January 2015 Current Affairs List

January 2015 Current Affairs List
 
1-January
Current Affairs India - 1 January 2015

  1. The Central government has renamed the 64-year old Planning Commission as -NITI Ayog- (NITI- National Institution for Transforming India) which will provide the Centre and the States with relevant strategic and technical advice across key elements of policy. Planning commission has been renamed after Modi-s meeting with chief ministers of other countries.


This step was seen as first step of replacing with a new age institution. The existing planning commission was launched in 1950 and till now it has commissioned 12 five-year plans and six annual plans involving fund outlays of over Rs 200 lakh crore in its long 65-year-history.


  1. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched a mobile application -Himmat- in order to improve women safety in the national capital region. The app is an initiative by Delhi Police which caters to working women who own android smart phones and travel alone.


The app will allow users to call the police control room and also trigger a 30-second audio and video recording on the press of the phone-s power button.

  1. The government has appointed M Sathiyavathy as the new director general of civil aviation (DGCA) till 28thJanuary 2018. With thisSathiyavathy, who is currently additional secretary and financial advisor in the aviation ministry, will be the first director general of civil aviation (DGCA) of the country.


She will replace Prabhat Kumar, who has completed his central deputation and will go back to parent UP cadre. After she takes charge as DGCA, her first challenge will be to take Indian aviation safety ranking back to its lost top billing.

  1. Government has announced to separate the post of Chairman and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in public sector banks as advised by the Central Bank Reserve Bank of India.


As per Finance Ministry statement, the Chairman in public sector banks other than State Bank of India will be a part- time board member who would preside over the board meetings and will not be an Executive Chairman. The government has also appointed four Managing Directors and CEOs in United Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank and Vijaya Bank.

  1. India-s insurance industry regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was renamed to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India this week.The amendment was done to the Insurance Regulation and Development Act, 1999 by adding the words India after Development Authority in Section 105 of the Ordinance amends section 2 (1)(b) of the IRDA Act.

  2. India-s fiscal deficit for the April-November period of financial year 2014-15 touched 99% of the Budget estimate for the current financial year. As per the data published by the Controller General of Accounts, the deficit touched at Rs 5.25 lakh crore in the same period.


The Government managed to collect just 43.4% of estimated receipts, while its expenditure was 59.8% of estimation. The government now needs to take more steps in order to bring fiscal deficit with budget estimated target.

  1. India-s core sector grew by 6.7% in November compared to 3.2% growth witnessed in the same month last year. Core sector growth stood at 6.4% in previous month of October. The core sector gorwht was increased due to better performance of coal, cement, electricity sectors etc. Output of Coal, Cement and Electricity sectors jumped by 14.5%, 10.2% and 10.2% respectively in the same month.


The eight core sectors (coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity) have a weightage of 38% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and this improved data will have positive impact on overall IIP growth.
 
2-January
 
3-January
Current Affairs India - 3 January 2015

  1. A suspicious fishing boat carrying explosives from Pakistan was intercepted by Indian Coast Guard in Arabian Sea on the New Year eve. The crew on the boat was expected to carry 26-November like attack on Indian land. But the crew set the boat on fire and it sank at the same spot.


The incident came a month after sixth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack. India-s intelligence unit received an input with information that a fishing boat from Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea.

  1. Famous economist Arvind Panagariya is likely to be appointed Vice Chairman of the new Planning Commission, which has now been named NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. He will also be given cabinet rank. -NITI Ayog- will be headed by the prime minister and comprise a vice-chairperson, besides full-time and part-time members.

  2. R Koteeswaran has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of PSU bank Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) this week.Before this, he was serving as Executive Director of Bank of India. He replaced M Narendra who has superannuated recently.

  3. R.K Srivastava took over as the new chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) on 2ndJanuary. He succeeds Sudheer Raheja. He, a 1984-batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, has been appointed for 5 years.


The post was lying vacant after the previous UPA government terminated midway the six-month extension to the then chairman V.P Aggarwal and gave additional charge to Alok Sinha, who was working as joint secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry at that time.

  1. India-s manufacturing activity jumped to 2-year high in December as the HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) jumped to a two-year high of 54.5 in December compared to 53.3 in previous month of November.Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth for the sector. Manufacturing activity increased in December due to new orders from the consumer sector in the same month. This data increases optimism about domestic Industrial sector along with core sector growth which jumped to 6.7% in November.

  2. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves decreased by USD 287.5 million to USD 319.710 billion in the week ended 26th December, as per weekly report published by the RBI. The decrease was mainly due to decrease in foreign currency assets which was decreased by USD 271 million to USD 295.399 billion in the same week.


Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also dropped by USD 13 million and USD 3.5 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 18.985 billion in the same week.
 
4-January
Current Affairs Global - 4 January 2015

  1. Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was voted as Europe-s best football player for the second year in a row by European sports reporters for the year 2014.The results of the survey, carried out by Uruguay-s El Paisdaily was released this week which showed 89 of the 144 reporters queried named the star as the region-s top player. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Argentina-s Lionel Messi came in distant second and third places with 19 and 16 votes respectively.


In other categories, Argentina-s Diego Simeone won the Europe-s best coach title in the same survey. He coached Atletico Madrid to victory in the Spanish 2013-2014 season and the final of the UEFA Champions League.

  1. Sri Lanka BatsmanKumar Sangakkara became the fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs and also become the fifth man to cross the 12,000 test run mark. He achieved this feat in just 224 innings.

  2. Andy Murray won the ATP World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi as Novak Djokovic withdrew from the final match citing illness.


Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal by 6-2, 6-0 in straight sets in the semifinal match while world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Australian Open Champion Stanislas Wawarinka by 6-1, 6-2 in the other semifinal match.
Current Affairs India - 4 January 2015

  1. India-s largest private bank ICICI Bank launched its own 'digital village' project in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while adopting an entire village in Gujarat to provide services ranging from cashless banking to digitize school teaching. Digital village has three themes; cashless, comprehensive and connected. 


