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- Current Affairs 2017 January
First Edition of the North East Investors Summit Held in Shillong
i. The first edition of the North East Investors Summit was inaugurated on January 29, 2017 by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Shillong, Meghalaya.
ii. The North East Investors Summit 2017 was jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) of the Government of India in collaboration with industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The two day Summit concluded on January 30, 2017.
iii .Theme: Exploring Opportunities in North East Region.
iv. Aim: To launch North East Region as a Global destination for investment by exploring possibilities of attracting the investment especially in textile manufacturing.
v. North Eastern Region has well furnished and skilled work force inclined in the field of textiles and handicrafts. This creates huge potential for the region to attract investment and generate new employment opportunity.
vi. The summit saw the participation of all north eastern states, leading industrialists from the region as well as country-wide investors. Apart from boosting investment, the summit also aims to attract new skills and advanced production technology.
vii. Several MoUs were signed between the industries and state governments to promote investment and boost manufacturing in the region. Besides, Buyer-Sellers Meet and Exhibitions were also organized.
viii. To boost handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture, apparel & garmenting, technical textiles sectors, the Ministry of Textiles has set aside Rs. 1050 crore for implementing several projects in the eight states of North Eastern Region, in line with the Act East policy of the Government.
India’s First Multi-Sports Museum Inaugurated in Kolkata
i .India’s first multi-sports museum, Fanatic Sports Museum (FSM), was inaugurated on January 29, 2017 at the Ecospace in New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata jointly by Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Abhinav Bindra, Deepa Malik and Devendra Jhajaria.
ii. The museum, spread over 6700 square feet, has been launched jointly by sports historian Boria Majumdar and industrialist from Kolkata, Harshavardhan Neotia. It is a first of its kind museum in India and is inspired by the MCC Museum at Lord’s and the IOC Museum in Lausanne.
iii. Entry tickets to the museum have been priced at Rs 100 with a 50% concession for students.
iv. India already has two cricket museums located at Pune and Chennai. However the new multi-sports museum would cover variety of games ranging from football, hockey, badminton, tennis, golf and athletics besides cricket.
v. Some of the crucial displays that the museum would showcase includes, Sachin Tendulkar’s gloves that he wore while making his 100th century, boot owned by Lionel Messi, a Chelsea shirt of Didier Drogba- member of the team that won the 2012 Champions League, chess board signed by Viswanathan Anand, Pele’s 1970 Brazil shirt.
vi. Apart from these, Usain Bolt’s running shoes, gloves worn by Bindra in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, caps of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Racquet used by Pullela Gopichand to train Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu in Rio, Bat used by Karun Nair to score 303 against England among others are some of the eye catching display’s for the museum.
Karnataka Govt Approves Amending Laws to Lift Ban on Kambala & Bullock Cart Race
i. The Karnataka state cabinet on January 28, 2017 approved amending Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill, 1960 Act to legalize the Kambala and Bullock Cart Race which is a traditional festival held annually in Karnataka.
ii. The amendment Bill will be introduced by the state cabinet in the legislature session scheduled to be begin from February 6.
iii. The Karnataka High Court banned the Kambala after animal rights group filed a petition to ban the sport as it showed cruelty against animals in sports like bull-taming and buffalo-racing.
iv. The decision regarding amendment was taken after protests and social media campaigns by the people of the state to allow the traditional sports prevalent in the region. Besides, the protest grew more severe after the ban was lifted fromTamil Nadu’s Jallikattu.
v. The Kambala is a buffalo race held annually in the districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada between November and February. The festival marks a belief among the local people that the buffalo race through marshy paddy fields improves the quality of the soil.
