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Daily Current Affairs - 7 to 8 Jan, 2016


California Governor Jerry Brown on 6 January 2016 declared a state of emergency over a methane gas on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. Governor ordered that all necessary and viable actions be taken to stop it. The leak happened at the Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon storage field in Porter Ranch of Los Angeles on 23 October 2015. 

The incident led to displacement of thousands of families and as per reports many of them is feeling ill. Gas is spewing into the atmosphere at a rate so fast that the well now accounts for about a quarter of the state's total emissions of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas.

Methane: Methane (CH4) gas is a very strong greenhouse gas, capable of trapping solar radiation in the atmosphere. It is the simplest alkane and the main component of natural gas. It belongs to a category of gases called short-lived climate pollutants but are capable of heating the atmosphere by tens, hundreds or even thousands of times greater than that of the Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Methane was first scientifically identified in November 1776 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in the marshes of Lake Maggiore straddling Italy and Switzerland. 


National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an Enterprise of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Government of India Celebrated its 63rd Foundation Day. 

Delhi Government on 6 January 2016 scrapped the management quota and all other quotas, in private schools for nursery admissions. There will be only 25 percent reservation for economically weaker sections and the rest 75 percent will be made available to the general public. The government also scrapped 62 arbitrary and discriminatory criteria listed by the schools on their websites for admissions. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

As per the state government, certain criteria put out by the schools were a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution relating to equality before law. Private schools in Delhi have quotas for management, siblings, alumni and many others, which is arbitrary. The decision came in the midst of the admission process for nursery classes in over 2500 private schools in the capital. 

Wattan Ko Jano, an initiative being carried out by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government came in news after more than 240 youth in the age-group of 15 to 24 from J&K met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Watan Ko Jano initiative was conceived by the J&K State Rehabilitation Council in 2011. 

It essentially is a Youth Exchange Programme under which the children of militancy-hit victims, orphanages, and weaker sections of society are identified by Jammu and Kashmir State Rehabilitation Council as beneficiaries under the programme in the state. 

The initiative aims at exposing youth from the state to the vibrant development and vitality of culture of people residing in other states of the country. Earlier on 29 December 2015, a group of 250 such youngsters participated in the Watan Ko Jano tour and met Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 

The World Bank has projected a robust 7.8 percent growth for the Indian economy in the current year. In its Global Economic Prospect report released on 6th Jan, 2016, the World Bank cited strong investor sentiment in India and the positive effect on real incomes of the recent fall in oil prices. 

The report said, India's currency and stock markets were largely resilient over the past year, even during bouts of volatility in global financial markets. The Bank has further forecast a 7.9 per cent growth for India in the next two years. This comes even as the Chinese growth is projected to slow further while Russia and Brazil are expected to remain in recession during 2016 among the major developing economies. 

The Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar inaugurated an international exhibition and conference on Pharma industry, medical electronics and devices sector at Bengaluru 7 Jan 2016. 

India Pharma 2016 and India Medical Expo 2016 is the first such major composite event in the country for the pharmaceutical and Medical devices industry. The 3-day event is aimed at increasing overall growth of Pharma sector including exports, and focuses on increasing domestic production in the sector. The event also strives to encourage ‘Make in India’ for manufacturing drugs and pharma machines, and also provides a platform to global investment community to connect with stakeholders. 


Mr. Vira Rajpoj Chanarat, Minister of Culture, Kingdom of Thailand along with a delegation met Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism on 7 Jan 2016. They discussed the issues of Mutual Cooperation in the field of Culture and Tourism. Dr. Sharma assured the visiting Minister that the culture relations between India and Thailand will be strengthened. 

In India, a Buddhist Circuit has been developed which covers various important religious places related to Lord Buddha. He also said that the Year 2017 is being celebrated to mark the 70th Anniversary of India-Thailand Friendship. India can organize Short Term Exhibitions on Lord Buddha in Thailand. 


Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela broke the world record on 5 January 2016 to grab a gold medal in the women's 10 metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix. Chandela shot 211.2 in the event held at Savsjo Shooting Centre to outshine the feat of Chinese Olympic gold medallist Yi Siling, who held the record with 211. On the other hand, Swedish shooters Astrid Steffensen and Stine Nielsen won the silver and bronze, respectively. 

• In 2012, she won the gold medal in the 10 metres air rifle event at the National shooting championships in New Delhi. 
• In 2014, she won four medals at the Intershoot Championships at The Hague, that included two individual and two team medals. 
• She won the gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 
• She also qualified for the Women's 10 m air rifle at the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympics qualification round.

Persons in news

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away on 7 January 2016 at the AIIMS hospital in New Delhi. He was 79. Sayeed who founded the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had been admitted to AIIMS in Delhi with complaints of severe fever and neck pain. 

About Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
• Born on 12 January 1936, the leader had been a member of the Indian National Congress party until 1987. 
• In 1987, he quit the Congress party to join V. P. Singh's Jan Morcha. 
• He became the first Muslim Minister for Home Affairs in the Union Cabinet of India in 1989. 
• He rejoined the Congress under P V Narasimha Rao. However, Sayeed left the Congress in 1999 along with daughter Mehbooba Mufti to form his own party, Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party.

Pierre Boulez, the former principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, passed away on 5 January 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was 90. Being a French composer and conductor, he helped blaze a radical new path for classical music in the 20th century and became one of its dominant figures in the decades after World War II.

Noted Gujarati writer and poet Labhshankar Thakar passed away on 6 January 2016 following prolonged illness in Ahmedabad. He was 80. He was a modernist author of Gujarati literature with influence of existentialism challenging traditional literature styles.

New Appointments

Dr Achyuta Samanta was on 6 January 2016 elected as the General President of the 105th Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) that is scheduled for 2017-18. Samanta is also currently serving as member of Executive Council of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA). 

With this, Samanta becomes the second person from Odisha to be elected as President of the ISC in its 102 years history. On last occasion, Prof Prana Krushna Parija, eminent Odia scientist, was elected as President of the 47th Session of the ISCA in 1960. 

FreeCharge co-founder and CEO Kunal Shah was on 5 January 2016 appointed as the Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Shah succeeds Nishant Rao, who has now joined Freshdesk as the global Chief Operating Officer. Shah co- founded FreeCharge in August 2010. 

About Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI): 
• Established in 2004, IAMAI comprises of mobile content and services, online publishing, mobile and online advertising, e-commerce and digital payments players, among others. 
• It is registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 with offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. 
• The association represents nearly 200 companies from digital and online industry. 

Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, popularly known as Sam Pitroda, on 6 January 2016 was appointed Technology Advisor to the Odisha Government. Pitroda was appointed as the technology adviser for development of telecom, electronics, IT, ITES sectors of the state. Pitroda will have a key role in Vision 2036 for Odisha@100, as the state government is making a vision document for 2036 to celebrate the 100 years of state’s formation. 

About Sam Pitroda: 
• He is a director of the Young Indian Company co-owned by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. 
• He also served as Advisor to the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Technology Missions related to water, literacy, immunization, oil seeds, telecom, and dairy. 
• He is the founding Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. 
• He has also served as an advisor to the United Nations. 

Actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan who is appointed as a chairman of the governing council of Film and Television Institute of India took the charge.


INS Kadmatt, second ship of Project 28 (P28) class Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvettes, was commissioned into the Indian Navy by the Chief of Naval Staff at a glittering ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 7 January 2016.

INS Kadmatt is named after one of the large islands amongst the Lakshadweep group of Islands off the west coast of India. The Lakshadweep Islands and the Navy share a special relation with the Island chain being home to our base INS Dweeprakshak, as well as detachments on Minicoy, Androth and Bitra Islands. The commissioning of INS Kadmatt on 7 January 2016 signifies the importance of our Island territories as our maritime interests said the Admiral. Regarded as a very prestigious acquisition, INS Kadmatt is one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India.



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