The village named as Akodara is in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. The bank has set up e-health, e-milk producer group, Wi-Fi connectivity and schools with digital black boards in the village, along with other digital facilities.

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 102ndIndian Science Congress at Mumbai University on 3rdJanuary. The theme of 2014 Indian science congress is -Science and Technology for Human Development.-


Premiur institutes including Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Indian Institute of Technology and Tata Memorial Centre, ISRO and DRDO have taken part in this event.

  1. The Reserve Bank of Indian has relaxed Know-Your-Customers (KYC) rules for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) due to practical difficulties and constraints being faced by NBFCs in getting KYC documents at frequent intervals.


As per RBI notification, the KYC renewal interval for three categories of customers will be different. For high-risk individuals and entities, it will be at least once in every 2 years, for medium risk individuals and entities, it will be at least once in every 8 years and for low risk individuals and entities, it will be at least once in every 10 years.
 
5-January
Current Affairs India - 5 January 2015

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scheme for distribution of LED bulbs in Delhi today under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme and a National Programme for LED-based Home and Street Lighting. Under the scheme, Delhi people will be able to request for LED bulbs under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme through a new Website www.eeslindia.org/Delhi-Launch launched by Modi today.


Consumers need to pay Rs. 130 per LED bulb under the scheme as compared to the market price in the range of Rs. 350 and Rs. 600. LED bulbs are considered to be energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. LED bulbs also have very long life, typically 8-10 times more than CFLs.

  1. Famous Economist Arvind Panagariya has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of National Institution for Transforming India, NITI Aayogwhich is the replaced entity for planning commission. Another economist Bibek Debroy and former Defence Secretary V K Saraswat have also been appointed as full-time members of the new entity.


The government had replaced the nearly 64-year old Planning Commission with NITI last week which will serve as the Think Tank of the Government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the Chairman of the new entity.

  1. Famous photo journalist Virendra Prabhakar passed away today morning after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 84. He was awarded with Padmashree in 1982 for his contribution to photography.


He was named in Limca Book of Records as the -longest spell working Press Photo Journalist-. He had 14,458 published news photos in his entire career. He was also the Secretary of the Chitrakala Sangam.

  1. The sports ministry has decided to recommend famous badminton player Saina Nehwal for the Padma Bhushan award even if it did not receive her nomination from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) within the given deadline.


Earlier disappointed Saina had stated that the Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended her name for the Padma Bhushan in August last year but the sports ministry rejected her application, citing 5-year gap norms.
 
6-January
Current Affairs Global - 6 January 2015

  1. Google-s CEO Larry Page has been named as the -business person of the year- for 2014, as per the popular business magazine Fortune.He was ranked at No 1 position among 20 global corporate leaders- list compiled on the basis of different factors including company-s performance, leadership style and total shareholder returns, the magazine said while bringing out its list.


Other corporate leaders included in the list are Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple-s Tim Cook and fast food chain Chipotle co-CEOs Montgomery Moran and Steve Ells and Fedex chairman & CEO Fred Smith.
Five women leaders have been included in the list of 20 global corporate leaders. They are Ultra Beauty CEO Mary Dillon, ITT CEO and President Denise Ramos, TJX Cos CEO Carol Meyrotwiz, Theranos Founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes and Williams-Sonoma President and CEO Laura Alber.

  1. Global crude oil price dropped to five-and-half year low at USD 52.27 per barrel due to oversupply and lower demand amid lower economic growth. This is the lowest crude oil price since May 2009.


Current Affairs India - 6 January 2015

  1. BCCI has announced the15-member cricket team for the ICC world cup to be held next month in Australia and New Zealand. Indian team will fight to defend the world title. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be the captain of the Indian team and Virat Kohli will be Vice Captain of the team.


Indian squad announced for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 includes: MS Dhoni (Captain), Virat Kohli (V Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.

  1. Trade unions have begun a five-day coal industry strike in order to protest against government-s decision for -disinvestment and restructuring of State-run Coal India-. This is also the biggest industrial action for any sector since 1977. The strike is expected to affect coal production of up to 1.5 million tonnes a day and may also hit supplies to power plants.

  2. Group Executive and Chairman of Larsen & Toubro, AM Naik has been awarded with the Order of the Dannebrog as Knight First Class by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in recognition of his role to enhance Indo-Danish ties in the fields of business, commerce and culture.


The Order of the Dannebrog is one of the world-s oldest Knight Orders, having been instituted in Denmark in 1671. AM Naik is also the Honorary Consul General of Denmark in Mumbai.
 
7-January
Current Affairs Global - 7 January 2015

  1. Euro zone inflation has turned negative and the 18-member region falls into deflation. Prices dropped by 0.2% in December compared to previous month. This deflation will add more pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take further action to stimulate the entire zone. Inflation turned into negative due to steep drop in energy prices and oil prices. This is the first time Eurozone witnessed deflation since financial crisis in 2009.


Current Affairs India - 7 January 2015

  1. The 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has started in Gandhinagar, Gujarat today as it was inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.At the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, She argued the young Indian to contribute in the initiatives and programs launched by Government of India.


She said that about 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India and they are connecting India with globe with their bonding. She talked about three Cs, connect, celebrate and contribute which are related to the advancement of modern India.

  1. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of Andhra Pradesh health sector, as per announcement made by the Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas in Hyderabad yesterday. As the brand ambassador of Andhra Pradesh health sector, he will be participating in various health-related campaigns of AP government.


 
8-January
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.

  1. CentralGovernment 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 Iraniwhile 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.

  1. Senior Indian diplomat Atul Khare has been namedas 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


 
9-January
 
10-January
Current Affairs Global - 10 January 2015

  1. Maithripala Sirisena won the Presidential election held in Sri Lanka recently and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat. Election officials have announced 65-70% voting in most places and as per the result announced, Sirisena is expected to be declared winner.

  2. AirlineRatings.com, safety and product rating website, has published the list of top ten safest airlines and top ten safest low cost airlines for 2015 from the 449 airlines around the world.Qantas airways secured No 1 place while other airlines in top 10 include Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.


