Shares the Knowledge !


Daily Current Affairs- 28 to 29 January 2016


International

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched a 2.8 billion US dollar appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide on 26 January 2016. It included the 54.3 million US dollar appeal to help conflict-affected children in eastern Ukraine in 2016. It is for the first time ever that the largest portion of the appeal, that is, 25 per cent is dedicated towards educating children in emergencies. It planned to increase the number of children in crises who are given access to education from 4.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million in 2016. More than half of 5 million will be Syrian children inside the country or in neighbouring countries. 

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 :
• Its appeal targets a total of 76 million people in 63 countries. 
• The largest section of the appeal 1.16 billion US dollars are allocated to life-saving aid needed for Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Key needs include safe water, immunizations, education and child protection. 
• 30.8 million US dollars are being requested by UNICEF to respond to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe. 
• It is appealing for 180 million US dollars for children in Yemen where almost 10 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid in a conflict which is heading towards its first anniversary. 
• It is appealing for 25.5 million US dollars to help protect children in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world and to provide aid to Burundian refugees who have fled to Rwanda and Tanzania. 
• It is asking for 188.9 million US dollars to respond to the humanitarian needs in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, including addressing the consequences of the violence in northeast Nigeria. 
• The other appeals of UNICEF covers severely underfunded emergencies including protracted crises in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan which were all less than 40 per cent funded in 2015. 


Eritrea’s Department of Religious Affairs in the fourth week of January 2016 issued a law that makes it mandatory for men of the nation to marry at least two wives. Failing to adhere by the orders will lead to life imprisonment with hard labour. The law also says that women who attempt to prevent their husbands from exercising the law would spend the rest of their lives in jail. According to documents available on internet, the order was passed in lieu of the country facing a shortage of male population caused due to the civil war with Ethiopia. 

In order to bridge this shortage, the law also intends to cover the necessary wedding and accommodation expenses. The memo is yet to receive official verification or be re-produced in the country’s other national languages. Earlier in the similar way, Polygamy was legalised by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014, with no limit on the number of wives that a man can marry. Other African countries where polygamy remains illegal include Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Angola, Tunisia, Rwanda, and Burundi. 


International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was observed on 27 January 2016 across the world. The day was proclaimed so by the United Nations General Assembly. The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in the year 2016 including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony is "The Holocaust and Human Dignity." 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrate the day every year. The day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet troops in 1945.


31 countries on 27 January 2016 signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) to boost transparency in the functioning of multinational enterprises (MNEs) by allowing automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports by tax administrators. The signing of the agreement marks an important milestone towards implementation of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. 

Features of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement :
• Under this multilateral agreement, information will be exchanged between tax administrations, giving them a single, global picture on the key indicators of multinational businesses. 
• With Country-by-Country reporting, tax administrations will get aggregate information annually, starting with 2016 accounts, relating to the global allocation of income and taxes paid, together with other indicators of the location of economic activity within the MNE group. • It will enable consistent and swift implementation of new transfer pricing reporting standards developed under Action 13 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan. 
• The 31 signatory countries are the parties of or territories covered by the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters or have signed or expressed their intention to sign the convention. 
• The signatories are - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. 


China and Iran on 23 January 2016 signed 17 documents & letters of intents to broaden bilateral cooperation. The agreements were signed in Tehran during the Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Iran. The 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. 

During the visit, Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed to elevate their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership to boost cooperation on all fronts and carry forward their millennia-old friendship. Xi Jinping’s visit assumed significance as it was his first trip since the lifting of sanctions on Iran. In early January 2016, the USA, European nations and Japan lifted oil and financial sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement. 


Iran and Airbus on 28 January 2016 signed two agreements covering new aircraft orders and a comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package. The agreement includes purchase of 118 new Airbus aircrafts. The agreement for 118 new aircraft includes 21 A320ceo family, 24 A320neo family, 27 A330ceo family, 18 A330neo (-900), 16 A350-1000 and 12 A380. The agreements were signed at the Elysee Palace, Paris, during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to France with French President Francois Hollande. 


