January 2016 Current Affairs List

 
4-January
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Current Affairs India - 4 January 2016

  1. Justice RM Lodha Committee has submitted its report to the Supreme Court suggesting reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).The panel has recommended separate governing bodies for IPL and BCCI, with limited autonomy for the IPL Governing Council. Other recommendations include legalization of betting, no Minister or government servant as BCCI office-bearer etc.


The panel has also recommended that the BCCI office-bearer's term should not exceed more than two consecutive terms, and he cannot hold two posts at the same time.


  1. Former Defence Secretary R K Mathur was sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission by the President Pranab Mukherjee today. As the Chief Information Commissioner, he will have a tenure of about three years, till he attains the retirement age of 65 years.

  2. Atul Sobti took charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of leading PSU Company Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for a period of five years this week.


Earlier, his appointment was approved by the Union Government in September last year. Before that, he worked as a Director on the board of BHEL.

  1. India-s leading IT services Company Wipro has appointed its COO Abidali Neemuchwala as the new CEO of the company. Current CEO T K Kurien has been elevated as the Vice Chairman of the company. T K Kurien will hold the Vice Chairman post till 31stMarch 2017.


Before Joining Wipro in April 2015 Abidali Neemuchwala had spent 23 years in India-s largest IT Services Company Tata Consultancy Services.

  1. Veteran Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan passed away in Mumbai last week.He was 92. He had played a key rolein trade union movementand left politics in India.

  2. India won the SAFF football championships after defeating defending champions Afghanistan 2-1 in Thiruvanantapuram on Sunday. At the end of a normal second half, both India and Afghanistan were 1-1. In the ongoing extra time, Indian captain Sunil Chhetri scored the winning goal to secure 2-1 win over Afghanistan.


 
5-January
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Current Affairs International - 5 January 2016

  1. A UN official, Filippo Grandi, who has worked in refugee and political affairs in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, has been appointed as UN High Commissioner for Refugees on 1stJanuary. He succeeds António Guterres.

  2. British author Kate Atkinson was chosen for the novel-of-the-year prize at Britain's Costa Book Awards 2015 for A God in Ruins, a story of war and its aftermath. With this she got the award for the second time in three years, earlier she received the same award in 2013. The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK-s most prestigious and popular literary prizes.

  3. Mary Barra has been elected as Chairman of General Motors (GM) Board of Directors with immediate effect this week. She succeeds Theodore Solso, who will continue serving as the Lead Independent Director of the Board. Barra has been working as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GM since January 2014.


Current Affairs India - 5 January 2016

  1. Former Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia passed away yesterday in Mumbai. He was 68. He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in December 2003 and he was sworn in as the 38th Chief Justice of India by the President Pratibha Patilon 12thMay 2010 till his retirement on 29th September 2012.

  2. Famous Music director Ilaiyarajahas been selected for Kerala Tourism-s Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2016for his artistic excellence and contribution to the Indian film music industry. The award carries a purse of Rs.1, 50,000, citation and a statuette.

  3. Paytm has acquired Delhi based free task-managing app Shifu for USD 8 million in order to provide to offer more personalised user experience to its customers.Shifu, a context-aware personal assistant application, mines the smartphone usage patterns of users and makes personalised and highly relevant recommendations to them.

  4. Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, leading global insulin maker, has appointed Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador for the disease awareness campaign 'Changing Diabetes' launched specifically for India.In India 69.2 million people have diabetes and by 2035, nearly 123.5 million people will have diabetes. The company is also providing free diabetes treatment and education to 4,000 children, who have been suffering from Type-2 diabetes, in India.

  5. Mumbai-s teenage cricketer Pranav Dhanawade broke a century old record of scoring highest run in any form of Cricket after smashing an unbeaten 1009 in an inter-school tournament in Mumbai.He scored 1009 runs in 323-balls with help of 59 sixes and 129 fours. He broke a 116-year-old record, taking over the reins of the highest individual score (including minor cricket) from A.E.J. Collins of England.

  6. Former Cricketer Syed Kirmani was awarded with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by BCCI in Mumbai. India-s Test captain Virat Kohli was awarded with the Polly Umrigar Trophy for Cricketer-of-the-Year and was awarded by BCCI President at the same time.Mitali Raj was given Best Woman Cricketer Award in senior player category for the season 2014-15 while Devika Vidya was the winner of junior woman player of the year award.


Karnataka all-rounder Robin Uthappa received the Madhavrao Scindia Award for being the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy. The top wicket-taker's award was shared this year by Karnataka's R Vinay Kumar and Mumbai's Shardul Thakur.
 
6-January
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Current Affairs International - 6 January 2016

  1. The world-s largest blue star sapphire, weighing 1404.49 carets and valued at more than USD 100 million, was found in a mine in Sri Lanka, situated in Ratnapura. Ratnapura city is also known as the -City of Gems.- The sapphire has been named as The Star of Adam.

  2. Australia withdrew from the Under-19 World Cup Tournament to be held in Bangladesh due to security reasons, as per announcement made by Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.He said the decision was taken after monitoring the security situation in Bangladesh. The tournament will be held from 22ndJanuary to 14th February 2016. ICC announced that Australia will be replaced by Ireland team - the runners-up in the qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur in October 2015.


Current Affairs India - 6 January 2016

  1. Central Government has decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020, by skipping BS-V altogether in order to reduce vehicular pollution. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today.


Earlier a draft notification published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoEF) in November 2015, had advanced dates for implementation of BS-V norms to April 1, 2019, and BS-VI norms to April 1, 2021.

