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January 20, 2016

19th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • For the first time, China has launched an online system to check the “authenticity” of top Tibetan Buddhist monks, amid growing incidents of fraud involving religious leaders.
    • The first list of 870 verified Tibetan monks, also known as ‘Living Buddhas’, was published on the official website of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. 
    • Note : It is the first time information on the country’s religious leaders is accessible via the Internet.

National Affairs
  • NOTA (None of the Above) option is being introduced for the first time in rural local body polls.
    • When elections to 26 zilla panchayats and 175 taluk panchayats will be held on February 13 and February 20, voters will have the option of NOTA for the first time in rural local body polls.
    • Note : Although the Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Act 2015 had made provision for NOTA in rural local body elections, the option could not be introduced in the gram panchayat elections held in May.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has officially declared Sikkim as the first organic state in the country, saying it will soon become the harbinger of organic farming not only in India but around the world.
    • The PM also handed over the Organic Certificate to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in Gangtok.
  • Government extends time-line for its co-contribution facility under Atal Pension Yojana till 31st March.
  • In an initiative aimed at quick delivery of government services, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today launched 'Amma Call Centre', a round-the-clock call centre for ensuring fast response to grievances.
    • Note : Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as 'Amma' (mother) by her supporters and her government is already running many initiatives named after her, including the hugely popular 'Amma Canteens' which provide subsidised food, and 'Amma Mineral Water', among others. 

Awards & Honors

  • National Bravery Awards for the year 2015 announced.
    • 25 Children (22 boys & 3 girls) will be conferred the award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on 24th January 2016.
    • Two of the awards have been given posthumously.
    • Gaurav Kawduji Sahastrabuddhe (15)from Maharashtra, who sacrificed his life while saving his four friends will be awarded with ‘Bharat Award’, the highest of the National Bravery awards.
    • The prestigious Geeta Chopra award will be given to 8-year-old Shivampet Ruchitha of Telangana who displayed exemplary valour in saving two lives when a train hit her school bus.
      • Note : Ruchitha is the youngest of the 25 children to receive the bravery award.
    • 16-year-old Arjun Singh, from Uttarakhand, will be awarded with Sanjay Chopra Award for displaying outstanding bravery in fighting off a tiger to save his mother.
    • About These Awards :
    • These awards were initiated by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) in 1957.
    • These awards give recognition to children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding acts of bravery.
    • The awardees will receive a medal, a certificate and cash prize.
  • Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora has announced that as part of the government's effort to promote the Indian film industry and India's "Soft Power", it has been decided to institute a new award category under the National Film Awards titled "The Most Film Friendly State/UT".
    • This award will be conferred for the first time at the 63rd National Film Awards to be held on May 3, this year.
  • After US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the second most popular leader on the social networking website Facebook
    • This has been revealed in a study by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm.

Business & Economy
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained India’s growth projection at 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal and 7.5 per cent for the next, even as it cut world economic outlook to 3.4 per cent for 2016.
    • In its update on World Economic Outlook (WEO), IMF said China’s growth would slow to 6.3 per cent in 2016 and further to 6 per cent in 2017, but India would continue to grow at a “robust pace”.
  • The total installed capacity of solar power in India has crossed the milestone of 5,000 MW.
    • Note : The Government has set the ambitious target of generating 100 GW of solar power by 2021-22 under the National Solar Mission.

  • The Japanese person Yasutaro Koide who is known as the world’s oldest man (112 Years) passed away.
    • Mr. Koide, who was born on March 13, 1903, died two months short of his 113th birthday.
  • Renowned Kannada filmmaker and lyricist Geethapriya (male) passed away.
    • He has penned lyrics for over 250 immortal songs and directed 40 films including one in Hindi.
  • Eagles guitarist ‎Glenn Frey‬ (67) passed away.
    • Note : The Eagles were one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with multiple hit singles including Hotel California, in 1976.

New Appointments
  • Homegrown auto major Tata Motors today announced appointment of ex-Airbus COO Guenter Butschek as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, two years after the death of its former MD Karl Slym.

  • Russia’s Ivan Popov has won the 14th Delhi International Open chess title.
  • English professional snooker player, Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth Snooker Masters title by beating Barry Hawkins in the final at the Alexandra Palace.
    • O'Sullivan, also a five-time world champion, had previously won the event in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2014, equaling the record set by Stephen Hendry.

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