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January 24, 2016

24th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • French President Fran├žois Hollande arrives in Chandigarh for a 3-day India visit.
    • Hollande promised to assist India in the development of three smart cities - Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur during the India-France Business summit in the presence of PM Narendra Modi. 
    • He had already declared $2.25-billion line of credit for the "Smart Cities" project of PM Modi.
  • An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Richter Scale struck southern Alaska early today. 
    • The earthquake is said to have occurred at a depth of 124.8 km, and tremors were felt over 280 km away in Anchorage city.  
  • Aiming to put an end to the protests by the Madhesi community, Nepal today, passed the first amendment to its maiden democratic constitution. 
    • Three articles of the four-month-old constitution have been amended. 
MOUs
  • India and France today signed 16 back-to-back multisectoral agreements during the India-France Business Summit at Chandigarh.
  • India and Bahrain today signed an agreement on the transfer of convicted persons and vowed to enhance bilateral relations in areas like counter-terrorism, and trade and commerce. 
    • According to the agreement, once an emigrant has been sentenced, he can then serve the sentence in his country of origin. 
    • Note : This agreement was signed during Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's two-day visit to Bahrain.

National Affairs

  • India's National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' was adopted as the national anthem of India on this day (January 24) in the year 1950, by the Constituent Assembly. 
    • Written and composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the anthem spreads the message of pluralism.
    • The official duration of Jana Gana Man is is 52 seconds. 
    • Note : Further, 'Vande Mataram', written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, was adopted as the national song of India on the same day.
  • On this day in 1950, Dr Rajendra Prasad was unanimously elected as the first President of the Republic of India, by the Constituent Assembly. 
    • Note : India has so far had 13 Presidents, with Prasad being the only one to have held the office twice.
  • Today is 9th National Girl Child Day.
    • This day has been started as a national girls development mission by the Government of India. 
    • This mission raises the awareness among people all over the country about the importance of girl’s promotion. 
    • It enhances the meaningful contribution of the girls in decision making processes through the active support of the parents and other community members.
  • The Election Commission of India will celebrate the 6th National Voters’ Day across the country tomorrow.
    • Theme for the year 2016 : Inclusive and Qualitative Participation.
    • The National level function will be held in New Delhi. 
    • President Pranab Mukherjee will be the Chief Guest at the function.
    • Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi will release the book titled, Belief in the Ballot, and present the first copy to the President.
  • The Andhra Pradesh endowments department has decided to introduce a novel scheme, "Bhaktuni Chentaku Bhagvantudu" (God visiting the devotee), from the Telugu new year Ugadi. 
    • As part of the programme, the priest of the local temple will visit families to bless them on seven special occasions related to birth and marriage. 
  • The Andhra Pradesh Government has also launched Giriputrika Kalyana Pathakam Scheme to support the tribal women in their quest for livelihood.
    • The scheme was launched by Andhra Pradesh Minister for Social Welfare Ravela Kishore Babu
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • This scheme seeks to reduce rampant infant mortality and child marriages among tribal people.
      • It is designed to provide a onetime financial assistance of 50000 rupees to each tribal woman who gets married.
New Appointments
  • Amit Shah re-elected as ‎BJP‬ President for the 2nd term.

Awards & Honors
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today presented the National Awards for Bravery, 2015 at his official residence in New Delhi.
    • This year twenty five children, including three girls and 22 boys, were selected for the Awards.
    • Two of the awards have been given posthumously.
  • The Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling starrer 'The Big Short' was named Best Theatrical Motion Picture at the 2016 Producers Guild of America Awards
    • 'Inside Out' won the award for Best Animated Theatrical Motion Picture, while 'Amy' was named Best Documentary. 
    • Television series 'Game of Thrones' won the Best Episodic Television (Drama) Award.
  • Kerala has emerged as the winner in the destination category in FITUR, the annual international tourism trade fair of Spain
    • The award was shared with Mexico, Japan and Nepal. 
    • The Kerala pavilion in the event which was created with images of the popular snake boat races of the state also won the Best Stand Award for design, communication and professionalism.
Business & Economy
  • Maharashtra-based RBL Bank has launched a new platform called 'India Startup Club' (ISC) to provide all-around banking services to emerging entrepreneurs. 
    • Through this platform, entrepreneurs can avail personalised banking services, planning solutions and financial tools. 
    • Enterprise registration, office space and social media marketing are among the non-banking solutions provided.
  • Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg today announced that the government is likely to hold the next round of spectrum auction in May-June this year
    • Note : The last spectrum auction conducted across 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz frequencies in March 2015 collected around ₹1.1 lakh crore. 
  • State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has received a clearance from the Environment Ministry for a ₹53,000 crore project in Andhra Pradesh's Krishna-Godavari basin
    • Under the project, ONGC will dig 45 development wells and build other related infrastructure. 
    • The project is expected to produce 51.33 billion cubic meters of gas and 26.71 million cubic meters of oil.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it will soon introduce new currency notes of denominations 500 and 100 of the Mahatma Gandhi Series 2005 with additional security features.
    • The new security features include bleed lines, ascending size of numerals in the number panels and enlarged identification mark on the obverse.
Science & Technology
  • Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs launched the first ever Macintosh computer on this day in 1984
    • Later renamed as Macintosh 128K, the personal computer was priced at $2,500. 
  • The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) today blocked 94 websites in the state that radicalise people online and propagate the agenda of terrorist outfit Islamic State
  • Instant messaging app n-gage has launched its service in India to compete with other chat platforms like WhatsApp, Hike, LINE and Viber. 
    • In addition to having standard chat app features, n-gage allows users to send encrypted messages to each other that are password protected and are automatically deleted after a pre-set duration. 
    • The app also has a desktop version.

Sports
  • India has won the T20 Blind Asia Cup 2016 by defeating Pakistan.
  • India's Ace Shuttler, PV Sindhu has won the Malaysia Masters‬ Grand Prix Gold Badminton title 2016.
  • Indian opener, Rohit Sharma rocketed into the top ten of ODI Rankings for batsmen after being named man-of-the-series for scoring 441 runs against Australia. 
    • Three Indian batsmen - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - make the top ten. 
    • Note : Captain, MS Dhoni slipped out of the top ten for the first time in seven years and was 13th.

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