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Current Affairs Today – January 28 2016

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  1. Current Affairs January 2016
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Current Affairs Today 28 January 2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

First list of 20 smart cities publicized with Bhubaneswar on Top

Bhubaneswar capital city of Odisha has outpaced all other rivalry cities of the nation by clinching the top rank in Smart Cities contest, which had received proposals for 97 cities from state governments.

  • Recently, Union Cabinet has publicized the names of the first 20 urban areas that will be developed as smart cities including 5 capital cities.
  • Bhubaneswar is followed by Pune (Maharashtra) and Jaipur (Rajasthan) which is placed at 3rd.

CCEA Approves Hybrid Annuity Model for Highway Projects

In a bid to provide better connectivity and attract investment, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its stamp of approval to Hybrid Annuity Model for implementing the Highway Projects.

  • The government will provide 40% of the project cost to the developer while the remaining investment has to be made by the developer.

By adopting the Model as the mode of delivery will increase the comfort level of all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement including authority, lender and developer, resulting in revival of the sector through renewed interest of private investors.

  • The former Planning Commission has developed the first version of the Model Concession Agreement for roads in 2006.

Union Cabinet approves raising of 17 Indian Reserve Battalions

Union Cabinet has approved the plan of rising 17 India Reserve Battalions (IR Bns) in Jammu & Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected States.

  • It includes five Battalions in state of J&K, four in Chhattisgarh, three in Jharkhand, three in Odisha and two IR Bns in Maharashtra. 

Reason-To recruits the local youth if required as per the criteria

  • 60% vacancies in post of constables and class IV will fill from border districts of J&K.
  • 75% vacancies of constables will be filled up from LWE states and (SRE) Scheme.

Rajasthan Government inks MoU to join UDAY Scheme

Rajasthan government signed MoU with the Central Government of India to join Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme.

The electricity distribution utilities in Rajasthan are

  1. Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd
  2. Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd and
  3. Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.

It aims to supply adequate power at affordable rates and to ensure a sustainable permanent solution of electricity problem. UDAY scheme helps Rajasthan to save nearly 3,000 crore rupees annually.

  • Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy– Piyush Goyal

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

IMF announces implementation of long due quota reforms

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced to implement long due quota reforms. The US Congress has approved these reforms which give more voting rights to the emerging economies India and China.

Bill Gates topped the list of “50 World’s Wealthiest People”

As per the list released by wealth-tracking website Wealth-X in collaboration with Business Insider, Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, sat down again in the top slot of 50 wealthiest people in the world list with a net worth of enormous $87.4 billion.

  • Bill Gates was followed by founding chairman of clothing retailer Inditex, Amancio Ortega of Spain with net worth of $66.8 billion while Warrant Buffett listed at 3rd rank with net worth of $60.7 billion.
  • There were only 4 female billionaires in the list, among them, Alice Walton, Walmart heiress, was the wealthiest woman with a net worth of $33.2 billion and 15th
  • The oldest billionaire is L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt (93) with a net worth of $29 billion. She was ranked 17th.
  • The youngest billionaire is Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (31) with a net worth of USD 42.8 billion and was ranked 8th.

BANKING & FINANCE

Authorized Share Capital of NSFDC ↑ to Rs. 1200 crore

Government has given its stamp of approval to enhance the authorized share capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) from Rs. 1000 crore to Rs. 1200 crore.

  • NSFDC is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) working under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

ADB $80 Million assistance for urban reforms in Agartala & Aizwal

In a bid to improve the infrastructure of nation’s two north eastern capital cities, GOI has signed loan concord of $80million with Manila, Philippines headquartered Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a part of North Eastern Region Capital cities Development Investment Program.

  • The accord was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (DEA) and Ms Teresa Kho, Country Director, ADB’s India Resident Mission.
  • This newly succored loan is a third tranche of a $200 million financing facility under Eastern capital cities Development Investment Program.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan joins WEF task force

RBI governor Raghuram Rajan joins World Economic Forum (WEF) task force to study the global finance system. The 46th Annual Meeting of WEF was held in held in Davos, Switzerland.

  • WEF will work to identify, analyse and plan suggestions in response to major transformative forces influence the future of global finance.
  • The main focus was the global financial system inclusion, technology-enabled improvement and the economic cost-benefit of post-crisis regulatory reforms

Keys

  • Governor of Bank of England -Mark Carney
  • Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF -Klaus Schwab

BUSINESS

India surpassed Thailand as World’s largest Rice exporter

As per the Bangkok based Thai Rice Exporters Association, India has outpaced Thailand as the world’s largest rice exporter in 2015.

  • In 2015 India has shipped 23 million tonnes of rice while Thailand exported 9.8 million tonnes of rice in 2015, a downgrade of 10.8%.

Vietnam is the third largest exporter of rice.
China is the number one importer of rice.

Ratan Tata invests in start-up Teabox

Ratan Naval Tata the Indian businessman and the Chairman of Emeritus Tata Sons have invested in the start-up Teabox. Teabox is an e-commerce website which focuses on supplying fresh tea to customers.

  • He has unrevealed the amount in Teabox.
  • The main location for the premium tea is Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Nepal.
  • Being great businessmen Rata will help the tea industry to grow fast and to expand its operations globally.
  • Teabox delivers 30 million cups of tea, to customers in 93 countries.

Key

  • Founder of Teabox– Kaushal Dugar

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Parrikar presented Rakshamantri Award for excellence for 2012-13 and 2013-14

Manohar Parrikar the Union Minister for Defense presented Rakshamantri Award for excellence for year 2012-13 and 2013-14 in New Delhi. The awards were presented for three categories.

