Current Affairs India - 25 January 2014

1. The Election Commission of India celebrated the 4th National voters Day today (25 January) across the nation to commemorate the foundation day of the Election Commission of India and also to enhance the participation of the voters, especially the youth, in the democratic process. The theme for the 4th National voters Day is -Ethical Voting-. National Voters Day is started from 25 January 2011. Functions were held at more than 6.5 lakh locations across the country covering nearly all 8.5 lakh Polling Stations.

2. The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas launched LPG Connection Portability Scheme across the country on this week. It will be launched across 480 districts of the country covering all the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and distributors which have multiple LPG distributors of various ratings. With the launch of this new initiative, consumers can now switch to the distributor of his choice within a cluster of LPG distributors in the vicinity. This measure will bring great relief to those LPG consumers who are either unhappy with the services of their current distributor or want to move to an LPG distributor closer to their place of residence.

3. India and Japan have inked eight pacts in various fields including power generation, culture, education and tourism today. The pacts were signed after the delegation level talks between the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Mr Shinzo Abe in New Delhi. Both sides are working towards increasing their cooperation in the area of advanced technologies. The visiting Japanese Prime Minister said that his country has agreed to provide 200 billion Yen loan to develop Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and other rail projects.

Later, in a joint statement, the two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to further deepen the Strategic and Global Partnership between the two countries and contribute jointly to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.

4. Noted actor-director Kamala Haasan and classical singer Begum Parveen Sultana have been selected for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year, while Bollywood actors Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal will receive Padma Shri. Cricketer Yuvraj Singh, ace shuttler Gopichand and squash player Pallikkal have got Padma Shri awards. Dr Raghunath A Mashelkar, Director-General of India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and B K S Iyengar, founder of Iyengar Yoga and is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, have been awarded with the Padma Vibhushan, which is the second highest civilian award after Bharat Ratna.

5. Dr. Mohinder Singh, member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions and famous academician N Radhakrishnan have been awarded with the National Communal Harmony Award. Dr. Singh has been chosen for his work done in restoring peace after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Radhakrishnan for promotion of Gandhian values.

The Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai won the award under organization category for its work to promote peace, secularism and communal harmony in the country. The Awards are instituted by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony to give appreciation and recognition to the efforts of individuals and Organizations for promotion of communal harmony and national integration in a sustained manner.