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the Stand Up India Scheme today to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs with the aim to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers.


The scheme will provide refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.

  1. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhhas approved 33% posts at constable level to be filled up by women in order to improve representation of women in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).As per official statement, the 33% reservation of women constable level posts would be in CRPF and CISF and 14-15% posts would be in border guarding forces that is BSF, SSB & ITBP.

  2. Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela won the gold medal in the women's 10 metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix yesterday. She shot 211.2 to create a world record after surpassing the feat of Chinese Olympic gold medallist Yi Siling, who held the record with 211.She has already qualified for the Rio Olympics.


 
7-January
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Current Affairs India - 7 January 2016

  1. Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away after a prolonged illness at AIIMS New Delhi yesterday. The Union Cabinet, Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has passed a resolution today expressing profound sorrow on the sad demise of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.


After his death, Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti is set to be the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. PDP Party MLAs unanimously elected her as their leader.

  1. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Amitabh Kant as the chief executive officer of NITI Aayog. He will succeed Mr.Kant who retires from service in March.


He, 1980 batch Kerala cadre IAS officer, is currently serving as the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

  1. The Kerala State Cabinet has decided to implement the -Sampoorna Arogya Keralam- project, as per announcement made in the 2015-16 State budget with the aim to bring all major government health services under one umbrella.


With this, people will not be required to visit multiple offices or agencies for medical care. Instead, they can go to enlisted public and private hospitals and get the services through a smart health card. A Sampoorna Arogya Keralam Trust would be set up to implement the initiative. All families with annual income below Rs 3 lakh will be brought under the project.

  1. Karnataka-s Tourism and the National Academy of Sciences of India (NASI) have signed a MoU to set up a Cauvery river gallery in Mysore. The gallery, to be built at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore and is expected to showcase the life, culture and biodiversity along the river from its birth till sea.

  2. India-s Internet Industry body -Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)-, which includes leading tech companies has named Kunal Shah, co-founder FreeCharge as its new chairman. He succeeds Nishant Rao, the ex-managing director of LinkedIn, who recently moved to Freshdesk as the global Chief Operating Officer. IAMAI has also named Vishwas Patel, chief executive officer, CCAvenue as the new treasurer.

  3. Dr Achyuta Samanta has been elected as the General President of the 105th Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), scheduled for 2017-18.He is also currently serving as member of Executive Council of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).


He has been the member of Executive Council of ISCA since 2011. He has also been the member of many prestigious educational and other national level apex bodies, including UGC (2008-2014), AICTE, National Coir Board, CAPART and NCTE.

  1. Senior diplomat Pavan Kapoor, a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer, has been appointed India's ambassador to Israel. He will succeed Jaideep Sarkar. He is currently India's High Commissioner in Mozambique capital Maputo.

  2. The World Bank has projected Indian-s economic growth at 7.8 for the current year, as per its Global Economic Prospect report released yesterday. The World Bank cited in its report that strong investor sentiment in India and the positive effect on real incomes of the recent fall in oil prices.

  3. Bollywood Actress Priyanka Chopra became the 1st Indian to bag an award at the American awards show, People-s choice awards for her role in New TV Series -Quantico', which is also her debut in American television.

  4. Famous Gujarati writer and poet Labhshankar Thakar passed away yesterday after a prolonged illness in Ahmedabad. He was 80. Some of his famous poems are Vahi Jati Pachhal Ramya Ghosha (1965), Manasni Vaat (1968), Mara Namne Darwaje (1972), Boom Kagalma Kora (1974), Pravahan (1986), Kalagranthi (1987). He wrote many plays including Asatyakumar Ekagrani Dharpakad, Make Believe (1967), Mari Jawani Maza (1973), Bathtub ma Machhali (1982) etc.


He had been awarded Sahitya Akadami Award (1991) for his poetry, Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar (2002) of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Kumar Chandrak (1962), Narmad Chandrak and Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak (1981).
 
8-January
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Current Affairs India - 8 January 2016

  1. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan was named The Banker magazine's Global and Asia-Pacific Central Bank Governor of the Year 2015, for his contribution to stabilize the Indian rupee and initiate key reforms to attract more foreign capital in the country. The Banker is a prestigious monthly magazine of the Financial Times Group.


Earlier he has been named central bank governor of the year several times by other international magazines. In October 2014, Euro money and in January 2015, Central Banking awarded him the best central banker award for his contribution towards Indian economy.

  1. The Central Government has allowed the traditional bull taming game Jallikkattu after it was banned by the Supreme Court in May 2014. The game is being played mostly in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu during Pongal festivities. However, the Union Environment and Forests Ministry has cleared the decks for the traditional game subject to stringent conditions to avoid cruelty to animals.

  2. Senior IAS officer Sailesh, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has been appointed as Registrar General and Census Commissioner. He succeeds C Chandramouli, who completed his tenure today.

  3. Devender Kumar Sikri, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Gujarat cadre, was appointed as Chairman Competition Commission of India (CCI).He succeeds Ashok Chawla, whose tenure ended yesterday. Sikri will have a tenure of about two and half years till he attains the retirement age of 65 years.

  4. GMR Group Chairman G.M. Rao was awarded with the -Bulandh Bharath- Award for his exemplary contributions towards nation building.SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd accepted the award on behalf of GM Rao from K. Chandrashekar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana and M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs. Bulandh Bharath Awards is an initiative by BAI to recognize and appreciate innovation and motivate others to be inspired to excel too.