Current Affairs India - 10 January 2015

  1. Central Government has imposed Governor's rule in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday as no political party was able to form government after assembly election held later last year. Jammu & Kashmir Governor Mr. Vohra sent a report to the President recommending Governor-s rule in Jammu & Kashmir.

  2. Ritesh Batra-s movie -The Lunchbox- has bagged a nomination in the non-English best film category at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards this week. This is the only Indian film to be nominated at this year-s ceremony.


It will compete with other films including Pawel Pawlikowski-s Polish-Danish drama -Ida-, Russian film -Leviathan-, Brazilian-British adventure thriller -Trash-, and Belgian movie -Two Days, One Night- in the Film Not in the English Language category at the awards.

  1. Tata-s newly launched airlines Vistara flew its first flight on 9thJanuary from Delhi to Mumbai. With this Tata re-enters into Indian aviation industry after a gap of six decades. Vistara is a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines where Tata holds 51% stake and Vistara owns 49% stake.

  2. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves decreased by USD 471.4 million to USD 319.238 billion in the week ended 2ndJanuary, as per weekly report published by the RBI. The fall was mainly due to decrease in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 863.2 million to USD 294.536 billion in the same week.


Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also dropped by USD 0.7 million and USD 0.2 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves were increased by USD 392.7 million to USD 19.377 billion in the same week.
 
11-January
Current Affairs Global - 11 January 2015

  1. The US economy added 252,000 jobs in December as economy improved significantly. US unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% in December compared to 5.8% in November, as per the data published by the US Labor Department. This is the lowest unemployment rate since June 2008.

  2. China's inflation, measured by consumer price index, stood at 1.5% in December compared to 1.4% in the previous month of January. Inflation increase marginally due to increase in prices of some food items.


Consumer price inflation (CPI) for the whole year 2014 stood at 2% compared with 2013 which was much lower than government's target of 3.5%.
Current Affairs India - 11 January 2015

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Vibrant Gujarat today and promised to make India as the easiestdestination to do business with a stable tax regime and a transparent policy environment. He also said a single window clearance for projects is being set up at both central and state level.


Lots of businessmen from around the world, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry attended the Vibrant Gujarat event and promised to invest in Gujarat. John Kerry address investors in the event to improve economic ties between the USA and India and discuss different bilateral and global issues. He also mentioned that Modi's campaign of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (participation of all, development for all) can be a win-win situation for all.

  1. Senior IAS officer Sindhushree Khullar was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, newer version of planning commission. Her appointment was effective from 1stJanuary 2015 and will serve for one year. Earlier she was appointed as Secretary of the Planning Commission on contract basis for two years in March 2013.


Famous Economist Arvind Panagariya was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog and Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members of NITI Aayog.

  1. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has projected Indian economic growth at 6.4% for the next year 2015 and will improve further in the next year.He also said that he was very encouraged by the recent proposal of a Constitution amendment bill for Goods and Services Tax which should have positive impact on India-s economic growth.


 
12-January
Current Affairs Global - 12 January 2015

  1. Justice S K Sinha has been appointed as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh today. With this, he has become the first Hindu to hold the highest judicial post in the Muslim-dominated country.President Mohammad Abdul Hamid appointed Sinha, the senior most judge of the apex court, as its Chief Justice for a little over three years term.

  2. Movie "Boyhood" won the Golden Globe award for best drama and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" won the Golden Globe award for best comedy or musical category. "Boyhood" took three Globes, including the night's top honour, best director award for Richard Linklater and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.


In Drama category, Eddie Redmayne won the best actor award for The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking and Julianne Moore won the best actress award for Still Alice movie. In Comedy or musical category, Michael Keaton won the best actor award for the film -Birdman- and Amy Adams won the best actress award for Big Eyes.

  1. Tennis legend Roger Federer won his record number 1000thwin the men-s professional tennis area while he defeated Milos Raonic by 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in the final match to win the Brisbane International title. This feat was earlier achieved by only Jimmy Connors (1,253 wins) and Ivan Lendl (1071 wins).


Current Affairs India - 12 January 2015

  1. Today (12-January) is Swami Vivekananda-s 152th birth anniversary and the day is observed as the National Youth day across the country.The Union Government had announced to observe birthday of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day in 1984.


He is best known for his inspiring speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893 in which he introduced Hinduism. He also established Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, a well-known philanthropic, volunteer organization.

  1. Assembly election for Delhi will be held on 7thFebruary in a single phase, as per announcement made by the Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath today. Counting will done on 10thFebruary. The notification in this regard will be issued on Wednesday and 21st January will be the last date for filing of nominations. Also the model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect.

  2. M.Y.S. Prasad, director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota Range (SHAR), has been selected for the Vikram Sarabhai memorial award for the year 2015. He was selected for his outstanding contribution to R&D in the field of space science at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). With this award, he will join the long list of winners including former ISRO chairmen Dr. Satish Dhawan, Dr. K. Kasturi Rangan, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair and Dr. K. Radhakrishnan.

  3. Indian IT Services Company Tech Mahindra acquired SOFGEN Holdings (SOFGEN), a niche consulting and services company specialising in private wealth, commercial and retail banking solutions. The transaction is expected to be completed before March 2015, subject to regulatory approvals.


SOFGEN has 450+ employees with 20+ Tier 1 client relationships. This acquisition will help Tech Mahindra to improve its Core Banking & Transformation services capabilities offered to Banking industry.

  1. Bengaluru FC won their first Federation Cup football title after defeating Dempo Sports Club by 2-1 in the final match held at Margao today. Sunil Chhetri and substitute Robin Singh scored the goals for Bengaluru FC. This is the second major title for Bengaluru FC after winning the I-League tournament last season.


