National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (25 January to 31th 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 25th January to 31th January 2016.
- The Supreme Court has asked the government to set up an expert committee within four weeks to probe into the complaints related to the working conditions of nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes in the country.
- Wildlife film maker & Padma Shri awardee Naresh Bedi has been honoured with V Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award 2016 during the inauguration of 14th edition of Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films – MIFF 2016.
- About this Award : This award is instituted in memory of legendary film maker V Shantaram.
- For locating and destroying a suspicious Pakistani boat off the Gujarat coast in December 2014, two Naval officials have been awarded with President’s Tatrakshak Medal. They are, Commandant Chandra Shekar Joshi and Commandant Abhay Ambetkar .
- Surat-based company Biomatiques Identification Solutions has launched a ‘Retina Recognition Technology’ for identifying Cattle. Under this, each animal is assigned a unique ‘Cattle UID’ which will help them qualify for insurance schemes.
- India’s indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile has been successfully test fired by Indian Air Force personnel, from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur (Odisha). This missile has a strike range of 25 km and a warhead capacity of 60 kg and speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to Mach 3.5.
- The list of 20 smart cities out of the 98 shortlisted, which will be the first to receive funds, for the ‘Smart Cities Mission’ has been released. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively. The 20 cities named in the first list are
- New Delhi
- Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered officials to implement a ban on polythene in entire state starting from January 2017.
- An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Aparna Kumar, has successfully scaled the 17000-ft high Mount Vinson Massif, which is the highest peak in the Antarctic sub-continent.
- A Vigilance court has ordered FIR against Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Solar scam case.
- Supreme Court has appointed Justice Sanjay Mishra as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta. Earlier, the court has appointed Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta, but later it recalled that order.
- According to the new rule imposed by Indian Railways, any individual will not be able to book more than six tickets online(presently 10) in a month from IRCTC website from his/her user ID. The restriction will come into force from 15th February.
- Vice Admiral Ashok Subhedar has been chosen for Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his extraordinary services to Indian Navy.
- The Ministry of Defence has adjudged the Assam Regiment as the best marching contingent in the services category for the Republic Day Parade 2016. The Border Security Force has been declared the best in the paramilitary and other auxiliary forces category. In the tableau category, West Bengal has bagged the first position, followed by Tripura and Assam.
- The second volume of memoirs of President Pranabh Mukherjee titled “The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996” has been released at Rashtrapati Bhavan. This book has been released by Vice President Hamid Ansari. It speaks of events in Mukherjee’s political life during the time including Indira Gandhi’s assassination and Operation Blue Star.
- The 8th Edition of the four-day India Art Fair began in Delhi at the NSIC grounds in the Okhla Industrial Area. The fair is showcasing art from 70 galleries from around the world.
- Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for raising 17 more India reserve battalions by Jammu and Kashmir and Left-wing extremism (LWE) affected states.
- Delhi Government has constituted a commission of inquiry to probe into the complaints of crime against women in the national capital since February 2013. The commission will have a two-year tenure and submit report of its findings every three months from the date of its first sitting. It will suggest necessary amendments to relevant laws and recommend whether any case of negligence is made out prima facie in these cases. This commission is headed by : Dinesh Dayal.
- The Cabinet has decided to increase the authorised capital of National Scheduled Caste Finance Development Corporation (NSCFDC). After this, its capital will increase from 1,000 crore to 1,200 crore rupees.
- Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of the Army’s elite Para Special Forces, has been conferred the Ashok Chakra posthumously for saving two injured soldiers and eliminating terrorists in Kashmir, before he succumbed to injuries. His wife collected the award from President Pranab Mukherjee before the Republic Day Parade. Note that: Goswami is the only soldier to get India’s highest peacetime gallantry award this year.
- India celebrates 67th Republic Day on Tuesday. The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. To commemorate this, January 26 is celebrated as Republic Day every year with great zeal and fervor.