  5. Online buy-sell portal Quikr acquired property search websiteCommonfloor.comfor an undisclosed amount.Quikr bought the website in a distress sale orchestrated by Tiger Global Management Llc. The deal is expected to be completed over the next two to three months which will give Commonfloor access to Quikr-s 30 million consumers.

  6. India's Siril Verma jumped to number one rank in junior men's singles category in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings issued yesterday. He is current world junior championships runners-up. He is followed by Toma Junior Popov of France and Indian Chirag Sen.


Famous Indian woman shuttler and London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal continues to occupy the second spot in the rankings after Carolina Marin of Spain, followed by China-s Li Xuerei at the third position. In the men's singles category, Kidambi Srikanth is ranked at 9th place, also the only Indian shuttler in the top 10.
 
9-January
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Current Affairs International - 9 January 2016

  1. US economy added 292,000 jobs in December which was much better than expectations. Also the unemployment rate slowed to 5% in the same month which is the lowest in last seven and half years.


With this US job market improvement, Federal Reserve may hike rates again after their recent rate hike in December.
Current Affairs India - 9 January 2016

  1. President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016 to make amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968. These amendments will help to deal with the existing loopholes of the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and they do not revert back to the enemy subject or enemy firm.

  2. The French soldiers will march down the Rajpath on Republic Day parade along with Indian soldiers while French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest of the ceremony. This will be the first time when a foreign army will participate in the 26th January Parade.

  3. Indian smartphone company Micromax has appointed Vikas Thapar as vice-president for finance. Before that, he was executive director at Avocado Management Services and has also worked with One97 Communications (PayTm), Bharti Airtel and Morepen Laboratories.

  4. India-s leading IT Services Company Wipro has named company veteran Bhanumurthy B M as its chief operating officer (COO).This is part of recent organizational changes witnessed in the company.

  5. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won the WTA Brisbane Tennis trophy after defeating German Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic by 7-5 6-1 in the final match held at Brisbane today. This is their 26thcontinues win as pair which also gave them six titles in a row at the US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, WTA Finals and now at Brisbane.It is the longest winning streak since Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci's 25 in a row in 2012.


 
10-January
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11-January
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Current Affairs International - 11 January 2016

  1. British singer-songwriter David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 after battling cancer for 18 months. He is one of the most influence musical artistes of his generationand his famous hits include Let's Dance, Space Oddity, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel, Life on Mars and Suffragette City.

  2. Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to compete in formula one Grand Prix world championship, passed away on 8thJanuary 2016 in Italy. She was 89. She participated in five World Championship Grand Prix.

  3. The ICC and MoneyGram International, a leading global provider of money transfer services, have announced an eight-year dealwhich makes MoneyGram as an event partner for ICC events from till 2023.

  4. Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the world player of the year today. With this, he won the award for a fifth time after defeating other nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar in the annual poll organised by football's governing body.


American Carli Lloyd won the FIFA women's world player of the year award. Spain's Luis Enrique won the coach of the year award while Jill Ellis, coach of the American team, won the women's coach award.
Current Affairs India - 11 January 2016

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a book titled -MARU BHARAT SARU BHARAT -(My India Noble India) written by Jain Acharya Ratnasundersuriswarji Maharaj. This is the 300th book of Ratnasundersuriswarji Maharaj. In his book, he has highlighted various social evils, deficiencies prevailing at individual level.

  2. Famous Hindi author and journalist Ravindra Kalia passed away this weekend in New Delhi. He was 78. He is known for his works like Nau Saal Chotti Patni and Ghalib Chutti Sharab. The former Bharatiya Jnanpith director, Kalia was also the editor of several literary magazines, including Naya Gyanodaya.

  3. Union Government has extend ended tenure of Dr Urjit R Patel, as Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for another three years till 2019. Patel joined RBI on 11thJanuary 11 and his first term was supposed to get over on 11thJanuary this year. As deputy governor, he had headed a committee that paved the way for the proposed monetary policy committee.

  4. India's leading online marketplace Flipkart has announced that its co-founder Binny Bansal will be its new CEO while other co-founder and current CEO Sachin Bansal will be the company's Executive Chairman.


Sachin Bansal will provide mentoring to the Flipkart leadership team and he will also look for new investment opportunities and play an active role in championing the Indian e-commerce sector and building the internet ecosystem.

  1. India-s Sania Mirza retained No 1 rank in women-s double list and her partner Martina Hingis retained 2ndrank as per the latest tennis WTA rankings published today. Sania secured 11395 points while Hingis has 11355 points.


Among the Indian men, Rohan Bopanna is the only one to get placed in the top 10 of the doubles rankings. Marcelo Melo of Brazil secured No 1 rank followed by Horia Tecau of Romania and Netherlands Jean-Julien Rojer. At 95th position, Yuki Bhambri is the highest placed Indian in the men-s singles rankings. Novak Djokovic of Serbia tops the list followed by Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
 
12-January
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Current Affairs International - 12 January 2016

  1. Nepal was elected to the UNICEF executive board to represent the group of Asia-Pacific countries for the term 2016-2018. Nepal's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Durga Prasad Bhattarai, was also unanimously elected vice-president to the Bureau of the Executive Board of the UNICEF for 2016.


Current Affairs India - 12 January 2016

  1. National Youth Day was observed across India today (12thJanuary) to mark the 153rd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanandawho was India-s foremost social reformer, philosopher and thinker. The National Youth day has been celebrated every year on 12thJanuary since 1985 in recognition of his ideals and to project him as a role model for the Indian youth.

