Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 January – 24 January) – 2016

///Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 January – 24 January) – 2016

National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 January to 24th January 2016)

The important weekly current affairs update have been listed below along with the other relevant and significant information regarding them. This compilation is not a substitute to regular newspaper reading. Rather, this will help in revision of all relevant current event happenings of the week starting from 18th January to 24th January 2016.

  • Delhi has observed its 4th Car Free Day . This day is an initiative of the AAP government to curb vehicular pollution.
  • The government has decided to extend the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme to 61 more districts this year to improve the skewed child sex ratio.
    • About Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme :
      • The scheme was launched in 100 districts with poor sex ratio across the country in January last year with objectives to :
        • Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination
        • Ensure survival & protection of the Girl Child
        • Ensure education of the Girl Child
        • Improve the Nutrition Status of the Girl Child
        • Promote a protective environment for Girl Child
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is named the World’s Best Hotel of 2016 in TripAdvisor’s ‘Travellers’ Choice Awards’. It is the first Indian hotel to take the top spot in the annual list.
    • About Umaid Bhavan Palace: Built between 1928 and 1943, the palace is named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, who ruled Jodhpur from 1918 to his death in 1947.
  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 41% of all suicides in 2014 were committed by people in the age bracket of 14 to 30 years. This data revealed that about 52% of suicides by women in 2014 were from the same bracket as opposed to 36% for men.
  • Union Government has launched a skill development scheme named “Nai Manzil”  for girls belonging to the minority communities in the country. Under this scheme, they will be imparted a three-month skill development training in seven identified sectors relevant to the region concerned. These include training in saffron processing, food processing, embroidery, computers IT (both software and hardware), Tourism/hospitality, electronics and plumbing.
  • Jitendra Kumar Soni, the collector of the Jalore district, Rajasthan, has started a scheme, ‘Charan Paduka Yojna‘. This scheme provides shoes to 25,000 children before Republic Day.
  • The 19th edition of National Conference on e-Governance has begun in Nagpur, Maharashtra. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh.
  • The Pin Code Week is being celebrated from 15th to 21st January to distribute the message about pin code importance.
  • The 8th Edition of the popular Jaipur Literature Festival, has begun. This festival is taking place in Jaipur since 2006. This is Asia’s Biggest Literary Festival.
  • Rahul Thakkar, a computer engineering graduate from Mumbai University, has won an Oscar for technical achievement.  He shares the honour with Richard Chuang for “groundbreaking design” of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System.
  • Maharashtra will be the first state in the country where women employees in government jobs can avail up to 180 days’ maternity leave while having a baby through surrogacyNote that: The Bombay High Court had ruled earlier that even a mother having a child through surrogacy was entitled to maternity leave.
  • India has signed a $250 million loan agreement with the World Bank for Bihar Kosi Basin Development project, aimed at enhancing resilience to floods and increase agriculture productivity.
  • India’s first radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, Wings Rainbow, has been flagged off. The initiative will have taxis chauffeured by LGBT community members, and is expected to start functioning in 2017.
  • Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra are the new brand ambassadors of the Centre government’s Incredible India campaign. It is the first time that the government is directly appointing the brand ambassadors.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved a new power tariff policy which will promote clean energy and enable better regulations for power distribution companies. It will also support the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan under which power plants will use processed municipal waste water available in their area.
  • The Supreme Court has issued an order stating that the husband will not have any right on the property of his wife if she dies under suspicious circumstances within seven years of marriage. In such cases, the woman’s children will be entitled to her property and if she did not have any offsprings, her parents will own the assets.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government has reconstituted the Commission for Backward Classes with immediate effect. AP Commission for Backward Classes (APCBC) will be a two member commission with Justice KL Manjunath, (Retd.) as its chairman and Member Secretary, APCBC as the other member.
  • Taking yet another step to put India in the company of select nations which have their own navigation systems, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully placed in orbit IRNSS-1E, the fifth of the seven satellites that would form a constellation of navigation satellite network. PSLV-C31 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) carrying 1,425kg IRNSS-1E (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) was PSLV’s 33rd flight.
  • In order to safeguard the interests of the financially distressed farmers and reduce their debt burden, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has given permission to introduce the ‘Punjab Relief of Agriculture Indebtedness Bill’ in the state assembly.
