Current Affairs India - 29-30 January 2016

1. Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh launched the MITRA mobile app this week to ensure safety and security of women in the Union Territory. The Android based application can send emergency SOS messages when in danger or emergency. It is an initiative of the Puducherry Police and can be used with ease and without anyone noticing it.

2. JS Deepak, a UP cadre officer from the 1982 batch, who is currently Secretary, Department of IT (DeitY), has been appointed as new secretary of Telecom Ministry, DoT. He will succeed Rakesh Garg who has been moved to Minority Affairs Ministry. This will be Deepak-s second innings in the Department of Communications (DoT).

KK Jalan, a 1982 batch IAS officer from the Haryana cadre, has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). He will succeed current incumbent Anup K Pujari on his retirement. Shobhana K Pattanayak, a 1982 Karnataka cadre officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. She succeeds Siraj Hussain who retired recently.

Vinod Agrawal will take over as Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Shyam S Agarwal will take over as the new Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

3. Gurdeep Singh was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of NTPC Ltd this week. With this appointment, he has become the first person to be appointed for the CMD role in a Maharatna company through a search committee route. The post fell vacant after Arup Roy Choudhury completed his five year term in August last year.

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

5. Famous wild life film maker Naresh Bedi was chosen for the V Shantaram lifetime Achievement Award at 14th edition of Mumbai International Festival which was held in Mumbai this week. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Colonel Rajyvardhan Rathore inaugurated MIFF 2016 which takes place in every two years.

6. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumarhas been chosen for the prestigious K Veeramani Social Justice Award for his contribution for the cause of social justice especially for upliftment of weaker and marginalised sections of the society. K Veeramani Social Justice Award is the annual award has been instituted by US-based Periyar International, an organisation of non-resident followers of Dalit icon Periyar EV Ramasami.

7. Former Army Chief General K V Krishna Rao, who played a key role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, passed away after a cardiac arrest. He was 92. Rao also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when militancy was at its peak in the state.

8. Indian economy grew by 7.2% in previous financial year 2014-15 compared to 6.6% growth in the financial year 2013-14. Earlier the provisional estimate pegged the GDP growth at 7.3% for the financial year 2014-15.

9. Indian BPO Company Firstsource Solutions Ltdacquired BPO unit of ISGN, a full service provider of mortgage technology and services, for an undisclosed sum. More than 700 employees from ISGN-s BPO division in the United States and India will join Firstsource.

10. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis duo won the 2016 Australian Open women-s doubles title after defeating seventh seeded Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka by 7-6, 6-3 in the final match at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia yesterday. With the win they extended their unbeaten run to 36.

11. Punjab-s Navneet Kaurwon two gold medals in the 34th Senior National Rowing Championship at Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad. Kaur took 8:26.83 seconds to take the first place in the 2000mts Open Single Scull. Navneet and Harpreet Kaur also won the women-s doubles sculls timing 7:42.94 seconds. Santosh Kadale won his maiden national gold in the men single scull.