Bombay Natural History Society launches climate change programme in Central Himalayas
i. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas.
ii. Aim: To evaluate the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.
iii. This programme is funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India.
iv. It will be the first step towards the protection of the ecosystem which benefits both biodiversity as well as the people in the system.
v. It will contribute in making an inventory of pheasants and finches, documentation of local specific conservation issues, and designing local as well as species specific conservation action plan with the community participation.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) :
♦ The Bombay Natural History Society is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research
♦ The BNHS logo is the great hornbill
Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues
i. American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on January 27, 2017 to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
ii. The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.
iii. As per the order, the travelers including legal permanent US residents residing in any of the seven mentioned countries would be prohibited from entering US for 90 days. Besides, refugee admission would also be banned for 120 days.
iv. The ban is not limited to these 7 nations. A further expansion of the list may be done as per the order of the US president.
v. However, the ban would not apply to diplomats and members of international organizations.
Mauritius & six other countries joins global efforts to curb profit shifting by MNEs
i. Mauritius along with Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malta and the Russian Federation signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by- Country Reporting (CbC MCAA).
ii. Now the total number of signatories increased to 57 while India signed the agreement in May 2016.
iii. This agreement will allows signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange country-by-country reports with each other, as contemplated by Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.
iv. BEPS refers to tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations
BANKING & FINANCE
FGII Enters Into Bancassurance Tie-Up With Bank Of Maharashtra
i. Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) announced an agency tie-up with Pune based Bank of Maharashtra on January 30, 2017.
ii. Aim: To immensely benefit our customers by providing them an ease of access while choosing from a diverse range of non-life insurance products, all under one roof
iii. It has tie-up with over 100 banks in India for bancassurance.Now it accounts for 5 per cent of Future Generali’s total business
Bank of Maharashtra:
♦ Founded: 1935
♦ Headquarters: Pune
♦ Motto: One Family One Bank
♦ Chairman & MD: Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe .
Reliance Defence Signs Contract with Ministry of Defence to Construct 14 Fast patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard
i. Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL), a wholly owned arm of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), has signed a contract worth Rs. 916 crore with the Ministry of Defence on January 30, 2017 to design and construct 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.
ii. The medium range, high speed vessels would be deployed for patrolling within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. It will also provide support as front-line warships during emergencies.
iii. RDEL is the first private sector shipyard which has been awarded a contract of designing and building such ships for Indian Armed Forces.
iv. Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited is the India’s largest shipbuilding and Heavy industry led by Industrialist Anil Ambani. The Reliance shipyard has the largest dry-dock in the country along with technological expertise to build large ships for both commercial usage and the navy.
KSEZ, Subsidiary of GMR group Signs MoUs With Firms to Set Up Manufacturing Units at Kakinada SEZ
i. Kakinada SEZ Ltd (KSEZ), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL), signed several MoUs with various companies during the CII Partnership Summit 2017 held on January 27-28, 2017 at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
ii. The MoU aimed at setting up World Class manufacturing units at the Kakinada SEZ in Andhra Pradesh spread over 8,500 acres at a cost of Rs. 47000 crore.
iii. The MoU also aims to develop an all-weather, multi-cargo, deep water port, with an estimated phase 1 capacity of 16 million tonnes.
iv .KSEZ signed an MoU worth Rs. 7000 crore with 5 companies namely Oil Country Tubular, Kamineni Steel & Power, United Seamless Tubular, Deepak Phenolics and DCM Shriram to set up manufacturing Units spread over an area of 550 acres at the Kakinada SEZ.
v. Besides, Oil and Gas PSUs, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) signed an MoU with the Government of Andhra Pradesh worth Rs 40,000 crore to set up petrochemicals complex over an area spanning 2000 acres in the state.
vi. The Kakinada SEZ aims to set up various manufacturing industries including petrochemicals, food & agro processing, discrete manufacturing, electronics, toys, sports goods & apparel.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Madras Engineer Group Adjudged Best Marching Contingent in Services Category
i. The Union Ministry of Defence announced the result of the Republic Day Parade – 2017 on January 28, 2017. For this the Ministry appointed three panels of judges for honoring the participants of the event with the awards in different categories.
ii. In Service Category, Madras Engineer Group has been selected as the best marching contingent while in the Para-Military Forces category, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were adjudged as the best performers.