- French army soldiers have become the first foreign military contingent to take part in India’s Republic Day parade. Where French President, Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest, marking the fifth time that a French leader is a Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, which is the maximum number from any country so far.
- President’s Rule has been imposed in Arunachal Pradesh citing failure of constitutional machinery (article 356).
- India’s first blind-friendly train, from Mysuru to Varanasi, has made its maiden journey.
- Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling has inaugurated the Red Panda Winter Festival in Gangtok. The festivities includes cultural events and a parade, which is led by the festival mascot, a Red Panda.
- Veteran actress Rekha has been honoured with the Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her contribution to the film industry. It was presented to her by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao in Mumbai.
- The 6th National Voters’ Day has been observed on 25th January. The Theme of National Voter’s Day 2016 : Inclusive and Qualitative Participation. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has released the book titled, Belief in the Ballot, and presented the first copy to the President.
- In collaboration with the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the Gujarat government will set up a 750 MW solar park in the Banaskantha district. This would be the 2nd biggest solar power park in the country with an area of 1,500 hectares, after the Charanka Solar park in Gujarat.
- The Union Government has announcesd the list of Padma awards to 112 personalities. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Rajinikanth, late Dhirubhai Ambani, and Ramoji Rao have been chosen for Padma Vibhushan, Sania Mirza and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal have been selected for Padma Bhushan.
- (25th January) is Himachal Statehood Day. Himachal Pradesh was established as the 18th state of India on January 25, 1971. Earlier it was a part of Punjab province during British rule, and was declared a Union Territory in 1950. Its capital, Shimla, was earlier British India’s summer capital.
- According to SocialCops analysis, India has 10.1 million child workers as of the Census 2011. The 10 districts with highest percentage of working children are in Nagaland (5), Himachal Pradesh (4) and Chattisgarh (1).
- A two-wheeler taxi service, ‘Bikxie Pink‘, for women has been launched in Gurgaon that is completely run by women. Started by a couple Divya Kalia and Mohit Sharma, the service includes a fleet of pink two-wheelers to ferry women between 8 am to 6 pm. This app-only service keeps a pepper spray and disposable shower cap handy for commuters. Pink offers bike-cabs only for women with only women riders chauffeuring them around town.
- India’s National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana‘ had been adopted as the national anthem of India on this day (January 24) in the year 1950, by the Constituent Assembly. It is written and composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The official duration of Jana Gana Man is 52 seconds.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi haspresented the National Awards for Bravery, 2015 in New Delhi. This year 25 children, including 3 girls and 22 boy, have been selected for the Awards.
- On this day in 1950, Dr Rajendra Prasad was unanimously elected as the first President of the Republic of India, by the Constituent Assembly. Note : Prasad has been the only one to have held the office of twice.
- The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has blocked 94 websites in the state that radicalise people online and propagate the agenda of terrorist outfit Islamic State. This has been done under counter terrorism efforts.
- 24th January is observed as 9th National Girl Child Day. It raises the awareness among people all over the country about the importance of girl’s promotion.
- Amit Shah has been re-elected as the BJP President for the 2nd term consequently.
- The Election Commission of India will celebrate the 6th National Voters’ Day across the country from 25th January. The Theme for the year 2016 : Inclusive and Qualitative Participation.
- The Andhra Pradesh endowments department has decided to introduce a novel scheme, “Bhaktuni Chentaku Bhagvantudu” (God visiting the devotee), from the Telugu new year Ugadi. As part of this programme, the priest of the local temple will visit families to bless them on seven special occasions related to birth and marriage.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (25 January to 31 January 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 25th January to 31th January in brief.
- World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan has announced that the Zika virus has been spreading explosively. The Zika virus, that is spread by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, has been linked to brain defects in babies. It is believed to cause neurological problems like microcephaly, a condition of abnormally small head in babies.
- NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover has completed 12 years on the red planet. This rover took six and a half months to land on Mars, and costs about $14 million per year to operate. It is noteworthy that earlier, NASA believed it would only function for 90 days because of the extreme level of dust on Mars.