  2. Famous hindi poet Balkrishna Garg was conferred with the 2015 Harikrishna Devsare Baalsahitya Award in New Delhi for his collection of poems for children, named as -Baa Geet-. The award was presented by Sahitya Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari and National Book Trust (NBT) Chairman Baldeo Bhai Sharma.

  3. Airbus Group has appointed of Ashish Saraf as Vice-President - Industry Development, Strategic Partnerships and Offsets for its Indian operation. In his new role, he will look over the Group's existing Make in India initiatives.


IIP Contracts and Retail Inflation increases; bad news for Indian Economy
India-s industrial output, measured by Index of Industrial Production, contracted by 3.2% in November compared to 9.8% growth in the previous month of October. Manufacturing output contracted by 4.4% in November compared to the same month previous year while capital goods output contracted by 24.4%. These contraction in output pulled overall IIP numbers down.
At the same time, retail inflation, measured by the consumer price index, increased for the fifth straight month in December due to rising food prices. Retail Inflation jumped to 5.61% in December compared to 5.41% in November. Retail food inflation in December stood at 6.40% which was higher than 6.07% in November. Negative IIP growth along with higher retail inflation is definitely a bad news for Indian economy.
 
 
13-January
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Current Affairs India - 13 January 2016

  1. Kerala has been declared as the first state in the country to attain 'Total Primary Education'. As per Vice President Hamid Ansari, "Kerala has set a model for the rest of the country to follow".He also said that the state was marking the successful culmination of its 'Athulyam' programme to ensure Total Primary Education in Kerala - equivalent to Standard IV of formal education.

  2. The Employees- Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) won the National Award on e-Governance 2015-16 in the -Innovative use of technology in e-governance- catergory for launching the Universal Account Number (UAN).The Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions will present the award at the 19th National Conference on e-governance which will be held in Nagpur later this month.


UAN is an e-initiative of EPFO, launched in July 2014 in which all active members were provided a universal number which can be linked to various provident fund account numbers provided to them while working in different organisations.

  1. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was awarded with honorary life termn membership of Kolkata-s famous football club Mohammedan Sporting.Club president Sultan Ahmed will hand over the club-s life membership to him when he will be present as the chief guest of the club-s 125th anniversary gala event to be held later in 2016. Mohammedan Sporting Club, founded in 1891 in Kolkata, is one of the oldest and leading football clubs in India.


 
14-January
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Current Affairs International - 14 January 2016

  1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the Ebola epidemic that has affected 3 nations in West Africa for two years was over. The World Health Organisation declares the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia and said all known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa. Ebola killed more than 11,000 people across West Africa after it surfaced in southern Guinea in December 2013.

  2. British footballer David Beckham was presented with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award at the sixth biennial UNICEF Ball in Los Angeles by Sir Elton John and David Furnish for his work to save and improve the lives of children around the world. He has also been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005.

  3. FIFA has dismissed Secretary General Jerome Valcke who was provisionally suspended from football for his alleged involvement to make profit from the sale of World Cup tickets which was a breach of Fifa ethics code.Fifa's ethics committee has already recommended to ban from all footballing activities for nine years.


Current Affairs India - 14 January 2016

  1. The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to boost the farming sector and ensure farmers' welfare. The new Crop Insurance Scheme is in line with One Nation - One Scheme theme and it incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings/weaknesses have been removed. Under the PMFBY scheme, the farmers are required to pay a uniform premium of 2% for all Kharif crops, 1.5% for all Rabi crops and 5% for annual commercial and horticultural crops.

  2. Sikkim has become India's first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation after successful effort for 13 years. ThePawan Chamling-led governmentdecided to make Sikkim an organic farming state through a declaration in the legislative assembly in 2003.

  3. Bengaluru-based activist Subhashini Vasanth was honoured with Neerja Bhanot Award for her contribution to help people in distress and for empowering widows of martyrs and their families across the country.Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor presented the award to Vasanth at a ceremony held in Chandigarh.


She started the Vasantharatna Foundation in memory of her husband Col Vasanth V, who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra in 2008 for his selfless and sacrifice while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The foundation provides education scholarships, conducted empowerment programmes and outbound learning programmes for women and children.

  1. 1971 War Hero, Retired Lieutenant General J.F.R. Jacob passed away after prolonged illness this week. He was 92. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army's Eastern Command during the 1971 war and played key role in negotiating the surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka that lead to India's victory and gave birth of Bangladesh.


 
15-January
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16-January
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Current Affairs International - 16 January 2016

  1. Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan's main opposition party won the election in a landslide victory to become the island's first female president. Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the election over the ruling China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), as voters have become increasingly uneasy about a recent rapprochement with China under outgoing KMT president Ma Ying-jeou.

  2. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) today in Beijing, in which India and 56 countries have joined as founding members. The bank was formally established in Beijing in December last year with authorized capital of USD 100 billion. Chinese Finance Minister, Lou Jiwei, was elected as the first Chairman of the AIIB council. China-s former Finance Minister, Jin Liqun, was elected the first AIIB president.

  3. An independent Delhi-based writer Ankita Anand won the European Commission's prestigious Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for 2015 in Asiaand the Pacific amateur category for her sensitive portrayal of life for young women facing the threat of the diktat of khap panchayats in Haryana.


Arison Tamfu, an editor for the Cameroon Journal, won the Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize for a critical investigative report on how UN Climate change negotiations. The prize has been organized by the European Commission-s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development since 1992.

  1. British Actor Alan Rickman, known for his roles in films like Harry Potter, Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, passed away of cancer on 14thJanuary in London. He was 69. He won a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny in 1995.