  1. Institutional Award
  2. Best Performing Division /Factory/ Shipyard Awards and
  3. Group and Individual Award

These awards are presented in gratitude of excellent performance amongst Ordnance Factories and the nine Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

APPOINTMENTS

Sachin Tendulkar designated as Brand Ambassador of Pleasure Cruise

Sachin Tendulkar Named Brand Ambassador of Pleasure CruiseCricket legend Sachin Tendulkar accredited as the brand ambassador of a newly-launched pleasure cruise along with his former Australian opponents, Shane Warne and Brett Lee.

  • The cruise journey, starting in March will provides the guests an opportunity to mix with top ex-cricketers and show business personalities.
  • It will include trips to destinations in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

The show business personalities who have been tied up are stand-up comic Vir Das, D J Khushi, singers Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Neha Kakkar, actress Neha Dhupia, rapper Badshah and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

  • The cruise offers four seven-day legs, two 13-day trips and one 26 day travelling experience.
  • The cabins on the cruise are available from Rs 79,000 per person to Rs 8.4 lakh (twin pricing) for a 13-day travel.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Cognizant acquires KBACE Technologies

US-based Cognizant has acquired KBACE Technologies, a global consulting and technology services company for an undisclosed amount.

  • KBACE Technologies specializes in cloud strategy, implementation and integration and is a leading Oracle Cloud partner.

Nashua, US based KBACE has around 400 consultants and implementation experts across industry and business functions and will become part of Cognizant after the completion of the deal.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ariane 5 successfully lofted Boeing’s Intelsat 29e satellite

Communications satellite services provider Intelsat’s next generation satellite Intelsat 29e, which is having most advanced digital payload, was successfully launched from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle. The mission, designated VA228, successfully inserted the Intelsat 29e satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

  • Intelsat 29e replaces Intelsat 1R and will be placed into service at 310° east.
  • Intelsat 29e is the 56th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace.
  • It is the first satellite of Intelsat’s next generation, all digital EpicNG satellite platforms, which combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology and the sector’s most advanced digital payload.

Astronomers discovered largest solar system

Astronomers of Royal Astronomical Society (RSA) have discovered the largest known solar system in the form of gas giant located one trillion kilometres away.

  • This solar system has large planet known as 2MASS J2126-8140 that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star.
  • The newly discovered solar system is 140 times wider than Pluto’s path around Sun and has a mass between 12 and 15 times of Jupiter.

The age of planet somewhere between 10 million and 45 million years old this has been estimated by using lithium signature.

GOI launches National Job Portal for PwDs

In a bid to provide facilities to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot initiated a job portal for them, which will enable them to avail services like self-employment loan, education loan, skill training, link to scholarships and information about jobs.

  • The portal disabilityjobs.gov.inhas been developed by National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC).

Government has given very high priority to skill training programme for Persons with Disabilities and has a target for skilling five lakh persons in next 3 years.

  • The skill training will be provided by a network of 200 clusters of “Training Partners” with financial assistance of government.
  • A book on success stories of 100 PwD entrepreneurs dubbed “YES WE CAN” will be launched. The book has been published by penguin publishers with the support of NHFDC.

UP launches helpline number for journalists

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav on launched a dedicated helpline for journalists with number 1880 help and assist the media persons.

  • It will be managed by the state’s Information and Public Relation Department.

Apart from above, computerised file-tracking system to track the development of a file and ensure its time-bound disposal and special supplement on eminent litterateur Amrit Lal Nagar was also launched by the minister.

SPORTS

Ishika Shah bagged 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championship

Ishika Shah bagged 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championshipThe National sub-junior snooker title has been clinched by Ishika Shah (14) by defeating Anushi Seth with 50-2, 50-33. The championship was held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The sub-junior billiards title was held as part of the 20 day long National Billiards & Snooker Championship 2016 that began on 12 January 2016 in Indore.

Ishika Shah bagged 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championshipThe National sub-junior snooker title has been clinched by Ishika Shah (14) by defeating Anushi Seth with 50-2, 50-33. The championship was held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The sub-junior billiards title was held as part of the 20 day long National Billiards & Snooker Championship 2016 that began on 12 January 2016 in Indore.

OBITUARY

Former India basketball captain Ranbir Chopra died

The first captain of the independent Indian basketball team Ranbir Chopra was died on January 25. He was the captain of Indian team at the first Asian Games, in Delhi in 1951.

About Ranbir:

  • Ranbir was the coach of Indian team in 1962.
  • He worked as the secretary general of the Punjab Basketball Association from 1958 to 1963 also worked as the Vice President of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).
  • He won gold medal in National Basketball championship for Punjab in 1951 and silver medal in 1952 and 1953.

TOI managing editor Arindam Sen Gupta

TOI managing editor Arindam Sen GuptaArindam Sen Gupta (61), managing editor of The Times of India passed away due to the cancer.

  • Sengupta worked with publications like Probe magazine, The Patriot and The Sunday Observer, before holding senior editorial positions at The Economic Times and later The Times of India.

After completing his MA from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, Sengupta also taught at the university before embarking on his journalistic journey.

IMPORTANT DAYS

150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai

28th January 2016 is celebrated as the 150th birth anniversary of the greatest Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. He was born in DhudikePunjab on 28 January 1865.

  • He is popularly known asPunjab Kesari and he is described as “a pillar of extremist nationalism in India“ due to his great contribution in the freedom moment.