November IIP grew by 3.8%; December CPI inflation increases marginally to 5%
India's Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, grew by 3.8% in November compared to 4.2% contraction in October. Manufacturing sector output, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by 3% in November compared to 7.6% contraction in October which pushed the overall IIP growth higher.
At the same time, India's Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, increased slightly to 5% in December compared to 4.3% in November due to higher food prices. Vegetable price inflation increased to 0.58% in December compared to (-)10.9% in November. The urban area retail inflation stood at 5.32% in December compared to 4.69% in November while in rural areas retail inflation stood at 4.71% in December compared to 4.09% in November.
RBI may cut interest rates during its next monetary policy announcement to boost growth as inflation is well below of RBI-s target level of 6%. Inflation is expected to stay within target due to recent drop in global crude oil price.
 
13-January
Current Affairs Global - 13 January 2015

  1. Portugal-s footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded with the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for 2014. With this, he won the title of world's best football player for a third time. He defeated Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and four-time winner Lionel Messi in a vote from national team captains and coaches from FIFA's 209 member countries. He received 37.66% of total votes while Messi just got only 15.76% and Manuel got 15.72% votes.


He scored 61 goals for his club Real Madrid and Portugal national team in the last year, also helped his club to win 10th European Cup title. In the women's category, Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler won the same award defeating Brazil-s Marta and USA-s Abby Wambach.
Current Affairs India - 13 January 2015

  1. A.S. Kiran Kumar has been appointed as the new head of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He joined ISRO in 1975 and was also behind the success of India's Mars Orbiter Mission which entered the Martian orbit on 24thSeptember last year.


He succeeds K. Radhakrishnan who retired in December last year after serving as chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) between 2009 and 2014.

  1. India's Mars Orbiter programme team in ISRO won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category from the US based National Space Society (NSS), as per announcement made by the society.This award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society-s 2015 International Space Development Conferenceto be held in Toronto, Canada.


India-s Mars Orbiter launched on 5th November, 2013 that went into Mars orbit on 24th September 2014 successfully. With this, India has become the first country to achieve this feat on its first try.

  1. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has been named as the -governor of the year- in the Central Banking Awards for 2015 by a British magazine today for -his deep understanding of the root causes of economic problems of the country combined with an impressive leadership style.-This is the second award by the London-based magazine and will be presented in London in March.


Raghuram Rajan is well-known economist and an author. Before joining RBI, Rajan was the chief economist of IMF. He had earlier successfully predicted the global financial crisis which shocked the world in 2008-2009.

  1. India-s Online Restaurant portal Zomato has announced that it has acquired UrbanSpoon, which is a dominant player in the US, Canada and Australia for specialized restaurant content. This acquisition will help Zomato to enter in the US, Australia and Canada region. Urbanspoon also has a significant presence in Ireland, UK and New Zealand.

  2. Corporation Bank won the -MSME Banking Excellence Awards 2014- given by the Chamber of Indian Micro Small & Medium Enterprises.The bank has bagged two awards under the categories -Best MSME Bank Award for Other Bank (Winner)- and -Best Bank Award (Runner Up)-.


Chairman and Managing Director SR Bansal received the award from Kalraj Mishra, Union Minster for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.
 
14-January
Current Affairs India - 14 January 2015

  1. H.S. Brahma will assume charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India and he will succeed VS Sampath. With this, H.S.Brahma will be the 19th Chief Election Commissioner of India. He was the other election Commissioner along with Ahmed Zaidi for which he assumed charge as Election Commissioner of India on 25th August, 2010.


V S Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner, will retire tomorrow after attaining the retirement age of 65. He has spent 6 years as CEC during which he conducted two Lok Sabha elections and at least one assembly election for all the states. Age 65 is the upper age limit for the CEC post under the constitution.

  1. The Central government removed DRDO chief Avinash Chander, also known as Agni Man, 15 months before his contract period ends.Chander was also the scientific advisor to the defence minister.


He joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Chander is the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems and popularly known as Agni Man.

  1. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has been awarded with the Social Media Personof the Year award by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) today. He is an active social media user and online blogger and has more than 10 million Twitter follower. He was presented with the award by IAMAI at his home today.

  2. As per one recent World Bank report, India would catch up with China-s growth in the year 2016-17 and will become the fastest growing country in the world. As per the World Bank forecast, India-s GDP growth will be 7% in 2016-2017 financial year compared to 7% in 2016 and 6.9% in 2017 for China.

  3. India-s leading IT Services Company Infosys has created a USD 250 million (Rs 1,550 crore) 'Innovate in India Fund- to invest in Indian start-ups, announced by Infosys Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka in a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. The fund will be dedicated for investments in promising new Indian companies that will be inducted into the global ecosystem of strategic partners that Infosys is building.


Earlier, Infosys has recently increased the value of innovation fund to USD 500 million during quarterly result announcement last week.
India's overall inflation increases marginally to 0.11% in December from 66-month low of 0% in November
India's overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), increase marginally to 0.11% December from 66-month low of 0% in previous month of November. Food inflation increased to 5.2% in December compared to just 0.63% in November which pushed the overall inflation number higher.
At the same time, the rate of inflation for fuel dropped further to (-) 7.82% in December from (-) 4.91% in November due to continuous drop in crude oil price. Also the rate of inflation for manufactured products dropped to 1.57% in December from 2.04% in November.
With 0.11% wholesale inflation and low retail inflation numbers, the RBI is expected to cut rates during its next monetary policy review meeting to boost growth. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has kept the interest rate unchanged during its last monetary policy review meeting held earlier tis year as he believed only interest rate cut won-t lift economy.
 
15-January
Current Affairs Global - 15 January 2015

  1. Pakistan plans to ban 10 terror outfits, including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Haqqani Network after the deadly Peshawar school massacre by the Taliban recently. The move came a day after the US declared chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mullah Fazlullah as a Global Terrorist. This will be a significant step by Pakistan if implemented.

  2. Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee announced retirement from all forms of cricket today following the conclusion of the Big Bash League (BBL).With this, his glorius 20 years long career came to an end. He quit from international cricket in July 2012, but has continued to play Twenty20 cricket for Sydney Sixers at the domestic level in the BBL and the Indian Premier League.