  2. Former World No.1 tennis player Marat Safin, Belgium's Justine Henin and Helena Sukova from the Czech Republic will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The official ceremony to induct them will be held on 16thJuly 2016. Marat Safin became the first Russian man to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships.


Current Affairs India - 16 January 2016

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Start-up India action plan in New Delhi today to boost entrepreneurship within India.Under the new plan the government has decided to provide tax exemption for the first three years income gain through startup and also there will not be any inspection related to nine nine labour and environment laws during the first three years of launch of the venture.


The government has also announced to create Rs 10,000 crore corpus fund for development and growth of innovation driven enterprises.

  1. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan was awarded with Lee KuanYew Exchange Fellowshipfor his contribution in development and international harmony and he was awarded by Fellowship chairman Mr.Eddie Teo in Singapore. With this he has become the fourth Indian to receive the fellowship award after former vice chairman of planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former union minister for investments Arun shourie and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

  2. Bollywood actor Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay, known for his roles in films like Lagaan and Swades, passed away on 14thJanuary following a heart attack in Hyderabad. He was 66. He was best known for his role of the astrologer Guran in Lagaan and as the Postman/Postmaster in Swades.

  3. Veteran filmmaker of 1970s to 1990s Anil Gangulypassed away after a brief illness. He was 82. He is best known for Jaya Bhaduri starrer, -Kora Kagaz- and -Tapasya- both the films won National Award.

  4. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis' dream run continues with their 30thwin in a row as they won the final match to lift their second trophy of the season with the WTA Apia International title held in Sydney today.The top seeds defeated Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in the final match by 1-6 7-5 10-5.

  5. Star Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho has been appointed Brand Ambassador of Nagjee International Club Football Tournament which will be held at the Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala in February 2016. Seven teams from across Europe and South America will participate along with an Indian club team in the tournament.


India's overall inflation increased to (-) 0.73 percent in December; Deflationary trend to ease
India's overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), increased to (-) 0.73% in December compared to (-) 1.99% in November due to higher food prices. Overall Inflation stood at (-) 0.5% in December 2015.
Food articles inflation increased to 8.17% in December compared to 5.2% in November due to higher prices of pulses and onions which stood at 55.64% and 25.98% higher in the same month. Inflation in Fuel and Power segment stood at 9.15% in the same month which inflation for manufactured products stood at 3.81%.
 
17-January
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18-January
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Current Affairs India - 18 January 2016

  1. India-s Dinesh Sharma has been elected to the 12-member board of directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) after a secret ballot for the post was held last week. It is the first Board of Directors of AIIB and the inaugural meeting of the board of the governors of the AIIB was held in Beijing.

  2. India-s mid-tier IT Services Company Mindtree has appointed Rostow Ravanan as the CEO and managing director and Krishnakumar Natarajan as the executive chairman of the company effective from 1stApril 2016.Subroto Bagchi has stepped down as executive chairman but will continue on the Board as a non-executive director.

  3. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passed away yesterday in Hyderabad after prolonged illness. He was 80. He was elected to Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council from Hyderabad Graduates' Constituency for four consecutive times in 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1984. He was appointed as the Governor of Sikkim by President of India in October 2002 and he served as Governor of Sikkim from 2002 to 2007.

  4. Delhi Acers defeated Mumbai Rockets by 4-3 in the final match held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi to win the Premier Badminton League (PBL) title. Like IPL, Premier Badminton League is a franchise league, managed and commercially owned by the Badminton Association of India. It was earlier known as Indian Badminton League (IBL) when it was founded in 2013.


India-s total exports dropped by 14.75 percent in December; thirteenth consecutive decline
India-s overall exports dropped by 14.75% in December compared to same month last year to USD 22.29 billion which is also the thirteenth consecutive decline due to continued slowdown in global economy. Total imports dropped by 3.88% in the same month to USD 33.96 billion, leaving trade deficit at USD 11.66 billion.
Total exports in the period of April-December of financial year 2015-16 dropped by 18.06% to USD 196.60 billion compared to the same period in the previous financial year. Total imports during the same period dropped by 15.87% to USD 295.81 billion compared to the same period last year. The trade deficit stood at USD 99.20 billion compared to USD 111.68 billion during the same period last year.
 
19-January
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Current Affairs International - 19 January 2016

  1. The world-s oldest man, Yasutaro Koide, passed away today at the age of 112 in central Japan. He passed away in hospital in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, where he had lived for many years. He received a certificate from Guinness World Records confirming the achievement after another Japanese man who was just a month older died in July.

  2. China-s economic grew by 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, as per data published by China's the National Bureau of Statistics today.With this China's economy grew by 6.9% in 2015 which is the slowest pace in 25 years. As per the new data, China's Gross domestic product (GDP) reached 67.67 trillion yuan, same as USD 10.3 trillion with Service sector accounted for 50.50%.

  3. English professional snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth Snooker Masters title after defeating Barry Hawkins 10-1 in the final held at the Alexandra Palace in London. O'Sullivan had previously won the event in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2014, thus equaling the record set by Stephen Hendry.


Current Affairs India - 19 January 2016

  1. India has slipped 11 places to rank 89th on a global index of talent competitiveness, as per the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTC) released today by INSEAD business school in partnership with Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore.


India-s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries, with China leading the pack with a global rank of 48. Switzerland topped the list followed by Singapore, Luxembourg, the US and Denmark in the top five positions.

  1. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India-s economic growth at 7.3% for the current year and 7.5% for the next year. At the same time it has cut the global growth forecast to 3.4% for 2016.As per IMF, China-s economic growth will slow down to 6.3% in 2016 and 6% in 2017.

