavel Filip, a member of the main pro-European coalition and a former IT and communications minister in the last government.

Keys Moldova:
Capital – Chisinau
Currency – Moldovan leu

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

TranServ launches India’s first social mobile wallet Udio

Digital payment company, TranServ has launched India’s 1st Social Mobile Wallet, “Udio”, which enables squaring of dues, sharing dinner bills or a cab ride a hassle free task

  • Udio Wallet integrates a social, community-driven aspect with anytime, anywhere accessibility to digital P2P transactions via its secure and seamless payment structure.
  • Every Udio wallet comes with a VISA Pre-Paid Card linked that is powered by Ratnakar Bank allowing Udio users to leverage the wallet’s payments facility with over 1 lakh merchants across the country.

TranServ aims to boost mobile wallet usage for mobile users in its aim to make India a cashless economy.

ENVIRONMENT

New tree frog genus named Frankixalus discovered in north-eastern India

Indian biologist Sathyabhama Das Biju with his team has discovered a new genus of tree hole-breeding frogs named Frankixalus in the forests of northeast India and bordering parts of China.

  • Sathyabhama Das Biju is popularly known as the frogman of India.
  • The new genus has been named after Professor Franky Bossuyt of Brussel based Vrije Universiteit for his contribution in amphibian research.
  • This genus lives in pools of water in the trunks of canopy trees especially in tree holes.
  • These frogs eat their mother’s eggs for sustenance.

SPORTS

UP won Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Syed Mushtaq Ali title has been bagged by the Suresh Raina-led Uttar Pradesh by defeating Irfan Pathan-led Baroda with 38 runs in Mumbai.

  • This is Uttar Pradesh’s first Syed Mushtaq Ali title.

Roger Federer Wins 300th Grand Slam Singles Match

Roger Federer Wins 300th Grand Slam Singles MatchWorld Number 3, Roger Federer (34) clinched his 300th win in grand slams after defeating his Bulgarian challenger Grigor Dimitrov by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

  • Only Martina Navratilova (306) stands in front of him.

About Roger Federer:
1981 born regarded as the greatest tennis player all the time as in 1998, he whirled as a professional and from 2002 he has been continuously ranked inside the top 10. Here are some of his records:

  • Holding the world No. 1 position for 302 weeks.
  • Winning 17 Grand Slam singles titles.
  • Reaching each Grand Slam final at least five times.
  • Reaching the Wimbledon final ten times.

OBITUARY

Noted danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai passed away

Noted danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai passed away

Noted danseuse and Padma Bhushan recipient Mrinalini Sarabhai passed at the age of 97. She was trained in Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattom.

  • She was married to the architect of India’s space programme, Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
  • Apart from classical dancer, she was a poet, writer and environmentalist and played a leading role in the social and art scene in Ahmedabad.
  • She was one of the first classical dancer to turn to choreography.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

PM releases unique illustrated version of Shri-Durga-Saptashati

PM releases unique illustrated version of Shri-Durga-SaptashatiThe Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, released a unique, illustrated version of Shri-Durga-Saptashati an illustrated book of the glory of the Goddess.

  • The book has been compiled by Dr. Sandeep Joshi, a research scholar from Rajasthan.