Current Affairs India - 8 January 2015

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar today. Guyanese president Donald Ramotar was the chief guest at the event India.

India has been holding Bhartiya Pravasi Divas for 12 years now to coincide with the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi back to India from South Africa in order to acknowledge the contribution of the Indian diaspora to the development of the country.  This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the young Gandhi.

2. Central Government has announced to launch Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan to create interest among the students in Science and Mathematics fields, as per a recent announcement made by the Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani while inaugurating the National Science Drama Festival 2014-15 in New Delhi today.

She also said that the Abhiyan will be launched from the next academic session in order to motivate and engage children in 6-18 age group in Science, Mathematics and Technology through observation and experiment.

3. Senior Indian diplomat Atul Khare has been named as the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General, Department of Field Support (DFS) by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. With this appointment he will be one of the highest ranking Indian officials in the world body.He will succeed Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh

Khare joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984 and has served Indian diplomatic missions in France, Mauritius, Senegal, Thailand and the United Kingdom. He was previously Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.

4. R Koteeswaran has taken charge as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Indian Overseas Bank. Earlier he was an Executive Director of Bank of India.

5. India-s Unemployment rate increased marginally to 4.9% in the financial year 2013-14, due to increased unemployment in rural areas as per the latest survey report by Labour Bureau. Unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in the previous financial year of 2012-13. The unemployment rate in urban areas dropped to 5.5% in financial year 2013-14 compared to 5.7% in the previous financial year.

6. Indian Chat application company, Hike Messenger has acquired a US-based free voice-calling firm Zip Phone to expand Hike-s product range in the Internet-based communication space. Post this acquisition, Zip Phone-s technology will help Hike to bring free voice calling facility to the market.