  2. Guenter Butschek was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of India's lasrgest auto maker and owner of Jaguar and Land Rover brands, Tata Motors' Group. He was appointed after post of Managing Director of Tata Motors was vacant for nearly two years since the death of Karl Slym in January 2014 after falling from a hotel building in Bangkok.


In his new role, he will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and in international. However, Jaguar Land Rover would continue to be managed by its Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ralf Speth.
 
20-January
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Current Affairs India - 20 January 2016

  1. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1-E satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) todaywhich will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services to the entire country. The satellite is the fifth of the IRNSS constellation.

  2. India-s indigenously developed fighter aircraft light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas will participate in the three-day Bahrain International Airshow scheduled to be held from 21stJanuary to 23rdJanuary. -Two limited series production (LSP) aircraft will take part in the Bahrain International Air Show to enthral the visitors from various countries during the flying display through a series of aerobatic manoeuvres such as 8-g pull, vertical loop, slow fly past, barrel roll-, as per T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.

  3. The Union Cabinet has approved a new power tariff policy in order to promote clean energy, better regulation of discoms, and faster roll-out of investments. The new policy will also look to strengthen the regulatory mechanism so that discoms become more efficient and conscious towards their duties to consumers. Earlier, the Centre had approved the National Tariff Policy under the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 in 2006.

  4. Andhra Pradesh state Government has reconstituted the Commission for Backward Classes with immediate effect last week with the name as AP Commission for Backward Classes (APCBC).It will be a two member commission with Justice KL Manjunath, (Retd.) as its chairman and Member Secretary, APCBC as the other member.

  5. Mamta Binani has been elected as the new President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for 2016.She was the all-India topper in the Intermediate examinations of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, amongst all the lady candidates in India and had ranked 14th on an all-India basis. She has been the Chairperson of the Eastern India Regional Council of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India in 2010.

  6. Famous Kannada lyricist and film-maker Geethapriya passed away of cardiac arrest on 17thJanuary in Bengaluru. He was 84. He wrote lyrics for over 250 songs in Kannada and directed 40 films including one Hindi film. The Karnataka government honoured him with the Puttanna Kanagal Award in 1986 in recognition to his contribution to the Kannada film industry. He was also received the Dr. B. Saroja Devi National Award and Sandesha Awards in 2012.

  7. Chandila of Rajasthan Royals and Hiken Shah of MumbaiIndian IPL teams have been handed a lifetime ban and a five year ban respectively for their involvement in the IPL spot fixing scam.


 
21-January
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Current Affairs International - 21 January 2016

  1. The World Economic Forum's 2016 annual meeting started in Davos, Switzerland like every year. The official theme of the meeting is "mastering the fourth industrial revolution", which in other words means "fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres". Political and business leaders from different countries are in Davos now to attend this WEF event.


Current Affairs India - 21 January 2016

  1. Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have been roped in as the new brand ambassadors for the Incredible India campaign after replacing Aamir Khan. Both of them will be part of the campaign without charging any fee for next three-year time period.

  2. Famousdanseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai passed away in Ahmedabad.She was 97. She was educated at Shantiniketan under Rabindranath Tagore and was formally trained in Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. She was awarded with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by Indian Government.


She was married to physicist and educationist Dr Vikram Sarabhai and is survived by danseuse and activist daughter Mallika Sarabhai and environmentalist son Kartikey Sarabhai.

  1. Indian football referee Rupa Deviwas qualified to officiate international football matches conducted by FIFA.The 24 year old referee from Tamilnadu is a teacher at the Madurai Kamaraj University and she has been refereeing the experience at state and national level matches as well as at the AFC Under-14 Football Festival in 2013.


 
 
22-January
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Current Affairs International - 22 January 2016

  1. Moldovan Parliament appointed Pavel Filip as the country's Prime Minister. Filip is also Moldova's third PM in less than a year after Chiril Gaburici and Valeriu Strelet.

  2. Italian director Ettore Scola passed away following a prolonged illness in Rome. He was 84. As a filmmaker, he was considered to be among the last of a generation of Italian greats. He directed some of the world's greatest actors including Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Fanny Ardant and Jack Lemmon.


Current Affairs India - 22 January 2016

  1. The government has appointed senior revenue service officer Atulesh Jindal as Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Atulesh Jindal, IRS (IT:1978), Member, CBDT as Chairman, CBDT. He will succeed AK Jain who was appointed as CBDT Chairman in December last year and will retire at the end of this month.

  2. Famous environmentalist Ravi Chellam took charge as the Executive Director of Greenpeace India, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) during its most trouble time recently. He succeeds former Executive Director Samit Aich, who had resigned in June 2015 following an internal review of the organisation's handling of two sexual harassment cases. He is a wildlife biologist and conservation scientist by training. Before joining Greenpeace, he has worked with the Wildlife Institute of India and United Nations Development Programme.


 
23-January
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24-January
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Current Affairs India - 24 January 2016

  1. Deposits in accounts opened under the government-s flagship financial inclusion programme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), have crossed the Rs. 30,000 crore mark and nearly 20.38 crore bank accounts were opened under the PMJDYas on the 20thJanuary, as per latest data published by the Indian Government. These bank accounts had deposits of Rs. 30,638.29 crore (about $4.5 billion).


Accounts with no balance in them were as high as 76.81% of the total opened under the scheme as on 30th September 2015. They have come down to just about 32% at the end of December 2015, which is a significant improvement in terms of financial inclusion plan.

