Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 15-16, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 15-16, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Union Commerce Ministry launches SEZ India app

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India” under its broader e-Governance initiative to help the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers. It will help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on Online System.  Read more

States Current Affairs

Tamil Nadu Government launches mobile app Pinakin for Tourism

Tamil Nadu government has launched a mobile application Pinakin to provide information of famous tourist destinations in the state. The app will provide information on other major tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. Initially, it will cover world heritage tourist sites like Thanjavur Big Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Mamallapuram and Darasuram and soon include other places in the state. The app will provide information in two languages Tamil and English, benefiting both domestic and international tourists.

Madhya Pradesh Government launches Digital Dakiya scheme

Madhya Pradesh Government launched Digital Dakiya (or Digital Postman) scheme to encourage cashless transactions. It is first of its kind scheme in the country. It was launched by State Finance Minister Jayant Malliya in Indore. Under it, Digital Dakiya or Digital Postman will visit door to door and train households specially women and elderly people about digitized transactions. The scheme aimed at urban as well as rural areas and state government will provide Identity cards to the volunteers deployed in this programme.

International Current Affairs

Facebook to introduce fake news tools in Germany

The world’s largest social network Facebook is going to introduce new tools in Germany to help combat the spread of fabricated news stories (or fake news). These tools will enable German users to flag potentially false stories. The fake news will then be passed to third-party fact-checkers and if found to be unreliable, will be marked in users’ news feeds as “disputed”. Recently, Facebook was widely criticised after some users complained that fake news had influenced the US Presidential election. Fake news is the deliberate creation of factually incorrect content to mislead people for some gain. In recent times due to spurt in websites and social media platforms it is becoming increasingly serious problem due to the clickbait practices.

Japan and Indonesia agree to deepen defence ties

Japan and Indonesia have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on maritime security and deepen defence ties as both nations feud with China over sea territory. Both island nations committed to give maritime cooperation the highest priority. It was announced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Besides, Japan will actively encourage cooperation on maritime security and encourage the development of the remote islands of Indonesia. Earlier in December 2016, both countries had unveiled an agreement aimed in strengthening Indonesia’s ability to defend its vast marine borders. At present, Indonesia has no dispute with China over ownership of reefs or islets in the disputed South China Sea. But China’s expansive claims overlap with Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) where it has the right to exploit resources around the Natuna islands.

One China policy is non-negotiable: China

China has made it clear that the One China policy is non-negotiable and no one can change it. China’s reaction came following US President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that the US policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it. It also held that One China policy is the political foundation of bilateral ties between US and China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The one-China policy underscores recognition of China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. This position has been held by the US since 1979. Moreover, any country that wants to establish political and diplomatic relations with China must adhere to this principle and not recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

China hands over two ships to Pakistan Navy for Gwadar Port security

China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). These ships have been named as Hingol and Basol, after two rivers near Gwadar. They will be part of Pakistan Navy and are equipped with state-of-the-art guns. They will be used to protect the sea-lanes in the Arabian Sea. Read more

Defence Current Affairs

BSF launches operation Sard Hawa at Rajasthan border

The Border Security Force (BSF) has launched operation Sard Hawa at the western international border of Rajasthan to check the instances of infilteration due to the dense fog in the area. The purpose of this 14 days operation (from 15 to 28 January, 2017) is to keep hawk’s eye on the international border and to motivate patrolling jawans. Under it jawans will patrol the border with advanced weapons in the police station areas near to the border. BSF is the sentinels of Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Currently it is deployed on Indo-Pakistan International Border, Indo-Bangladesh International Border, Line of Control (LoC) along with Indian Army and also in Anti-Naxal Operations.

69th Army Day observed

The 69th Indian Army Day was observed on 15 January 2017. On this day in 1949, Lt. General (later Field Marshal) Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army (of the independent India). He had succeeded British Army General Roy Butcher (last British Commander-in-Chief of India). The day is also celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.

Science and Technology Current Affairs

Superbug found in India resistant to available antibiotics

A 70-year-old woman in the US died after being infected by a superbug (bacteria resistant to all available antibiotics) during her visit to India. She was infected by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a multidrug-resistant organism associated with high mortality. In this case, the infection was resistant or non-susceptible to all available antimicrobial drugs. Klebsiella pneumoniae was also confirmed by lab testing and also the presence of New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), resistant to 26 different antibiotics. NDM-1 is an enzyme that directly breaks down carbapenems, a powerful class of antibiotics that are often used to treat multidrug-resistant infections.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket successfully places 10 satellites into orbit

US based rocket manufacturing company SpaceX successfully launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two stage Falcon 9 Rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The satellites were deployed into the designated to low-Earth orbit about an hour after launch. Besides, rocket’s first stag also landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg. Read more

Banking, Business & Economy

RBI Note Mudran printing press prints highest number of currency notes

The RBI Note Mudran printing press located in Mysuru (Karnataka) has broken all its past record by printing highest number of currency notes in December 2016. It printed 10.9 million notes on a single day, breaking the previous world record of 8.7 million notes printed in an American currency printing press. The press printed 1350 million currency notes in December 2016 by nearly 650 workers in the Mysuru unit that worked for 12 hours a day in two shifts. The printing wastage in Mysuru press was reduced to 2% whereas in US it is 4%. Besides, the cost per currency printing in US is four rupees, whereas in Mysuru Press it is just 3 rupees and 40 paise.