iii. In the Category of tableaux from the 17 participating states, Arunachal Pradesh stood first for depicting the Yak dance which is a famous imitation of the Mahayana sect of Buddhist tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
iv. Among the Tableaux from the 6 Union Ministries/Departments that participated, Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship won the first prize for depicting the theme ‘Transforming India through Skill Development’ besides highlighting the achievements of the Ministry and its programmes.
v .Apart from this, the tableau represented by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) on the theme ‘Green India-Clean India’ won a special prize.
vi. In Dance category of school children, performance by Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pitampura, Delhi, children won the first prize for their dance based on National Flag.
vii .Besides, South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur, received Consolation prize in dance category for their performance of the ‘Saila Karma’ dance which is a popular dance of the Gond Tribe of Dindori district in Madhya Pradesh.
Iris Mittenaere of France Crowned Miss Universe 2017
i.Iris Mittenaere of France was crowned as the Miss Universe 2017 in the international beauty pageant event which was held on January 29, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines organized by the Miss Universe Organization.
ii. The 24-year-old dental surgery student was crowned by the outgoing winner Pia Wurtzbach from Philippines. Mittenaere is the first European to win the Miss Universe title since 1990.
iii. Being a Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere has the resolution to set up dental and oral care campaigns worldwide. She beat 12 finalists to win the crown.
iv. The first runner-up was Raquel Pelissier from Haiti and second runner-up was Andrea Tovar of Colombia.
v. This year total 12 finalists were selected instead of 13 as was done previously. Besides, the votes were counted from the Miss Universe app and Twitter. India was represented by Roshmitha Harimurthy but could not make it to the top 12.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Dushyant Chautala appoited as New TTFI President
i. Dushyant Chautala is elected as youngest president of Table Tennis Federation of India during the Annual General Body meeting held in Gurugram on January 30, 2017.
ii. Chautala with two observers are selected for four years, extends until 2021.
1.Kuldip Vats – representing Indian Olympic Association
2.Ashwani Kumar – representing the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports from the Sports Authority of India
iii. The election has been conducted and supervised by Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd.) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court
iv. Three main office-bearers, eight vice-presidents, four joint secretaries and five out of eight Executive Committee members were filled as per the TTFI constitution and the other three vacant posts in the Executive Committee will be chosen by the TTFI head.
Ashok Amritraj Appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals
i. Film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ii. Amritraj is the first Ambassador for the UN in India
iii. He is responsible to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and to foster engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.
Sustainable Development Goals:
♦ United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years on 25 September 2015 .
♦ The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 aspirational “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them.
AP Singh Appointed as the Interim Head of India Post Payment Bank
i. AP Singh has been appointed as the interim Managing Director and CEO of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) by the government.
ii. Earlier, he worked as a Joint Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. He was one of the founding members of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
iii .IPPB received the final license from RBI to start its operation as payment Bank. With this it has become the third entity after Bharti Airtel and digital payments firm Paytm to receive the approval from RBI and till now only Airtel has started operations.
iv. IPPB has been incorporated as a Public Sector Bank under the Department of Posts with 100% GOI equity. Payments banks can accept deposits from individuals and small businesses of up to Rs 1 lakh per account.
v. IPPB would deal with acceptance of demand deposits, remittance services and other specified services.
Amulya Patnaik appointed as Delhi Police Chief
i. IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, Amulya Patnaik is appointed as Chief of Delhi police on January 30, 2017. He is succeeded by Alok Verma, who has been moved as the director of CBI.
ii. Patnail is currently workig as Delhi police special commissioner (administration).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Atomic clocks of Satellite IRNSS-1A Develops Technical Snag
i. The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NAVIC, an indigenously built satellite system has developed technical complications.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar informed that one of the three crucial rubidium clock on IRNSS-1A spacecraft failed six months ago while the other two failed subsequently.
ii. NAVIC is a constellation of seven satellites in the geosynchronous orbit and two backup satellites on ground. Each satellite consists of three atomic clocks. Thus there are total of 27 atomic clock in NAVIC.
iii. ISRO Chairman also announced that the default satellite would be replaced by one of the back-up satellite 1H, in the second half of the year 2017.