  • The Union Government has sanctioned Rs. 33000 crore for the development of infrastructure projects in Tamilnadu.
  • Bihar government under the state cabinet presided over by chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced a 35% reservation to women in government jobs in the state at all levels.
  • National Bravery Awards for the year 2015 have been announced. 25 Children will be conferred the award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on 24th January 2016. Two of the awards will be given posthumously.
    • These awards have been initiated by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) in 1957. These awards give recognition to children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding acts of bravery.
  • Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora has announced that as a part of the government’s effort to promote the Indian film industry and India’s “Soft Power”, it has been decided to institute a new award category under the National Film Awards titled “The Most Film Friendly State/UT“.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has officially declared Sikkim as the first organic state in the country. It will soon become the harbinger of organic farming not only in India but also around the world. The PM has also handed over the Organic Certificate to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in Gangtok.
  • Government has extended the time-line for its co-contribution facility under Atal Pension Yojana till 31st March.
  • In an initiative has aimed at quick delivery of government services, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has launched ‘Amma Call Centre’, which is a round-the-clock call centre for ensuring fast response to grievances. Note that: Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as ‘Amma’ (mother) by her supporters.
  • The Justice RV Easwar led Committee on simplification of Income Tax laws has recommended a 5% reduction of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) rates for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUF). Presently, the TDS rate stands at 10% for individuals and HUFs.
  • With all the trustees agreeing to the proposal of depositing the idle gold of the temple, the Somnath Temple Trust of Gujarat is set to become the first temple in the State to deposit in the Gold Monetisation Scheme. The trust has around 35 kg of gold, out of which the portion that is not used for day-to-day purposes will be deposited under the scheme.
  • The 48 hour countdown for the launch of the rocket PSLV-C31 has begun at Sriharikotta. The rocket will carry the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Systems,IRNSS-1E. It is the fifth in the series of seven satellites meant for navigation system.
  • India’s Dinesh Sharma, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance has been elected to the 12-member board of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB). This will be the first board of directors for the new bank led by China in which 57 members have joined as founding members.
  • The government is set to launch a scheme to solve the issue of beggers by providing food, shelter, rehabilitation and healthcare facilities to the homeless. The scheme is being prepared by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, aimed to provide skill development to the able beneficiaries and will also develop and maintain a database of them in due time.
  • Showing positive signs for the demography, for the first time in Haryana, the sex ratio at birth has crossed the 900 mark with 903 girls per 1,000 boys as per records for December 2015.
  • Delhi government has written to Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Sunny Leone and others requesting them to not endorse pan masala products, and join the government’s anti-tobacco campaign. The letter has mentioned that even though pan masala does not contain tobacco or nicotine, it “surely” has areca nuts that have been scientifically proven to cause cancer.
  • Khesari Dal, widely known as the poor man’s dal has received clearance for consumption from the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) after a 55-year-long ban. The dal was earlier banned in 1961 after cases of a neurological disease called lathyrism or paralysis of the lower body were reported due to its consumption.
  • Following the Pathankot attack, laser walls will soon be used to cover over 40 unfenced areas along the India-Pakistan border as the Home Ministry has made this a top priority to prevent entry of terrorists. The riverine stretches in Punjab will be covered with laser walls that detect objects and caution with a loud siren in case of any breach.
  • The World Bank has extended an assistance of $20 million for reconstruction and eco-development of the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vishakhapatnam (AP). This is the first time that World Bank is directly involved with a zoo, because it is a part of the Bank’s $250 million assistance for the damage caused by cyclone Hudhud.
  • India’s renowned author Anuradha Roy has won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 for her novel Sleeping on Jupiter at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka. This award consists of US $50,000 DSC Prize and a trophy.
  • Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has announced plans to introduce mobile toilet vans to be stationed in areas that do not have public toilets as a “step towards the Swachh Abhiyan”.
  • The Delhi government has set up its first State Human Rights Commission with Justice Uma Nath Singh as its chairperson.

International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18 January to 24 January 2016)

By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 18th January to 24th January in brief.