The term Human Rights up Front initiative was in news on 28 January 2016 as Deputy Secretary general in his address to UN General Assembly called the Member states, the Security Council along with ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) to play important role in promoting the approaches and changes, which the initiative seeks to achieve. 

The initiative was launched by Secretary General Ban-Ki moon in December 2013 to prevent and respond to serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The initiative is all about improving how the UN system functions and how staff members are to perform. It aims to help the organization to act more coherently across peace and security, development, and human rights which are the pillars of the work. It brought three types of changes to backup its systemic failure in prevention and violations of humanitarian law. 

They are :
Cultural change: To make sure that it’s staff understand their prevention responsibilities and pursue them. 
Operational change: To ensure that it works on the basis of shared analysis. 
Enhanced engagement: it ensures to have enhanced engagement with Member States. 


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 27 January 2016 implemented the long-pending 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms. The reforms represent a major step towards the increasing role of dynamic emerging market and developing countries. The entry into force of these reforms will reinforce the credibility, effectiveness, and legitimacy of the IMF. 

Highlights of the Reforms :
• For the first time, four emerging market countries- Brazil, China, India, and Russia will be among the 10 largest members of the IMF. 
• Other top 10 members include the United States, Japan, and the four largest European countries France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 
India’s voting rights increased to 2.6 percent from the current 2.3 percent and China’s voting rights increased to six percent from 3.8. 
• The reforms also increased the financial strength of the IMF by doubling its permanent capital resources to 659 billion US dollars. 
• More than 6 percent of quota shares will shift to dynamic emerging market and developing countries and also from over-represented to under-represented IMF members. 
• For the first time, the IMF’s Board will consist entirely of elected Executive Directors, ending the category of appointed Executive Directors. 
• The scope for appointing a second Alternate Executive Director in multi-country constituencies with seven or more members has been increased. 


National

Union Ministry of Urban Development on 28 January 2016 announced the 1st batch of 20 smart cities from 11 States and Union Territory of Delhi under the Smart Cities Mission. The 20 cities were selected through the Smart City Challenge competition that saw the participation of 1.52 crore citizens from 97 cities and towns. 23 States and Union Territories who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a fast track competition. 

Details related to 20 smart cities
• Among the 20 cities and towns, 3 cities are from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five made it to the winning list. 
• The 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of 50802 crore rupees over five years with all the cities proposing Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) as a major vehicle of resource mobilization. A total area of 26735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions. 
• These 20 cities account for a total population of 3.54 crore and 5 have population below 5 lakhs each, 4 in the range of 5-10 lakhs, 6 in between 10-25 lakhs, 4 between 25 and 50 lakhs and only Ahmedabad has above 50 lakhs. 


Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 27 January 2016 directed officials to impose ban on polythene in entire state from January 2017. The Chief Minister’s decision came after his review of the activities of Urban Development and Environment and Housing Department in capital Bhopal. He also directed the officials to chalk out a scheme for developing a new green field city between Bhopal and Indore. 


The Legislative Department in the Ministry of Law & Justice on 28 January 2016 constituted an expert committee to review the Specific Relief Act, 1963. The committee will have five members besides the Chairman. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months. The Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides for the law relating to certain kind of specific relief and has not been amended since its inception. 

The decision was taken in view of tremendous developments that have taken place after 1963 and also in the context of present scenario involving contract based infrastructure development, public private partnerships and other public projects involving huge investments and enforceability of the contracts thereof. It is a remedy which aims at the exact fulfillment of an obligation or specific performance of the contract rather than a general relief or damages or compensation.
 

Ministry of Culture on 28 January 2016 released a commemorative coin of 150 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on Lala Lajpat Rai. The Commemorative Coin of 150 rupees is made of Quaternary alloy with diameter of 44 mm and weight of 35 grams. The Circulation coin of 10 rupees is made of bi-metallic material with diameter of 27 mm and weight of 7.71 grams. 

