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January 15, 2016

15th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Today (15th January) is 68th Indian Army Day
    • It was on this day in 1949 when Lt. General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army post Independence.
    • This day inspires the troops to continue to enrich the glorious traditions of the Indian Army with their dedication and sacrifice.
    • This Day also marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and the people living in it.
    • Important Names to Remember :
      • Chief of Army Staff - Dalbir Singh Suhag
      • Chief of Naval Staff - Admiral Robin K Dhowan
      • Air Chief Marshal - Arup Raha
  • The Juvenile Justice Act, which allows children aged 16 to 18 years and in conflict with law to be tried as adults in cases of heinous offences, comes into force from today. 
    • Important Points to Note :
    • The Act, passed by the Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament, received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on December 31.
    • The Ministry of Woman and Child Development has passed orders stating that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 will be enforceable from January 15, 2016. 

Awards & Honors
  • Jharkhand is set to hoist the world’s largest Tricolour flying atop the country’s tallest flagpole at the
    Pahari temple in Ranchi.
    • Standing tall at 293 feet, and measuring 99 by 66 feet, the Ranchi Tricolour beats a record held by a flag in Haryana’s Faridabad.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was conferred the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship at Singapore.
    • The award has been conferred on Chouhan for excellent works and innovations in agriculture, irrigation, power, women's empowerment and other sectors.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Chouhan is the 4th Indian recipient of the award.
      • Previously, 48 persons have received this award.

New Appointments
  • Online survey company SurveyMonkey named its chairman and former GoPro executive Zander Lurie as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Business & Economy
  • To spread awareness about various financial products, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today revised Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs) guidelines to align them with the current financial landscape.
  • India's grid-connected solar power generation capacity has crossed the 5,000 MW mark, with Rajasthan on top, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Government of India signed a loan agreement with World Bank for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project.
    • Important Points to Note :
    • The project to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21) will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
    • The Neeranchal project was approved by the cabinet in October last year with a total budget outlay of Rs.2142 crore with the Government share of Rs.1071 crore and the rest 50% by the World Bank.
  • United Nations has downgraded its GDP growth forecast for India for 2016 to 7.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent estimated earlier, largely due to slow progress in implementing reform policies.
  • India sends the largest number of engineers and scientists to the US with about 950,000 immigrant scientists and engineers coming from the country, according to a report.
    • The report prepared by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) said the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million from 2003 to 2013.
  • Use of Aadhaar cards and seeding of bank accounts with those numbers are purely voluntary and not mandatory, RBI said in a clarification on the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme.
  • The finance ministry is considering setting up of a ‘Bad Bank’, which will absorb non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector lenders.
  • Finance Ministry today announced that the banks will "shortly" issue the second tranche of sovereign gold bonds.
    • Note :
      • Reserve Bank had launched the first tranche of gold bond scheme in November. 
      • The subscription was for 915.95 kg amounting to Rs 246 crore.
      • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 5 launched gold schemes to wean away investors away from holding physical gold. 

  • Actor Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay, who played the popular character of Guran in Bollywood blockbuster, Lagaan passed away.
    • He was also famous for his roles in iconic TV shows like Bharat Ki Khoj, Mahabharat and Ighori.
  • Alan Rickman, one of the best-loved and most warmly admired British actors of the past 30 years, has passed away.
    • He was famous for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.
  • Mohammed Abdul Rahim Qureshi, assistant general secretary and spokesman of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, passed away.

  • Singapore has inked four agreements with the Madhya Pradesh government in various sectors. The MOUs signed are,
    • The MoU on setting up 1000 megawatt wind energy plant in western part of the state was signed between the Department of New & Renewable Energy and Singapore corporation unit, Sembcorp Green Infra Ltd.  It was the biggest of the investment proposals.
    • The MoU covering urban planning was signed between the Directorate of Town & Country Planning and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise,
    • The MoU on capacity building and skill training was signed between the Department of Technical Education and Skill Development and ITE Education Services of Singapore
    • The MoU covering food processing was signed between India’s LT Food Ltd and Singapore-based DSM Nutritional Products.
  • French telecom major Orange has signed a deal with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV for acquiring its operations in two African countries, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

  • Mesut Ozil has been named Germany national team player of the year for 2015.
  • Former World No.1 tennis player Marat Safin of Russia has joined the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
    • The official ceremony to induct the Russian tennis player has been scheduled for July 16, 2016.

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