  • Moldovan parliament has appointed Pavel Filip as the Prime Minister. This appointment follows the rise and fall of two prime ministers in 2015, namely Chiril Gaburici ( June 2015) and Valeriu Strelet (October 2015).
  • The 4th Edition of India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference (IAHC) has begun in New Delhi. The two day conference aims at enhancing greater cooperation between India and African continent in the field of Hydrocarbons.
  • The United States has approved the sale of almost two billion US dollar worth of bombs and missiles to equip Iraq‘s squadron of F-16 attack jets in their battle against ISIS.
  • French President of France François Hollande will arrive on 24th January in India on a three-day visit. He will be the Chief Guest of the Republic Day celebrations.
  • The Union Cabinet has been approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Department of Space / Indian Space Research Organization (DOS/ISRO) and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
  • Indian Naval ships INS Vikramaditya and INS Mysore are on an official visit to Colombo. During their stay in Colombo, the crew of the ships will have professional interactions with Sri Lanka Navy personnel.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom for Cooperation in the field Public Administration and Governance Reforms. This MoU was signed between both countries in November, 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to UK.
  • India has slipped from 78th to 89th rank on an annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTC). This list has been topped by Switzerland. Note: This index measures the quality of talent a country can produce, attract and retain.
  • India will hold exercise Force Eighteen, one of the largest multi-national military exercises from March 2 to 8 in Pune as a part of its Look East policy. Over 18 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members will participate in the Field Training Exercise (FTX).
  • Hari Nef, the 23-year-old transgender actor and model has became the first transgender model to be signed by top modelling agency. Gucci has became the first major European fashion house to feature a transgender model in the Milan Fashion Week.
  • According to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the year 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year in terms of average temperature in past 136 years.
  • In the list for the 25 worst internet passwords of 2015 by software security firm SplashData, ‘123456‘ retained its top position for the third consecutive year. While ‘Password’ has ranked second on the list.
  • The Nepal government has approved the construction plan for the country’s second international airport at Nijgadh in the Bara district. Note: The country has only the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, approximately 7-hours away by road from the industrial area of Terai plains, where only smaller jets can land.
  • Pakistan has successfully test-fired the Ra’ad air-launched cruise missile which has a range of 350 km.
  • India and the UK have agreed to strengthen the economic cooperation in various sectors including infrastructure financing, addressing issues of cross-border tax evasion and avoidance.
  • After US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the second most popular leader on the social networking website Facebook.
  • For the first time, China has launched an online system to check the “authenticity” of top Tibetan Buddhist monks, amid growing incidents of fraud involving religious leaders. The first list of 870 verified Tibetan monks, known as ‘Living Buddhas’. It is the first time information on the country’s religious leaders is accessible via the Internet.
  • NASA has launched SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Jason 3 ocean monitoring satellite from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in the USA. The satellite will examine the topography of the ocean floor to help study the effects of climate change and human induced changes on the ocean.
  • French President Francois Hollande has declared “a state of economic and social emergency“, as he unveiled a $2.2 billion plan to revive hiring in France and redefine the country’s business model in wake of ongoing slump.
  • WhatsApp has decided to stop charging its users with yearly subscription fee of $1 “over the next several weeks”. The company will now monetise from big businesses by providing customer service through WhatsApp. 
  • NASA astronaut and Expedition 46 commander Scott Kelly has shared an image of the first ever flower grown in space. The flower belongs to the zinnia plant and is expected to help astronauts better understand plant growth in conditions of microgravity. Note that: This is the second plant grown aboard the International Space Station after the red romaine lettuce.
  • The Madhya Pradesh government has inked a pact with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to set up the world’s largest single-site solar energy plant. The 750 MW Rewa Ultra-Mega Solar Power Project will be set up in Gurh tehsil of Rewa district over a 1,500-hectare area at an estimated cost of ₹4,500 crore.
  • The world powers have lifted economic sanctions against Iran after it had agreed to impose curbs on its nuclear programme in July. Iran’s assets have been unfrozen and companies across the world can now do business with the country. Iran has said it could export 500,000 barrels of oil a day, a move that reportedly could further reduce global oil prices.

Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18 January to 24th January 2016)

Important news and events in the economic world that happened over the whole week including the Sunday news has been listed here for quick revision.