He is also Australia's joint highest wicket-taker of 380 wickets in one-day internationals along with Glenn McGrath. He also picked up 310 wickets in 76 Tests.
Current Affairs India - 15 January 2015

  1. 67thArmy day was observed today (15thJanuary) across the nation. The day is celebrated to commemorate the day when Lieutenant General K M Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army post Independence on 15 January 1949. He had succeeded General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.

  2. Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi joined BJP in presence of Party President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Dr. Harshvardhan in New Delhi todayand will contest upcoming Delhi Assembly polls. Ms Bedi had been associated with Aam Admi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal during the anti-corruption movement but refused to join his political party.


She said, "I am very grateful to PM for reposing his faith in me." She also said "I'm here today because of his (Modi's) inspirational leadership. His inspirational leadership has led to revival of hope, that's why a person like me who dedicated life to social service is here today-. She also promised to make New Delhi corruption free if BJP comes to power.

  1. Anupam Shrivastava has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director of state run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).He will take charge from BSNL's Director Enterprises A N Rai who is currently handling the additional charge of CMD.

  2. Union Minister of State for Parliamentary and Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was sentenced to a one-year jail term by a local court yesterday. He and 19 others were convicted for breaching prohibitory orders in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Section 144 was imposed in Rampur when local BJP workers staged a protest after the arrest of the BJP district president in 2009. Over 200 people were named in the charge sheet.

  3. Largest shareholder of cash trapped SpiceJet, Maran Family, has agreed to transfer its entire 53% stake worth of around Rs 500 crore to original promoter Ajay Singh today for its revival, as per details shared with stock exchange.Maran family would also infuse Rs 80 crore in the airline after conversion of their 10 percent warrants, which has been struggling for survival. This proposal was also approved by the SpiceJet board today.

  4. India's open water swimmer Bhakti Sharma has set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean. She broke the earlier record of British open water swimmer Lewis Pugh and American swimmer Lynne Cox. She is now the first Asian girl and youngest in the world to have this record.


RBI cuts repo rate by 25bps in a surprise move to boost growth
In a surprise move, RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has cut key policy rates by 25 bps with immediate effect today. Repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks for the short term, was reduced by 25 bps to 7.75% while the Reverse Repo Rate, the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks, was cut by 25 bps to 6.75%. The cash reserve ratio for banks has been kept unchanged at 4%. The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate stand at 8.75% with immediate effect after this rate cut today.
The RBI has kept the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks unchanged at 22% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL). Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) refers amount that the commercial banks require to maintain with the RBI in the form of gold or government approved securities (G-Secs or bonds) before lending.
Drop in retail and overall inflation numbers and global crude oil prices helped RBI to cut rates which was well accepted by India Inc and stock market today. Sensex regained 28000 mark after the rate cut today.
 
16-January
Current Affairs India - 16 January 2015

  1. Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi joined BJP today evening after former IPS officer Kiran Bedi. After formally joining BJP said that she is not in favour of contesting in upcoming assembly election in Delhi, but she will follow orders of the party. She had quit AAP in May 2014 blaming lack of internal democracy in the party.

  2. Haryana government has appointed Yoga guru Ramdev as its brand ambassador as it plans to promote yoga and ayurveda aggressively.Haryana's minister of sports and health Anil Vij announced to develop a herbal forest on thousands of acres of land in the state where 25 thousand species of ayurvedic herbs would be grown under the supervision of the yoga guru and his close aide Balkrishna.

  3. Censor Board Chief Leela Samson has quit as the chief of India-s Censor board today citinginterference and corruption of panel members appointed in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry.She has quit amid reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) had cleared the release of the film MSG - The Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the lead role.

  4. India-s leading IT Services Company Wipro has appointed Senior VP (Finance) Jatin Dalal as the new Chief Financial Officer effective from 1stApril 2015. He will succeed current CFO Suresh Senapaty who will retire after attaining the age of superannuation.

  5. UK-s Stephen Constantine has been appointed as the head coach of Indian men's football team today.With this he will return as the head coach of Indian football team for the second time once he will take charge from next month. He will also be the coach of the India Under-23 national team.


Earlier he was was Indian football team coach from 2002 till 2005, during which the national team won the LG Cup in Vietnam and finished runners-up in the Afro Asian Games.
 
17-January
 
18-January
Current Affairs Global - 18 January 2015

  1. South Africa's AB de Villiers hit the fastest century in one-day internationals while playing against West Indies in Johannesburg today.He took just 31 balls to reach 100 and scored 149 out of 44 balls with 16 sixes and 9 fours.With this, he broke New Zealand-s Corey Anderson's record against the West Indies in 2013-14 session.


Current Affairs India - 18 January 2015

  1. The first India-s indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft, LCA Tejas is finally was handed over to the Indian Air Force on 18thJanuary in the presence ofChief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha after 32 years of getting the project approved. 20 aircraft will be built by 2017-2018 to make the first squadron of the aircraft.


The LCA programme was initiated in 1983 by the Government to replace the ageing MiG-21s in Indian Air force's combat fleet but it missed several deadlines and cost increase significantly. The first LCA was handed over to the IAF after Initial Operational Clearance-II, which signifies that Tejas is airworthy in different conditions. The Initial Operational Clearance-I was granted in January 2011 and the Final Operational Clearance is expected by the year-end.

  1. K. Tamilmani, Chief Controller of Aeronautics Cluster in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is likely to be appointed as the interim head of the government organization. He is the senior-most of the seven cluster heads in the DRDO. Earlier the government has terminated the 18-month contract of Dr. Chander and asked him to step down this month.

  2. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Chairman R K Tyagi was awarded with the 'JGBS-Top Rankers' Excellence Award for CEO of the year'.He received the award from S M Khan, Director General, Registrar of Newspapers for India, at a function in New Delhi. HAL was rated as 'Excellent' with a score of 1.08 for the year 2013-14 which is the best among all Defence Public Sector Undertakings. HAL has also contributed to the success of Mars Orbiter Mission and GSLV Mk III launch in 2014.

