Current Affairs India - 28 January 2016

1. Union Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu announced names of 20 smart cities today which are the winners of first round of smart cities challenge. Bhubaneshwar topped the list followed by Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vishakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, New Delhi Municipal Council, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal. A total investment of Rs 50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected smart cities and towns during the five year period.

The objective of the Smart Cities Mission is to promote cities with core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment for its citizens. Smart Cities will drive economic growth and improve quality of life by providing adequate water and supply, sanitation, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing, IT connectivity, health and education. The Mission will cover 100 cities in the next five years.

2. India has overtaken Thailand as the world's largest rice exporter in the previous year 2015. India has exported 10.23 million tonnes of rice compared to Thailand-s 9.8 million tonnes of rice export in the same year. Vietnam secured third place in the list.

3. Indian lawyer and human rights defender Henri Tiphagne was awarded with the 8th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany for his exceptional commitment to human rights. He is the founder of the organization People-s Watch, one of the most notable human rights organizations in India. He will be conferred with the award at an official ceremony on 25th April 2016 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, Germany.