  • Social networking site, Facebook has launched Audience Optimization, a tool that could help publishers in targeting appropriate audiences and better understand their interests. These are: ‘Preferred audience’, ‘Audience restrictions’, ‘Audience insights‘.
  • The RBI has amended the Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS) to permit proprietorship and partnership firms to make gold deposits under a joint deposit account in the name of the depositors. Under the GMS, resident Indians and trusts registered under the SEBI can earn interests on the gold deposited in the banks.
  • Mumbai-based TranServ has launched India’s first social mobile wallet calledUdio.
    • Apart from the usual wallet functions like phone recharge, bill payment and digital money transfer, Udio would also allow its users to split bills, send or request money and gift merchant vouchers.
    • The users would also be provided with prepaid Visa card powered by Maharashtra-based Ratnakar Bank.
  • Google, in partnership with Indian Railways, has launched its first free high-speed public WiFi service in the country at the Mumbai Central Railway Station. The service will be made available next in Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur, and Ranchi. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, Google had promised to provide free WiFi across 400 railway stations in India.
  • India has emerged as one of the five most promising markets for businesses globally. This was disclosed in an annual global CEO survey at World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
  • The union government has granted infrastructure status to the shipyard industry in order to ease its financial stress.  With the infrastructure status, the ailing shipyards will be able to avail flexible long-term funding at lower costs.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) panel on Alternative Investment Funds(AIFs) has proposed creating a favourable tax environment for investors, tweaking of safe harbour rules, unlocking domestic pools of capital, enabling onshore fund management in India and reforming the AIF regulatory regime.  This panel was headed by : NR Narayana Murthy.
  • Private sector lender ICICI Bank has announced that it has ventured into South Africa by opening a full service branch in Johannesburg. 
  • Online payment startup Mobikwik has announced a tie-up with the Delhi Jal Board which will facilitate people in Delhi to pay water bills using their mobiles. Note : Mobikwik had also partnered with IRCTC recently.
  • India’s Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Dilip Shanghvi and Hinduja Brothers are among the world’s 62 richest individuals list was published by Oxfam (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief). This list was topped by Bill Gates.
  • Microsoft has announced the acquisition of a modified third-party version of the building-block game Minecraft, called MinecraftEdu, which is designed for classrooms. Note : Created in 2010, MinecraftEdu is currently used by over 7,000 classrooms in over 40 countries.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained India’s growth projection at 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal, even as it cut world economic outlook to 3.4 per cent for 2016. In its update on World Economic Outlook (WEO), IMF has said China’s growth would slow to 6.3 per cent in 2016, but India would continue to grow at a “robust pace”.
  • Homegrown auto major Tata Motors has appointmented ex-Airbus COO Guenter Butschek as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director.
  • Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a WhatsApp-based complaint redressal system for BSNL in Indore.
  • The flagship project of Income Tax Department for the processing of tax returns, the Centralized Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru, has been awarded “ISO 9001:2008 standard for Quality Management System” Certificate by the British Standards Institution (BSI). This certificate encompasses all business services and business enabler services of CPC.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Food Processing sector is likely to go up by at least 25% as FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) streamlines regulations to ease product approvals.
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (R-Jio), the telecom venture of Mukesh Ambani, has signed agreements with his brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) to trade and share telecom spectrum. They have signed agreements “for change in spectrum allotment in 800 MHz band across 9 circles from RCom (R-Com) to RJIL (R-Jio), and also for sharing of spectrum in 800 MHz band across 17 circles.”
  • The Department of Posts (DoP) is set to plan to open 1,000 ATMs and bring all 25,000 departmental post offices under Core Banking System (CBS) by March. CBS will enable customers to operate their accounts and avail banking services from any post office on the CBS network (regardless of where they maintain their account).
  • Under an effort to find new sources to finance the UN aid operations, a United Nations panel has recommended that a voluntary tax be imposed on concerts and sporting events. It has also recommended that the UN tap into the Islamic social finance and the mandatory alms-giving. Note that: The requests for UN aid have reportedly increased from $2 billion in year 2000 to $24.5 billion in year 2015.
  • India is ranked first in business optimism, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report, a quarterly global survey of 2,580 business leaders across 36 nations. As per the survey, 89% Indian respondents expect an economic recovery, owing to a stable government in the centre, followed by recent policy announcements and regulatory changes.

Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18 January to 24 January 2016)

Important happenings in the field of sports have been given below. Since candidates don’t focus on sports news over the week, below you will find all the exam worthy details. We hope this weekly sports update is sufficient for your perusal.

  • New Zealand has won the three-match T20 series against Pakistan, where Corey Anderson was named the Man of the match.
  • Swiss legend Roger Federer has become the first male tennis player to win 300 Grand Slam matches. The only other tennis player to have won 300 Grand Slam matches is Martina Navratilova, with 306 total wins.
  • With the Rio Olympics coming up soon, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has signed a two-year commercial and marketing deal with Infinity Optimal Solutions (IOS). As per the contract, the IOS will manage sponsorship and public relations for the IOA for all the major national and international events.
  • Uttar Pradesh has won its maiden Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a win over two time champions Baroda in the final match played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
  • Sahara Force India Academy racer Jehan Daruvala has won one of New Zealand’s most prestigious events, the Lady Wigram Trophy. It was Daruvala’s maiden victory in Formula cars since making the switch from karting in 2015.
  • A 24-year-old referee from Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), Rupa Devi has qualified to officiate international football matches conducted by FIFA.
  • Australia beats India by 25 runs in the fourth ODI held in Canberra to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.
  • Russia’s Ivan Popov has won the 14th Delhi International Open chess Championship. 
  • Delhi Acers have been crowned the champions of the inaugural edition of the Premier Badminton League after they defeated the Mumbai Rockets in the final at Delhi.
  • Ajit Chandila of Rajasthan Royals and Hiken Shah of Mumbai have been handed a lifetime ban and a five-year ban respectively for their roles in the controversial IPL spot-fixing scam.
  • Chris Gayle has equalled the record for fastest fifty in T20s as he scored his half-century off 12 balls, thus sharing the record with Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh.
  • Indian batsman Virat Kohli, while playing against Australia in the third ODI, has become the fastest cricketer to score 7,000 runs in the limited overs format. He has achieved this feat in 161 international ODI innings. This record was previously held by South African captain AB de Villiers, who reached this milestone in 166 innings.
    • Note that: Virat Kohli has also become the fastest cricketer to score 24 centuries in this format. He has achieved this also in 161 innings.
  • The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has banned the on-tour Indian cricket team from visiting casinos in Australia, as a proactive image-building measure for the Indian team.
  • The 13th edition of Standard Charted ‎Mumbai Marathon‬ has been successfully organised on 17th January’s morning. 104-year-old Fauja Singh who retired from the marathon three years ago, on Sunday also expressed his happiness to participate in his second Mumbai Marathon. Known as ‘Turbaned Tornado’, he is the world’s oldest marathon runner.
    • Kenyan athlete, Gideon Kipketer has clinched the top position by winning the international men’s full marathon.
    • Ethiopian Shuko Genemo has won the top position in international women’s full marathon.
  • India’s Gopi T and Kheta Ram have qualified for the Rio Olympics by finishing second and third respectively, among the Indian runners in the Mumbai Marathon .

Obituaries

  • Film director Ettore Scola, one of the last grand masters of Italian comedy has passed away at the age of 87 years.
  • Reputed social worker Nirmala Gajwani has passed away at 87 years of age.
  • Padma Bhushan Awardee, Legendary classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai has passed away at age of 97 years. Mrinalini Sarabhai was the wife of noted space scientist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and mother of famous danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai.
  • Senior journalist and scholar Aroon Tikekar, who has authored over 20 books, passed away. He was the reference chief of the Times of India and a senior assistant editor for Maharashtra Times.
  • Eagles guitarist ‎Glenn Frey‬ has passed away at age of 67 years. The Eagles were one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with multiple hit singles including Hotel California.
  • The Japanese national, Yasutaro Koide who was known as the world’s oldest man (112 Years) has passed away. Koide was born on March 13, 1903, has died two months short of his 113th birthday.
  • Renowned Kannada filmmaker and lyricist Geethapriya has passed away. He had penned lyrics for over 250 immortal songs and has directed 40 films.

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2016-10-29T16:19:11+00:00