  3. Famous Indian RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal was awarded with the Giraffe Hero award 2015 by a US-based NGO -The Giraffe Heroes Project- which will be presented to him later this month. He was chosen for his bravery in utilizing the Right to Information (RTI) Act for public good despite numerous challenges. He also holds the Guinness record of filing highest number of published letters to the editors.


More than hundred people from the US and 27 other countries have been honored with the award so far and the list of Indian winners include Baba Amte, Dr Mabelle Arole, Jaya Arunachalam, C P Bhatt, Ela Bhatt, Neha Gupta, Sunitha Krishnan, Usha Narayane, Bunker Roy, Vijay Saluja and G Venkatasam.

  1. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves increased by USD 236.4 million to USD 319.475 billion in the week ended 9thJanuary, as per weekly report published by the RBI. The jump was mainly due to decrease in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 308.5 million to USD 294.845 billion in the same week.


However Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were dropped by USD 56.7 million and USD 15.4 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 19.377 billion in the same week.

  1. Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands won women-s doubles title at the Sydney International Tennis Tournament.This is her first title of the season and 23rd of her career. They defeated top seeded Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones by 6-3, 6-3 in the final match to win the title. It was fifth WTA title for Sania and Bethanie together.


 
19-January
Current Affairs India - 19 January 2015

  1. Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani has been appointed as the new chief of Central Board of Film Certification, CBFC by the Central Government. The government also reconstituted the board by appointing new nine members including film Director Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, film maker Ashok Pandit and BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo.


Earlier the entire board members including the chairperson Leela Samson had resigned from CBFC accusing pressure and interference by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the CBFC affairs. They were unhappy after Film Certification Appellate Tribunal cleared the controversial film Messenger of God which the Censor Board had earlier denied to clear the controversial film.

  1. Famous Mathematician and Fields medalist Manjul Bhargava has been chosen as the face and to lead Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet education project to rope in eminent scholars and scientists staying abroad to teach students at IITs and central universities. He is the first person of Indian origin to win the coveted international prize, Fields medal, for his pioneering work in mathematics.


Bhargava agreed to 'recruit' scientists in the USA and across the world to participate in the Global Initiative of Academic network (GIAN), a short-term teaching programme under which scholars abroad will be invited to teach in India.

  1. Famous Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Frank Islam, has been awarded with the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr Award in recognition of his contribution in international service and civil engagement. He was given the annual award by the president of the Memorial Foundation, Harry Johnson yesterday.

  2. Microblogging site Twitter has appointed Taranjeet Singh as business head for its India operation. As head of Indian operation, he will be responsible to increase commercial opportunities for Twitter and will work closely with different brands and agencies to maximize its presence within India. Earlier, he worked as sales director of South Asia for BBC Advertising.

  3. The Company Secretaries- Institute has appointed Atul Hasmukh Rai Mehta as the new President for 2015. He was elected by the new central council of the institute at its meeting held today. It has also elected Mamta Binani as Vice-President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for 2015.

  4. India-s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank has announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, first by a bank in India. This application named as -icicibankpay-, enables ICICI Bank customers to transfer money to anyone in the country who has a Twitter account, check account balance, view last three transactions and recharge prepaid mobile.


Any ICICI Bank savings account customer, who has a mobile number registered with the bank and has a Twitter account, can access the facilities of -icicibankpay-. The customer can send money to anyone in India even if the recipient does not have an ICICI Bank savings account.
 
20-January
Current Affairs Global - 20 January 2015

  1. China's economic growth dropped to 7.4% in 2014 compared to 7.7% in previous year of 2013. This is also its slowest growth in last 24 years. Also the growth missed the annual growth target of 7.5% for the first time in last 15 years. Chinese economy grew by 7.3% in the last quarter (October-December) of the previous year.

  2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered global economic growth forecast for the current and next year. It has reduced global economic growth projection to 3.5% for 2015 from earlier projection of 3.8%. It has also reduced GDP growth projection for 2016 at 3.7%.

  3. Microblogging siteTwitter announced its first acquisition in India as it plans to acquire Indian mobile phone marketing start-up ZipDial for nearly USD 30 million. This acquisition will help Twitter to expand its presence in India, world's second-biggest mobile market.


Bengaluru-based ZipDial gives clients phone numbers for use in marketing campaigns. The start-up's clients include IBM, KFC and Gillette etc.
Current Affairs India - 20 January 2015

  1. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has named newly joined and first woman IPS Kiran Bedi as its Chief Ministerial candidate for the Delhi Assembly elections to be held on 7thFebruary. She will contest from the Krishna Nagar seat in East Delhi.


This will make Delhi assembly election more interesting as two former anti-corruption campaigners will compete with each other for the Chief Minister Post in Delhi. Earlier both Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal fought together along with Anna Hazare for the Lokpal bill during previous UPA regime.

  1. Axis Bank board reappointed Shikha Sharma as the bank's managing director and chief executive officer (MD and CEO) for a three-year period today. She had joined the bank in 2009 from ICICI Bank and is set to complete a second three year term in May.

  2. Indian Tier-II IT Services Company, Mindtree has announced the acquisition of US-based Discoverture Solutions for USD 15 million during its quarterly result announcement today. This acquisition will help Mindtree to expand its presence in Insurance sector.


 
21-January
Current Affairs India - 21 January 2015

  1. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated the eighth Jaipur literature festival in Jaipur today in which many poets, authors and historians are expected to participate. While inaugurating the same, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that more literary and music festivals will be organized at in the state in coming months.

  2. Famouseconomist Bibek Debroy assumed charge as full time member of the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) today. The Government had appointed Debroy and DRDO chief VK Saraswat as full-time members of the new NITI Aayog earlier this month. He is also currently heading the committee to suggest ways to restructure the railway board.

  3. Indian CEOs are the second most optimistic in the world in terms of their companies- growth prospects and hiring plans in next 12 months, as per a survey report conducted by PwC. The annual CEO survey of global consultancy PwC was released at the 45thWEF Annual Meeting 2015 whichstarted in Davos, Switzerland today.