The coin was released by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of state (Independent charge) Minister of Tourism & Culture at New Delhi on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai. Ministry of culture has been celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Rai from 28 January 2015 to 28 January 2016. 


Anti-Leprosy Day was observed on 30 January 2016 nationwide to focus attention on the disease which is also known as the Hansen’s disease. Annually, the day is celebrated in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who attained martyrdom on 30 January 1948, in order to re-memorize his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by the infectious disease leprosy. 


Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh on 28 January 2016 launched the MITRA mobile application to ensure safety and security of women in the Union Territory. The app was launched in the presence of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy in Puducherry. 


Bilateral

The 1st Ministerial Meeting of Arab-India Cooperation Forum was held on 24 January 2016 in the Bahraini capital Manama. The meeting, which was opened by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, was attended by Minister of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj, foreign ministers of Arab States, and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby. 

The meeting reviewed the achievements of the Arab-Indian cooperation since the establishment of the Arab-Indian Co-operation Forum in New Delhi in 2008 and adopted the Manama Declaration. The declaration called for enhanced cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues including terrorism, Palestine, Syria, Arab-Israeli conflict and reforms in the UNSC by expanding its permanent and non-permanent membership. 


Economy

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on 29 January 2016 released the first revised estimates of national income, consumption expenditure, saving and capital formation for 2014-15. Besides, the CSO also released second revised estimates of the years 2011-12 to 2013-14 (with base year 2011-12. 

Highlights of revised estimates for FYs 2014-15 & 2013-14 :
• Gross Domestic Product: Nominal Gross Domestic Product or GDP at current prices for the year 2014-15 was estimated at 124.88 lakh crore rupees while that for the year 2013-14 was estimated at 112.73 lakh crore rupees, exhibiting a growth of 10.8 per cent during 2014-15 as against 13.3 per cent during 2013-14. 
• Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for the years 2014-15 and 2013-14 stands at 105.52 lakh crore rupees and 98.39 lakh crore rupees, respectively, showing growth of 7.2 per cent during 2014-15, and 6.6 per cent during 2013-14. 
• The previous Real GDP estimates for FY 2014-15 and 2013-14 was 7.3 and 6.9 respectively. 
• Per capital income: Per capita net national income at current prices was estimated at 79412 and 86879 rupees respectively for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15. 
• Correspondingly, per capita private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) at current prices, for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15 was estimated at 52022 and 56772 respectively. 
• Industry-wise contribution: Percentage shares of different sectors of the economy in gross value addition (GVA) at current prices were – primary sector (20.04), secondary (27.36) and tertiary (52.60). 
• Percentage changes in GVA in 2014-15 at constant (2011-12) prices over the FY 2013-14 were – primary sector (1.3 percent), secondary (5.4) and tertiary (10.3). 
• The growth in real GVA during 2014-15 has been higher than that in 2013-14 mainly due to higher growth in mining and quarrying (10.8 percent), hotels & restaurants (10.7), public administration and defence (9.8) and other services (11.4 percent). 
• Saving: Rate of Gross Saving to gross national disposable income (GNDI) for the year 2014-15 is estimated as 32.3 per cent, the same as in 2013-14. 
• The highest contributor to the Gross Saving is the household sector, with a share of 57.8 per cent in the year 2014-15. 
• Capital formation: The rate of gross capital formation (GCF) to GDP declined from 34.7 per cent during 2013-14 to 34.2 per cent in the year 2014-15. 


Corporate

Cognizant Technology Solutions on 27 January 2016 acquired the privately-held KBACE Technologies Inc., a US-based global consulting and technology services company specialising in cloud strategy, implementation and integration. 


Leslie Berland was on 26 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Twitter Inc, an online social networking site. Before Berland’s appointment, the marketing operations was overseen by the Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto. 