INSAT-3DR Satellite to Enable Detecting Farm Fires
i .The Indian Weather Satellite, INSAT-3DR, launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in September 2016, has led to a remarkable achievement in Indian weather forecasting.
ii. The Next Generation INSAT-3DR, will enable detecting Farm Fires, which was till now only conducted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) thus helping in formulating effective measures to deal with the issue.
iii. The seasonal Farm Fires that leads to increasing the air pollution level in India’s northern region especially Delhi, is believed to be caused by burning the agro-residues in Haryana and Punjab during the October-November months that emits smoke causing air pollution.
iv. The satellite provides data at an average rate of 142 GB per day. The team of Satellite Meteorology Division scientists from the India Meteorological Department (IMDs) at Mausam Bhawan, New Delhi collected huge amount of data with the help of the satellite.
v. INSAT-3DR also enables night time monitoring of atmospheric phenomenon like cloud cover, fog, haze and snow among others.
Supreme Court Appoints Vinod Rai as BCCI Committee’s Head
i. Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) was appointed as the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) administrative committee by the Supreme Court on January 30, 2017.
ii. The main aim of the committee would be look after the day-to-day functioning of the board in addition to the proper implementation of the Lodha committees recommendations for the board.
iii. The bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also appointed historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of IDFC and Diana Edulji, former women test cricket captain as the member of the 4-membered committee.
iv. Besides, the Apex Court dismissed the request of the government to appoint the secretary of the Sports Ministry as a member of the committee. The court has earlier specified that Ministers and Government servants cannot hold any official post in the cricket board.
PV Sindhu Clinches Her Maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Title
i. The 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist PV Sindhu clinched her maiden Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title on January 29, 2017 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow.
ii. The Indian ace shuttler defeated Gregoria Mariska of Indonesia 21-13, 21-14 to win her first medal of the year. Overall India won three titles in the tournament out of five events.
iii. The Men’s Single title was won by National Champion Sameer Verma who beat B Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-16.
iv. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy won their maiden Grand Prix Gold title in mixed doubles beating Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy 22-20, 21-10.
v. The Men’s Double title of the tournament was clinched by top seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen outclassing Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han 21-14, 21-15.
vi. Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen surpassed India’s Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy 21-16, 21-18 to clinch the women’s doubles title.
Veteran journalist Devdutt passed away
i. Veteran journalist Devdutt who is the witness of Mahatma Gandhi assassination passes away in New Delhi. He was 88
ii. Devdutt introduced a journal of political opinion called Point of View after giving up a lucrative assignment in the World Health Organisation (WHO).
iii. He was associated with the Punjab-based Hind Samachar, Gujarat’s Sandesh and Odia newspaper Pragativadi. He has worked in many newspapers and periodicals
French Actress Emmanuelle Riva Dies aged 89
i. Renowned French Actress Emmanuelle Riva, died on January 27, 2017 in Paris at the age of 89 due to Cancer.
ii. She was well-known for her roles in Hiroshima mon amour (1959) and Amour (2012). She was nominated in Oscars for the movie Amour.
iii. In 2013, she was nominated for the Academy Award under best actress category for her role in Amour. The film won the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
Martyrs Day Celebrated on January 30, 2017 to Pay Homage to Gandhiji
i. India celebrated the Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas on January 30, 2017 to commemorate the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse.
ii. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was unofficially called as Father of the Nation. He was a great freedom fighter of India who led India to independence.
iii. Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist held Mahatma Gandhi responsible for the Partition of India. Thus he shot Gandhiji dead. However, Godse himself was hanged for this on November 15, 1949.
iv. The day is marked by laying flower wreaths at the Samadhi at Raj Ghat memorial in New Delhi by the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the three Service Chiefs.
v. Besides these, India also celebrates several other days as Martyrs Day to pay homage to all the great leaders who lost their lives for the nation including March 23 to mark the death anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru.