Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 29-30, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 29-30, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

First investors’ summit for north-east held in Shillong

The first ever Investors’ Summit for the north eastern states was held in Shillong, capital city of Meghalaya. The theme of the summit was ‘Exploring Opportunities in North East Region’ (NER). The two–day summit aimed to showcase the region as a global destination for investments. It focussed on manufacturing in textiles and allied sectors of the region as it has huge potential for investments. The event provided platform for bringing in convergence of efforts of various central ministries and states in the region to attract investments. It was attended by all north eastern states, industries from the region and leading investors across the country.

IMD plans to set up weather stations in 660 districts

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country by 2019. In the first phase, 130 districts have shortlisted as part of the project. In this regard, IMD has tied up with the Union Ministry of Agriculture to use the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in these districts. These KVKs will be used for weather forecasting observatories and weather forecasts will be issued four days a week between Monday to Thursday. At present, weather forecasting systems are present in 130 districts which give forecasts for a cluster of neighbouring districts. But this project will now help to diversify and every district will have its own weather forecast. IMD is also planning to start state-specific weather forecasts from this year. Currently it gives region-specific weather forecasts namely for the, northwest, central, northeast regions and southern peninsula during monsoons.

99% of Indians over 18 now have Aadhaar cards: Government

Government has announced that over 99% of Indians aged 18 i.e. more than 111 crore residents have enrolled themselves for the unique identification number (Aadhaar cards). Now, 91.7% of the total population has been covered under Aadhaar cards. With this, government is set to accelerate the use of Aadhar numbers for its social welfare schemes for disbursing entitlements and subsidies as it will help check duplication and pilferage. The increase in enrolments will also boost government’s drive to make India a less-cash economy as it will encourage the use of AadhaarPay, a merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS). Aadhaar is a 12-digit number which acts as a proof of identity and address anywhere in the country. It is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Under it, biometric and demographic data of residents collected, stored in a centralised database.

Government launches Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign

The Union Government has launched nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)” on the occasion of Anti-Leprosy Day (observed on the last Sunday of January). The day is observed every year on January 30 in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who attained martyrdom on this day in 1948, to remember his selfless efforts and care for the people affected with Leprosy. Read more

IndiaPost gets payments bank licence from RBI

IndiaPost under Department of Posts (Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) received final payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). With this, India Post became the third entity after Bharti Airtel and Paytm to receive final payments bank licence to roll-out of banking operations commercially under the permit. Read more

Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala

The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State. State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature. Read more

International Current Affairs

President Donald Trump bans entry of people from 7 Muslim-majority countries

The US President Donald Trump has singed executive order to ban travel of people from seven Muslim-majority countries in the US for 90 days. These seven countries are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. Besides, the order also suspended US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days and indefinitely barred entry of refugees from Syria. It also mentioned that the refugee admissions programme, when restarted, will be restricted to select countries. Besides, admission of people under it in 2017 also has been cut to 50,000, less than half of the previously planned figure of 1,10,000.

Denmark creates world’s first Digital Ambassador

Denmark became the first country in the world to appoint a special “digital ambassador” in its administration to work on building ties with the globe’s tech giants. The new ambassadorship will open a new Danish diplomatic line to the United States beyond Washington for tech diplomacy to build ties with some of the world’s top tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Microsoft. It may also pave way to lobby digital businesses to invest in Denmark. The new appointment reflects diplomatic power shift between the established nations and privately-owned unions.

Seven new countries join BEPS agreement

Seven new countries Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia – have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA). With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015). CbC MCAA is a tax co-operation agreement to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information. Read more

Environment, Science and Technology Current Affairs

Oral cancer identified as leading cancer among Indian men says expert

Oral cancer has been identified as the leading cancer among men in India. Over 2.60 lakh new oral cancer cases and 1.20 lakh resultant deaths were reported a year in India. Tobacco smokers are 27 times more likely to be afflicted than non-smokers. Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. In it cancerous tissue growth is located in the oral cavity. It may arise as a primary lesion originating in any of the tissues in the mouth, by metastasis from a distant site of origin, or by extension from a neighboring anatomic structure, such as the nasal cavity.

Multidrug- resistant mcr-1 gene found in China

According to new studies published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the mcr-1 gene that makes bacteria resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort was found in China. It was discovered in a wide variety of strains of Escherichia coli (E Coli). Since the 1980s, Colistin has been used extensively in Agriculture in China. It was recently banned for use in agriculture, and will soon be introduced in clinical use for the first time. In recent times it was found that mcr-1 gene has spread to bacteria and it is already resistant to the carbapenem class of antibiotics.

Atomic clocks on indigenous navigation satellite IRNSS-1A develops snag

The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), the indigenously built satellite-based positioning system, has developed a technical snag. One of the three crucial rubidium timekeepers (atomic clock) on IRNSS-1A satellites failed six months ago and the other two followed subsequently. Read more

Persons in News

French actress Emmanuelle Riva passes away

French actress Emmanuelle Riva passed away after a long illness. She was 89. She was renowned French star of screen and stage. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2013 for her role in Amour, Michael Haneke’s brutal depiction of an aging couple. Riva also had starred alongside French movie legend in the film Jean-Louis Trintignant which had won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. She also had won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Veteran British actor John Hurt passes away

Veteran British actor John Hurt passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 77. He was versatile actor and was known for his roles in Elephant Man and Harry Potter. He had played role of Mr. Ollivander in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and in two other films in the series. He also had starred in the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s novel 1984. He was twice nominated for an Oscar, in the best supporting actor category for his performance in the 1978 film Midnight Express and for his role in Elephant Man two in 1980. He was born on January 22, 1940 in Chesterfield, England. He had started his career as a teacher of drawing.

France’s Iris Mittenaere crowned Miss Universe 2016

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016 at the pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. She was crowned by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach of Philippines. Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier was named as the first runner-up while Miss ColumbiaAndrea Tovar as the second runner-up in the pageant. With this, she becomes second Miss Universe from France after Christiane Martel (crowned in 1953).  Iris Mittenaere had represented Nord-Pas-de-Calais at the 2016 Miss France. She was crowned Miss France 2016 in December 2015. Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant run by the Miss Universe Organization. It was founded in 1952 by the California-based clothing company Pacific Knitting Mills, and the WUO.

Amulya Patnaik appointed new Commissioner of Delhi Police

Senior IPS officer Amulya Kumar Patnaik was appointed as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police. He succeeded Alok Kumar Verma, who has been appointed as the new chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Amulya Kumar Patnaik is 1985 batch of IPS officer of AGMUT Cadre. He hails from Odisha and currently is posted as Delhi police special commissioner (Administration).

A P Singh appointed interim head of India Post Payments Bank

The Union Government has appointed A P Singh as the interim Managing Director and CEO of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), floated by the postal department. He is a 1986 batch Indian Postal Service officer. Earlier, he was the joint secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). He also has served as the deputy director general in-charge of financial inclusion and payment systems in the founding team of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).

Sports Current Affairs

SC appoints Committee of Administrators headed by Vinod Rai to run BCCI

The Supreme Court has appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of four-member Committee of Administrators to run Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Other three members of the committee are noted historian Ramachandra Guha, Indian women’s team captain Diana Edulji and managing director of IDFC Limited Vikram Limaye. Read more

Roger Federer wins 2017 Australian Open title

Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer (35) won the 2017 Australian Open title in the men’s singles category. In the final match, he defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3 score. It was his 5th Australian Open title and overall 18th Grand slam title. It was 6-3 head to head record in Grand Slam summit clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. With this victory, Roger Federer became the only male tennis player who had won five or more tittles at in three of the four. He has won 5 Australian Open titles, 7 Wimbledon titles, 5 US Open titles and 1 French Open title. Currently, he is ranked world No. 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

PV Sindhu wins 2017 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Title

Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu has won her maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament title in women’s singles category. In the final match held at Lucknow, Sindhu defeated Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska by 21-13, 21-14 score.  In this edition of tournament, India won three titles out of the five events.

Other category winners

  • Men’s Singles: Sameer Verma (India) won the title by defeating compatriot B Sai Praneeth by 21-19, 21-16 score.
  • Mixed Doubles: Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy won the title by defeating compatriots Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy by 22-20 21-10 score.
  • Women’s Doubles Kamilla Ryter Juhl and Christina Pedersen from Denmark won the title by defeating Indian combination of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy by 21-16, 21-18 score.
  • Men’s Doubles: Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen from Denmark won the title by defeating Chinese Taipeh pair of Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han by 21-14, 21-15 score.

Serena Williams wins 2017 Australian Open title

American professional tennis player Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open title in the women’s singles category. In the final match, she defeated her sister Venus Williams by 6-4, 6-4 score.  It was her seventh Australian Open title and overall record 23rd Grand Slam title in the professional era. She is the only tennis player in history to have won singles titles at least 6 times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. She is the only tennis player who has won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. Now, Margaret Court of Australia, with 24 is the only woman player ahead of Serena Williams in terms of Grand Slam singles titles

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Events, Observances

Madras Engineer Group adjudged best Republic Day contingent

Indian Army’s Madras Engineer Group (MEG) was adjudged the best marching contingent among the Services in 2017 Republic Day parade. Besides, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was adjudged the best among the paramilitary forces. The results of different competitive presentations at the Republic Day Parade were announced by the Union Defence Ministry which hosts the Republic Day event. Among the 23 tableau representing states, the first position went to Arunachal Pradesh which had depicted the Yak dance. Tripura’s tableau based on ‘Hojagiri’ dance was adjudged the second best. The third position was shared by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In the category of tableau representing Union Ministries/Departments, the first prize was won by Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which depicted the theme ‘Transforming India through Skill Development.’ The tableau by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) which presented the concept of ‘Green India-Clean India’ was selected for a special prize by the jury.

World Leprosy Day observed on January 29, 2017

The World Leprosy Day was observed on January 29, 2017 to raise global awareness of Leprosy, a deadly disease and spread awareness to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured. The day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. It was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau. The day was chosen to coincide with the death anniversary of Indian freedom fighter and Father of nation Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948. Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. It is caused by a slow-growing type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae). It is curable with multidrug therapy (MDT).

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