Person in News

Aparna Kumar, IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, on 17 January 2016 became India's first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in the Antarctica. She hoisted the Tricolour and the flag of the Uttar Pradesh Police Service on Mount Vinson Massif. She set out on the Antarctic expedition on 5 January 2016, accompanied by a 10-member team of mountaineers from various countries. 


Former minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug died on 28 January 2016 at the district headquarter hospital in Balasore, Odisha. He was 85. 


New Appointments

Justice Sanjay Mishra was on 28 January 2016 appointed as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh. 


Gurdeep Singh on 28 January 2016 was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of NTPC Ltd.Singh will be the first person to be appointed to the top job at a Maharatna company through a search committee route.


Books

The second volume of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee titled "The Turbulent Years – 1980-1996" was released on 28 January 2016 by Vice President Hamid Ansari in function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. 


The book titled "Nathuram Godse - The Story of an Assassin" authored by Anup Ashok Sardesai was released on 30 January 2016. The book was released at the government-owned Ravindra Bhavan in Margao, Goa by BJP leader and the bhavan's chairman Damodar Naik. The book narrates the story of Nathuram Vinayakrao Godse who died an untimely death and his brother suffered a life of immense mental torture. It also speaks of the family of Godse who faced countless abuses and humiliations. 


Awards

Rodney George Laver honoured with the Companion of the order of Australia on 26 January 2016 on the occasion of the Australia Day. He was conferred with the award for eminent service to tennis as a player, representative and mentor, at the national and international level, and as a role model for young sportsmen and women. 


Chennupati Jagadish and Jay Chandra, Indian-origin persons, were on 26 January 2016 honoured with the Order of Australia, highest civilian honour of Australia on the occasion of the Australia Day. They were awarded for their contribution in the fields of physics, engineering and medicine.

Chennupati Jagadish is an eminent professor at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He was conferred with the award for his eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology. 

Jay Chandra is an eye doctor in New South Wales. He received the award for his significant service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology as a clinician and for his service to the international community through eye care programs. They were awarded along with Sajeev Koshy, a Kerala dentist settled in Melbourne. 


Prince Mahidol Award 2015 was conferred upon Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide. The award was presented on 29 January 2016 at the Grand Palace in Bangkok by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, who couldn’t attend the ceremony due to ill health. Mower, a citizen of the USA, received the award in the category of medicine for invention of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. 

The device helps in monitoring heart rate and rhythm and delivers electrical current when abnormality is detected. Marmot, a citizen of the UK, won the award in public health category for his evidence-based evaluation of the role of Social Determinants of Health, a concept that was adopted by the government of the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate health inequalities. 


Nisid Hajari on 28 January 2016 won the 2016 William E. Colby Award for his book, Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition. Hajari will be presented with the award and honorarium at Norwich University, the USA in April 2016. 
The Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition covers the 1947 partition of India and the violence that surrounded that event. 


Veteran wildlife filmmaker Naresh Bedi on 28 January 2016 was honoured with the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF 2016). Bedi was honoured for his outstanding contribution to wildlife filmmaking. He is also credited with filming several rare wildlife moments. 


Sports

14-year old Ishika Shah on 26 January 2016 won the 12th Sub-Junior National Snooker championship title in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. To win the title, she defeated Anushi Seth by 50-2, 50-33 in the final match. 


Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis on 29 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open title of tennis in the women’s doubles category. To win the title, the top seeded Indo-Swiss pair defeated seventh seeded Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. With the win over the Czech duo, they extended their unbeaten run to 36. In a semi final of the tournament, the duo created a world record by winning their 29th women’s doubles match in a row. 


Punjab’s Navneet Kaur on 28 January 2016 won two gold medals in the 34th Senior National Rowing Championship at Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad. It was her maiden gold at the country’s highest level in the senior category. 


