Daily Current Affairs - 12th January, 2016


International

Sri Lanka on 9 January 2016 began the process to formulate new constitution. In this regard, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented a resolution in the Parliament to set up a Constitutional Assembly. 

The primary objective behind framing the new constitution is to replace the current executive president headed constitution adopted in 1978. The present constitution, especially the powerful nature of the Presidency, has become controversial due to the growing authoritarian tendencies in a single office. 

Nepal on 9 January 2016 was elected to the UNICEF executive board, representing the group of Asia-Pacific countries for the term 2016-2018. Nepal's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Durga Prasad Bhattarai, was also unanimously elected vice-president to the Bureau of the Executive Board of the UNICEF for 2016. Nepal recently completed its terms as a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2013-2015 and as vice-president from Asia-Pacific region at the executive board of United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/United Nations Office for Project Services for the year 2015. Nepal had contributed to the UNICEF by remaining in the executive board in different times including 1982 to 1985, 1992 to 1995 and 2002 to 2004. 

About United Nations Children's Fund: 
• The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations program that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. 
• It is one of the members of the United Nations Development Group and its Executive Committee. 
• UNICEF was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946 to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. 
• Maurice Pate, American humanitarian and businessman, co-founded the United Nations Children's Fund with Herbert Hoover in 1947. 
• In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations System and its name was shortened from the original United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. However, it has continued to be known by the popular acronym based on this previous title. 

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on 10 January 2016 inaugurated the 28th edition of International Kite Festival at Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The Kite festival of Gujarat marks Uttarayan, the day when winter begins to turn into summer, according to the Indian calendar. The five-day annual event saw participation of about 98 foreign kite flyers from 28 different nations and 55 participants from 8 different states and 28 kite flyers from Gujarat. 

China has begun the trial of its first Tibetan language search engine, putting it on course for release in the second half of 2016. "Cloud Tibet" has news, picture, video and audio search options, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

National

The National Aluminum Company, NALCO has announced to develop and promote Bhubaneswar as a floral hub and make the city green. Under corporate social responsibility, Nalco will begin several beautiful projects and steps to enhance green cover and horticulture activities in the capital city said its CMD Tapan Kumar Chand. 

The 11th World Hindi Day was celebrated on 10 January 2016. To mark the occasion, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through its missions/posts abroad and the Department of Official Language (Rajbhasha) conducted special events to spread the greatness of the language. 

The day was first observed on 10 January 2006. And, it is in addition to the National Hindi Divas that is being celebrated annually on 14 September. National Hindi Divas is celebrated to mark the day, 14 September 1949, on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union. While the focus of the World Hindi Day is the promotion of the at the global stage, the National Hindi Divas is held across the country. 

Constitutional Provision for Hindi language: Official Language policy of the Union has been explained in detail under Article 120 (Part-V), Article 210 (Part-VI) and, especially in Part XVII, Article 343, 344 and from 348 to 351. 

The President Pranab Mukherjee on 10 January 2016 inaugurated the three day long 88th annual conference of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan in Ranchi, Jharkhand. In this conference, delegates from all over the country attend to hold thematic discussions, meet Bengali authors, novelists, and poets, attend literary sessions, exchange thoughts with scholars of the other languages. All participants of the conference would also be encouraged to contribute towards Indian literature continously. 

• Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan is an annual convention of Bengali literary personages of India. 
•It serves Bengali literature and Bengali culture in almost all the states of India. The central office of the organization is located at New Delhi. 
• It was initially known as Prabasi Banga-Sahitya Sammelan and was held annually. • The first annual conference was held in Benares in 1922 and presided over by Kobiguru Rabindranath Thakur. And in 1923 its Varanasi session was patronized by Rabindra Nath Tagore. 
• After Independence, in 1953 the coinage 'Prabasi' was dropped and 'Nikhil Bharat' (All India) was adopted in the context of the free nation. 
• The organization publishes a regular Bengali journal called 'Sammelani' and various other books related to Bengali literature and culture. 

The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) was held on 9 January 2016 in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by Priti Patel, MoS for Employment, United Kingdom. Apart from the main event in New Delhi, the day was celebrated by the MEA, across the world, through its missions/posts abroad.
The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was unique for two reasons: 
1) It was the first limited edition of the PBD. The government, in 2015, took a decision to limit the PBD conference as a biannual event and extend the PBD across the world and throughout the year. In effect, the next PBD conference will be held in 2017. 
2) It was organised for the first time by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after the government’s decision to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with it. Earlier it used to celebrated by the MOIA. 
About Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 
• It is being held annually since 2003 to bring the Indian Diaspora on a single platform and leverage their resources in nation building activities. 
• The day is held annually on 9 January 2015 to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India. 
• Apart from the PBD, regional PBDs were also held across the world. The most recent, 9th RPBD was held in November 2015, in Los Angeles, the USA. 
• The 13th PBD was held in Gujarat marked the 100th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa. 

Bilateral

A new social security agreement signed between India and Australia has come into operation enabling people of both nations to avail retirement benefits in each other's country, a pact likely to boost bilateral business linkages. Australian Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer said the Commonwealth government wanted to make sure people who live and work in more than one country are not disadvantaged. 
The Agreement signed in November 2014 came into operation on January 1, 2016. Kelly O'Dwyer said, it is an important step in strengthening Australia's relationship with India, and shows the government's commitment to the 397,000 Indian-born people living in Australia, who make a substantial contribution to our community. 