- Indian activist and lawyer Henri Tiphagne has been honoured with the Amnesty International Germany’s human rights award 2016. This award will be presented to him in April at the official ceremony at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin.
- China and Iran have signed 17 documents & letters of intents to broaden bilateral cooperation in Tehran during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran. These agreements cover various fields such as energy, industrial capacity, finance, investment, communications, culture, judiciary, science and technology, news media, customs, climate change and human resources.
- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the opening of the border which Sudan shares with South Sudan for the first time since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.
- In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computer program has for the first time defeated a professional player in the ancient Chinese board game of ‘Go’. Developed by Google-owned company DeepMind, AlphaGo has defeated over three-time European Champion Fan Hui by 5-0.
- 27th January is observed as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day). This day commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, 2 million Romani people, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
- An Indian origin Dentist Sajeev Koshy, settled in Melbourne has been honoured with the highest civilian honour, the Order of Australia. Koshy has been awarded for his service to dentistry in Victoria, Australia.
- India has been ranked at 76th position in terms public sector corruption out of 168 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2015, improving its position from 85 in 2014 and 94 in 2013. Denmark has the top spot for the second consecutive year as the least corrupted country.
- Indian-origin physicist Professor Chennupati Jagadish has been awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), in recognition of his service in physics and engineering.
- India has gifted 40 ambulances and eight buses to Nepal.
- China‘s estimated capital outflows for 2015 have reportedly increased more than seven times to over $1 trillion compared to $134.3 billion in 2014.
- JK Rowling, the “Harry Potter” author is to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie and Tim Stoppard. PEN has cited Rowling’s advocacy for free expression; her nonprofit organization Lumos, which works to reconnect institutionalized children with their families; and her founding of the charitable trust Volant, which supports multiple sclerosis research and other causes.
- French President François Hollande has arrived in Chandigarh for a 3-day state visit. Hollande has promised to assist India in the development of three smart cities –Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur during the India-France Business summit. He had already declared a $2.25-billion line of credit for the “Smart Cities” project of PM Modi.
- An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Richter Scale has struck southern Alaska early. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 124.8 km.
- The Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling starrer ‘The Big Short‘ has been named as Best Theatrical Motion Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards 2016. ‘Inside Out’ has won the award for Best Animated Theatrical Motion Picture, while ‘Amy’ has been named Best Documentary. Television series ‘Game of Thrones’ has won the Best Episodic Television (Drama) Award.
- India and Bahrain has signed an agreement on the transfer of convicted persons and vowed to enhance bilateral relations in areas like counter-terrorism, and trade and commerce. According to the agreement, the convict can then serve the sentence in his country of origin.
- Aiming to put an end to the protests by the Madhesi community, Nepal, has passed the first constitutional amendment to its maiden democratic constitution. Three articles of their four-month-old constitution have been amended so quell the Madheshis.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (25 January to 31th 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.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become richer by $6 billion in one day after the company’s stocks surged by over 10% . The 31-year-old’s net worth is now around $47 billion. This makes Zuckerberg the sixth richest person in the world overnight.
- The Ministry of Shipping has announced that a batch of six metro coaches made in India were shipped to Australia from Mumbai port. Out of the planned 450 coaches, this is the first shipment to be exported to Australia within a period of two and a half years.
- India’s fiscal deficit in the first nine months (April-December) of the financial year stood at ₹4.88 lakh crore, 87.9% of its full-year target. In comparison, the figure has been 100.2% in the previous fiscal. The fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total expenditure and revenue.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed an $80million loan agreement to continue improving infrastructure in two North Eastern State Capital cities of Agartala(Tripura) and Aizwal(Mizoram). It will also support urban reforms.
- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has announced that it would introduce negative interest rates from next month to give a boost to the economy.
- The Customs Department has launched a mobile app named ‘Indian Customs-Guide to Travellers’ to inform people about the Custom rules. The app is a first-of-its-kind in the world and contains customs baggage rules and entitlements of passengers coming from various countries. It also works in offline mode.