SBI-Omanese fund SGRF launches second India-focused Private Equity

State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF), a Sovereign Wealth Fund of Oman and State Bank of India (SBI) have signed pact to infuse $150 million and $50 million respectively in second Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a private equity fund. OIJIF Fund II is targeting a corpus of $300 million by 2017-end. The first OIJIF fund of $100 million closed in 2011. It was fully invested across seven companies and has returned around 50% of the capital invested after divesting around 15% of its investment. OIJIF will continue with its investment strategy of focussing on mid-market companies that are market leaders to unlock the companies’ true potential and spur growth.

SEBI tightens merger norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened rules for mergers and amalgamations by Indian companies in a bid to safeguard the interests of the public shareholders. The market regulator amended rules in an effort to make listing process more transparent and ensure wider public holding, prevent mergers of large unlisted firms with small ones. Read more

Persons in News

Veteren actor Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography Khullam Khulla released

Veteren actor Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography titled “Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored” was released. The book’s title has been borrowed from the famous song “Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge Hum Dono” of his film Khel Khel Mein. It has been written by actor himself along with Meena Iyer. The autobiography sketches his life and film career starting from child actor in Mera Naam Joker (1970) to old man in Kapoor & Sons (2016).

Noted political and social activist Mangal Singh Negi passes away

Noted political and social activist and president of All India Tribes and Minorities Front Mangal Singh Negi passed away in Chandigarh. He was 86. He was a versatile genius with a vast knowledge of Constitution and was crusader of rights of tribals and minorities. He was one of the first civil servants from the tribal region of Himachal Pradesh who served in various senior positions in the governments of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. At the Centre he had served at the Constitutional post of Deputy Commissioner for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. He also had served as Chairman of Himachal Backward Classes, Minorities and Tribal Welfare Parishad. He had worked relentlessly for rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees, renovation and establishment of Buddhist monasteries in Himachal Pradesh and other parts of India. He was instrumental in getting Scheduled Tribe status to the people of Kinnaur. He also served as an advisor to the Asian Bureau of Indigenous People from 2005 to 2010. He has authored five books on Tibetan culture, Buddhist philosophy, Indian polity and Tribal history.

Fred Ramsdell, Alexander Rudensky and Shimon Sakaguchi awarded 2017 Crafoord Prize

Immunologist Alexander Rudensky, Shimon Sakaguchi and Fred Ramsdell have won the 2017 Crafoord Prize. They won prestigious scientific honour for their discoveries related to regulatory T cells and their role in the immune system i.e. counteract harmful immune reactions in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord. It is administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) and awarded in four categories viz. astronomy and mathematics, biosciences, geosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology, and polyarthritis. The prize carries monetary award of 6 million Krona.

Former Punjab CM Surjit singh Barnala passes away

Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala passed away in Chandigarh. He was 91. Mr Barnala had served as Chief Minister from 1985 to 1987, when militancy was at its peak in Punjab. He became CM after the Rajiv-Longowal accord was signed in 1985. He was a moderate leader of the Akali Dal. He was born on October 21, 1925 in Ateli village, in Mahendergarh district (now in Haryana). Mr Barnala did his graduation in law from Lucknow before entering politics. During freedom struggle he was involved in Quit India Movement in 1942. He had served Agriculture Minister at the Centre in the Moraji Desai government and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet. He also had served as Governor of Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh and also held additional charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

62nd Filmfare Awards

The grand Annual 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards event organised by the Filmfare magazine was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It honored the best Indian films of the year 2016 Dangal was adjudged as the Best film. Neerja and Kapoor & Sons with 5 awards each were the film wining highest number of awards. Read more

Sports Current Affairs

Gujarat wins First Ranji Trophy title

Gujarat won its maiden Ranji Trophy title by defeating defending champion Mumbai by five wickets in the final match held at the Holkar stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat’s Parthiv Patel’s (Captain) 143 and Munprit Juneja’s 54 runs helped team to chase down the highest successful chase in the final. With this win Gujarat became the 17th side in the history of domestic cricket to win the tournament. Mumbai has won the Ranji title for record 41 times in the past. In this season it ended up as the runner-up in for the fifth time. Earlier Mumbai had stood second in after losing to Haryana in the final match by 2 runs in 1990-91 season.

Alphonce Simbu and Bornes Kitur win 2017 Mumbai Marathon

Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu by clocking 02:09:32 time won the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in the men’s category. Kenya’s Bornes Kitur won the women’s title by clocking 02:29:02. Among the Indian Men, Kheta Ram won the race by clocking 2:19:51 followed by Bahadur Singh (2:19:57) and T H Sanjith Luwang (2:21:19). Among Indian women, Maharashtra’s Jyoti Gawte won the race by clocking 02:50:53 followed by West Bengal’s Shyamli Singh (3:08:41) and J&K’s Jigmet Dolma (3:14:38).

Sports Ministry launches Khelo India National level Competitions

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launched the ‘Khelo India’ National level Competitions at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex in New Delhi. The seven day Sports competitions are being organized by Sports Authority of India (SAI) to promote sports at grass-root level. Khelo India aims to provide a platform to the budding talents to compete at national level. The talent identification will be undertaken in the process for grooming them to achieve excellence at international level. Around one thousand participants will participate in three sports Cycling, Swimming and Wrestling.

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