Sports

Milos Raonic of Canada on 10 December 2015 won the 2016 Brisbane International Tennis men’s singles trophy. To win the title, the 14th world ranking player defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-4 6-4 in the final match held at Brisbane in Australia. At present, Roger Federer is at the third position in the world singles ranking. For Raonic, it was the 8th World ATP tour title in his career and the first title in the 2016 season. 
Winners in other categories: 
• Women’s Singles: Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) 
• Men’s Doubles: Henri Kontinen (Finland) & John Peers (Australia) 
• Women’s Doubles: Sania Mirza (India) & Martina Hingis (Switzerland) 

Danish kayaker Rene Holten Poulsen on 9 January 2016 was named the Denmark’s sportsperson of the year 2015. The Sports Confederation of Denmark and Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper voted to award Poulsen the prize, which is known as Sports Name of the Year and is among the country's top sports prizes. 
• Rene Holten Poulsen is a professional kayaker and medallist at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships. 

Stanislas Wawrinka on 10 January 2016 won his Chennai Open title. In the summit clash at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium of Chennai, he defeated Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5. This is the fourth Chennai Open title for the Swiss player and the third consecutive win, who first won it in 2011. With this win, Wawrinka lifted the cup and got the award money of 75700 US dollars and got away with 250 ATP ranking points. 

Persons in news

Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to compete in a world championship Formula One grand prix, passed away on 8 January 2016 in Italy. She was 89. De Filippis participated in five World Championship Grands Prix; however, she scored no championship points. Although she remained largely unsuccessful in her Formula One racing career, she is remembered as a pioneer in motor racing, a sport dominated by men. 

Otis Clay, American R&B and soul singer and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, died on 8 January 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. He was 73. Clay, the one-time Grammy nominee, passed away following a heart attack. 

Music Legend David Bowie has died at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer.  


New Appointments

Shri Devender Kumar Sikri, an officer of 1975 batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) 11 January 2016 took oath as the Chairman of Competition Commission of India (CCI). 

Awards

The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced on 11 January 2015 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the US. These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2015. The Revenant won the Best Motion Picture – Drama while best Actor and best Director Awards were conferred to Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro Inarritu for the same movie. Brie Larson won the best actress award for ‘The Martian’ Movie.
List of winners of the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards:

MOTION PICTURES:
Category
Film
Name
Picture, Drama
The Revenant

Picture, Musical or Comedy
The Martian

Actor, Drama:
The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio,
Actress, Drama:
Room
Brie Larson,
Director
The Revenant
Alejandro Inarritu,
Actor, Musical or Comedy
The Martian
Matt Damon
Actress, Musical or Comedy
Joy
Jennifer Lawrence
Supporting Actor
Creed
Sylvester Stallone,
Supporting Actress,
Steve Jobs
Kate Winslet
Foreign Language
Son of Saul

Animated Film
Inside Out

Screenplay:
Steve Jobs
Aaron Sorkin,
Original Score
The Hateful Eight
Ennio Morricone
Original Song                   
 "Writing's on the Wall"
music and lyrics


Spectre

Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes


TELEVISION
Category
Film
Name
Series, Drama
Mr. Robot                

Actor, Drama:
Mad Men
Jon Hamm
Actress, Drama:
Empire
Taraji P. Henson
Series, Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle

Actor, Musical or Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle
Gael Garcia Bernal
Actress, Musical or Comedy
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rachel Bloom,
Movie or Limited Series:
Wolf Hall

Actor, Limited Series
Movie 
Show Me a Hero

Oscar Isaacor TV

Actress, Movie or Limited Series
American Horror Story: Hotel
Lady Gaga
Supporting Actor,  , Limited Series or TV Movie 
Mr. Robot
Christian Slater               
Supporting Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie:
The Affair
Maura Tierney
Cecil B. DeMille Award:

Denzel    Washington                                    

Veteran hindi poet Balkrishna Garg was on 8 January 2016 conferred with the 2015 Harikrishna Devsare Baalsahitya Award in New Delhi. He received the award for his Baa Geet, which is a collection of poems for children. 
The award was presented by Sahitya Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari and National Book Trust (NBT) Chairman Baldeo Bhai Sharma. It was the second award to be conferred since its inception in 2014 and consists of a cash prize of 75000 rupees, a shawl and a citation. The award was instituted in the memory of Harikrishna Devsare, a renowned Hindi writer known for his work in the field of children’s literature, who passed away in 2013. 

Defence

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on 6 January 2016 successfully test fired the new Penetration-Cum Blast (PCB) and Thermobaric (TB) Ammunition tank at Chandipur, Odisha. This wa specially designed for Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT). The trials were conducted jointly with Army and were aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ammunitions on derelict tank fitted with instrumentation to measure the shocks, blast pressure and temperature at various locations and on advanced imaging systems.

About The New Ammunition Tank
• The ammunitions was developed by Pune based DRDO laboratories Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL). 
• An innovative chemical composition was developed by HEMRL after extensive research for the TB ammunition. 
• During the development phase, these ammunitions were evaluated against different simulated targets which are armour plates, concrete structures and fortifications. 

About Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT): 
A state-of-the-art weapon and ammunition system was developed by the DRDO for the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) by adopting novel design concepts and latest technological advancement at par with the industrially advanced countries. The system is capable of destroying modern heavy targets up to a range of 5000 metres. All aspects leading to ergonomics, product reliability, maintenance, ease of operation, and futuristic performance enhancement have been incorporated in the design of the system. 

The following indigenous technologies have been developed and established during the course of the system development. 
• Electro slag refined (ESR) steel for gun barrels 
• Partial length autofrettaging of gun barrels 
• High pressure packing rings for recoil system 
• Tungsten alloy penetrators 
• Fin stabilised kinetic energy shot 
• Special alloy steel obturating cups for cartridge cases 
• Semi-combustible cartridge case and primer.

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