Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 24, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 24, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Use Aadhaar e-KYC to verify mobile users: TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC for verification of existing mobile subscribers and for outstation customers. Aadhaar linked e-KYC service will provide a robust mechanism to verify the identity of a person electronically and instantaneously from the source itself, based on the biometrics of a person. Thus, it takes care of the issues relating to fake or forged identity proof and manual entry into the system etc. However, this process should be optional to the service providers as well as mobile subscribers.

EC permits Government to present Union Budget

The Election Commission (EC) has given its nod to the Union Government to present the Union Budget on 1 February 2017 ahead of the Assembly polls in five States viz. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa. In the interest of free and fair elections, the EC told Government no state-specific schemes shall be announced in the budget to influence voters in the five poll-bound states. It also mentioned that in the Finance Minister’s speech should not highlight the government’s achievements with respect to the five states in any manner. Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the Union Budget, saying there was no illustration that it will influence voters.

PM Narendra Modi confers National Bravery Awards to 25 Young Recipients

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the National Bravery Awards to 25 children chosen from across the country for their outstanding acts of valour. Twenty-five children, including 12 girls and 13 boys and four of them were awarded posthumously. The awardees will participate in the Republic Day parade at Rajpath on January 26th, 2017. National Bravery Awards were initiated by ICCW (Indian Council for Child Welfare) to give due recognition to the children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery and to inspire other children to emulate their example. The recipients are selected by high-powered committee comprising representatives of various ministries, departments, NGOs, as well as office-bearers of ICCW.

24 January: National Girl Child Day

The National Girl Child Day is observed every year on 24th January with an objective of raising consciousness of the society towards the girl child so that she can be valued and respected. The day was celebrated at a special function organized by the Women and Child Development Ministry in the light of exemplary achievements by nation’s daughters during 2016. On this occasion, National Plan of Action for Children 2016 was released. Besides, 10 districts under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (B3P) scheme were felicitated for their exemplary performance.

India rejects attempts of EU, Canada for global investment agreement

India, along with Brazil, Argentina and some other nations rejected an informal attempt of European Union (EU) and Canada to work towards a global investment agreement at World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level. The EU and Canada proposed agreement incorporates a contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.  Read more

N K Singh panel submits report on changes in FRBM Act

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4 volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The 5 member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP. Read more

International Current Affairs

US Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as CIA Director

The US Senate has confirmed Mike Pompeo (53) as the new Director of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). 66 senators backed Pompeo and 32 voted against. Shortly afterward, Pompeo was sworn in by US Vice President Mike Pence. Previously, he was the US Representative for Kansas’s 4th congressional district from 2011 to 2017. He is a member of the Tea Party movement within the Republican Party. CIA is US federal government’s civilian foreign intelligence service. It is the tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). It reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet.

US President Donald Trump signs executive order to pull US out of TPP

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to formally pull US out of the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a mega trade deal of 12 Pacific Rim countries. TPP was one of the major international trade initiatives of his predecessor Barack Obama aimed to set trade rules for the 21st century and bind US allies against growing Chinese economic clout. Read more

States Current Affairs

Goa becomes first state to send postal ballots via electronic mode

Goa will become the first state in the country to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming Assembly polls. This facility allows service voters (who are either in the defence, para-military forces or on diplomatic missions) to download the postal vote, cast their vote and send it via e-mail to returning officer. Sending ballot papers through electronic means will cut down the time in transmission of postal ballot to the service voters. Besides, Goa will also be the first state in the country to use Voter- Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in all assembly constituencies.

Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passes Jallikattu Bill

The special session of Tamil Nadu Assembly has unanimously passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017 to lift Supreme Court imposed ban on the traditional sport of Jallikattu. The bill will now replace the ordinance promulgated in this regard by the Governor on the recommendation of state government. Read more

Environment, Science and Technology Current Affairs

Scientists spot sunspot with centre twice the size of Earth

Scientists have spotted a new view of the dark, contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth. It was spotted using Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) antennas located in Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Read more

Browned toast and potatoes are ‘potential cancer risk: Scientists

According to scientists from Food Standards Agency (FSA) of United Kingdom, chips, potatoes and bread cooked to brown can cause cancer. According to FSA when the starchy foods are roasted, grilled or fried for too long at high temperatures (above 120 degree Celsius), it produces carcinogenic chemical Acrylamide. Read more

Banking, Business & Economy

Vishal Kaul appointed as COO of Ola

Ride-hailing service Ola has appointed Vishal Kaul, a PepsiCo veteran, as its chief operating officer (COO). Besides, it has elevated current COO Pranay Jivrajika as founding partner. Kaul in his new role he will head Ola’s operations, strengthen Ola’s market leadership, expand its reach to the nooks and corners of the country and widen the customer base customers and driver-partner fraternity. He is alumnus of Punjab Engineering College and Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD. Kaul had joined PepsiCo in 1999 where he had served as vice-president (marketing), vice-president (business operations) and most recently, general manager (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos).

Delhi airport wins Corporate Social Responsibility award in aviation sector

GMR Group-led consortium Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) has won the prestigious 2016 Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the aviation transport sector. The award was presented at a special presentation ceremony during the 11th International Conference on CSR. The Golden Peacock Awards were founded by the Institute of Directors in 1991. These awards are globally regarded as a benchmark of corporate excellence. The Delhi airport has been adjudged as the world’s no. 1 airport in ACI ASQ survey for two consecutive years from 2014 in the 25-40 million passengers per annum category.

Rescheduled Education Loan will not be considered NPAs: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified that rescheduling of payment period of education loans by banks due to unemployment of borrower will not be treated as restructured accounts for computing NPAs (Non-Performing Assets). This move will encourage banks to provide education loans. This notification allows banks rescheduling of payment period of education loans up to three spells of moratorium (not exceeding 6 months each) during life cycle of loan by taking into account spells of unemployment/underemployment.

Sports Current Affairs

Postal Department releases stamp cover on Sindhu, Sakshi and Dipa

The Indian postal department released a special stamp cover featuring Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik and also gymnast Dipa Karmakar. The special cover is titled “Golden girls of India – Pride of Nation“. It is a rare honour for sporting personalities in the country. One of the images on the cover also features Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who was awarded the Dronacharya award.

Virat Kohli becomes fastest cricketer to score 1000 runs as ODI captain

Indian test and ODI captain Virat Kohli became the fastest captain to score 1000 runs. He achieved this feat in 17 innings as captain. With this he has overtaken previous record of South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who took 18 innings to score 1000 runs, followed by Kane Williamson (20 innings), Alistair Cook (21) and Sourav Ganguly (22).

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