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Subhas Chandra Bose on his 119th birth anniversary (23rdJanuary), as he promised to his family members earlier.The files were declassified and put on digital display at the National Archives of India (NAI) here by the Prime Minister, who pressed a button in the presence of Bose family members. These files may throw some light about his life after 1945 if he could have survived the 1945 plane crash in Taiwan.

  2. India-s largest flag was hoisted at Pahari Mandir in Ranchi by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today.The flag measures 66 feet in height and 99 feet in length and it was hosted on a pole with 293 feel height which makes it world-s largest and the highest hoisted Indian flag till now. This flag will remain hoisted for 24 hours and shall be illuminated with the help of twenty sodium vapor lights at night.

  3. Amit Shah has been re-elected as BJP President for the new term of 3 years at a ceremony held in the Party headquarter today. On the occasion, Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar, BJP ruled states chief ministers, party office bearers and other leaders were present at the party headquarters.

  4. India's Ace Shuttler, PV Sindhu won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton title after defeating Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour 21-15, 21-9 in the final at Penang today. This is her Fifth career Grand prix gold and first title of the year 2016.


 
25-January
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Current Affairs International - 25 January 2016

  1. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won the Presidential election of Portugal after securing more than 52% of the votes in the recently held election. His closest rival, Socialist Antonio Sampaio da Novoa, conceded defeat after getting only 23% of the total votes while other Left Bloc candidate Marisa Matias got only 10% of total votes.

  2. Swiss tennis player Roger Federer made history of completing 300thGrand Slam match win after he won the Australian Open match defeating 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. With this win, he became the first man to reach this milestone in the World of tennis.


Current Affairs India - 25 January 2016

  1. 6th National Voters- Day (NVD) was observed across the country today (25th January) by the Election Commission of India. The theme for the 6th National Voters- Day is -Inclusive and Qualitative Participation-. The key aim of this day is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones.

  2. Indian government has announced this year-s Padma awards which include Padma Shri, Padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhusan awards. Actor Rajinikanth, late Dhirubhai Ambani of Reliance Group, media baron Ramoji Rao, former J&K Governor Jagmohan and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar were awarded Padma Vibhushan award.


Padma Bhushan awardees include former US Ambassador to India Robert D Blackwill, former CAG Vinod Rai, bollywood actor Anupam Kher and singer Udit Narayan and sportspersons Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza. Padma Shri awardees include senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam, Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra.

  1. India has been ranked at 22ndposition in theinaugural list of the world's best countries released by the World Economic Forum this week. The countries have been ranked on the basis of sustainability, adventure, cultural influence, entrepreneurship and economic influence.


China has been ranked at 17th position. Germany topped the list followed by Canada, UK, USA and Sweden in the top 5 list.

  1. Alice Vaidyan has been appointed Chairman and Managing Director of General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), the National Reinsurer which is also the 14th largest reinsurer globallyand is presently the only reinsurance company in India. She will hold office till 31stJuly 2019.

  2. FamousTabla player Pandit Shankar Ghosh passed away on 22ndJanuary 2016 in Kolkata following a prolonged illness. He was 80. He was trained by legendary Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh, Ustad Feroz Khan, Pandit Anath Nath Bose and Pandit Sudarshan Adhikari. He was awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in the year 2000 and the ITC Sangeet Research Academy award and the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan award.

  3. National award-winning actress Kalpana, who acted in more than 300 films passed away today morning in Hyderabad due to a heart attack. She was 51. She had received the National award for best supporting actress for her performance in -Thanichala Njan- (2012).

  4. India won the first T20 Asia cup cricket for Blind after defeating Pakistan in the final match held at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium of Kochi on 24thJanuary. Batting first, India scored 208 runs in 20 over. Pakistan was able to manage only 164 runs in 18.2 over.


 
26-January
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27-January
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Current Affairs International - 27 January 2016

  1. Japanese car maker Toyota has retained its title as the world-s biggest automaker after posting global sales of 10.15 million vehicles for the previous year 2015, overtaking scandal-hit German rival Volkswagen and US rival General Motors. Volkswagen reported sales of 9.93 million vehicles worldwide last year and General Motors reported sale of 9.8 million vehicles.

  2. US-based software services Company Cognizant Technology Solutions has acquired privately-held cloud services firm KBACE Technologies for an undisclosed amount. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The KBACE acquisition would bolster its digital business unit, adding that about 400 consultants and other business functions from KBACE. "The combined capabilities will further enable Cognizant to help clients become intuitively digital by using the cloud to derive new insights, unlock new opportunities and lower costs through a subscription-based business model," As per Cognizant.

  3. Famous mathematician and the computer scientist Marvin Minsky, also known as the pioneer of artificial intelligence, passed away at the age of 88at Boston-s Brigham and Women-s Hospital due to cerebral hemorrhage. In 1959, he co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project (AIT) with John McCarthy, who is credited with coining the term -artificial intelligence.- Now AIT is known as Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

  4. Hollywood actor Abe Vigoda, known for his work in The Godfather and on the television series Barney Miller, passed away on 26thJanuaryin New Jersey following natural causes. He was 94. He was best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in the movie The Godfather.

  5. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the winners of its Hockey Stars awards for 2015 today. The Netherlands' Robert Van der Horst and Lidewij Welten won the men's and women's FIH Player of the Year awards, respectively. Others awardees are Goalkeeper of the year (Women) - Joyce Sombroek of the Netherlands, Goalkeeper of the year (Men) - David Harte of Ireland and Rising Star of the Year (Women) - Lily Owsley of UK and Rising Star of the Year (Men) - Chrisopher Rühr of Germany.