Angelique Kerber of Germany on 30 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open women’s singles tennis title at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. To win her maiden grand slam title, the seventh seed defeated the world number 1 ranking Serena Williams of the USA by 6-4 3-6 6-4. For 28-year-old Kerber, the final match was her first major final.


Brazilian racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi on 31 January 2016 clinched the 2015-16 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 at Madras Motor Racing Track in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Fittipaldi won two of the four races which earned him the required points to clinch the title with a tally of 244 points while Colombian Tatiana Calderon finished second (199), just eight ahead of Nikita Troitckii of Russia (191). 


Defence

India on 28 January 2016 test fired its indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).at Chandipuri in Odisha. It was as part of a user trial mission. Three rounds of test were carried out by Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel aiming at para-barrel targets. 

About Akash Missile :
• The Akash (sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. 
• It is developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). 
• IGMDP is also involved the development of the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles and Prithvi ballistic missile. 
• The first missile was delivered to the IAF in March 2012. The missile was formally inducted into the IAF in July 2015. 
• The missile can fly at supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5 and can engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25 kilometers. 


Intelsat, the commercial satellite giant, on 27 January 2016 announced that Inteslat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, was successfully launched. The satellites were launched from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle. The high throughput platform should provide customers with superior connections at a lower cost. Designated Intelsat 29e will be placed into service at 310° east and replace Intelsat 1R. Intelsat 29e will bring high throughput capacity in both C-band and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region. At least six more Epic spacecraft will follow, to cover other regions and to provide back-up. 

About the Intelsat 29e :
• Intelsat 29e is the first satellite of Intelsat’s next generation, all digital EpicNG satellite platforms, which combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology and the sector’s most advanced digital payload. 
• The digital payload will provide customers with unprecedented security and flexibility, enabling customers to seamlessly access and shift capacity to match their usage needs in a particular region or timeframe. 
Intelsat EpicNG is optimized to provide satellite connectivity for applications including the Internet of Things, enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility, and government, which are expected to provide a combined 3 billion dollar incremental opportunity by the year 2020. 
• It is manufactured by Boeing and is equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft. 
Intelsat 29e is the 56th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace. Besides, Intelsat has plans to launch the second Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 33e, which will serve Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, in the third quarter of 2016, also aboard an Arianespace launcher. 


Science | Technology

A team of astronomers of UK, USA and Australia discovered the widest planet system so far comprising of lonely planet named 2MASS J2126 in a huge orbit around its star TYC 9486-927-1. The discovery was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on 26 January 2016. 


Japan on 28 January 2016 unveiled country’s first stealth fighter aircraft X-2. The domestically-built fighter aircraft seeks to augment defence capabilities of the country that is surrounded by China and Russia that already have radar-evading aircraft technology. X-2 is expected to undergo its first test-flight in February 2016. 

Features of X-2 :
• It has two engines, similar to the F-22 of the USA, and is 46 feet long by 30 feet wide and 15 feet tall. 
• Its stealthy features include a special coating on the canopy that houses the pilot, as well as a carbon-fiber composite material that absorbs radar waves. 
• It was built under the code name Mitsubishi Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X by the country’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. 
• Apart from Mitsubishi, around 200 companies were involved in the development of the unarmed technology demonstrator. 
• It was built at a cost of 340 million US dollars and is smaller than a standard jet fighter. 


Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Upsc - Civils Preparation

Exam Strategy
Tips and Tricks
Preparation and Guidance
Optional Subjects - Preparation
Optional Subjects - Guidance
Many more >>

Bank Exams Preparation

Bank, Currency, Money, RBI,
Budget, Planning, Stock Exchange
Insurance, Taxation, International Organizations
Economic Issues, Fiscal Policy, Committee or Commissions
Many more >>

Computer Knowledge

History, Generations, Terminology
Hardware, Software, Internet
Networks, Shortcut Keys
Many more >>

Interview Preparation

General Do's and Don'ts in Interview
Entry and Dressing up
How to prepare?, Qualities judged
Many more >>