Nearly 62% of CEOs said that they are very confident about their company-s growth in the next one year, which is 13% higher compared to last year data. Also nearly 84% of Indian CEOs believe there are more growth opportunities for their company now compared to three years ago which is also the highest percentage in the world.

  1. Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC has announced that it would invest nearly USD 165.5 million in India's Bandhan Financial Services, which has recently got approval to open new bank from RBI last year.


The company will get a total equity investment of 16 billion rupees, including 5.8 billion rupees from existing investor IFC. Post this deal, IFC, part of the World Bank Group, owns 10.8% of Bandhan and its stake will increase after the latest investment.

  1. India-s largest IT services company has now become the largest profitable private company of India, replacing Reliance Industries as per latest quarterly results published by these two companies. With this, It ends Reliance-s position as largest profitable company after 23 years.


Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) posted a net profit of Rs 5,328 crore for the quarter ended December, compared to Rs 5,256 crore profit posted by Reliance Industries in the same quarter. Also it's the first time that an IT company has topped the profit charts in the history of Indian business.
 
22-January
 
23-January
 
24-January
Current Affairs Global - 24 January 2015

  1. Pakistan has banned the Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and the Haqqani network this week nearly one month after the deadly terror attack at an army school in Peshawar. On Insistence from the USA, the Pakistani government took action against the militant organisations without making a difference between the good Terrorist and the bad Terrorist.


The Haqqani Network was responsible for some of the most heinous attacks on the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan and it was termed as a terrorist organisation by the US in 2012. The Pakistan Governmetn has also banned Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, Ummah Tameer-i-Nau, Haji Khairullah Hajji Sattar Money Exchange, Rahat Limited, Roshan Money Exchange, Al Akhtar Trust, Al Rashid Trust.

  1. Saudi Arabia-s King Abdullah, the current ruler of United Kingdom of Saudi Arabia passed away on 22ndJanuary. He was 90. His brothers, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz became king and Prince Muqrin was declared Crown Prince.


He was credited to take some modern steps in Saudi Arabia including improving ties with the USA and UK. He also gave women the right to vote and to compete in the Olympics.

  1. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has nominated ruling party lawmaker Lee Wan Koo as the new Prime Minister of South Korea.He will replace current Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. Chung offered to resign nearly 10 months before, over a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in April 2014.


Current Affairs India - 24 January 2015

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the -Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao- scheme at Panipat in Haryana this week. The scheme aims to address gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child across the nation. He begged the people to save the lives of the girl child and also administered them an oath to fight female foeticide, celebrate the birth of a girl and educate them.

  2. The National Girl Child Day is observed today (24thJanuary) across the nation. PM tweeted "On National Girl Child Day, I salute the unparalleled accomplishments of the girl child. Their role in nation building is paramount.-


The government has been celebrating the National Girl Child Day on 24th January every year since 2008 across India to raise awareness and importance of the girl child to the society.

  1. India observed the 118th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose yesterday (23rdJanuary). Some functions held at different locations to pay tribute to him. PM Modi took to his official Twitter account to express his gratitude to the phenomenal freedom fighter.

  2. The Supreme Court announced its much-awaited verdict on IPL Spot fixing and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan's conflict of interest case on 22ndJanuary. The apex Court gave verdict that N Srinivasan can't contest BCCI polls till he gives up commercial interest in CSK. The Supreme Court also said that No BCCI administrator can have commercial interests.


The court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee had also found Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of IPL spot fixing during IPL 2013 despite being a CSK team official.

  1. Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri has been awarded with the prestigious DSC Prize for Literature for her book "The Lowland". DSC Prize is considered among South Asia's top literary awards with a prize value of USD 50,000. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Shesadri awarded this prize to Jhumpa Lahiri.


The Prize celebrates writing on the South Asian region from writers across the globe and is given to the best novel or translations into English of a work on or about the region. The book -The Lowland- is set in both New England and the eastern state of West Bengal during the late 1960s when the Naxalite movement began.

  1. India-s largest bank, State Bank of India has signed a loan agreement for 100 million euro with European Investment Bank for lending to private businesses in the country. As per the agreement, the loan will be utilized to support the development of private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, social and economic infrastructure as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation in the country.

  2. Sunil Sood has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone India. He is currently the chief operating officer of Vodafone India.He will succeed Martin Pieters who will be stepping down from his post with effect from 1stApril, 2015.

  3. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves jumped by USD 2.660 billion to all time high USD 322.135 billion in the week ended 16thJanuary, as per weekly report published by the RBI.Strong FII inflows to Indian capital market and reduction in import bill due to drop in Crude oil are the main reasons for record high forex reserves.


The jump was mainly due to decrease in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 2.685 billion to USD 297.53 billion in the same week. However Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were dropped by USD 19.3 million and USD 5.3 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 19.377 billion in the same week.
 
25-January
 
26-January
Current Affairs Global - 26 January 2015

  1. Colombia-s Paulina Vega won the Miss Universe title today at function held in Florida. With this win, she became the only second Columbian to win the crown after Luz Marina Zuluaga won the same for Columbia in 1956. Nia Sanchez of the United States was the first runner up of the title.


Current Affairs India - 26 January 2015

  1. The 66th Republic Day was observed today across the nation with different parade functions organized at different locations. President Pranab Mukherjee hosted the national flag at Rajpath in the presence of Chief Guest Barack Obama, First lady of US Michelle Obama, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. US President Barack Obama was the chief guest for this year-s republic day parade.


During 3-day India visit of USA President Barack Obama, India and USA signed the long pending nuclear deal which will allow American companies to supply India with civilian nuclear technology. This deal had been held for more than 6 years over the liability clause related to any nuclear accident.

  1. Famous cartoonist and creator of common man, RK Laxman passed away today in a Pune hospital. He was 94. He is famous for his 'You Said It' pocket cartoon in Times of India featuring the much-loved 'common man'.


He was awarded with Padma Bhushan award in 1971 and India-s second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan in 2005 by the Indian Government. He also won Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts in 1984.
 