  6. The West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has announced his retirement from international cricket after his 22 yearlong international career. He is the first Indo-Caribbean to play 100 Tests for the West Indies. He captained West Indies cricket team in 14 Tests and 16 One Day Internationals. He scored more than 11,000 runs in test cricket and more than 8000 runs in ODIs.


Current Affairs India - 27 January 2016

  1. India has been ranked at 76thout of 168 countries in its latest Corruption Perception Index, published by the Berlin based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).India-s 2015 corruption perception score remains unchanged compared to last year at - 38/100. Among other BRICS countries, China has been ranked at 83rd and Brazil has been ranked at 76th, same as India-s.


While Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have topped the list with their clean public sectors compared to previous years, other countries including Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia got placed at the bottom of the CPI ladder.

  1. India and France signed 14 Agreements in Delhi during the State Visit of President Francois Hollande of France to India. These agreements include a MoU regarding purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts. Francois Hollande was the fifth French leader to be a chief guest at India-s Republic Day celebrations.

  2. President Pranab Mukherjee approved the Union Cabinet-s recommendation for the imposition of President-s rule on Arunachal Pradesh after some rebel Congress MLAs joined BJP. The Union Cabinet approved the imposition of President Rule on the state after expiration of six month deadline under which the Assembly was supposed to meet.

  3. India's top pistol shooter Heena Sidhu secured an Olympic place by winning the gold medal in women's 10-metre air pistol event held at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers for Shooting in New Delhi today. She shot 199.4 in the eight-women finals to finish ahead of Chinese Taipei's Tien Chia Chen and Gim Yun Mi of Korea at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

  4. India-s Ravichandran Ashwin continued to hold on to the top spot in the all-rounders- list and retained his second position in the bowling list, as per the latest ICC Test rankings. England-s Stuart Broad leads the Bowlers ranking while Steven Smith of Australia leads the Batsmen ranking. India-s Ajinkya Rahane is the only Indian placed in the top-10, ranked at 10thplace.


India arise now officially the top ranked test team in the latest ICC rankings with a rating of 110 after South Africa-s 2-1 series loss to England. India is followed by Australia and South Africa.
 
28-January
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Current Affairs International - 28 January 2016

  1. International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was observed yesterday (27thJanuary) across the world like every year as started by the United Nations General Assembly. The theme for the year 2016 including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony is- The Holocaust and Human Dignity-. The day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet troops in 1945.

  2. Microsoft founder Bill Gateshas been ranked as the world's wealthiest man with a net worth of USD 87.4 billion, according to Wealth-X report published today. He is followed by Spain's Amancio Ortega, Co-founder of Zara, with a net worth of USD 66.8 billion and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

  3. Germany based engineering giant Siemensagreed to acqauire software company CD-adapcoin a USD 970 million deal with an aim to strengthen its core industrial business. Established in 1980,CD-adapco makes and distributes applications for computer aided engineering used to simulate the workings of an engine.

  4. US Central Bank, the Federal Reserve had kept the interest rates unchanged yesterday due to global economic weakness and lower economic growth. It also said that it is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments, but maintained an otherwise upbeat view of the US economy.


It has kept the interest rate unchanged at 0.25% to 0.50% after increasing rates in December last year for the first time since 2008.

  1. The IMF has announced implementation of its long pending quota reforms which was approved by the US Congress last year. The new reforms will give more voting rights to emerging economies including India and China. Post this reform, four emerging market countries (Brazil, China, India, and Russia) will be among the 10 largest members of the IMF for the first time.

  2. Australian cricketer David Warner won the prestigious Allan Border Medal for 2016, considered to be most important cricketing award of Australia. He earned 240 votes from players, umpires and media representatives to beat 2015 winner and Captain Steve Smith who earned 219 votes followed by Pace bowler Mitchell Starc who got 183 votes.


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.

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

  2. 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 25thApril 2016 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, Germany.


 
30-January
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Current Affairs International - 29-30 January 2016

  1. Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot were awarded with the Prince Mahidol Award 2015 for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide.The award was presented on 29thJanuary at the Grand Palace in Bangkok by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej.


Mower of USA received the award in the category of medicine for invention of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The device helps in monitoring heart rate and rhythm and delivers electrical current when abnormality is detected. UK-s Marmot receive the award in public health category for his evidence-based evaluation of the role of Social Determinants of Health, a concept that was adopted by the government of the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate health inequalities.

  1. United States' economy grew by 0.7% in last quarter (October to December) of the previous year 2015 due to slower investment and consumer spending. It is the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2015, when the economy grew by 0.6%. US economic growth stood at 2.4% in 2015.

  2. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero yesterday in order to revive the struggling economic amid renewed concern about world economy. The BOJ's policy board decided to charge a 0.1% interest on selected current account deposits that financial institutions hold with it. With negative interest rate, BoJ expects to increase liquidity in the market and improve lending to support economic activity.

  3. Angelique Kerber defeeated world number one Serena Williams by 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the final match to win the Australian Open Women-s singles title today. With this she became the first German to win a Grand Slam title since Steffi Graf in 1999.

  4. South African Cricketer Graham Xavier Fordwas named as the chief coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team for his second stint.For the first time he was appointed as the head coach of the Sri Lanka national team, replacing Geoff Marsh in January 2012. He succeeded Marvan Atapattu, who resigned from the post in September 2015.

  5. AB de Villiershas been appointed as the full-time captain of South Africa-s Test side, as per Cricket South Africa (CSA).He took this position after Hashim Amla-s resignation.


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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.