Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 17, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 17, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
Petroleum Ministry launches petroleum awareness programme Saksham 2017
The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched Saksham 2017 (Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav), an awareness program for sustainable use of petroleum products. It is month long awareness programme aimed to create awareness amongst masses towards judicious utilization and conservation of petroleum products along with use of energy efficient appliances and switching to cleaner fuels. The programme is initiative of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) and other Oil & Gas PSUs under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. During one-month long awareness drive, workshops on adopting simple fuel saving measures will be organised for drivers of commercial vehicles and housewives, cooks. It will also host activities like Quiz Show, Walkathons, Saksham Asian Cycling Championship, concerts and other activities across the country to educate on various steps for fuel conservation.
Government inks Financing Agreement with World Bank for Nagaland Health Project
The Union Government has formally inked a financing agreement for IDA credit of US$ 48 million for the ‘Nagaland Health Project’ along with a Project Agreement. The objective of the project is to improve health services and also their utilization by communities in targeted locations in Nagaland. The project will directly benefit about 600,000 people in targeted locations at the community and health facility level. It will support and complement existing systems and mechanisms involving communities under the National Health Mission.
EC allocates Samajwadi Party cycle symbol to Akhilesh Yadav faction
The Election Commission of India (ECI) allotted the bicycle symbol of Samajwadi Party to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh faction. The symbol was allocated to UP CM after he proved majority support in the party’s organisational and legislative structures as per Para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order. With this, the ECI concluded split in the Samajwadi Party. The Para 15 of the order defines the ECI’s power to determine to which faction the party symbol should be allocated in case of split in recognised party.
Timothy Gonsalves committee recommends reservation for girl students in IITs
The sub-committee under chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves has recommended reservation for girl students in IITs to address the issue of slump in number of female students entering the prestigious institutes. The recommendation of the committee will be taken up in the meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) for a final decision, which will decide whether the reservation will come in effect from 2017 or from 2018. Read more
Environment, Science & Technology Current Affairs
World’s lightest watch created using graphene
Scientists have developed the world’s lightest high-performance mechanical watch RM 50-03 made using the ‘wonder material’ graphene. The RM 50-03 watch weighs just 40 gms. The ultralight watch was made using a unique grapheme composite known as Graph TPT incorporating graphene to manufacture a strong but lightweight new case to house the delicate watch mechanism. It was jointly developed by the University of Manchester (UK), Richard Mille and McLaren F1. Graph TPT weighs less than previous similar materials used in watchmaking. Graphene is the world’s first 2D material at just one-atom thick. It was first isolated in 2004 and has the potential to revolutionise a large number of applications including high-performance composites for the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as flexible, bendable tablets, mobile phones and next-generation energy storage.
2016 was India’s warmest year ever recorded: IMD
According India Meteorological Department’s (IMD’s) statement of climate of India, 2016 was the warmest year ever on record in India since the documenting of meteorological records began in 1901. The annual mean surface temperature averaged in India during 2016 was +0.91 degree Celsius above the average recorded between 1961-1990 period. In 2016, the weather conditions in India were in line with warmer than normal climate observed globally. Before 2016, the warmest year on record was recorded in 2009 when annual mean temperature was +0.77 degree Celsius above average.
Silicon identified as ‘missing element’ in Earth’s core
Scientists from Tohoku University in Japan have claimed that Silicon (Si) is the ‘missing element’ in the Earth’s core. This discovery could help us to better understand how our world formed. According to them silicon likely makes up a significant proportion of Earth’s core after its major constituents iron and nickel. It was missing element in the deep interiors of our planet that has eluded us for decades. Read more
Environment Ministry notifies Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR Delhi region. In this regard, MoEFCC amended laws and formally tasked a Supreme Court-appointed panel with implementing a graded action plan for pollution control. Read more
Banking, Business & Economy
India ranks 92nd in 2017 Global Talent Index
India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list. The index measures ability of countries to compete for talent i.e. how countries grow, attract and retain talent. The index is produced by global business school INSEAD in partnership with Adecco Group and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore. Read more
India ranks 60th in Inclusive Development Index
India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’. The index is based on 12 performance indicators and countries are ranked on IDI scores based on a scale of 1-7. It has three pillars Growth and Development, Inclusion and Intergenerational Equity, and Sustainability in order to provide a more complete measure of economic development than GDP growth alone. Read more
IMF cuts India’s FY17 growth rate to 6.6% from 7.6%
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) update released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s growth rate for the fiscal year 2016–17 to 6.6% from its previous estimate of 7.6%. India’s growth rate was cut due to the temporary negative consumption shock of demonetisation. It has dampen India’s growth by 1% point in the FY2017 and 0.4% point in FY2017, compared with IMF’s earlier projections. Read more
Richest 1% own 58% of total wealth in India: Oxfam Study
According to study conducted by rights group Oxfam, India’s richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country’s total wealth, indicating rise income inequality. It is higher than the global figure of about 50%. It shows that 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the wealth as the poorest 50 % of the world population. Read more
RBI enhances cash withdrawal limit from ATMs to Rs 10000 per day
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the daily cash withdrawal limits from automated teller machines (ATMs) to Rs. 10,000 per card from the existing Rs. 4,500, with immediate effect. However, the weekly cash withdrawal limit remains unchanged at Rs. 24,000. The RBI also hiked the limit on withdrawals from current accounts to Rs. 1,00,000 per week from existing Rs.50,000. This limit is also applicable to overdraft and cash credit accounts.
BHEL commissions 500 MW thermal unit in West Bengal
State-run power equipment maker BHEL has commissioned second unit of capacity 500 MW of Sagardighi Thermal Power Station Phase II in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The first unit of 500 MW of capacity of the total 1,000-MW project was commissioned in December 2015. The project has been set up by West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL). BHEL’s scope of work in the project envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply and erection and commissioning of steam generators, steam turbine generators along with associated civil works.
Persons in News
Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon passes away
American astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, the last man to walk on Moon, passed away at the age of 82. He had landed on Moon in December 1972 during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission, the last mission to the moon. He was the eleventh person to land on Moon. He is also best remembered as commander of Apollo 17. He was the second American to walk in space and one of three men to have flown twice to the moon.
Veteran film actress Geeta Sen passes away
Veteran film and stage actor Gita Sen passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal due to old age-related ailments. She was 86. She was wife of film maker Mrinal Sen. She was known for her excellent portrayal of character roles. She had acted in a number of films including “Chorus”, “Calcutta 71”, “Kharij”, “Akaler Sandhane”, “Ekdin Pratidin” and “Khandahar”. She also was part of the theatre movement.
Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system passes away
Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, known as the father of Pinyin writing system (a system for the romanization of Mandarin Chinese) passed away in Beijing, China. He was 111. Zhou and China’s Communist party committee spent three years developing the Pinyin system in the 1950s. Its development had changed the way the language was taught in China and also helped to raise the literacy rates. Pinyin is the writing method that coverts Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet. It was officially adopted by the Chinese Government in 1958. Pinyin became the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7098 after a vote in 1982. It was officially adopted by the United Nations in 1986.
Sports Current Affairs
Farrukh Amonatov wins Delhi International Chess meet
Top seeded Grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan won the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament. In the 10th and final round, Farrukh settled for a draw with Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh of India. He scored 8.5 points out of a possible ten, half point ahead of Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbekistan. Ghosh and Marat both tied for the second spot on eight points. But Ghosh was declared the runners-up based on his better tiebreak.