- India has overtaken Thailand as the world’s largest rice exporter in the year 2015 by shipping (exporting) 10.23 million tonnes of rice.
- Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has announced that the government has received subscription for 2,790 kg gold amounting to ₹726 crore under the second tranche of the sovereign gold bond scheme.
- California-based DIY app-building application Appy Pie has been launched in India. Appy Pie lets users design professional-looking apps using themes and media elements from its gallery, without writing any code. Users can integrate GPS, m-commerce and push notification features in their apps, and can then publish the apps on the iOS and Android app stores.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced the implementation of its long due quota reforms which were passed in 2010, which only got the US Congress’ approval last year. Note : As a result of these reforms, four emerging market countries (Brazil,China, India, and Russia) will gain more voting rights and be among the ten largest members of the IMF.
- Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani has emerged as the richest person in India and the 27th richest in the world with a net worth of $24.8 billion, according to a global list of 50 wealthiest people. Other Indians on the list are: Wipro chairman Azim Premji and Sun Pharmaceuticals head Dilip Shanghvi.
- On the 67th Republic day, Bajaj Auto has announced that it will release the new ‘V’ range of motorcycles forged from the metals of India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, that was decommissioned in 2014. This new range is expected will be launched in the 150cc segment with a top speed of 110 kmph.
- Japanese telecommunications company Soft Bank has revealed its plans to start a phone store staffed by ‘Peppers’, its humanoid robot. Pepper, launched in June 2015, it is capable of recognizing and responding to human emotions and remembering faces.
- RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has joined the World Economic Forum (WEF) task force to study the future of the global financial system. It will look into the emerging markets, regulatory and monetary policies, technology, and loss of trust in financial services.
- Japanese automaker Toyota has topped 2015 global sales by selling 10.15 million vehicles, thereby retaining its top position for the fourth consecutive year. It is followed by Volkswagen and General Motors respectively.
- Online payments and m-commerce platform Paytm has signed a ₹120 crore agreement with its lead investor Alibaba’s cloud computing arm – AliCloud. Under the agreement, Paytm users will be allowed to access Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay for shopping in US, China, Japan and the UK. In return, Alipay’s users can shop in India through Paytm.
- Under the Centre’s new strategy, Khadi will now be projected as an organic, green fabric under the brand name ‘Harit Vastra’ to make it an international brand. The market potential for Indian Khadi goods is reportedly over ₹40,000 crore.
- Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has announced that the public sector oil firms IOC, BPCL, HPCL, and EIL will invest ₹1.5 lakh crore to set up India’s largest refinery in Maharashtra. This refinery, with a total capacity of 60 million tonnes a year, will be built in two phases. Note that :Reliance Industries currently has the largest refinery in India situated at Jamnagar (Gujarat).
- Alice Vaidyan has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of the General Insurance Corporation of India. Note that : She is the first woman to be appointed in such post not only in the GIC Re, but the first in the Indian insurance sector.
- Karnataka’s Malpe beach has become India’s first beach to provide free 24/7 WiFi service to visitors. It is given by the telecom company BSNL and is available for free usage for 30 minutes per number and 4G speeds can be accessed.
- Beverage giant Coca-Cola has announced that it will launch dairy-based beverages under the brand name ‘Vio’ starting January 26. Initially, these drinks will be exclusively be available in Reliance Retail’s stores and will make their debut across the country next month. Vio, which has been launched in the US in 2009, will be available in ‘Kesar Treat’ and ‘Almond Delight’ variants.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sought an additional ₹26,000 crore from the government by 2018 for capital infusion into Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks for implementation of the Basel-III norms in the banks. Basel-III is a global voluntary regulatory framework that measures the market liquidity risks of banks. The government has already pledged ₹70,000 crore for the purpose by the end of FY19.
- Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, has launched an online payment facility for booking LPG refill cylinders in Mumbai.
- Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg has announced that the government is likely to hold the next round of spectrum auction in May-June 2016. The last spectrum auction was conducted across 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz frequencies in March 2015 and collected around ₹1.1 lakh crore.
- State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has received a clearance from the Environment Ministry for the ₹53,000 crore project in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna-Godavari basin. ONGC will dig 45 development wells and other related infrastructure.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will soon introduce new currency notes of denominations 500 and 100 of the Mahatma Gandhi Series 2005 with additional security features. The new security features include — bleed lines, ascending size of numerals in the number panels and enlarged identification mark on the obverse side.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (25 January to 31 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.
- Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis have won the Australian Open women’s doubles title on Friday, when they beat seventh seeded Czech combination of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
- The Indian women’s cricket team has defeated Australia in the 2nd T20I by 10 wickets and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
- Former Australian MP, Pat Farmer, who is also an ultra-marathon runner, has set out on marathon ‘The Spirit of India Run’ covering 4600 km in 60 days. It started on January 26 from Kanyakumari and is targated to reach Srinagar on March 31. With this, Pat aims to promote goodwill between Australia and India, while also raising funds for girls’ education in India.
- Indian rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra has been honoured with the International Shooting Sport Federation President’s Button and Diploma of Honour, the highest honour of the sporting body. He is also the only Indian to have Olympic (2008) and World title at the same time.
- India has clinched the ongoing three-match series against Australia 2-0 after winning the second T20 by 27 runs .
- Australian Olympic diving gold medallist Matthew Mitcham will not compete at this year’s Rio Games after announcing his retirement from the sport recently.
- India’s top pistol shooter Heena Sidhu has claimed the Gold medal in women’s 10-meter air pistol event at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers. She has secured Olympic Quota.
- India has regained the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings after four-and-a-half years. Australia is ranked second and the third-placed was occupied by South Africa.
- Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have defeated German-Czech pair- Juilia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova to book a place in the Australian Open doubles finals. The top ranked Indo-Swiss pair will face the seventh-seeded all-Czech combination of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the finals.
- India beat Australia by 37 runs in the first Twenty-20 International held at Adelaide Oval.
- Deborah Herold from the island UT of Andamans has created history by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Track Cycling World Championships to be held in March at London.
- Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna with their partners has entered quarterfinals of Australian Open Tennis.
- In Australian Open Johanna Konta has become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in the last 32 years.
- The governing body of Olympic games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has eased the guidelines for transgender athletes, they can take part in the competition without undergoing genital reconstruction surgery now. According to the old guidelines, transgenders had to undergo sex reassignment surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy before competing at the Olympics.
- India’s Ace badminton player, PV Sindhu has won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton title 2016.
- India’s cricket opener, Rohit Sharma has rocketed into the top ten of ODI Rankings for batsmen after being named Man-of-the-series for scoring 441 runs against Australia. Overall three Indian batsmen – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan – have made to the top ten. Note that : Indian team Captain, MS Dhoni has slipped out of the top ten for the first time in seven years by ranking at 13th position.
- Paul Kantner, a founding member and guitarist of the 1960s American psychedelic band, the ‘Jefferson Airplane‘, has passed away at age of 74 years.
- Former minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug has passed away.
- The captain of the champion Indian basketball team in the first Asian Games in 1951, Ranbir Chopra has passed away at age of 86 years. Chopra had been a part of the Punjab team that won the national title in 1951 in Ludhiana.
- Hollywood Actor Abe Vigoda has passed away. He was best known for his role as mobster Tessio in the movie The Godfather, and is also famous for the television series Barney Miller.
- British adventurer Henry Worsley, who was replicating Sir Ernest Shackleton’s solo expedition across the South Pole, has died from severe dehydration and exhaustion at age of 55 years. He had covered 913 miles in 71 days and was only 30 miles short of becoming the first man to cross Antarctica by himself.
- National award-winning South Indian actress Kalpana Ranjani has passed away. She was the winner of the National Award in 2012 for the best-supporting actress for her role in the Malayalam movie ‘Thanichala Njan‘.
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