27-January
Current Affairs Global - 27 January 2015

  1. Anti-austerity Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras has won general election held recently in Greece. The party won nearly half of the seats in the Parliament. Syriza Party has promised to end Greece-s painful austerity measures and wants to renegotiate its debt before the general election.


Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras also sworn in as the Prime Minister of Greece and is set to form an anti-austerity coalition government. Also he announced to re-negotiate the USD 268 billion bailout plan with the euro zone leaders.

  1. Argentine footballer Juan Roman Riquelme retired from international football on 26thJanuary. He played for Argentina in 2006 World Cup in Germany. He debuted for Argentina-s national team in 1996 against Colombia and went on to represent Argentina 51 times and scored 17 goals. He led Argentina football team to win Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.


Current Affairs India - 27 January 2015

  1. Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh were awarded with the Ashok Chakra,the highest peacetime military honour,posthumously by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on republic day. Their wives received the awards at the 66th Republic Day celebrations as both the army personnel have given their lives for nation while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.


 
28-January
Current Affairs Global - 28 January 2015

  1. Australian fast bowler Sean Abbott has been named Australia's young cricketer of the year, also known as the Bradman award, two months after bowling the bouncer which led to Philip Hughes-s death. Steve Smith was awarded with the Allan Border Medal and also named both Test and one day player of the year.


The Bradman Young Cricketer award was instituted in 1990 which is given annually by Cricket Australia to best player under the age of 24. The recipient is presented with a bat personally signed by Sir Donald Bradman (He had signed 100 bats in 1989 for this award).
Current Affairs India - 28 January 2015

  1. IPS Officer K Durga Prasad has been appointed as the Special Director General (DG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).She has been appointed for next three years or till further orders are given. Before this, she had served as the director of the Special Protection Group (SPG). SPG provides security to the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and their family members.

  2. Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry for her work -When God is a Traveller-, announced at a prize ceremony at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The award was established earlier this year by Suhel Seth in memory of the late Khushwant Singh and also carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.

  3. Two-time gold medal winning hockey Olympian Jaswant Singh Rajput passed away today following a prolonged illness. He was part of Gold Medal winning hockey teams in 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Olympics.


 
29-January
 
30-January
 
31-January
Current Affairs Global - 31 January 2015

  1. The USA economy, largest in the world, grew by 2.6% in the fourth quarter of the previous year 2014. This growth rate was slightly lower than 5% growth witnessed in the previous quarter.Consumer spending, which has more than two-thirds weight in US economic activity, jumped by 4.3% in the fourth quarter which is the fastest growth in last nine years.

  2. Euro zone deflation worsens as prices dropped by 0.6% in January across 19 member nations of the zone compared to same period last year.This is worse than December when prices dropped by 0.2% in the previous month of December.

  3. The ICC has allowed Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket early from his five-year ban for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing.Earlier he was jailed for six months and banned for five years for his involvement in a spot-fixing scam during Pakistan-s tour of England in 2010.


Current Affairs India - 31 January 2015

  1. India has successfully test-fired indigenously developed, inter-continental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5 from Wheeler's Island off Odisha coast today. This missile has a strike range of over 5000 kms and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one tonne. This launch was the third development trial of the longest range missile India has ever developed.

  2. Nation observedMartyrs' Day andremembered the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January on his 67th death anniversary. Famous politicians including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to him. Mukherjee laid a wreath at Gandhi-s memorial at Rajghat. The Father of the Nation was assassinated on this day in 1948.

  3. S Jaishankar, India's Ambassador to the US, has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary. He succeeds incumbent Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh whose tenure was abruptly curtailed by the Central Government.


Jaishankar played a key role during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in September and US President Barack Obama's visit as the Chief Guest for Republic day parade this year.

  1. Senior IPS officer Krishna Chaudhary has been appointed the new chief of ITBP. She is currently working as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force.The post has been lying vacant since 1stJanuary after the retirement of Subhas Goswami on 31stDecember 2014.

  2. Defence Secretary RK Mathur has been given additional charge of Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D).He will take over the additional charge from incumbent Avinash Chander and will hold the additional charge for a period of three months.

  3. Famous composer and actor Shekhar Sen has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He will succeed Leela Samson who resigned from the position on in September last year. The post was lying vacant since October 2014.

  4. Founder of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), Subhash Ghisingh passed away on 30thJanuary at a Delhi hospital. He was 78.He had lead the Gorkhaland movement in the 1980s for a separate state for Gorkha people living in Darjeeling, West Bengal.

  5. Reserve Bank of India has constituted a High Powered Committee headed by Deputy Governor R Gandhi to re-examine and recommend appropriate set of businesses, size, conversion and licensing terms for the Urban Cooperative Banking Sector.


The committee will examine the line of businesses that Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) may be permitted to undertake and their benchmark in terms of size of business, capital requirement, regulatory regime etc. It will also suggest the appropriate size up to which a UCB may be able to grow without undue risk to the system. The eight member Committee will submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting.

  1. India-s economic growth for financial year 2013-14 was revised upwards to 6.9% due to change in base year for computing national accounts. Earlier economic growth for same financial year projected at 4.7% before revision of base year.


Also for economic growth for financial year 2012-13 was revised upward to 5.1% compared to earlier growth of 4.5% due to same reason.

  1. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves dropped by USD 97.9 million to USD 322.037 billion in the week ended 23rdJanuary, as per weekly report published by the RBI.


Foreign currency assets was decreased by USD 19.7 million to USD 297.51 billion in the same week.  Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also dropped by USD 61.4 million and USD 16.8 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 19.377 billion in the same week.

  1. Indian Tennis player Leander Paes and his partner Martina Hingis have reached mixed doubles finals in the Australian Open Tennis but Sania Mirza and her partner Bruno Soares lost in the semifinal match.Paes and Hingis defeated Chinese Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh and Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas by 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinal match. The top seeded pair of Sania and Soares was defeated by third seed pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor 3-6, 6-2, 10-8.